I read this paper, “Using statistical methods to model the fine-tuning of molecular machines and systems”, a while back, and it was obvious crap. You can tell right there in the abstract where it makes a promise it does not deliver on, that “molecular fine-tuning…challenges conventional Darwinian thinking”. It then goes on to make a statistical argument that the probability of producing a functional protein with chance and selection is infinitesimal, that the waiting time problem is a killer for Darwinian mechanisms (it isn’t), and cites Behe extensively. The authors, Thorvaldsen and Hössjer, might as well have fired off a flare that exploded in flaming glitter letters that spelled out “I AM A CREATIONIST”, followed by Thorvaldsen doing a happy dance because he got his garbage published in a legitimate journal.
Now the journal has published an apology (not a retraction, an apology — it’s weird).
The Journal of Theoretical Biology and its co-Chief Editors do not endorse in any way the ideology of nor reasoning behind the concept of intelligent design. Since the publication of the paper it has now become evident that the authors are connected to a creationist group (although their addresses are given on the paper as departments in bona fide universities). We were unaware of this fact while the paper was being reviewed. Moreover, the keywords “intelligent design” were added by the authors after the review process during the proofing stage and we were unaware of this action by the authors. We have removed these from the online version of this paper. We believe that intelligent design is not in any way a suitable topic for the Journal of Theoretical Biology.
Hold on there, cowboy. Your reviewers and editors were unable to figure out that this was a creationist/intelligent design paper except that the authors added the keywords “intelligent design” post review? And you think removing the keywords now is sufficient action? If “intelligent design” is not a suitable topic, why is the paper still there with only the most superficial change?
I am not impressed with the perspicacity of the Journal of Theoretical Biology, and suspect that whoever wrote that strange disendorsement is lying.