Silver-level articleAnswers Research Journal

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Answers Research Journal[1] (ISSN 19379056) is a "peer-reviewed" (in the peer-creationist sense...) creation "science" pseudojournal, with all "scare quoted" terms used loosely. It is published by Answers in Genesis. It features pseudohistory, bad philosophy, and Biblical literalist analysis pieces, but not much in the way of science. In an article about ARJ and related issues, one of the contributors states the journal's point of view: "'We have a particular viewpoint,' Purdom stated, referring to the ARJ. 'We start with the Bible as being true. And many other journals do not. They are going to start with human reasoning as the basis for truth.'”[2]

Appropriately enough for a journal of pseudoscience, authors are free to publish under pseudonyms, ostensibly to avoid persecution for their beliefs.[3][4] It should be noted that in some cases, it may be against university or company policies to publish anonymously work that you supposedly did "in the line of duty." Although, quite honestly, if that's the best publishing you can do as an academic, you probably don't deserve tenure.

Ulrich's Periodical Directory classifies the journal under "Religions and Theology,"[5] despite having many science categories available. Upon creation of the journal, Nature,[6] Scientific American[7] and Discover[8] quickly published criticism of the site. Slate[3] and AiG themselves[9] have also traded commentary, and several blogs such as the Sensuous Curmudgeon[10] and Happy Jihad's House of Pancakes[11] routinely produce criticism of the journal.


[edit] Judging criteria

"Answers" lists a bizarre set of criteria for articles submitted for publication:

  1. Is the paper’s topic important to the development of the Creation and Flood model?
  2. Does the paper’s topic provide an original contribution to the Creation and Flood model?
  3. Is this paper formulated within a young-earth, young-universe framework?
  4. If the paper discusses claimed evidence for an old earth and/or universe, does this paper offer a very constructively [sic] positive criticism and provide a possible young-earth, young-universe alternative?
  5. If the paper is polemical in nature, does it deal with a topic rarely discussed within the origins debate?
  6. Does this paper provide evidence of faithfulness to the grammatical-historical/normative interpretation of Scripture?[12]

Number 4 is by far the most important. The parallel criterion in a science journal would read, "If the paper discusses claimed evidence for science, does this paper offer a very constructive positive criticism and provide a possible pseudoscientific alternative?" Most of the published articles are invalid by criterion 2 as they are mostly re-hashed creationist propaganda.

Unlike a scientific journal, no data or methods section is required for an Answers Research Journal article, which is okay, as pretty much none of the papers have data or methods backing them up any way.

[edit] Editor-in-Chief

Andrew A. Snelling[13] is the editor-in-chief, who claims to have "more than 24 years of technical scientific publication experience,"[14] including In Six Days, Why fifty scientists choose to believe in creation.[15][16] Unfortunately the highlight of this experience includes founding the Journal of Creation. He is also quoted as saying:

It is our hope that the online publication of ARJ will encourage Christians with powerful results of the latest creationist research, providing them with new resources for use in their own research and education—and in their witnessing to the truth and authority of God’s Word.[17]

Er... and the science?

By March, 2008 Snelling had written two of the first six articles in ARJ[18] and had edited the journal in its entirety. He has ties to the Institute for Creation Research, which funded some of his work.[19][20] What a trooper!

[edit] Content analysis

[edit] Volume 1 articles

Volume 1 consisted of the 16 papers and 195 pages of content published in 2008. (As a comparison, the journal Biochemistry published 14038 pages in 2008, volume 47, or about 72 times more content.[21]) Highlights of vol. 1 include a piece on peer review, which takes (Sterile, 2009) Harvard Referencing (Ace McWicked 2007) to extreme (Human 2007, Pi 2010) and quite funny (Bob, 2006) levels (tmtoulouse, 2009) and an alternative explanation for the origin of oil that amounts to Goddidit. And the Great Flood also affected Mars.

[edit] Volume 2 articles

Volume 2 ran through 2009, publishing 16 papers with a total length of 210 pages. For comparison: one issue of the Journal of Evolutionary Biology - Volume 23 Issue 3 (March 2010) - had 17 research papers, 1 review paper and two communications for 210 page; there were twelve issues in total that year.[22] Among the notable papers are one that says creationists should stop using conspiracy theories about Darwin as evidence (nice, but hardly science, even by the standards of the ARJ), six papers from a creationist microbes conference that are essentially review papers, and a paper on polonium halos.

[edit] Volume 3 articles

Volume 3 ran through 2010, publishing 14 papers and three letters for a record breaking 309 pages. The highlight of the year was undoubtedly Jason Lisle's much anticipated solution to the starlight problem, his not so ground breaking anisotropic synchrony convention, where he proposes light moves different speeds in different direction. An idea explored by real physicists 50 years, before being dumped on the interesting but unimportant pile. More humorously, Larry Vardiman and Wesley Brewer discovered the technique used by mainstream hydrologists of publishing multiple papers with the same basic idea and calling each one a case study, even though on a practical level it is no different than the last paper. Combined with Snelling's two review papers on the geology of Israel, they managed to pad out what would have been a very thin volume (the five papers combining for a total of 163 pages). Although not without controversy, Todd C. Wood proposed that various species of hominids should be placed in the human baramin sparking the first letters discussion.

[edit] Volume 4 articles

Volume 4 ran through 2011, publishing 16 papers and three letters for a total of 241 pages. Creation science was running a little thin this year, with seven papers being philosophical or theological papers rather than scientific, although it does mean that ARJ is closer to its classification than ever before. A further two more articles were more archaeological in nature, the highlight being Matt McClellan actual padding out Egyptian chronology in his attempt to reduce it to fit the biblical frame work. The most science that took place in ARJ this year was when C. R. Twidal and J. A. Bourne responded to Ken Patrick's article in 2010 on the formation of Uluṟu.

[edit] Volume 5 articles

Volume 5 ran through 2012.

[edit] Volume 6 articles

Volume 6 ran through 2013.

[edit] Volume 7 articles


Tom Hennigan, January 8, 2014

"Based on the analyses of molecular data, hybridization capability, and statistical baraminology it is estimated that 11 extant turtle kinds and three extant crocodile kinds were brought on the Ark." Baraminology as point-missingly nerdy fanfiction of cladistics.


Danny Faulkner, January 22, 2014

There are four possible "hypotheses" for when craters appeared in the universe according to creationists: Day Four of Creation Week, the Fall, the Flood or post-Flood. Faulker splits the cratered bodies of the solar system into Day Four vs. post-Day Four by assertion, not by physical evidence.


Danny Faulkner, February 12, 2014

Christians have placed the date of Crucifixion on April 3, 33, since it is speculated that there was a "blood moon" on that date and there is known to have been a partial lunar eclipse. Faulkner speculates that it was not this partial lunar eclipse since it wouldn't have been enough to change the moon red. Instead, it was atmospheric conditions on the day of crucifixion.


Tom Hennigan, February 19, 2014

This month's arbitrary division of animals is snakes, tuatara and worm lizards (all the amphibians except those already covered and the lizards, which are to be in an upcoming article). Hennigan makes at least three bizarre statements:

  • About biosystematics: "For example, naturalists assume randomness and universal common descent." It's unclear what he means by "randomness." Nor is universal common descent an assumption; there is much evidence for it.
  • "[T]here is still not enough knowledge about biochemistry to draw conclusions regarding the biological history and taxonomy of organisms." Only if you are a denialist.
  • "The fact that naturalists have a hard time connecting all reptiles to one or a few common ancestors suggests that they are not all related to one another, but instead were created separately according to their kind." Like, dinosaurs and other prehistoric reptiles? There is plenty in the literature about the evolution of reptiles.[23]

Please, stop lying about the science, Hennigan.


Andrew Snelling, March 5, 2014

More of Snelling's much debunked radiohalo research.


Danny Faulkner, March 19, 2014

This is ill-timed article by Danny Faulker, coming right around the time of the detection of gravitational waves as evidence for the Big Bang (complete with Faulker's ineffective rebuttal: there might be problems).[24] In addition, it's predominately a red herring: The cosmic background radiation might be local. As per usual, Faulkner does not explain why the cosmic background radiation is consistent with a recent creation, which Faulkner admits:

The recent creation model needs a plausible explanation for the CMB, but recent creationists have yet to suggest one. The proposals to date, emission from dust and an appeal to Eddington’s calculation, are inadequate. Creationists are cautioned to critique properly work on the CMB as evidence for the big bang model. Further work on the CMB within the recent creation model would be most valuable. And we should have the goal of developing a plausible alternate explanation of the CMB within the recent creation paradigm.


Jeffrey P. Tomkins, April 2, 2014

What we can conclude from this paper:

  • Tomkins seems obsessed with the percentage similarities between humans and apes, and yet evolutionary biologists still don't seem bothered.
  • Tomkins can claim the same argument from ignorance that ID proponents can, and yet cannot provide a real model of his own other than "God did it." Certainly there is no model consistent with the positive creationists claims.


Andrew Snelling, April 16, 2014

Part of Snelling's explanation for why meteorites appear old: God put some of the decayed nuclei there. Tricky God. Or they decayed really fast (and fried up the Garden of Eden?).


Danny Faulkner, April 30, 2014

Danny Faulkner writes an entirely unnecessary review of stellar nucleosynthesis, just to provide a swipe at the end that it has explanatory power, but no predictive power. (How do astronomers continue to study it then, Danny?) Then he claims that creationists need a model. Gee, Danny, think that the creationists need a model with explanatory AND predictive power? And how about doing some science?


Andrew Mark Sibley, May 14, 2014


Callie Joubert, May 28, 2014


Callie Joubert, June 11, 2014


Danny R. Faulkner, June 25, 2014


Steven W. Boyd, August 6, 2014


Andrew A. Snelling, August 20, 2014


Jake Hebert, August 27, 2014


Andrew A. Snelling, September 3, 2014


Wayne Spencer, September 10, 2014


M. R. Ross, September 17, 2014


John G. Hartnett, September 24, 2014


David A. McGee, October 1, 2014


Callie Joubert, October 15, 2014


Randy J. Guliuzza, October 29, 2014


Randy J. Guliuzza, October 29, 2014


Randy J. Guliuzza, November 5, 2014


Nathaniel Jeanson, November 5, 2014


John G. Hartnett, November 13, 2014


John G. Hartnett, November 19, 2014


Danny R. Faulkner, November 19, 2014


M. Aaron, November 26, 2014


Andrew A. Snelling, December 3, 2014


John H. Whitmore, Raymond Strom, Stephen Cheung, and Paul A. Garner, December 10, 2014

[edit] Repeat authorship

authors in ARJ, through the 1st article of v. 5

As of the first article of volume 5, 70% of the articles in ARJ had at least one author that is an author on another paper. Jerry Bergman has seven; Andrew Snelling has five; and Callie Joubert, Georgia Purdom and Larry Varidiman each have four. A very diverse field, indeed!

[edit] Accusations of deceit and questions on the peer-review process

For AiG's take on an "evolutionist"'s attempt to "discredit" the journal, see their website.[25] Interestingly, no one ever seems to try to discredit science journals for some reason, nor would a science journal editor lambast a creationist for doing so. Interestingly, Snelling comments on the evolutionist's scientific inaccuracies in an e-mail, and comments that "[U]nless you can somehow seriously demonstrate in a proper and rigorous scientific manner and therefore convince me otherwise, I must reject your paper as bogus, and an attempt to claim a prize being offered on the Internet for successful deception."

One must wonder about the journal's peer-review process. Does that mean that Dr. Snelling is hand-picking articles for this journal instead of sending it to a few reviewers and finding the reviewers' consensus? Is it really professional to imply an intent to win an internet prize without more evidence, when the journal could just reject the article on its selection criteria? Why is the submitter's e-mail and the reply to a submitter made public and not kept confidential? Even if the submitter is kept anonymous, to use one's submission to make a point is questionable ethically.

[edit] See also

[edit] Journal volumes

[edit] External links

[edit] Footnotes

  3. 3.0 3.1 "Peer-Reviewing the Bible - Entry 5." Slate. 2008 February 13.
  4. "Any author using a pen name or who has a reason for not wanting their biographical details publicized on the AiG website should specifically request this, and their wishes will be respected." from page three of the instructions to authors (large pdf file).
  6. Geoff Brumfiel . "Creationists launch 'science' journal." Nature 451, 382-383 (2008). doi:10.1038/451382b
  9. #5 on the list
  12. page nine.
  13. For more about Dr. Snelling, see here
  16. Whew! A whole 50! That's like a mid-sized graduate program!
  18. A critical blog post on Snelling's role as editor of Answers Research Journal is here
  22. Journal of Evolutionary Biology Volume 23 Issue 3
Main article: Clogosphere
  Clogosphere  -  O'Leary, Denyse  -  Nienhuis, James I.  -  Republican Faith  -  Science and Math Defeated  -  Milloy, Steve  -  Dembski, WilliamUncommon Descent  -  WorldNetDaily  

Main article: Answers Research Journal
Answers Research Journal volume 1‎ - volume 2 - volume 3 - volume 4 - volume 5 -

volume 6 - volume 7

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