Creator has to go! according to articles in the Independent 4 March 2016, Guardian 7 March 2016, and comments on the PLoS ONE website, following the publication of an article about the biomechanics (how joints, tendons and muscles work) of the human hand. The Chinese authors wrote in their abstract: “The explicit functional link indicates that the biomechanical characteristic of tendinous connective architecture between muscles and articulations is the proper design by the Creator to perform a multitude of daily tasks in a comfortable way.”

This resulted in design deniers in the science fraternity raising a furore with howls of outrage in the mainstream press and the PLoS ONE website calling for the paper to be retracted. These included accusations that the paper was shameful, horrifying, non-scientific and a joke; along with threats to resign from being editors or reviewers unless the paper was retracted; calls for the handling editor to be dismissed; and gratuitous insults on the status of PLoS ONE as a science journal. Throughout the insults and threats, the main theme was that we cannot have a creator mentioned in scientific literature.

In response to this furore the editors of PLoS ONE printed the following retraction: “Following publication, readers raised concerns about language in the article that makes references to a ‘Creator’, and about the overall rationale and findings of the study. Upon receiving these concerns, the PLOS ONE editors have carried out an evaluation of the manuscript and the pre-publication process, and they sought further advice on the work from experts in the editorial board. This evaluation confirmed concerns with the scientific rationale, presentation and language, which were not adequately addressed during peer review. Consequently, the PLOS ONE editors consider that the work cannot be relied upon and retract this publication. The editors apologise to readers for the inappropriate language in the article and the errors during the evaluation process.”

On the day of publication of Creation Research Evidence News (9 March 2016) the paper was still on the PLoS ONE website, with the retraction notice above it and every page on the PDF version has been watermarked with the word “retracted” printed in large red capital letters.

For those not familiar with PLoS ONE, it is a peer-reviewed, open-access online resource reporting scientific studies from all disciplines.

PLoS ONE, Guardian, Independent

Editorial Comment: Note well: This paper is not actually about creation! In their conclusion the researchers wrote: “In conclusion, our study can improve the understanding of the human hand and confirm that the mechanical architecture is the proper design by the Creator for dexterous performance of numerous functions following the evolutionary remodeling of the ancestral hand for millions of years”.

In other words, the authors make it quite clear they believe the human hand evolved from an ape hand by the same evolutionary processes that the outraged atheists believe in.

If the Chinese scientist authors actually meant a real Creator they are not talking about the God of the Bible, who did not use evolution or millions of year, no matter what Dennis Alexander, Francis Collins, Lane Craig, Hugh Ross or John Lennox say.

The scientists also state: “Moreover, functional explanations for the mechanical architecture of the muscular-articular connection of the human hand can also aid in developing multifunctional robotic hands by designing them with similar basic architecture”.

Notice the real aim of this study is to facilitate the design of a robot hand. This permits us to comment that if anyone does design a robot hand with all the movements of a human hand no-one will have any problem giving credit to those who designed and built it, and they certainly won’t claim it built itself.

Since the researchers are all Chinese and the research was carried out at Huazhong University of Science and Technology, in China, our preliminary suspicion is that the paper was originally written in Chinese and translated into English by a Chinese person who translated a Chinese expression that a western English translator may have rendered as “nature” or something similar. This seems to be confirmed by one of the more reasoned comments on PLoS ONE, in a post entitled “The retraction is partly due to cultural ignorance”, posted by a Chinese commentator who used the pseudonym “yingyang02” on 05 Mar 2016, which says:
‘Creator’ is another metaphoric name for ‘nature’ in Chinese. That is the other side of the story, which you, and most of the people condemning the paper do not see. To put it simply, in the long history of China, there was rarely any period of time that any sort of religion or atheism was considered a sin at all. The Chinese, unlike the European, has never initiated war or ‘crusade’ against any belief system. Therefore, unlike the European, they did not need sacrifices or even science to embrace the idea of ‘religious tolerance’. It has always been a tradition, ingrained in our culture and language”. Using ‘Creator’ as a metaphor for ‘Mother Nature’, is a way of saying ‘regardless of what you believe in, you need to see the wonder in this masterpiece’. I can instantly tell that was the author’s intention to say, from a native speaker’s perspective, and from someone who has worked in the field of linguistics and neurolinguistics for a little while”. (End of quote.)

Added to that, we in Creation Research suspect that the paper was probably sent out for review by biomechanists and engineers, who scrutinised the anatomy, physics and mechanics, crunched the numbers in the equations, and ignored the vague statements and throwaway lines that are often put at the beginnings and ends of papers to round them off.

The best use of this incident is to illustrate how phobic the evolutionist fraternity is to even conceding God the creator any credit, i.e. the framework of modern science is compulsory atheism!

The other reference to the Creator is on page 2, where the last sentence of the second paragraph in the Introduction (paragraph beginning with “Studies indicate that digits …”) “Thus, hand coordination affords humans the ability to flexibly and comfortably control the complex structure to perform numerous tasks. Hand coordination should indicate the mystery of the Creator’s invention”. We agree with the first sentence, but we would say hand coordination is a clear indication of the brilliance of the true Creator, and the more that scientists study it, the more they are without excuse for rejecting Him. (Ref. bias, sceptics, atheists, language)

For those who are interested in reading the actual paper it is: Biomechanical Characteristics of Hand Coordination in Grasping Activities of Daily Living, Ming-Jin Liu, Cai-Hua Xiong, Le Xiong, and Xiao-Lin Huang, Published 5 January 2016, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0146193.

Evidence News vol. 16, No.4
9 March 2016
Creation Research Australia