“Scientific” Paper citing a “Creator” is withdrawn
A scientific paper which says the human hand was designed by a ‘Creator’ sparks controversy
The paper’s perceived references to intelligent design have provoked anger and calls for a boycott of the journal
A recent ‘scientific’ paper on the movement of the human hand has faced strong criticism for referring to a ‘Creator’ throughout.
The paper, titled: ‘Biomechanical characteristics of hand coordination in grasping activities of daily living‘ was written by a team of four researchers, three from Huazhong University in China, and one from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts.
Published in the PLOS ONE journal, the fairly conventional study looked at the mechanics of how we grasp things, and involved the measurement of the hand movements of 30 participants.
In the opening sentences of the study, it claims the link between muscles and hand movements is the product of “proper design by the Creator.”
The paper has since been retracted (see below) and an apology issued by the publisher, the Public Library of Science.
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 apologize to readers for the inappropriate language in the article and the errors during the evaluation process.
4 Mar 2016: The PLOS ONE Staff (2016) Retraction: Biomechanical Characteristics of Hand Coordination in Grasping Activities of Daily Living. PLoS ONE 11(3): e0151685. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151685
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