Design controversies again, in biology this time.

Bloggers and others pressured PlosOne to retract an above-average-quality biomechanics paper which suggested in three different phrases that the human hand was designed by a creator.

One wonders if these bloggers would have forced Isaac Newton's publisher to retract his Principia (1729) which says in its General Scholium:

The six primary Planets are revolv’d about the Sun, in circles concentric with the Sun, and with motions directed towards the same parts and almost in the same plane. Ten Moons are revolv’d about the Earth, Jupiter and Saturn, in circles concentric with them, with the same direction of motion, and nearly in the planes of the orbits of those Planets. But it is not to be conceived that mere mechanical causes could give birth to so many regular motions: since the Comets range over all parts of the heavens, in very eccentric orbits. For by that kind of motion they pass easily through the orbs of the Planets, and with great rapidity; and in their aphelions, where they move the slowest, and are detain’d the longest, they recede to the greatest distances from each other, and thence suffer the least disturbance from their mutual attractions. This most beautiful System of the Sun, Planets, and Comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful being.

A good reader should be able to bracket statements that they disagree with and still benefit from new information. Censorship of such minor comments about a personified "Nature" or "Creator," which merely show the writer doing some wider reflection about the investigation and are not specifically religious at all, is out of place in an open scientific forum. This sort of anti-intelligent design witch hunting has got out of hand.

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