BioLogos Deletes an Article

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BioLogos deletes an article from their website. Why did they delete it? What were the mistakes in it? Transparency is how we move on.

I want to thank @sfmatheson for helpful comments on this article. BioLogos is invited to the conversation here, but they are not currently participating. For that reason, conversation will be tightly controlled on this thread, to give them a chance to respond.

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For those joining conversation just now, note that my involvement is in the discussion and creation of policies for error correction at Peaceful Science. We have excellent comments on a draft policy here:

Note please that I am not privy to or included in the conversations between Joshua and BioLogos, and note especially that I count both among my friends.

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Note:

The day of publication, the title of this article was changed to remove the word “Stealth,” and the feature image was changed. The original image was of Deborah Haarsma.

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You can always read the article on the Internet Archive. For example, in this 2011 archive: https://web.archive.org/web/20191218150618if_/https://biologos.org/articles/does-genetics-point-to-a-single-primal-couple

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I want to thank those of you that gave very helpful feedback on how to improve and clarify this article.

On January 15, 20201, based on helpful reader feedback, we substantially rewrote the last half of the article, to removing some sensitive information and make more clear our request to BioLogos. We are not aware of any factual errors in the original article. This was not a scientific article, but transparency is important, so we will provide the original version of article to any reader that requests it. If requested by BioLogos, moreover, we will put the full article back online too.

Our newsletter, also, states, “Discussing this topic may not be comfortable, but Peaceful Science seeks common ground alongside clarity regarding our positions. At times, we have challenged content from other groups, such as the ID movement. This critique of BioLogos is in the same vein, and we hope our request and BioLogos’ response moves the conversation forward.”

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Request for clarification:

I didn’t see anything in the Biologos article in the archive that directly contradicts your thesis. Are you objecting to that article, or to a different version of it?

If the former, please quote the bits.

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Fair question but we are leaving those details out of this discussion thread. You can see past discussion relevant to this specific article by following the links in the blog article. The footnote in the main article includes an extended quote from Dr. Jeffery Hardin that demonstrates a subset of the errors in this article have been known to biologists at BioLogos for quite a while. That footnote enumerates tersely a good summary of some of the problems with the original article, and the subsequent efforts to defend it.

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This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

Some news, good or bad, I’m not sure. Deborah Haarsma contacted me and states that they will respond sometime this week.

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BioLogos has just sent an email to me from Deborah Haarsma, Dwight Baker and Ard Louis. They state they will not communicate “regarding past publications and events, publicly or privately.” At this time, they have not responded to my request to put the article back online. The article remains deleted without any explanation.

Good, then it’s done. There is now no need for further harping on this, and there was never any need to call people out by name. At Peaceful Science we are working to establish norms for error correction, and it seems we will make different choices than BioLogos will, and indeed different choices from any other non-publication website that I know. (Certainly different from any organization involved in discussions about science and faith.) BioLogos has no obligation to put anything back online, nor do they have any obligation to explain anything to you or to anyone else. The story now should be what we aim to do and why. Nothing more.

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No need to harp on it, but I’m not sure the conversation is over. I’m sure this will come up again.

You are right about this:

That is where we should focus, and we will. Looking forward to it.

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