Is this really a science journal, or a Creationist front?

http://www.virologyj.com/

One has to wonder that after seeing this nonsense published within it:

http://www.virologyj.com/content/7/1/169

Influenza or not influenza: Analysis of a case of high fever that happened 2000 years ago in Biblical time

Kam LE Hon email, Pak C Ng email and Ting F Leung email

Department of Paediatrics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong SAR, China

Virology Journal 2010, 7:169doi:10.1186/1743-422X-7-169

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at: http://www.virologyj.com/content/7/1/169

Received: 16 June 2010
Accepted: 21 July 2010
Published: 21 July 2010

© 2010 Hon et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The Bible describes the case of a woman with high fever cured by our Lord Jesus Christ. Based on the information provided by the gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke, the diagnosis and the possible etiology of the febrile illness is discussed. Infectious diseases continue to be a threat to humanity, and influenza has been with us since the dawn of human history. If the postulation is indeed correct, the woman with fever in the Bible is among one of the very early description of human influenza disease.

Infectious diseases continue to be a threat to humanity, and influenza has been with us since the dawn of human history. We analysed a case of high fever that happened 2000 years ago in Biblical time and discussed possible etiologies.

Case

The Bible descrbies the case of a woman with high fever cured by our Lord Jesus Christ. According to Mark 1:29 to 33 and Matthew 8:14-15, the mother-in-law of Simon Peter “lay sick” with a febrile illness [1]. When Jesus took her by the hand and lifted her up, the fever immediately left. The lady began to serve the household and probably prepared a meal. The case is also described in the gospel by Luke (Luke 4:38-39), who was a physician in his days and he specifically mentioned that the fever was high [1].

The title alone is stupid, and reminds me of that classic line in Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “To be or not to be…”

How the hell can you investigate scientifically something that happened 2000 years ago, when the ONLY evidence that it ever really happened was a written account that could have been made up?

It’s like those astronomers who waste their time arguing over what the star was that led the Magi to Bethlehem to see Jesus as an infant. Aside from the account in the Gospel of Matthew, there is no independent affirmation of such a star in secular literature.

And the authors give away their blatant lack of objectivity when they refer to “our Lord Jesus Christ”. They repeat one sentence in the Abstract and Case sections for no reason, and even misspell the word describes. Such sloppy editing is bad enough, but then they do not give ANY experimental or direct observational data whatsoever.

Others have already taken note of this absurd event:

http://scienceblogs.com/aetiology/2010/08/biblical_fever_influenza_youre.php

http://scientopia.org/blogs/thisscientificlife/2010/08/10/the-virology-of-christ/

I made this comment at the first one:

People need to stop looking at accounts of miracles in the Bible and trying to find rational, naturalistic explanations for them. That in itself reveals a lack of faith. That goes not only for the writers of that totally rediculous paper, but for all those “scientific” Creationists out there. I too would blacklist that journal for accepting that nonsense.

UPDATE: The paper was retracted as promised by the editor of the journal, Robert Garry.

http://www.virologyj.com/content/1743-422X-7-190

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3 thoughts on “Is this really a science journal, or a Creationist front?

  1. Pingback: Is this really a science journal, or a Creationist front? « Dale … center university

  2. As Editor-in-Chief of Virology Journal I wish to apologize for the publication of the article entitled ”Influenza or not influenza: Analysis of a case of high fever that happened 2000 years ago in Biblical time”, which clearly does not provide the type of robust supporting data required for a case report and does not meet the high standards expected of a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Virology Journal has always operated an exceptionally high standard of thorough peer review; this article has clearly not met these thresholds for balance and supporting data and as such, the article will be retracted. I should like to apologize for any confusion or concern that this article may have caused among our readership, or more widely.

    Whilst only ever intended as an opinion piece and also a bit of relief from the ‘normal’ business of the journal, the speculations contained within this article clearly would be better expressed outside the confines of a peer-reviewed journal. Biomed Central does not support any views outlined in this article.

    • Rfgarry,

      When you “retract” a paper, do you delete it completely, or do you add a note to it saying that the paper is no longer valid? If the former, I can simply delete this blog entry. If the latter, I will alter the blog entry to reflect the update at your journal. Either outcome would satisfy me, along with terminating whoever approved that paper in the first place. Remember, you are not running a popular newspaper or TV newscast in which you always try to outdo your competition with stories that may appeal to the prejudices of your readers. You need reports that are ACCURATE and can lead to more research, even if they take longer to complete the peer review process.

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