Slapping the Divine Hand

March 11, 2016 § Leave a comment

How do you send the scientific community into an uproar? Use the word “Creator” in a scientific journal.(1)

Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 8.59.48 AM

From a March 7, 2016, Chronicle of Higher Education report: “PLOS ONE, the world’s largest scientific journal, on Friday retracted an article exploring the mechanics of the human hand after scientists complained about its reverential references to the body’s design by ‘the Creator.’  The authors stated in their abstract that the makeup of the human hand reflects ‘the proper design by the Creator to perform a multitude of daily tasks in a comfortable way.’ Other statements in the article included: ‘Hand coordination should indicate the mystery of the Creator’s invention.'”(2)

The paper’s authors are Chinese, so some suggested that “the creator” was a mistranslation of “nature”, while others were outraged and threatened a boycott of the journal if the paper wasn’t retracted. The paper was retracted. Those offended by the notion of intelligent design in the paper voiced their concerns here.(3)

Also, Chinese-language experts called on to investigate this fiasco did their research on the authors, digging up this dirty little secret:

“…the academic editor listed on the paper, Renzhi Han, an associate professor of surgery at Ohio State University, appears from a web listing to have had an affiliation with the Chinese Evangelical Church in Iowa City, where he previously worked.”


The reference to a Creator when observing creation comes with scorn and outrage and sends the followers of Scientism into a virtual tailspin, especially when it’s apparent that the divine attribution may have actually been intentional.

It was the Apostle Paul who pointed out that “…what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” (Romans 1:19,20)

Evolutionary Biologist Richard Lewontin famously admitted in a review of Carl Sagan’s book The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark:

“Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life… we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”(4)

Excluding God’s handiwork from our biology is not a conclusion from the evidence, but comes from a prior commitment to Scientism(5) and Materialism. The “Divine Foot” Lewontin speaks of, in this case, is a hand, and it’s been slapped.

1) Biomechanical Characteristics of Hand Coordination in Grasping Activities of Daily Living (
2) Paper Praising ‘Creator’ Puts Fear of God in Open-Access Giant (
3) Comments (
4) Billions and Billions of Demons by Richard C. Lewontin (
5) Wikipedia entry for Scientism (

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