Scientific paper credits ‘the Creator’ for human hand design

Journal is forced to retract after outcry



Controversy is raging after a peer-reviewed open-access scientific journal, PLOS ONE, published a paper1 recently by a team of four Chinese researchers (three in China, one in Massachusetts).2 The paper dealt with everyday topics such as how human hands grasp objects, and showed these actions that we take for granted require “complex biomechanical architecture”. But this would hardly have been controversial if not for its ‘unfortunate’ use of some extremely taboo language: the researchers in multiple places referred to the Creator. E.g., the Abstract states:

The explicit functional link indicates that the biomechanical characteristic of tendinous connective architecture between muscles and articulations is the proper design by the Creator to perform a multitude of daily tasks in a comfortable way.1

The Introduction includes:

Thus, hand coordination affords humans the ability to flexibly and comfortably control the complex structure to perform numerous tasks. Hand coordination should indicate the mystery of the Creator’s invention.1


The public outcry was swift and fierce! One editor at the journal posted, “Just found out @PLOSONE published a paper with ‘evidence’ about some ‘creator’. If not retracted immediately, I will resign as editor.” Buckling to the pressure, the journal did exactly that shortly afterward, with the following statement:

In light of the concerns identified, the PLOS ONE editors have decided to retract the article, the retraction is being processed and will be posted as soon as possible [sic]. We apologize for the errors and oversight leading to the publication of this paper.3

Perhaps even sadder than the public response to this paper, however, was that even the authors of the paper themselves seem to have backed down. They attempted to blame references to the Creator on errors in translation, rather than a belief in intelligent design. E.g. the first author wrote in the Comments:

We are sorry for drawing the debates about creationism. Our study has no relationship with creationism. English is not our native language. Our understanding of the word ‘Creator’ was not actually as a native English speaker expected. Now we realized that we had misunderstood the word ‘Creator’. What we would like to express is that the biomechanical characteristic of tendious connective architecture between muscles and articulations is a proper ‘design’ by the ‘nature’ (result of evolution) to perform a multitude of daily grasping tasks. We will change the ‘Creator’ to ‘nature’ in the revised manuscript. We apologize for any troubles may have caused by this misunderstanding.1

But one must wonder if they really mean this, as even one of their critics responded:

We would take this defense seriously if it were the only creationist phrase in the article. But it isn’t. You also talk about hand coordination as evidence of “the mystery of the Creator’s invention.” What mystery is that? Is there a mystery how evolution by natural selection could produce the coordination in question?1

Perhaps they don’t want to be blacklisted from ever being published again?

Fallacy: “Why don’t creationists publish in peer reviewed journals?”

Misotheists and their churchian allies (‘useful idiots’), when they can’t refute a creationist argument, often taunt biblical creationists (and Intelligent Design theorists) with the following challenge:

If there’s really good evidence for Design, then why don’t you submit papers to a secular peer-reviewed scientific journal and gain the support of the mainstream scientific community?

This incident should serve as a perfect response to any such challenge, and a ‘test case’ for what happens in such a circumstance. Far from giving due consideration, the so-called scientific community does the exact opposite: they scorn and bully anyone who would dare attempt to suggest a Creator, and do their best to prevent any such evidence from seeing the light of day. There would be pressure to remove any editor who allowed this to be published.

This is the same type of behavior documented in Ben Stein’s movie Expelled, as well as the book Slaughter of the Dissidents by Dr Jerry Bergman. The simple truth is, the secular academic world is not open to considering evidence for a Divine Creator. The very concept of intelligent design is anathema to them, and they will stop at nothing to prevent any hint of such a Creator from breaking through the pages of secular scientific literature. The oft-cited ‘amazing admission’ by Dr Richard Lewontin once again is relevant here.

The Hand: evidence for design

In reality, the human hand is great evidence for the design of our Creator. For those who have not stubbornly rejected the truth, this simple fact seems obvious! One calls to mind the revulsion of Charles Darwin himself upon viewing the beauty of a peacock feather,4 which he knew he could not explain away by naturalistic means.5 I wonder– do today’s misotheists, such as the editor at PLOS ONE who threatened to resign his position over the mere mention of a ‘Creator’, experience a similar revulsion at the sight of their own hands?

Published: 8 March 2016

References and notes

  1. Ming-Jin Liu, Cai-Hua Xiong , Le Xiong, Xiao-Lin Huang, Biomechanical characteristics of hand coordination in grasping activities of daily living, PLOS ONE, 5 January 2016 | doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0146193. PLOS = Public Library of Science. Return to text
  2. Bolton, D., Scientific paper which says the human hand was designed by a ‘Creator’ sparks controversy, independent.co.uk, 3 March 2016. Return to text
  3. Cited in Ref. 2. Return to text
  4. Darwin, F., (Ed), Letter to Asa Gray, dated 3 April 1860, The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, John Murray, London, Vol. 2, p. 296, 1887; 1911 Edition, D. Appleton and Company, New York and London, Vol. 2, pp. 90–91. Return to text
  5. Note that Darwin tried to explain the peacock tail by sexual selection, i.e. in response to peahens choosing mates with this characteristic. But in reality, peahens don’t care, so sexual selection fails to explain the very thing Darwin concocted it for. See Takahashi, M., and others, Peahens do not prefer peacocks with more elaborate trains, Animal Behaviour 75(4):1209–1219, 2008; Catchpoole, D., Peacock tail tale failure, Creation 31(2):56, 2009. Return to text

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