http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula (P.Z. Myer’s science blog)
http://pimm.wordpress.com (Attila Csordas’s science blog)
http://larsjuhljensen.wordpress.com (Lars Juhl Jensen’s science blog)
When the article appeared originally (in the online version of the journal), we all pounced on the bizarre claim of a “mighty creator” that appeared in this paper. We also pointed out that the Editor-in-Chief (Michael Dunn) should have noticed that something was amiss from the title alone, which was “Mitochondria, the missing link between body and soul” – and also in the abstract, which claimed to “disprove the endosymbiotic hypothesis of mitochondrial evolution.”
Some astute readers further discovered, after a quick investigation, that most of the article was also plagiarized. In fact, so much of it was plagiarized that I suspect the only original text was the creationist nonsense. The EIC was able to force the authors to retract the article before it appeared in print, and all that remains is this retraction. The journal website says only that the retraction is “due a substantial overlap of the content of this article with previously published articles in other journals.”
The EIC should post more of an explanation at the journal website than this. We’d like to know if
- the authors, Warda and Han, snuck their bogus claims into the article after the peer review process was complete,
- the reviewers were sloppy and missed these claims, which were present in earlier drafts,
- the reviewers were incompetent, or
- the article wasn’t reviewed by independent peer reviewers.
The obvious plagiarism made this easy for the EIC to force a retraction. What if it hadn’t been plagiarized, though – what then? I’d like to see a statement from the EIC repudiating the creationist claim and making it clear that such non-scientific claims won’t be permitted to slip through again.
Finally, I noticed that the Warda and Han article is listed by the journal’s website as the most-accessed article for the past month. Controversy brings attention, obviously, and Proteomics should use the attention to provide a full explanation of the Warda and Han fiasco.