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BSW repudiates Meyer


A new development in the controversy about the publication of "intelligent design" advocate Stephen C. Meyer's article "The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories" in the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington.

The Biological Society of Washington issued a statement on September 7, 2004, reading, in its entirety:

The paper by Stephen C. Meyer in the Proceedings ("The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories," vol. 117, no. 2, pp. 213-239) represents a significant departure from the nearly purely taxonomic content for which this journal has been known throughout its 124-year history. It was published without the prior knowledge of the Council, which includes officers, elected councilors, and past presidents, or the associate editors. We have met and determined that all of us would have deemed this paper inappropriate for the pages of the Proceedings.

We endorse the spirit of a resolution on Intelligent Design set forth by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (www.aaas.org/news/releases/2002/1106id2.shtml), and that topic will not be addressed in future issues of the Proceedings. We are reviewing editorial policies to ensure that the goals of the Society, as reflected in its journal, are clearly understood by all. Through a web presence (www.biolsocwash.org) and contemplated improvements in the journal, the Society hopes not only to continue but to increase its service to the world community of taxonomic biologists.
According to the PBSW's instructions for contributors, "Manuscripts are reviewed by a board of Associate Editors and appropriate referees." It seems, therefore, that Meyer's paper was not published in accordance with the journal's established review procedure.

(AAAS resolution on "intelligent design")