2016 Liu et al
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Scientific research withdrawn because of "Creator" reference

Mon 07 Mar 2016
By Aaron James

A scientific journal has withdrawn a research paper on the human hand because it repeatedly suggested the existence of a "Creator".

The paper, called 'Biomechanical Characteristics of Hand Coordination in Grasping Activities of Daily Living', saw Chinese scientists from Huazhong University explore how tendons worked when the hand performed everyday activities.

The paper argued that the way the tendons in the hand are formed and the way they work in practice are evidence of a "Creator".

It gathered more than 130,000 views and thousands of complaints to the Plos One journal, where it was originally submitted and reviewed, prior to it's publication online.

One person commented on a Plos One journal forum: "Whatever credibility you had as a journal has now been lost.

"The fact that this has been allowed to languish on here for so long unedited is scandalous."

The paper's lead author, Ming-Jin Liu, reportedly said on a Plos One journal forum: "We are sorry about drawing the debates about creationism.

"English is not our native language. Now we had realised we had misunderstood the word 'Creator'

"What we would like to express is that the biomechanical characteristic... is a proper design by the NATURE (result of evolution)..."

Plos One said in a statement: "Following publication, readers raised concerns about language in the article that makes references to a 'Creator', and about the overall rationale and findings of the study.

"Upon receiving these concerns, the PLOS ONE editors have carried out an evaluation of the manuscript and the pre-publication process, and they sought further advice on the work from experts in the editorial board.

"Consequently, the PLOS ONE editors consider that the work cannot be relied upon and retract this publication.

"The editors apologize to readers for the inappropriate language in the article and the errors during the evaluation process."

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