I’m sure you are familiar with Google Scholar .. its basically Google with its search scope narrowed down to scholarly literature such as articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions … all sourced from reliable and trusted academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. Sounds great.
Alas, a little problem has come to the surface … some of the sources they sup from and not exactly scholarly. OK, lets be specific, somehow some of the creationist loons have managed to get a foot in the door, and the search results are being polluted by stuff from AnswersInGenesis.org, Creation.com (Creation Ministries International), and ICR.org (Institute for Creation Research). These three groups do not produce scholarly material.
And so a petition has been launched to clean it up. As explained in the background …
The information in their publications is deeply biased to represent Young Earth Creationism. The material that they publish is devoid of real scientific research and yet attempts to present it as if it were real scientific research. On top of this, these organizations also give out incorrect information as a way to dissuade people from believing real scientific research into matters such as the age of the Earth, and the validity of scientific knowledge such as the Theory of Evolution by natural selection.
Because Google Scholar has some weight, especially to youths doing research for class, it is highly inappropriate for these articles to show up under Google Scholar. Articles such as these, that have a distinct religious agenda and even go as far as giving incorrect information about science, should not be allowed on Google Scholar.
I’m not sure if Google will listen, but still its worth a shot … so why not pop on over and sign the petition … click here.
UPDATE: 25Jan – PZ over at Pharyngula has an interesting insight into why Google Scholar is picking up the Creationist turds that masquerade as real science … apparently its all to do with the way they mine for data.