Scientists facing a backlash for citing "the Creator" in their research, which was published by a peer-reviewed journal, have had their paper retracted.
Four researchers from China titled their study 'Biomechanical Characteristics of Hand Coordination in Grasping Activities of Daily Living.'
In the abstract, they state:"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."
Following pushback from the scientific community, the journal, PLOS ONE, have decided to retract the article, stating:
The PLOS ONE editors have followed up on the concerns raised about this publication. We have completed an evaluation of the history of the submission and received advice from two experts in our editorial board. Our internal review and the advice we have received have confirmed the concerns about the article and revealed that the peer review process did not adequately evaluate several aspects of the work.
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. We apologize for the errors and oversight leading to the publication of this paper.
Authors put the paper's language down to translation errors rather than a belief in god.
Despite their comments, the research has provoked questions around PLOS ONE's editorial practices.
Twitter dubbed the incident #creatorgate, with some referring to the study as the #handofgod paper:
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Just found out @PLOSONE published a paper with “evidence” about some “creator”. If not retracted immediately, I will resign as editor.— Anxo Sánchez (@anxosan) March 3, 2016