Aldo Antonelli (UC Davis) writes:
After sitting on fence for a while (mostly out of respect for the reputations of the Synthese editors), I finally signed the petition.
What clinched it for me was a fact that I have not seen mentioned on your blog (but was mentioned elsewhere): Beckwith's "rebuttal" published OnlineFirst on March 5, is listed as having been both received and accepted on the same day, February 7. So it would seem (unless we hear otherwise) that the rebuttal was accepted without proper refereeing, in violation of Synthese's own guidelines.
I had not noticed this peculiarity. And it is made worse by the points noted by Ingo Brigandt (Alberta) and Eric Schliesser (Ghent), namely, that Beckwith has already invoked the disclaimer in his response in order to discredit the Forrest article (even though the 'disclaimer' purportedly only concerned tone!), and that the disclaimer will in all likelihood be similarly deployed the next time Professor Forrest testifies before the Louisiana legislature about issues involving science education. This is why, as Professor Brigant says, it is imperative that the disclaimer be withdrawn. The civility and tone police can do their song-and-dance, but the fact is the editorial misconduct of Johan Van Benthem, Vincent Hendricks, and John Symons is going to have real political ramifications for science education in the United States.
ADDENDUM: Rich Booher actually made the point about the Beckwith article in comments here! I'm afraid I didn't register it then, so am grateful to Professor Antonelli for raising the point again.
ANOTHER: This comment by Mark Lance (Georgetown) about the above revelations deserves notice:
What is disturbing is that this means not only that [Beckwith] was invited to reply, but that the reply didn't go through any editorial or refereeing process. Here are editors claiming that articles don't meet standards of politeness, and hinting that there were problems of substantive inadequacy as well, and then they let this political hack publish something with no oversight whatsoever, including letting him publish conclusions about what they meant, conclusions that are at odds with what they are now saying and which have profoundly bad political implications.
UPDATE APRIL 29: The Guest Editors tell me that they did not referee the Beckwith response, though Glenn Branch says it is possible that the received and accept date were automatically generated by the "editorial manager" system even though the paper had been reviewed by someone prior to its 'receive' date. But as things stand, there's no reason to think that happened--and it is hard to imagine that the EICs, if they reviewed the 'response,' would have permitted Beckwith's misrepresentation of their disclaimer (as noted by Professor Lance, above).