Many readers have expressed concern about the events described in Monday's post, but are withholding final judgment until the editors respond to the allegations. I have invited them to do so--indeed, invited them to do so last week, before my post, when I sent them the Branch/Fetzer letter, and several months ago, when I first learned of the issue. I trust they will either dispute the facts about what transpired, or add additional facts or context, or justify their conduct notwithstanding the facts as Branch and Fetzer record them--or acknowledge their mistake and apologize.
Here, by the way, is a perceptive comment from Mohan Matthen (Toronto) that was in an update to yesteday's post, but deserves wider notice:
[H]ere is the summary [of what transpired]: Special Issue [of Synthese] consisting of critiques of intelligent design; Editors-in-Chief correspond with author of Special Issue paper, demanding changes, after that paper has been published on-line; they make these demands without the consent of the Guest Editors; most shocking of all, E-in-C’s insert a disclaimer regarding the Special Issue.
It seems clear that whatever their motives or exculpations, the E-in-C’s acted unprofessionally. Surely they should admit this and apologize. Nobody wants to participate in a “boycott” of philosophers as distinguished as they are, but they made an error in their public capacity, and they should simply make things right, with as little fuss as possible.
This leaves out only the role that intensive lobbying and threats of 'libel' from the ID crowd played in producing this outcome, but otherwise, this is a very fair summary of the issue, of my own attitude towards it, and of what is certainly my preferred resolution.
ADDENDUM: I see this issue is now migrating to the general science blogs, as it probably should.