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Re: DR. Bakker, and the "Raptor Red" media circus
>From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeff Poling)
> >no paleontologist has the right to represent his ideas as facts without the
> >data to back it up, and Dr Bakker went well beyond that last night.
> That comment, taken alone, has some merit (however, he DOES have the
> RIGHT to represent his ideas as he sees fit. Whether or not he SHOULD is
> another matter.). However, I would suggest that an AOL online chat is NOT a
> forum conducive to presenting reams and reams of good hard data.
True. But saying "in my opinion ..." or "this is controversial, but
I believe that ..." is neither inappropriate nor out of place.
Presenting ones own theories as *facts* not open to question is
a great disservice to science. It tends, in the long run, to increase
the distrust that the general public has towards scientists. It also
tends to promote the misguided idea that science is about final
answers rather than about the search for answers.
When I am discussing a controversial idea, even with a beginner,
I try to clearly identitify what is consensus and what is my own
interpretation. I consider this to be common courtesy at least.
The peace of God be with you.