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Re: Ad Hominem Attacks
Shortly after posting the comments below, I received several off-list
responses which were, let me say immediately, polite and proper ones,
but they all, in effect wanted to know exactly what I was reacting to.
It seems to me that supplying "names and dates" will only inflame the
sort of "furor" that keeps popping up, so let me give a more abstract
example of what I'm talking about.
Some years ago, a leading national film critic reviewed a Barbra
Streisand film which he apparently didn't care for very much. He ended
several paragraphs of venom with a statement criticizing the shape of
Ms. Streisand's nose. Clearly, he was entitled to his opinions about
both the movie and her nose, but what I'm questioning is the
appropriateness of the nose remark in a film review.
Soooooooooo.... let me try to restate it:
If, individually, we don't like something that someone says, come up
with some good reasons -- emotionally stated though they might be -- why
the person is wrong. It is far too easy to say that people are stupid or
badly educated or even ugly. Maybe they are, but that doesn't mean that
they are wrong. An idiot-savant may have a misshapen head and not be
able to tie their shoes, but they can tell you what day of the week your
birthday occurred on in 1963 or 1984 or 1926 without a moments
hesitation and I wonder how many of us are able to perform the same
Surely, as a group, we can extend one another the simple courtesy of
doing away with name calling.
> Surely, ad hominem attacks do not belong in a science mailing list.
> If members of the list disagree with a scientific statement, it seems
> more appropriate to refute the argument than to attack the individual.
> Perhaps people could take spurious nasty comments someplace else and
> save the bandwidth for something more useful.
> When you think of dinosaurs, think of DIG!
> The Dinosaur Interplanetary Gazette - 245 Million Years of News at
> Dinosaur Central
> Yahoo Editor's Choice, Science Site of the Day, Member of The Paleo
> Teefr - A new fantasy-adventure story for the whole family by Edward
> Book Three of the Teddy Trilogy. Member of The Author Ring.
> Laser Publishing Group
> Planetarium Station, Box 502-DIG, NY, NY 10024-0502
When you think of dinosaurs, think of DIG!
The Dinosaur Interplanetary Gazette - 245 Million Years of News at
Yahoo Editor's Choice, Science Site of the Day, Member of The Paleo Ring
Teefr - A new fantasy-adventure story for the whole family by Edward
Book Three of the Teddy Trilogy. Member of The Author Ring.
Laser Publishing Group
Planetarium Station, Box 502-DIG, NY, NY 10024-0502