[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Reply to Dr Farina (no dinosaurs and long)

Curso de Paleontologia wrote:
> Dear Dr Black
> A Chilean student of mine forwarded the message you sent to the dinolist
> answering about Mononykus and my research on Megatherium. Although I
> sympathise with tough opinions expressed in a straight way, I dare to
> suggest you to hold your laugh until you read the article about Megatherium
> (then you may laugh louder!). 

You're absolutely right here. I still have not read the article (my
newsstands don't have it yet) and until then I am unfamiliar with your
research. The only aspects of your research that I was criticizing were
the glyptodont flipping/stabbing trick, and the idea that Megatherium
was predatory. Again, I have not read the complete article, which may
indeed include the direct evidence that led to this theory of
carnivorous sloths. I admit that the way I attacked your theory was very
out of line and immature. But then you wrote the following:

> I'm extremely keen to debate about palaeontological issues, so please don't
> take this message as an expression of bad mood from me.

OK, I wasn't going to, but then you wrote:

> Ultimately, you may
> be right, and I'm dead wrong, who knows? But science requires a methodology,
> so I expect to read your refutation in a scientific, peer-reviewed journal.

(Let me first state that I may be totally incorrect with my
interpretation of the above, and if this is the case, I deeply
appoligize for the following)

To me, this represents a sarcastic version of "I am a professional and
you are not, therefore I am more correct than you will ever be." This
sarcasm is also expressed when he refers to me as "Dr Adam Black" at the
top of his note. I never indicated that I was a doctor. I do hold a deep
interest in fossil mammals (especially the Edentates) and spend a lot of
my time doing research for my own interest. I am also a paleoartist
specializing in fossil mammals and therefore I try to keep up to date
with current findings. This sarcasm that I detect from you may just be
return fire for my aggressive attack on your idea which I admit is
justified. Again, only the glypto murders and the your idea of
carnivorous sloths is the only part I find far-fetched. The rest of your
analysis may indeed be very plausible and of great importance. But then
again the sarcasm may indicate that you feel superior to me because you
know I am not a PhD like you and will probably never have, as you said,
a refutation published in a "scientific, peer-reviewed journal." I do
respect those that study the ancient life that interests me. How else
would I know what I know about the subject, and how would I learn if it
wasn't for paleontologists to offer the results of their findings, even
though I may not agree with them. Offering different ideas that go
against the popularly accepted theories is a scientifically beneficial
necessity, and I applaud your courage for offering your ideas for our
consideration. People that offer controversial theories should expect to
be criticized by some people, some in an embarrasing way (like I
regretably did on this list). I respect people that challange the
generally accepted ideas. If, however, you do consider yourself superior
to me because of your academic position, I do not respect you and your
ego at all. Again, however, I may very well be misinterpreting you, and
if this is the case, I am deeply sorry for my accusations and hope you
are content with the thought that I am aware of the inappropriateness of
my attack.

I am looking forward to your article, and promise to be a little more
gentle with my disagreements.

Adam Black
(note the lack of credentials)