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The subject for the day is *science*



"John V Jackson" <jjackson@interalpha.co.uk> wrote:

> The reason the rest of [Greg Paul's] intended series was not
> published was because what we can safely call the "establishment" of
> dino palaeo squashed it.

The message from which I extracted the above quote is filled with
unsubstantiated assertions about some supposed conspiracy to hold back
particular ideas and careers.  This list is not the place to discuss
such things (I know a conspiracy nut on another list, and I can
probably find out from him what venues might consider the topic
appropriate if you'd like me to ask).

John (or anyone), if you wish to pursue such matters on this list,
here are a few ways that you can do so without ignoring the list's
charter.

1) Pick up some of the reviews of "PDotW" (or whatever) and point out
scientific errors made by the reviewer(s).

2) Ask Greg to tell us himself what his plans are and why he hasn't
published the subsequent volumes.  Greg, please feel free to step up
here and chime in at any time...

3) Using scientific methodology (i.e. evidence-based hypothesis
testing) show that secondary flightlessness hypotheses better explain
the data than do more conventional explanations (along the way you'll
have to demonstrate that you understand the conventional explanations
and are thus in a position to critique them).

Here are a few ways you can *not* pursue the subject without ignoring
the list's charter, so please don't do them:

1) Make vague accusations against people, institutions and/or
professions.

2) Complain that individuals or ideas aren't getting the respect they
deserve (especially if you're not even going to present an argument
about why they deserve this respect -- note: referring to other
people's arguments as justification is insufficient here because if
those arguments were sufficient then you wouldn't need to say anything
at all).

3) Attempt to rile up others on the list in the apparent hope of
converting them to your own point of view (whatever it is) with
respect to the social aspects of dinosaur science.

I don't know how many times I can keep writing this, but let me try at
least one more time.  The purpose of this list is to discuss science.
If you want to discuss how people act and/or what you presume
motivates people please do it elsewhere (I will throw in as an aside
that this also includes Steven Speilberg and Michael Crichton; I never
again want to see people writing to this list about what does or
doesn't make them tick.  Expect this to be echoed when the next JP
movie or book comes out...).  If you find a particular action to be
inappropriate, please take it up with either the perpetrator of the
act, or someone or group that is in a position to provide oversight in
such matters.  This list is not the place for such things.

I know that this list tends to be very informal and so people don't
feel much compunction about straying off topic, but we are supposed to
be here for a purpose.

Thanks for your cooperation,

--
Mickey Rowe     (mrowe@indiana.edu)

P.S. In the hopes of not frightening people with my "science-only"
stance I should throw in that traditionally humorous messages have
been acceptable, and if you intend a message to be humorous you should
put "[joke]" in the subject line.

P.P.S. As a reminder, this is from the welcome message that new
subscribers receive:

   "The purpose of the list [is] to promote exchanges on scientific
   issues relating to dinosaurs."

Note: *scientific* issues relating to dinosaurs, not *social* issues
related to dinosaur scientists.

P.P.P.S. Oh yes, and a disclaimer (or rather lack of need for one):

I am neither a paleontologist nor a person who uses cladistics for
anything whatsoever.  I have no personal stakes here and am not (to
the best of my knowledge) part of any "establishment".  I'm merely an
individual who cares about the proper conduct of science which I
believe should focus on data and not people.