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Re: True cladograms & Black swans


    One of the things that separates science from religion  - is that
religion offers answers for everything -  where science offers us the chance
to learn some of the answers for some things (maybe!!!).

    Most people seem to need additional structure in their life to explain
the world to them - religion gives them the structure and answers - science
gives those of us who wish to try - a methodology to TRY to learn and

    I'd like to think that we can learn the "truth" about dinosaurs (etc.),
but that truth is probably very subjective anyway.  (Searching for the truth
is the real fun though).

    Because the majority of people don't understand that science is a
methodology and an ongoing process - they think that anything that refutes a
portion of a scientific theory (eg. Evolution) - automatically destroys that
theory.  (A gross over-simplification).

    Enough from me for now.

        Allan Edels

-----Original Message-----
From: Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. <th81@umail.umd.edu>
To: Dinogeorge@AOL.COM <Dinogeorge@AOL.COM>
Cc: dinosaur@usc.edu <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Date: Thursday, February 26, 1998 1:57 AM
Subject: True cladograms & Black swans

>At 07:43 PM 2/24/98 EST, Dinogeorge wrote:
>><<However, we can only reconstruct these events: they are gone now.  We
>>have some model (parsimony, maximum likelihood, biomechanical, etc.) to
>>choose one of the three schemes over the other, but we cannot stop there
>>say "This is the *right* answer."  The best we can say is "This is the
>>answer, given current data".  The addition of new data could potentially
>>cause us to reject the currently accepted scenario in favor of one of the
>>other two.>>
>No snide comment, just noting (as I stated earlier in this post) that the
>concept that science does not give absolute final answers makes some people
>Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
>Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
>Dept. of Geology              Email:th81@umail.umd.edu
>University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
>College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661