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RE: Trex

        -----Original Message-----
        From:   Ralph Chapman [SMTP:Chapman.Ralph@NMNH.SI.EDU]
        Sent:   Wednesday, March 03, 1999 7:33 AM
        To:     dinosaur@usc.edu
        Subject:        Trex

        And just to be clear, the so-called quantitative sciences have their
own just-so stories. Currently in astrophysics and physics, etc.
self-organized criticality is big and they all show these plots with points
and straight lines fitted to them to support their inference of such. Funny,
though, they never actually try different types of curves and test the fit.
they just eye-ball them. The only one to do otherwise so far I know of is a
paleontologist - Gunther Eble. Their just-so stories just have numbers
attached - but they are no better.


        Ralph Chapman, NMNH


        Precisely right, Ralph.  I showed a vast amount of data this week
fitted to several curve formats.  My point was
        that the data supports divergent conclusions, depending on how one
plots it.  My boss said; "This is confusing,
        PICK the curve that looks the best in a Powerpoint presentation &
plot the darn thing!"  :-)