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Re: Just So stories and science



Bill Olewiler wrote:

<On page 222 he [Gribbin] writes, 
  " . . . All scientific models are simply
Kiplingesque 'just so' stories that give us a feeling
that we understand what is going on, without
necessarily incorporating any ultimate answers about
the universe.">

  Gosh, does this just encompass my feelings on the
issue. I've always felt Olshevsky's [I use the last
name, because this is a formal issue] use of the
phrase to be one a scientific claim and another a
justification to appreciate a theory; when we must
realize that, like particle physics, and all other
sciences, every theory must be given equal initial
merit, even the at-first ridiculous-seeming ones, and
the use of science to disprove or uphold a
determination, rather than self-stated opinion or
suggestions that "I don't think this is right."

  So in such an issue, Olshevsky has every right to
put forward his position, is advocated by some
material, and as such, his idea has merit, as
demonstrated independantly (both Chatterjee, Paul, and
Ostrom have presented evidence that supports some of
Olshevsky's hypothesis [arboreal origin of dinosaurs,
bird-like theropods descend from avian-like animals
suggesting secondary flightlessness]).

  Similarly, more controversial matters presented on
this list, inlcuding Kinman's phylogenetic
assertations and Febo's bird-pterosaur ancestry, at
least warrant consideration without deposing to ideas
or other assumptions that would ignore them at the
utmost. There are some who would argue procedure ...
that is something that must be taken into account when
testing the hypotheses. Do not personalize (and for
the first individual, I went back to the posts in the
list and realized I, too, had descended to
personalizing; so I appologize here to Kinman, Rowe,
and the list, for that) and issue -- you can do that,
I guess, off-list, and maintain a long chain of
addresses to distribute ideas, or form a new list, or
find one that would restrict less [you know, Mickey,
I'm surprised, reading those, I was not also censored
in some way].

  Sorry, rant over.

  Whether you agree or not is no reason to discredit
an hypothesis. Present why you disagree, and let that
be it. Make it scientific and no further.

=====
Jaime "James" A. Headden

  Dinosaurs are horrible, terrible creatures! Even the
  fluffy ones, the snuggle-up-at-night-with ones. You think
  they're fun and sweet, but watch out for that stray tail
  spike! Down, gaston, down, boy! No, not on top of Momma!

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