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RE: Origins (was: Re: Sharovipteryx)

> From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu]On Behalf Of
> Ralph Chapman
> How about some other opinions from other pros and enthusiasts, this is a
> really important point to nail down.

Wow, how to add to that?

Well, one possibility is to recommend some general reading material.  The
following is a book about science, but not per se a "how to do science"
book.  It has lots of very readable essays about various topics, although
not dinosaurs (sad to say):

Sagan, C. 1995.  The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a candle in the dark.
Random House, 457 pp.

Especially useful is the chapter "The Fine Art of Baloney Detection", which
discusses logical fallacies and the scientific toolbox.  Among the tools
*Independent confirmation of the "facts" whereever possible;
*Substantitve debate on the evidence;
*There are no authorities; only experts (i.e., ideas by merit, not by
*Use multiple working hypotheses;
*Try not to get overly attached to your own hypothesis!!;
*Occam's Razor;
*Spin only falsifiable hypotheses

Have a good weekend, folks.

                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                Vertebrate Paleontologist
Department of Geology           Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland          College Park Scholars
                College Park, MD  20742
Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-314-7843