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RE: Origins (was: Re: Sharovipteryx)



> From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu]On Behalf Of
> Dinogeorge@aol.com
>
> In a message dated 5/26/00 12:55:47 PM EST, tholtz@geol.umd.edu writes:
>
> << *Try not to get overly attached to your own hypothesis!!; >>
>
> Would definitely not take this piece of advice. One MUST become
> attached to
> one's own hypotheses, otherwise one will not feel much urge to
> defend them.

And I would instead warn everyone (budding scientist, old professional,
person shopping for cars, etc.) TO take this advice.  It is extremely,
extremely critical, although it is one of the hardest things to do in
science.

To quote Sagan in full:
"Try not to get overly attached to a hypothesis just because it's yours.
It's only a way station in the pursuit of knowledge.  Ask yourself why you
like the idea.  Compare it fairly with the alternatives.  See if you can
find reasons for rejecting it.  If you don't, other's will."

To think of this another way, this is another manifestation of the principle
of "ideas by merit, not by source".

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