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Re: Origins (was: Re: Sharovipteryx)



>
> > 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.
>

Whoa!  Although not often evident in the dinosaur world, this is supposed to be
science.  We cannot prove hypotheses to be true, we can only falsify them
through testing.   The scientist who puts forth a hypothesis should be the
BIGGEST critic of it.  We are NOT supposed to be defending our hypotheses.  We
are supposed to be trying to blast holes in them--which is (paradoxically) the
only way to "defend" them.  To get personally attached to a hypothesis that you
have come up with is exactly the reverse of how one should go about it, and is
exactly why so many scientific debates become so silly.  We have all been
there, unfortunately, but it is to be avoided.

-Josh

--
Josh Smith
Department of Earth and Environmental Science
University of Pennsylvania
471 Hayden Hall
240 South 33rd Street
Philadelphia, PA  19104-6316
(215) 898-5630 (Office)
(215) 898-0964 (FAX)
http://www.sas.upenn.edu/earth/vertebratepaleo/