[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]
Re: Dodson's article in American Paleontologist
Ray Stanford writes:
It seems to me that discretion would dictate that we refrain from
dissecting Dr. Peter Dodson's article in American Paleontologist if that
discussion is based only upon very brief quotes from it presented out >of
adequate context -- especially when we are dealing with a topic so
>seemingly permeated with emotion.
IMHO, Peter Dodson is a gentleman, a superb scholar, a fine >person
and paleontologist, and an exceptionally wonderful teacher (if >I may judge
from some graduate students of his, whom I have met). If >one disagrees
with the position he expresses in the article, fine; but >his opinion is
worthy of respectful, patient, thorough, and objective >examination.
I am not asserting that anyone on the list has seriously failed >due
respect in discussing the article, but considering the 'thermal
>coefficient' of the topic, I hope this message serves to discourage
>disrespect in the time just ahead. When a wise person speaks, some of
>the wise may disagree, but they listen and respond with respect.
I am a little confused. What exactly are you suggesting? Are you suggesting
that from now onward only non-controversial topics are to be discussed on
this list? (i.e only topics that have a low "thermal coeficient")
I do not think I quite understand your response. So far, three messages have
been posted to this list on this topic. All three were highly respectful of
what Dr Dodson said, and none were in sharp disagreement. I did not see
anything except a "respectful, patient, thorough, and objective
examination". I know your message was well-intentioned, but it strikes me as
Dr Dodson's article(s) in American Zoologist and American Paleontologist
seemed designed to spark debate on the issue of cladistics. And that is what
happened! Do you think we should stop all debate because it might involve
expressions of views that are not in full agreement with somebody elses?
I believe (respectfully) that you are doing Dr Dodson no favors by wrapping
him in cotton wool and "protecting" him from debate. He is a very nice and
very intelligent man, and I think he can handle views that are not in
complete agreement with his own.
In my young career in science I have learned that problems get solved by
engaging in debate, not by stifling or avoiding debate. As long as the
debate does not get personal, and this has not happened - I have seen only
measured, respectful, objective, non-personality-oriented responses so far.
There is no vendetta factor. Dr Dodson expresses some fascinating views on
cladistic classification. Some people may agree, others may disagree. Some
may agree with some things Dr Dodson says, but disagree with others. But let
everyone be heard!
Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com.