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Re: Dodson's article in American Paleontologist
What Zoe Heraklides said of me and of my recent post, reflects a
misperception of what I said, IMHO. I was protecting no one, and, yes,
Peter Dodson is quite capable of defending his views, but Zoe knows that
Dodson is not on this list to defend should defense seem appropriate.
I was clearly not coming out against informed and informative debate.
Far from it, justice and the scientific process forbid! So, I feel Zoe is
beating up on a straw man that he pretends to be me.
Clearly, I was only seeking to lessen to the potential for specifically
unfounded attacks upon Dodson based on what someone says Dodson said, when
separated from an appropriate context. Clearly I was saying (as Kean Stump
pointed out in response to Zoe) read the article. Then offer informed
dissent or agreement. That constitutes a form of respect.
Also, beating up on out-of-context 'statements' attributed to an author
such as Dodson, in this case, happens all the time on this list and there
was reason to suspect it could happen in this case. Those who share
Dodson's views evidently (judging from posts across the last year or more)
constitute a small minority on this mailing list, and when one feels in the
majority, honest debate can degenerate into cheer leading, hypothesis
thumping, personal attacks, and sometimes worse. In fact, that can happen
on the part of the minority, too.
Advocating respect should bother only those who have a shortage of it.