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Fwd: RE: new book
I've been asked to provide information about how to obtain Parson's new book
about dinosaurs and the science wars. It should be available from Amazon soon,
or you can order it directly from Indiana University Press. Assuming that
events of the past week don't compromise the meeting, Bob Sloan from IU Press
plans to bring lots of copies of this and other recent paleo books to the SVP
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This sounds like a fine book. Please let the list know how to purchase it,
and/ or if it will be available at the SVP meeting in a couple of weeks.
All the best,
From: James Farlow
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Sent: 9/14/01 7:33 AM
Subject: new book
Given the events of the 11th, I am reluctant to mention something so
mundane as the following, but I suppose we must try to continue with our
lives, or the bastards really will have won.
I'd therefore like to announce publication of the latest book in Indiana
University Press' paleontology series: _Drawing Out Leviathan:
Dinosaurs and the Science Wars_, by Keith M. Parsons, ISBN 0-253-33937-5
Parsons is interested in the on-going controversy over science as a
process. Are scientific facts reflections of external reality, or are
scientific ideas social constructs that are negotiated among various
interested parties? Parsons addresses this matter by reviewing the
history of dinosaur studies, and the way controversies over dinosaur
biology were argued and in some instances settled, to see what light
this history sheds on the way paleontological knowledge is created.
To quote a passage from the book: "...are dinosaurs social constructs?
Do we really know anything about dinosaurs? Might not all of our
beliefs about dinosaurs be merely figments of the paleontological
imagination? A few years ago such questions would have seemed
preposterous, even nonsensical. Now they must have a serious answer."
The table of contents will give some idea about the matters covered by
Mr. Carnegie's Sauropods
The Heresies of Dr. Bakker
The "Conversion" of David Raup
Are Dinosaurs Social Constructs?
Le Dinosaure Postmoderne
History, Whiggery, and Progress
Beyond the Science Wars
I think that vertebrate paleontologists generally, and dinosaur
specialists in particular, will find much of interest in the story
Parsons tells. The book should also be an important contribution to the
literature on the philosophy and sociology of science.
What does Parsons conclude?
I'm not going to tell you--buy the book, eh?
And as a bonus, the dust jacket features a surprising piece of
paleontological art that many folks may not have known existed.
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