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Controversial Paleontologist

Quoting Richard Peirce <rpnr@ix.netcom.com>:

There's a story in today's New York Times about a fellow, Marcus Ross, who
recently was granted a Ph.D. In vert paleo from the University of Rhode
Island. Incredible? No, it's for real.

Stepping around the specific topic at hand, if someone were to master all the analytical skills necessary to write a good dissertation on how the fluid dynamics of earth's (spherical) outer core give rise to the planet's magnetic field, I would have no problem with granting that person a Ph.D. in geophysics, even if in his/her heart of hearts, s/he believed the earth to be flat.

Now, if said person were to go out on the stump saying things like "The earth is flat. I know; I've got a Ph.D. in geophysics," where what the person was claiming fundamentally clashed with the nature of the work that earned the degree, then we would have a problem.

Nick Pharris
Department of Linguistics
University of Michigan

"Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity."
    --Edwin H. Land