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Re: ooo missed this one - this will stir the BAND pot




http://www.earthmagazine.org/earth/article/297-7d9-a-1f


It's doubtful it will do much to stir anybody's pot.  Martin, Feduccia, and 
Ruben, are a few loud holdouts.  In reality, this debate effectively ended 
about 20 years ago.  The preponderance of evidence in favor of BAD had been 
around even before the feathered Chinese dinos were discovered in the 1990s.

What you are witnessing is a phenomenon that all researchers know about, but 
few of them are comfortable talking about (at least in public).  I don't know 
what the official term* is for the phenomenon.  Science (capital "S" science) 
often resolves debates between the Young Turks and the Old Guard by letting 
Nature take its course.  The Old Guard eventually retire from their tenured 
jobs, then they die, and since the debate was largely settled long ago, there 
are no (or few) followers stupid enough to lean down and pick up the torch.  
Without any opposition to go to for quotes, the press doesn't report on the 
"on-going debate" (sic) anymore.  Voila.  Issue settled.

This happened with the critics of Copernicus, Galileo, Einstein and many 
others.  It is less about science, and more about egos.  As I get older, I am 
increasingly amazed at how much of "scientific debate" is, in reality, a very 
public version of the good ol'  fashioned "office politics".

Debate keeps the scientists interested.  But the real science often takes place 
when there is a generation change.  Retirement and death often does a 
surprisingly good job of cleaning the House O'  Science of its old clutter.

<pb>

* If there is no official term for the phenomenon, then I propose the acronym 
WUDS.  "Wait Until Death - Science"

p.s.  WUDS obviously hasn't happened with the evolution-CXXXXXXX debate.  I 
don't know the reason.



 

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