Re: Aquatic eccrine sweating ref request, was Re: tears

Paul Crowley (
Sat, 11 Nov 95 21:18:23 GMT

In article <47u5pg$> "Phillip Bigelow" writes:

> Consider that, by her own admission, she has not had any serious
> peer-review by her adversaries.
> Consider that her books on the AAT are reviewed only for grammatical
> content by her editors, NOT for the science contained there-in.
> Consider that she does not attend paleoanthropological meetings to present
> papers and be butchered by her peers (as any other paleoanthropologist must
> endure).

You misconstruing the nature of this debate, Phil. AAT stuff does not
get "serious peer-review"; it does not get scientific editorializing;
Ms Morgan does not get invited to PA meetings. She would never be
allowed to present papers at them. Consequently there are no, or few,
"authoritative" papers for references. It's usually silly to ask.

This sort of thing is a frequent occurrence in the history of science.
A scientific discipline finds itself down a blind alley. Someone from
outside (and it *has* to be someone outside) says "Hey, you guys this
is the way out." He/She gets laughed at and ignored. No one proposing
that point of view can get tenure. Insofar as the professionals take
it seriously, they feel threatened. There is nothing new in all this;
it has happened time and time and time again. Even when it occurs in
a discipline that has a history of revolutions in knowledge, each new
one is fiercely resisted - as though nothing like it had ever happened
before. Look at the cretaceous extinction debate or at the one on
continental drift for two prime and close examples.

> Consider that Elaine and her theories have a relatively large
> following,...which, by-in-large, don't seem inclined to challenge her on any
> of her points (in fact, they seem to pretty much accept her points).

I criticise her views on the grounds that she (following Hardy) makes
far too many concessions to traditional PA. This is a common pattern
for the pioneers of a new paradigm: Copernicus was too generous towards
the Ptolemaic system; Lavoisier saw oxygen as "the air itself entire".

I love this debate. Mostly because it's very important in its own
right, but also because it is a classic example of a paradigm shift.