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

Benjamin H. Diebold (
12 Nov 1995 05:30:01 GMT

Paul Crowley ( wrote:

: 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.

I think your view of the history of science is simply wrong, and
represents what amounts to a conspiracy theory.

Most scientific change, including major paradigm shifts, come from within
the scientific community. Einstein, Darwin, Pauling, Watson and Crick are
responsible for some fairly major paradigm shifts (however you choose to
think of them), or at least are identified with them, and all of them
operated within the peer review process of the scientific community.

Your two examples are illustrative in this regard; data will out. Until
the AATers can generate some real evidence they have no right to expect
people to modify their ideas. And when the AATers do in fact generate
some evidence, they can be pretty sure they will be ultimately
vindicated, just as Wegener was.

To put Elaine Morgan in the company of Copernicus is pretty fanciful, to
say the least.