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

Phil Nicholls (
Sun, 12 Nov 1995 19:41:31 GMT

Paul Crowley <> graced us with the following

>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.

What is interesting is that this is the exact same argument used by
creationists. Indeed Duane Gish said this almost word for word at the
1982 Arkansas trail. I will therefore give the same answer I
usually give on


One can become a member of the American Association of Physical
Anthropologists by paying a $50.00 membership fee ($30.00 for a
student). As a member of the association you can present a paper or
poster at the yearly meetings of the AAPA. I can assure you that if
Ms. Morgan or anyone interested in her work were to submit an abstract
by the require deadline (usually around the end of September for
meetings held the last week of March or first week of April) they
would find themselves on the schedule.

Worldwide there are many professional societies that hold similar
meetings and which publish journals. While peer review is a tough
processes you cannot complain about being shut out if you have never
tried. When asked by Judge Overton for papers submitted to scientific
journals by creationists and rejected FOR ANY REASON, Duane Gish was
unable to produce a single example. I imagine the case for the AAH
is the same.

>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.

Another creationist position transposed to for the AAH. Same answer.


Alvarez (impact theory of cretaceous extinctions) and Wegener
(continental drift) were not outsiders and both published articles in
scientific journals outlining their ideas. Alvarez did not loose his
tenure. No such publications for the AAH.

In both cases the ideas were not well received by established
scientists BUT did gain supporters in the ranks of young scientists in
both fields. Not true of the AAH.

>> 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".

The AAH is hardly a paradigm. It is barely a hypothesis. As to
concessions to "traditional PA" certainly you must be joking.

>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.

Also bullshit.

No one has every initiated a paradigm shift by publish a few popular

You want to change people's minds, collect some data. Accumulate some
evidence. Propose a TESTABLE hyothesis.

Phil Nicholls
"To ask a question you must first know most of the answer"
-Robert Sheckley