Re: excuses from Hubey

H. M. Hubey (
8 Oct 1995 14:02:16 -0400

Alex Duncan <> writes:

>In article <> H. M. Hubey,
> writes:

>>Who say's I'm not working on it? PS. It's not "complex math".
>Well then, it shouldn't take you long, should it?

Alex, I won't make a scene of your "ignorance".

>Please demonstrate for us that you are aware of what the evidence is. So
>far I've seen no indication that you've ever read anything but E. Morgan

Pick any book and read about the dating techniques and give us
your comments on their accuracy. I don't mean the physics part.
I mean the accuracy of the part where the humans have to sift
through dirt and rocks.

And let us recall the indirectness of the estimates of temperature
of bygone eras. We'd need independent methods of measuring it
and then cross checking. I don't know exactly what the confidence
limits are or if anyone has done sensitivity analysis but the
errors might be on the order of 10%-50%.

Does anyone know?

>absolutely idiotic, in large part due to your gargantuan ignorance.

Guy, you're talking thorugh your own lack of knowledge of what
science is about. Some things which you take for granted that
it's some kind of magic provided by people who know lots of
physics and make the equipment and that you take for granted
is not magic. The bones which your colleagues gaze at and try
to place in some tree are all you got. And finally, even the
taxonomy, or the criteria used, is made up and could be
attacked, and will probably be changing over the next
century as more and more DNA tests are done.

>knees in other tetrapods. One would think that in addition to not
>reading anything, you had never actually bothered to observe anything
>about the real world around you.)

That was my mistake.

>>I won't go any further. I'm in the middle of something else and
>>can't afford to take much time out for [...]

>What a convenient excuse.

It happens to be true. It will take a couple of weeks to finish
this book.

>Other than your general statement that anthropologists need to use more
>math, I have seen no indication that you know what the shortcomings in
>the field are. Would you please enlighten us?

Take out the Cambride Encyclopedia of Primate Evolution and when
you read it, mark off every sentence and paragraph where it
cautions people as to the guess work involved and the problem
of data, etc etc. Anyone can do it. It's a nice book, full of
pictures. I always like books with pictures; it allows all the
eyeballing one needs.

In the final analysis, that's what it boils down to: I said it
over and over; eyeballing of bone shapes. Whether people will
always stick to bone eyeballing or will produce some mathematics
out of distances between different shapes or will eventually
switch to DNA analysis if living species to use analogies
backwards remains to be seen, but right now it's bone-gazing
all the way. I suggest you have problems understanding it
because you haven't seen any other kind of science.

PS. Analogies are most often used in arguments in this
field. We work backwards from analogies of living things
and try to apply it to life styles of bones. Is this
more or less correct about the whole basic idea behind
this "science"? If so, then why are these attacks on AAT
not turned around and used on SST? They are of the same
type, and of the same type used in the field, aren't they?


Regards, Mark