Re: Moving Targets

Phillip Bigelow (
19 Oct 1995 15:46:26 -0700 (Thomas Clarke) writes:

>everyone freaks. But unlike planetary geology where some professionals
>hold the uniform view and some the catastrophe view, in P.A. no
>professionals hold other than the tree to savannah view.

>This mystifies me.

>Tom Clarke

I also watched the NOVA program on the study of Venus. It is a poor
analogy to the AAT, because in the case of planetary geology, professional
scientists are arguing with professional scientists.
In the case of the AAT, nearly all of the pro-AAT people are NOT
evolutionary biologists, physical anthropologists, or paleontologists.
Yet, they are trying to promote a theory from a "hobby-ist", or
"recreational-anthropology", or "armchair anthropologist" point of view.
There is nothing intrinsicly wrong with having an amatuer interest in a
particularly theory, but it REALLY puts them in a disadvantage when it comes
to debating a professional. Professionals don't have a monopoly on all
the good theories, but they do have access to all of the relevant data.
When Elaine Morgan claims in her books that humans are the only
primates known to produce emotional tears, does she REALLY have all of the
data to make such a bold claim? No. So, then, why did she make the
statement? In order to make the claim (in other words, do real science),
Morgan would have to compile a list of ALL extant primate species in the
world, itemize which ones can or can't produce tears, and provide the
ORIGINAL journal reference for each species studied. She didn't do that.
Instead, Elaine "fudged" a bit (you can get away with it in general audience
books), by inserting the words "known to produce tears".
>From a drawing-a-conclusion point of view, what a meaningless statement!
Why on earth bother to use it as "evidence" of anything?