Scientific Censorship and Evolution

Steve Firth steve at
Thu Mar 30 12:26:58 EST 1995

In article <275 at>, Richard Milton writes:

>              Scientific Censorship and Evolution
>              ===================================

It is strange that you should cite Richard Dawkins as someone who is 
prepared to silence rational debate, I think you will find that in real 
life he is in fact a champion of theories which overturn established 
ideas *if* those theories can be shown to have some merit.

As a relative ignoramus on the subject of evolution, I must say that 
even I saw strange flaws in your argument. You seem to take individual 
cases where mistakes were made, and declare that this invalidates all 
evidence in favour of a theory of evolution. I would suggest with some 
humility that you may care to read Stephen Jay Gould's "Wonderful Life" 
which gives a thrilling history of a series of such mistakes mostly even 
more fundamental than those you describe here.

Yet the fact is that such mistaken observations are inevitable, 
scientists are after all, only human, and subject to the same problems 
as the rest of us. A palaeontologist working with distorted and 
incomplete samples may draw the wrong conclusions and be corrected by 
workers whose eyesight is keener, or who may have access to a wider 
libray of samples. Yet the fact that one observer made incorrect 
conclusions does not invalidate evolution as a process, just as an 
incorrect determination of the speed of light does not bring the whole 
of physics crashing to a halt.

I think if your observations lead you to conclude that evolution is a 
myth, you would be better served by publishing a reasoned analysis, 
rather than a hysterical attack upon the scientific establishment. 
People in general tend to switch off and not absorb the message if it 
appears to be little more than a wounded, one-sided, diatribe (and dull 
to boot).

Stephen Firth                                           Matthew: 27,  5
steve at                               Judges:  7, 17
CIS: 100023,3414

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