A LESSON IN THROWING THE BULL

Ed Conrad edconrad at prolog.net
Fri Jul 26 06:32:39 EST 1996


The latest edition of  ``Nature," the so-called respected journal,
rolled off the press today and once again it features a story that
really should have appeared in a child's book of fairy tales.
.
Yet the editors at the Allentown (Pa.) Morning Call -- same as those
at  newspapers across the continent -- made it a sound like it was
based on solid fact by deciding it warranted a glowing -- but totally
erroneous -- headline:

>                 FOSSIL FIND ILLUMINATES
>                    MAN'S APE ANCESTOR

>         Discovery helps fill  gaps in what happened
>         to humanity's ancestors between about 18
>                  million and 5 million years ago

The article describes the discovery in Turkey of ``a fossil ape face"
by a team of anthropologists and researchers who call it
ankarapithecus meteai, a 60-pound, fruit-eating ape.

Without any basis in fact, they refer to it as ``a  cousin" of man and
say it will tell us more than we now know about the common ancestor of
humans and the great apes (which is absolute zero).

The article even quoted bullshit artist David Pilbeam of Harvard
University as saying, ``There are so few specimens that are as
complete as this," adding that the discovery makes ``a significant
increment in our knowledge."

------------------------------------

It seems only fiiting and proper to resurrect the heads-on quotation
which shined like a beacon in ``The Velikovsky Affair: The Warfare
Between Science and Scientism" . . .

>                  ``The easiest ploy is to impress upon editors
>                    that only scientists -- and preferably selected
>                    members of the establishment -- are competent
>                    to judge scientific theories. And, since science
>                    is an important source of news of interest to
>                    the general public, editors are not inclined to
>                    reject such advice."






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