Valid viewpoint??

Robin Panza panzar at clpgh.org
Mon Feb 19 04:48:07 EST 1996


In article <bjanssen-1202961342380001 at hall-pmac8100.tamu.edu>, bjanssen at bio.tamu.edu (Bart Janssen) writes:
> Interesting questions.  If I understand you correctly you are asking
> whether all viewpoints should be assessed or valued equally.  The answer,
> from the viewpoint of a scientist is, YES.  Absolutely every single view
> must be assessed and valued for it's content not based on it's source.
> cheers
> Bart

I don't agree.  The source must be considered as part of evaluating an item of
information.  Would you give the same credence to a "breakthrough" written up
in the "News & Comment" section of _Science_ vs. written up in the local
newspaper?  Are they likely to be equally accurate?  Should one take as gospel
all the dietary regimens in print, regardless of the authors' levels of
expertise?

Certainly, one can not automatically discard an idea posed from outside the
mainstream.  One also cannot dismiss an idea because of a stereotype about its
author.  However, some sources *are* more valid than others.  While all sources
and views should be considered and evaluated,they should be weighted according 
to their source.

Robin Panza				panzar at clp2.clpgh.org
Section of Birds
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Pittsburgh  PA  USA




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