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Hickory-dickory-dock, the mouse ran up the molecular clock

Jason E Stewart jasons at bmc.uu.se
Thu Feb 18 21:00:35 EST 1993

In article <9302160425.AA20637 at net.bio.net>, preissj at CLVAX1.CL.MSU.EDU ("J
Preiss--Seq Anal") wrote:
> The recent discussions
> of which is more valid, a molecular or paleontologic clock shows this too.
> Some folks seem to be trying to say that one side is more correct than
> the other.  I always learned that what we are trying to do is to create a
> cohesive unifying theory to explain the natural universe, not a bunch of
> fragments that can never be reconciled.
> 	This tendency to try to claim that one fragment of a theory excludes
> all other possibilities (eg which is correct punctuated equilibrium or 
> gradualism, as if the 2 are mutually exclusive for all cases) only divides the
> field. 

Welcome to: "The Wide World of Ego's in Evolutionary Biology"
When I tuned in to this fieid about two years ago I was appalled at the
sheer number of petty arguments going around by supposedly grown men. The
Cladists think that the Pheneticists fools and the Pheneticists think the
Cladists should go dig bones, and everybody has his own great idea to
explain why the fossil data doesn't support Darwin, and all the other ideas
are wrong. Gets really boring after a while. 

> Many ideas are compatible if viewed as explanations for the specific
> data studied, but no more (not every hypothesis can cover all situations).
> Nature need not be looked at as so monolithic, and all good studies can be 
> used to compliment each other to develope a complete and unified theory
> of biology.
> 		Lenny Bloksberg

Here, Here! Mind you I would dare to say that Evolutionary biologists have
some corner on the Ego market, I think that in general to much of science
has become the art of writing fat glossy National Enquirer type titles on
your paper and then trying to convince everybody that your interpretation
of the laws of the universe are the right interpretation and not Lee

What happen to the days of first:
1)Making an observation
2)Making an hypothesis
3)Desining an experiment to test 2)
4)Collect Data
5)Publish results.

Why must there be a need for:
6)Hype your own results as much as possible (at the expense of others in
the 	  same field, trying to work on the same problem.

I'm beginning to think that to be a good scientist a large portion of grant
money needs to go to a PR firm...


Jason Stewart    	                      Father at large
Department of Medical Genetics
jasons at bmc.uu.se

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