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Re: A critique of the BBC aquatic ape programme and the transcript.

Subject: Re: A critique of the BBC aquatic ape programme and the transcript.
From: "Algis Kuliukas"
Date: 23 Aug 2005 07:04:11 -0700
Newsgroups: sci.anthropology.paleo
Rick Wagler wrote:


> Pseudoscience and its methodology is something of
> hobby of mine. It's why I like to check in with Art Bell
> every once in a while.

Who/What? is "Art Bell"?

> The hallmark of all these types is the steadfast conviction
> that 'conventional' scientists are so afraid to dispute orthodoxy
> that they ignore the obvious and its is up to the heroic
> outsiders to advance things. It's all so tiresome. AAT
> tries much harder than many other 'alternative theories'
> to ape the methods of science and to strive to be part of
> the mainstream but the methods of all these characters
> are of a piece. The arrogance of MV in demanding that
> people accept at face value strange arguments that he,
> by any resonable scientific standard, cannot support is
> a commonplace also.

It might be tiresome but, by the same token, you cannot pretend away
another well known hallmark of scientific progress throughout the ages:
Again and again a new idea is at first received with scepticism or
outright hostility by those "in the know" until a new generation of
more open minded people realise it was not so far fetched after all.
After which time it, in turn, becomes orthodoxy and it's proponents
become the next generation of sneering defenders of the new faith.

There is no justification for MV demanding acceptance on the basis of
no science, any more than JAE demands that the rejection, also on the
basis of no science, was justified. Both should accept that the thing
to do here is simple: more science.

> Algis is floundering. He is caught between the world
> of the fringe where people are unfettered by any
> requirements of serious academic research and
> academia where he is supposed to demonstrate his
> mastery, or at least understanding, of these requirements.

I don't see it that way at all. I think I'm doing some good work and
I'm making slow but steady progress.

> Its a sad spectacle. He has managed to take on
> some of the trappings but his adherence to the ways
> of the fringe and his inability to seriously confront
> the mounds of - at least initially - well-meaning
> criticism will doom him.

What adherence? I've challanged MV where necessary. I've criticised AH
and EM for not defining it properly. I've agreed with many objections
but most of all I've agreed that there's a need for some science to be
done and I'm trying to do some (when I'm not here arguing till I'm blue
in the face!)

The "criticism" has been confronted and taken on board. It's not going
to "doom" me. On the contrary, it's made my study more robust.

> I suspect he will become
> much more strident in future. One can hope, and
> I certainly do, that he might experience some sort of
> revelation and realize that the world of real science,
> which seems so often to be advancing by baby steps
> when the questions are so large, is ultimately so much
> more fascinating than the superficially daring fringe
> theory.

Yes maybe. But then again maybe it'll be you who'll be experiencing the
revelation when you realise that, if only Hardy's ideas are interpreted
differently, more mildly, then they do add considerable explanatory
power to the thinking about human evolution. Maybe the penny will drop
one day soon  that these ideas are no threat to anyone, but actually a
great help.

Algis Kuliukas

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