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Re: Rat Documented Swimming 400 meters

Subject: Re: Rat Documented Swimming 400 meters
From: "Jim McGinn"
Date: 1 Nov 2005 20:52:40 -0800
Newsgroups: sci.anthropology.paleo
JAE wrote:
> Algis Kuliukas wrote:
> > JAE wrote:
> > > Algis Kuliukas wrote:
> >
> > > > I know no-one decided, Jason. I was being ironic.
> > > >
> > > > You don't get it do you? I'm not blaming individuals, I'm blaming
> > > > 'group mentality': It's the peer pressure, the 'we know best' attitude
> > > > that's the problem, not individual thinking. (I made this point but you
> > > > snipped it out so that my argument looks weaker - the straw man)
> > >
> > > The field is made of individuals doing research.  Though perhaps your
> > > limited experience is exceptionally different, it is seldom that I see
> > > some "group mentality" blocking avenues of research.  Researchers do
> > > not go in to confirm the status quo.  That's a recipe for career
> > > failure.  Rather, they go in to push boundaries, to explore things that
> > > have not previously been studied.
> >
> > Oh yeah... like the idea that moving through water might have effected
> > our phenotype. Lots of new innovative research been done there. (I was
> > being ironic again.)
> This avenue of research didn't appeal to people going into the field.
> Tough shit, but deal with it.  Not a lot of research done in MANY
> areas, you dope, but it appears only people infected with your peculiar
> religion seem to think it deliberate.
> I'm not sure what you hope to accomplish by repeatedly acting like a
> whiney little   and ad nauseum complaining about the perceived
> slight you think the wet ape ideas have had.  Can you affect time? Does
> it make you feel like more of an underdog?  Will whining make your
> research better?  From my vantage all it does is make you look more
> like a zealot on a crusade to vindicate a hero rather than someone who
> either understands how science is conducted or really cares.

I think in his mind this amounts to an excuse--and an inadvertent
admission of the lack of parsimony of his silly notion--for why his
thinking is so poor.  It's like he's saying it's our fault.  If we'd
recognize the validity of his silly notion then they'd do research and
the research would fill in the blank fo the explanation that he has not
provided.  I really do think that in the cartoon logic of his mind he
thinks this is the way science is supposed to be.

Algis, I honestly don't think you understand science.  Until you
achieve a hypothesis that provides some kind of testable prediction
and/or some degree of theoretical parsimony then there's really not
much anybody can do.  I mean, what would they supposedly test for?  Why
don't you tell us, Algis.  You know, instead of whining all the way to
pissville why don't delineate for us what your "experiment," would
consist of?  Or are you expecting them to do that for you also?

So far all you've said is that you think wading caused bipedalism.
Okay, but what caused wading?  IOW, why would an animal that is
perfectly adapted to treed habitat suddenly find wading so beneficial?
Your theoretical researchers would first have to answer this question
before they could be expected to formulate an experiment.  If you're so
smart that you see the connection between bipedalism and ancestral
wading then why do you depend on them to formulate an experiment.  So,
tell us, Algis, you genius?  What kind of experiments do you think are
in order for your cartoonish notion that apes waded their way to
obligate bipedalism?

> > > Whatever imaginary "peer pressure"
> > > you believe exists that shuns the unfathomable hordes of wet apers away
> > > from research exists only in your own twisted mind.
> >
> > If it isn't even on the syllabus, if it's only mentioned as an example
> > of pseudoscience, then it's no surprise would-be researchers have
> > avoided it like the plague. It's hardly surprising. I got a lot of peer
> > pressure to shut up about the AAH when I was at UCL.

Have you considered the possibility that, maybe, they were embarassed
to be associated with somebody that would glom onto such a vague and
otherwise silly notion.

Several students
> > have told me they had similar experiences. Clearly, as not a single one
> > of your students has ever dared mention it to you, you just have no
> > idea at all about this.

> Again: how much gets on a syllabus before any research is done?  You
> really ought to know the answer to this.  It appears you want special
> treatment where, unlike any other ideas, a magazine article summarizing
> a talk to a scuba club and pop sci-literature make the syllabus.  Do
> you think that thermoregulation hypotheses made it into texts prior to
> actual research being done? Any other ideas?  Why do you think you
> deserve special treatment?  Why when it comes to water do you want the
> rules changed where stuff gets taught in science courses before any
> science is actually done?
> I never mentioned the AAX in any of my classes because there's no
> research to mention.  Didn't mention it as pseudoscience or as an
> example of three letters or as anything at all.  It never came up, not
> from me nor from any student save the plagiarizer who probably didn't
> even know what she was typing Now there's some silent peer pressure
> where, without any mention at all these students didn't mention it
> because, despite having no evidence regarding my opinions at all, they
> felt peer pressure to avoid it?  Are you really that stupid

I think he must be.

 or are you
> really as insane as you appear?  You've said you don't regard it as a
> conspiracy, but you sure act like you think there is one.
> It wasn't mentioned because there is no science to mention.  I don't
> put time into teaching pop literature.  I don't teach UFO theories
> either though they abound and a whole lot of the population knows them.
>  You want you pet mentioned?  Do some good work (do note the word good)
> first.  Cry when that doesn't work.  Your repeated cry-baby routine
> about how it *should* have happened doesn't do anything at all save
> make you look like a dickhead more interested in whining than working.

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