Dogma

Curtis Clark jcclark at CSUPOMONA.EDU
Tue Sep 30 22:35:43 CDT 1997


At 04:50 PM 9/30/97 -0700, James Francis Lyons-Weiler wrote:
>  I have
>kept track of who has reversed their stance on hypotheses in the
>literature I'm most familiar with - and I have ONE example.  Mike
>Miyamoto decided in 1985 that congruence was a poor way to do things -
>and then reversed this position ten years later.  Some snickered; I think
>it was a laudable act of courage, honesty, and ever so much more
>scientific than chanting a mantra about a favorite method (note my
>admiration is independent of the fact that I think he had it right the
>first time). I'd love to hear oif more examples; I SERIOUSLY think these
>types should be given an award for living science, and not pretending to
>live science.

The paleobotanist Dan Axelrod wrote a number of papers on how the
distribution of fossil plants proved that the continents had not changed
position. Then for several years he wrote no biogeography papers at all,
and then he came out with a paper showing how the distribution of fossil
plants supported continental drift. He never would call it "continental
drift", though; always insisted on calling it "continental rafting".


------------------------------------------------------------------------
Curtis Clark                 http://www.intranet.csupomona.edu/~jcclark/
Biological Sciences Department                     Voice: (909) 869-4062
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona    FAX:   (909) 869-4078
Pomona CA 91768-4032  USA                          jcclark at csupomona.edu




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