[Taxacom] Rejoinder to a monster review

John Grehan calabar.john at gmail.com
Wed Dec 3 21:27:01 CST 2014

Doug extends my point that suppression is a normal part of the scientific
process with the interesting contention that  such action is justified if
what is suppressed is invalid most of the time. Perhaps Doug is right. I
don't know. Certainly in the US a similar argument is made for the death
penalty being justified if the number of innocents executed is considered
to be low enough.

John Grehan

On Wed, Dec 3, 2014 at 8:52 PM, Doug Yanega <dyanega at ucr.edu> wrote:

> On 12/3/14 4:06 PM, John Grehan wrote:
>> Dick,
>> The process of science is the actions of individuals (whether as a group
>> of
>> individuals or separate individuals). If suppression is part of those
>> actions then it is part of the process of science just as much as
>> individuals such as yourself.
>>  I try to avoid threads like this, but I think you're missing the point.
> Regardless of whether we view "suppression" or "censorship" as a routine
> thing or as an anomaly (or somewhere in between), from my perspective, the
> bottom line can be summed up this way:
> In the history of MODERN science (let's say, from around 1950 or so), how
> many clear examples do we have of people whose work was initially
> suppressed/censored (irrespective of the intent of those doing the
> suppression), but then later were *completely vindicated*, as opposed to
> all the many, many examples of people whose ideas were rubbish and truly
> deserved to be suppressed? It might be hard to count the latter, if the
> evidence is (for example) only visible in papers submitted to journals that
> are never sent out for review, but - assuming we could count them - if over
> 95% of the examples are those which deserved to be suppressed, then we
> could conclude that the odds of a valid theory being *erroneously*
> suppressed are low enough that we can view suppression as beneficial, and
> even necessary - i.e., a legitimate tool to prevent scientists from wasting
> their time refuting nonsense. And, let's face it, there really is no point
> in refuting the nonsense that some "scientists" produce (my favorite
> example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chonosuke_Okamura).
> Peace,
> --
> Doug Yanega      Dept. of Entomology       Entomology Research Museum
> Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314     skype: dyanega
> phone: (951) 827-4315 (disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
>              http://cache.ucr.edu/~heraty/yanega.html
>   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
>         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82
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