[Taxacom] fascinating reading

John Grehan calabar.john at gmail.com
Mon May 29 12:15:33 CDT 2017

These web entries got me to thinking (when I think at all) on reflections I
have had over the years about the ironies of sciences as an explicit effort
to overturn accepted views and the way human nature includes the opposite.
In my own efforts I support some views that are oppositional to established
or dominant paradigms, but this does not mean that the other views are de
facto automatically shortsighted, obstinate, or obtuse. I can be just as
wedded to established views as anyone else, and just because a radical for
some notions does not mean radical to all. That's why I do not label any
individuals negatively simply for being in opposition to my views. I'm even
cautious about how to view those who publish call for bans on the
publication of science, as happened with panbiogeography. At least they are
being honest.

Who is to say that the role of science is not only discovery, but also
suppression? One might argue that without suppression there is no edge in
science upon which to sharpen one's wits. However good that may be, there
is also an individual cost. It seems that science presents a rather
discordant situation for the psychology of each individual - on the one
hand to discover, on the other hand not to discover too much (the latter
bringing on the potential for social and economic approbation).  Mitchell
was awarded by a court-martial. For his prescient understanding of the
tank, De Gaulle left out of promotions. Churchill was considered feeble
minded for recognizing Hitler for who he was. With this kind of dynamic, it
is amazing that science works as well as it does - assuming it does work.
In systematics and evolutionary theory it's always fascinated me as to how
these pressures have affected, and continue to affect, the path of

John Grehan

On Sun, May 28, 2017 at 10:37 PM, John Grehan <calabar.john at gmail.com>

> The second one about science denial is also applicable from within science
> as much as without. The tenor of the article seems to focus on external
> responses to science, but it's just as active within - the assertion that
> panbiogeography is creationist thinking serving as a solid example. But
> again, these books seem to recycle long established insights about
> knowledge, new knowledge, and how humans respond. War technology has very
> often provided many classic examples of this (perhaps more so because
> consequences can be catastrophic). For example, it was once believed bombs
> dropped from planes could not sink warships. William Mitchell did just
> that, but the lesson still had to be re-learned in WWII, even by some
> prominent supporters of air power. Denial is certainly something that Homo
> sapiens has lots of - perhaps we should be called Homo deniali :)
> John Grehan
> On Sun, May 28, 2017 at 6:08 PM, Kirkbride, Joseph H. <KirkbrideJ at si.edu>
> wrote:
>> What are our genes really telling us? The answer is far from clear
>> https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/what-are-our-genes-
>> really-telling-us-the-answer-is-far-from-clear/2017/05/24/
>> 408ddbb8-0dac-11e7-ab07-07d9f521f6b5_story.html?utm_term=.a94b110470e1
>> Why science denial isn’t necessarily ideological
>> https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-science-denial-
>> isnt-necessarily-ideological/2017/05/25/c8cc8346-3f14-11e7-
>> 8c25-44d09ff5a4a8_story.html?utm_term=.c57ab246ef5c
>> Joe K
>> Joseph H. Kirkbride, Jr.
>> Research Associate
>> Botany Department
>> NMNH - MRC 166
>> Smithsonian Institution
>> P.O. Box 37012
>> Washington, DC 20013-7012
>> USA
>> E-mail: kirkbridej at si.edu<mailto:kirkbridej at si.edu<https://webaccess
>> .si.edu/owa/redir.aspx?SURL=JxVgov7nMkNieES71ppTRAK3OqlpjFzv
>> AGUAagBAAHMAaQAuAGUAZAB1AA..&URL=mailto%3akirkbridej%40si.edu>>
>> Mobile telephone: 1-301-602-6958
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>> Nurturing Nuance while Assaulting Ambiguity for 30 Some Years, 1987-2017.

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