Date: Wed, 28 Apr 1999 15:02:10 EDT
Subject: Re: FW: Memetics in Time magazine
In a message dated 4/28/99 9:58:22 AM Central Daylight Time,
<< I agree that Aaron is right in saying that Dawkins has different interests
he does, that's a fact. But within the scientific community, to allege that
a scientist's opinion is based on anything other than mature consideration
of the evidence is a really serious charge. It amounts to calling someone's
scientific integrity into question. To take an example that you'll identify
with, Jake, from your legal career, it's rather like accusing a policeman of
throwing away a set of fingerprints. There is a difference between calling
a detective wrong and calling a detective wilfully obstructive of justice.
A detective's career can survive the first but not the second. Likewise for
I would think the equivalent in science would be to accuse someone of
tampering or manipulating experimental or study results, not the things that
Aaron is pointing out. Next might be misrepresenting the data of someone
else's study. I certainly think that Dawkin's reputation can withstand the
accusation of "fainthearted endorsement", or even the more damning,
blood-thirsty, fire-spitting, venomous, accusation of "DEVIOUS endorsement"
::: >gasp!< Ooooooooooohhhhhh!!! ;-) ::: . I am sure he would find it
laughable to consider that his reputation or career might remotely be in any
danger from this kind of accusation - even if it were to come from someone
more luminary than Aaron - . . .like say . . . Dennet. - even if he were to
publicly *confess* to such a "sin".
The inquisition is now in session - Let the floggings begin!
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