Saturday, January 14, 2012

Evolution quotes #21

Matt Cartmill, Duke University anthropologist states:
"The demands of the scientific method itself force us to pursue the essential extrascientific objective of telling stories that explain our privileged status in the universe of things…The importance of our science lies in its effects on our world view-on the way people think of themselves and the universe and their place in it-which is a subject within the providence of ideology and religion, broadly defined."

"Scientific Method and Mythological Content in Paleoanthropology," lecture given at Meeting of American Association of Physical Anthropologists, 13 April 1984

"Edward Tyson had earlier, in 1699, unconsciously manipulated what was to be the first scientific description of a great ape, in this case a juvenile chimpanzee…In the post-Darwinian era, throughout the history of paleoanthropology, authorities would commit Tyson's error time and time again: Neanderthal, Piltdown, Australopithecus, Ramapithecus, Zinjanthropus-each in its turn has been the object of the exaggeration of traits favored by observers whose theories demanded them."

Roger Lewin (noted science journalist), Bones of Contention (New York, NY: A Touchstone Book published by Simon & Schuster Inc., 1987), pp. 304-305

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