Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Evolution quotes #26

With regards to "emotionally charged atmosphere" and "charge of inappropriate exclusion" from accessing fossils, Donald Johanson states:

"'Sometimes this has resulted in rather bitter rivalries,' says Johanson, 'with
scientists breaking down communication with one another….This is unfortunate,
because it stops the development of the science. It interjects a distasteful
form of elitism, because it sometimes results in instances where-it has been
recently written-only those in the inner circle get to see the fossils; only
those who agree with the particular interpretation of a particular investigator
are allowed to see the fossils.'
Virtually every anthropologist has a tale
or two to tell about a rival professional improperly preventing others from
working on fossils in his possession. 'There are lots of ways of simply making
it difficult for someone to come to your lab and work with the fossils, if you
choose not to have them come,' comments one senior anthropologist. 'You don't
have to be so obvious and crude as to say 'No,' even if that's what you really
Of course, even when a curator of fossils has genuine reasons for
suggesting to a fellow anthropologist a more convenient time to come to his lab,
for example, or for imposing some kind of restriction on publication, such
responses can easily be misinterpreted as malicious attempts to prevent access,
and not infrequently they are."
Roger Lewin (noted science journalist), Bones of Contention (New York, NY: A Touchstone Book published by Simon & Schuster Inc., 1987), pp. 23-24

Related resources:

15 questions responses 2

Fossil evidence for alleged apemen, part one

Fossil evidence for alleged apemen, part two

 Anthropology and apemen questions and answers

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