Saturday, March 24, 2012

Evolution quotes #47

"If all this were not bad enough, Hooton warns that 'in addition to the
frailties inseparable from the enactment of the role of original describer, one
must also discount the author's previous commitments on the subject of fossil
man, the ghosts of earlier opinions which rise to haunt him in the
interpretation of new evidence.' A dispassionate analysis of new fossil evidence
is possible, he says, 'only when one awaits the reworking of the material by
persons not emotionally identified with the specimen.' Even then, an independent
analyst, while not potentially blinded by emotional attachment to a fossil, will
still have a particular set of preconceptions against which he will judge it. So
dispassionate it may be, but totally objective it can never be."

Roger Lewin (noted science journalist), Bones of Contention (New York, NY: A Touchstone Book published by Simon & Schuster Inc., 1987), pp. 26-27

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