Sometimes You Read

Today in the June issue of Scientific American I read an article on the evolution of hands by John A.Long and Richard Cloutier. In the article near the end of P49 I read, “In Science, however, knowledge is not written in stone.” I don’t know who wrote the words but in my experience I have learned that they are right.

Now keep in mind that what whomever wrote that was not writing about scientific anomalies, but still… And it served to remind me that not everybody is an authority on everything. Long and Cloutier can be taken as authorities on the evolution of lobe finned fishes, but that doesn’t mean they are going to be authorities on iron/nickel asteroids as an example. Author Gregory Benford can be taken as an authority on physics, but I would hardly call him an authority on matters such as primatology, physical geography, or even the land and history of Beringia. Or David Brin for that matter, another physicist.

Why single them out? Because they have insisted that there can be no such animal as Bigfoot -and I’m not about to link to any online sources on the animal because those sources are rather crappy in my opinion.

Now it is my understanding that when an authority on a subject says something about his subject you can trust them. But when he’s talking about a subject he is not an authority on then not so fast. When Greg says something about the Standard Model you can rely on him. When he says something on North America’s other great ape, not so fast. But getting the man to fess up on the latter subject is a bit like extracting wisdom teeth.

One Comment

  1. Gregory Benford

    “e insisted that there can be no such animal as Bigfoot”?
    Hey, Bigfoot’s character in my IN THE OCEAN OF NIGHT, #1 OF THE GALACTIC SERIES CENTER…

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