On Being Wrong
I pretty much agree with Jonathan Tweet. In the post he admits to taking things as he wants to, giving no thought to just how he could be wrong, or right. It comes down to this, most often we'd much rather things be as they are supposed to be, and ignore the fact that things are most often just what they are. Much of the time it is a matter of how we understand a thing and our understanding is going to be imperfect because our ability to understand is imperfect.
Which means all knowledge is going to be imperfect, indeterminate when you get right down to it. As we learn, as we grow in knowledge, what we know will change, even what is now considered set in stone.
One example of this is our view of the Sasquatch. When I first learned of the animal we really didn't know how it could get here. We knew of how the American Indian migrated over Berengia during the last Ice Age, but it never occurred to us that another species of giant primate could do the same thing at that time, or even an earlier period in time. By and large we assumed that since we knew of no animal that could cross over we assumed none did. Forgetting that by having film of a large bipedal ape we had evidence that such an animal existed, which given that apes are not usually found in the New World meant it had to come from somewhere. The most likely was the Old World and the route taken included Berengia at a time when there was no Bering Strait.
In short the Patterson/Gimlin film and other footage demonstrates that there is a second species of giant ape living in North America besides us, and that means that the Sasquatch most likely has an old world ancestor likely descended from a common ancestor with the Yeti or a like animal. And Yeti and Sasquatch very likely have a common ancestor with Gigantopithecus.
Fortunately given time we can change our mind, given the opportunity to reflect on what we know and what we later learn. But much too often we let ourselves get overwhelmed by the world and the voices of those trying to persuade or dissuade us. In addition, for the most part we'd rather agree with those who agree with us, because they agree with us. We like being assured that we are right and we hate learning that we are long. Just consider politics and religion, where the disagreements can get strident.
Just consider plate tectonics, a school of geology first proposed back in the early 20th century, but which was denied by most geologists because they could not see any mechanism for it. Then we found our first tectonic rift, somewhere in the Caribbean I think. We found more rifts, and then subduction zones, and then faults such as the Andres that demonstrated just where things we moving and providing us with the mechanism for this movement. At the present time we seem to think that the North American plate incorporates the bed of the western North Atlantic, ignoring that fact as I see it that a plate of granite cannot incorporated basalt into it's structure. And that, given that basalt is denser than granite, where the two meet the former will subduct under the latter. Which means that the Western North Atlantic Plate is sliding under the eastern edge of the granite North American Plate making eastern North America a subduction zone. A slow, gentle subduction zone, but still a subduction zone.
So there you have my thinking on being wrong.