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ClayZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 01:02 PM
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"Wronger Than Wrong"
http://sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa006&articleID=000...

November 2006 issue

Wronger Than Wrong
Not all wrong theories are equal
By Michael Shermer


In belles lettres the witty literary slight has evolved into a genre because, as 20th-century trial lawyer Louis Nizer noted, "A graceful taunt is worth a thousand insults." To wit, from high culture, Mark Twain: "I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it." Winston Churchill: "He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire." And from pop culture, Groucho Marx: "I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it." Scientists are no slouches when it comes to pitching invectives at colleagues. Achieving almost canonical status as the ne plus ultra put-down is theoretical physicist Wolfgang Pauli's reported harsh critique of a paper: "This isn't right. It's not even wrong." I call this Pauli's proverb.

<snip>

Such egregious examples, however, do not negate the extraordinary ability of science to elucidate the natural and social worlds. Reality exists, and science is the best tool yet employed to discover and describe that reality. The theory of evolution, even though it is the subject of vigorous debates about the tempo and mode of life's history, is vastly superior to the theory of creation, which is not even wrong (in Pauli's sense). As evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins observed on this dispute: "When two opposite points of view are expressed with equal intensity, the truth does not necessarily lie exactly halfway between them. It is possible for one side to be simply wrong."

<snip>



:applause:
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Webster Green Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 01:13 PM
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1. Great article!
Thanks for posting it.
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