Ron Gatrelle gatrelle at
Sat Oct 14 17:07:07 EDT 2000

    It is a great mistake to think that just because something is given tough multiple (or consensus) review and published in the most (contemporarily) prestigious publication that it is now written in stone forever. Now, since I think we all agree with what I just said, we need to remember that nothing we write is worth the paper it was written on WHEN later research shows it to be false, only partly true, or just off.
    Publication is simply the vehicle of presenting ideas (for others to worship or urinate on). Too many people are sweating the load on publication. I feel sorry for some professors (I have no one in mind) who have spent so many years before novices that they now think they are infallible. It is a great injustice to them to have been subjected to an environment where people (all of which are inferior to start with) who do not give them the answer they want are failed. Listen closely, as a minister I stand in the same position. I had to learn very early that if I read too much of my own press I could lead these people to a cool-aid stand. I honestly think that a lot of professors, just like a lot of preachers, can not and will not, accept any challenge to their theories/theologies and insist that there is no other valid view than their own. They also both demand total adherence from those around them. In academia we call this a click, in religion as cult. Too bad. They are both cults.
    Publication does not mean: This IS true! This IS it! It just means, yah, this idea is worth considering. Publication does not insure FDA approval or taxonomic acceptance. Again, I have oversimplified things, used hyperbole, etc. But publication, especially in taxonomy, is not a life and death issue.
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