The Mad Postman, The Invisible Schooner, and The Greater Cause, in Meat-based Parallel Processing 2: Razib Khan

Razib Khan has a pretty high opinion of his scientific abilities. He’s repeatedly had the opportunity, when discussing the origin of dogs, to present the significant alternative to his own view. Instead though, he forgot that science is principally about finding and honing the best explanations, and fell into the trap of cosseting one favoured theory, seeing no need to consider alternatives. If that exclusively favoured theory is wrong however, and there’s no sign he’s ever given it a chance, then every word he writes on the subject, every diagram drawn, and every second of the public’s time he takes up with it, is wasted – worse than wasted since he doesn’t just take people nowhere, he takes them in the wrong direction. Also worse, when he can, he’s very happy to block others’ efforts even to mention the alternative! (And I might say, a vastly superior alternative. The wolf is the obvious ancestor to the dog right up until the astonishing moment when you realise it… obviously isn’t. You can’t get the right answer if you don’t have the right animal in your study, or indeed, if you don’t appreciate how undirected a natural cladogram is.) It would be bad enough if he’d bothered himself to offer a rebuttal of the alternative, but of course he’s too self-important even for that.

Razib Khan of gnxp, Robert K. Wayne of B.M vonHoldt et al 2012, and John Hawks have all failed to observe or refute Janice Koler-Matznick’s (and others’) superior dog theory.
Hawks was hard for me to put in this box but it’s getting easier.


Result? Destruction of that area of the field to the full extent he can manage. And he’s being paid albeit modestly for his scientific expertise on this, though he’s doubly wrong: on scientific conduct, and, I’m rather sure, on his belief.

If it were just one area where he’s made a mistake, it might not be too bad. As it happens though, that is the one area where I can check his veracity. As he’s 100% wrong, indeed 200% wrong on that issue, I can only estimate, and indeed advise, that that is his standard level of performance in every area he looks into. If you fail to address an alternative you lose in science. There will always be some you can convince that you’ve won, but you lose the argument over the issue, and your status as a scientist.

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2 Responses to The Mad Postman, The Invisible Schooner, and The Greater Cause, in Meat-based Parallel Processing 2: Razib Khan

  1. sports says:

    I am curious to find out what blog system you are using?
    I’m experiencing some small security problems with my latest website and I would like to find something more risk-free. Do you have any solutions?

    • Hi! It’s WordPress. It can be a bit of a pain working out how to do stuff with it, but just google. As for security, just make the passwords strong. There are other things you can do though. Good Luck!

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