“There’s no crying in Baseball” and there’s no “Trust” in Science.

Tom Hanks, screaming, "There's no crying in baseball!" from the 1992 movie, "A League of Their Own."

Fig. 1. Tom Hanks (as manager Jimmy Foxx), screaming, “There’s no crying in baseball!” from the 1992 movie, “A League of Their Own.”

In A League of Their Own (1992),” Tom Hanks, played the legendary slugger/manager, Jimmy Foxx. Here (Fig. 1) Hanks yells at his ballplayer, “there’s no crying in baseball.” Famous scene. Oft repeated. See the scene here on YouTube.

On a similar note
A recent letter to PterosaurHeresies mentioned that the writer and, according to him, most of the paleontology community, couldn’t “trust” my drawings and interpretations.

I told him that’s how it should be.

This is Science.

There is no “trust” in Science.

He and others have the opportunity to and should (if they have the opportunity to) duplicate the observations or tests and see if those interpretations and results differ or are the same as published.

After all, that’s what I do everyday. I find out what I can trust, because I’ve duplicated it –and what I can’t trust, because I can’t duplicate it.

In Science there is only testing.
Everything in Science is measurable and repeatable. If it works for me, it should work for you and vice versa. There are no special circumstances. The supernatural does not enter in. If you don’t get my results, one of us (not always me) has done something wrong. Maybe the taxon inclusion list was not broad enough? Maybe a suture and a crack were misidentified.

The writer and others like him don’t like it when I test their suppositions and traditions and they tell me so. That’s good because they might be right every so often or even more often than not. And I need to know these things to improve the site.

Or vice versa they might learn something they didn’t know before. They might see new possibilities that bust old paradigms.

The whole point of a flexible medium, like the Internet, is to get it right, provide updates and always be on the cutting edge. That’s why I make changes as new valid data comes in.

However, if you’re going to bitch,
at least have the decency of providing valid data and results that make sense and back up your statements. Discussing technique, past history or any other issues involving the author deftly avoids the real issue: the taxon in question. If you keep your focus on the reptile(s) you’ll have a better reception for your query or comment and you might even get your wish, a change in the website!

I appreciate those who provide valid alternatives as solutions, but, paraphrasing Jimmy Foxx, “There’s no crying in Science either.” If you know solutions, you need to provide them. If you know someone who has a solution that differs from mine, have that person get in touch to run that solution by. If you just want to cry about it, you’re not helping your cause, your Science or this blog.

And please, no excuses that,”it would take eons to go through all of my mistakes.” Pick one or two and we’ll start from there. Build credibility. Stay with the taxa. Keep your comments focused on the reptiles. Stop bitching about the technique or yours truly. In the end, we’re going to end up swapping photographs as evidence anyway, so telling me photographs are useless is likewise illogical. The Brits defeated the Nazis using photographic interpretation, as shown recently on a PBS special. So it’s a valid tool.

Now let’s go people. Keep those cards and letters coming in!

(but only with solutions attached)…

3 thoughts on ““There’s no crying in Baseball” and there’s no “Trust” in Science.

  1. I always need to turn off my irony meter before I read your site, David, lest it overload. You declare “There’s no crying in science,” but any negative commentary gets deleted as “blackwashing.” And you block people for “insulting” comments while saying things like “if you just want to cry about it…”

    It’s not that researchers don’t like it when you test their “suppositions and assertions,” it’s that you unilaterally declare yourself as the arbiter of what is correct and talk about their “mistakes” in your “scathing book reviews.” It’s what Darren rightfully termed “misplaced arrogance.” And then you define the rules of engagement to permit only “specific” corrections and dismiss any broad criticism of your techniques and results. I fully expect this comment to be deleted as “blackwashing,” proving my point (but only to myself, since nobody else will see it).

    You would find yourself getting a lot further with others in the field if you would re-examine your approach and come from a position of humility (maybe these people who have dedicated decades of their lives to this research actually know a little bit about it?) rather than staking out your claim and daring all comers to prove you wrong, but only in the way you will accept.

    • Please keep your focus on the taxa. If any are misplaced let me know and show me why. It’s ‘show and tell.’ Not just ‘tell.’ The method you refer to produces logical results.

  2. “Discussing technique, past history or any other issues involving the author deftly avoids the real issue: the taxon in question”
    Discussion of technique is just as appropriate as discussion of included taxa. That’s why dowsing isn’t accepted as a way to find water by the scientific community, and why the Linnean classification system is out of favor. Technique is key in science since the repeatability that science needs is driven by being able to reproduce the technique used to acquire the data that is being analyzed. In science there should be debate about everything. If we limit our discussion to only taxa (or only chemicals, or only bodies in motion) but don’t critically analyze the techniques used to derive the data we are discussing we aren’t really doing science.

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