On Mon, 18 Jun 2001 10:40:26 EDT Dawsonzhu@aol.com writes:
> Really now? I don't think it is far out of line to think that frauds
> be found in any form of enterprise. There wouldn't be litigation were
> not for that fact that there *is* fraud. I for one care about whether
> reports are true or false. I may have it wrong, but I certainly have
> tried to bamboozle my peers, sell a big sham, or otherwise fall far
> of my calling as a seeker of truth in the academic world. Moreover, in
> much as I can, I try to find out if what I have read is true.
> I don't much care if you don't want to agree with what academia, or
> else for that matter. You can reject the whole world if you want.
That is your
> option. However, don't insinuate that academics are a bunch of liars.
My apologies, Wayne. I did not mean to insinuate that you or anyone else
are liars. What I did mean, and what I did say, is that when one of our
projects is subjected to litigation, the objective of the litigation is
not to arrive at what is fair or true, but to win a judgement against the
company for which I work. The means to our bank account is by supoena of
our records, depositions of our project participants, and adversarial
cross examination by lawyers who would like nothing better than to make
us look like blithering idiots.
Interestingly, our company has traditionally chosen litigation over
arbitration or mediation because our attorneys feel that we have better
control of the process through the courts. Arbitration tends to "split
the baby," and neither arbitrators nor mediators (who attempt to
facilitate communication between the parties) are bound by the law. Yet
arbitration can yield binding judgements with no right to appeal.
> If we are
> mislead, you must demonstrate where we are mislead. Otherwise, just
> don't want to agree and get on with life.
I am in the process of doing just that, i.e., showing that the swamp
model for the origin of coal is based upon an incorrect interpretation of
data. To "prove something beyond a reasonable doubt" is a slow and
meticilous process, and Jonathan is doing a good job of checking my every
Back to the main point of this post: If a bridge were engineered with
the same lack of correspondence to reality that the swamp model of coal
has to the observable data, and if the bridge fails, the lawyers
representating the owners of the bridge, and those representating any
injured personnel or owners of damaged property, would pour through the
failed bridge's engineering design, the qualifications of the engineer
who stamped (approved) the design drawings, the materials-testing data,
the construction (were specified materials actually used or were
substitutions made, were the plans followed or were there deviations,
were all deviations approved by the engineer), the records of the project
manager responsible for quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC), in
short - the full spectrum of details associated with design/build.
These lawyers are not dull people. They build a case against you by
finding things that are not as they should be, and stand to make a lot of
money if they are successful. The way we defend against such actions is
In summary, if the theory of the origin of coal fails to find empirical
support, the theory is eventually modified and life goes on. If a bridge
is built contrary to known laws of physics, the known strength of
materials, and/or known design criteria, and the bridge fails, all hell
breaks loose for those involved. Remember the flying bridges in the
Kansas hotel, where 114 people fell to their death? During construction
a modification to the original design was approved by an engineer and
incorporated into the structure.
An engineer made a mistake. He didn't lie, it was a mistake. We all
make them. When a mistake is realized, it should be brought to the
attention of those involved regardless of the consequences. To cover a
mistake is unethical, and possibly criminal. The engineer responsible
for the Kansas hotel bridge failure lost his license, but he didn't go to
jail - he made an honest mistake.
We should strive to be transparent before God and man. Rare indeed is
the man who achieves this level of honesty. "When Jesus saw Nathanael
approaching, he said of him, 'Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is
nothing false.' "
I reiterate, the consequences for a mistake in the world of construction
are potentially catastrophic for a business and a career; the
consequences for a mistake or misinterpretation in the world of academia,
especially historical science, are virtually non-existent.
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