Re: Pseudoscience marches on

Gordon C. Snelling (72203.127@CompuServe.COM)
30 Mar 94 23:24:56 EST

here's another note re: the pseudoscience debate i posted the other day,as
always there are two sides of the story, it will be interesting to see
just where this ends.

--- Forwarded Message ---

Reply to: Re: Pseudoscience marches on
To: Multiple recipients of list <>

I don't know who this Joel Preisler (72767,401) is, but good grief!
Does he really believe everything he reads in the newspapers? To say
this guy was naieve would be a great understatement. The Twits in the
media don't really care whether they have the facts straight, they
only care if they have a STORY!!! And as many of you in science who
have had dealings with the media, trying to explain fine points about
decibels and frequencies and the physiological effects on marine
animals can be just a bit difficult. I herewith pass on a note from
one of my colleagues at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography that
hopefully should clarify some of the issues raised in Preisler's
exceedingly ill-informed message. As a scientist, I deplore seeing
such rubbish as Preisler's note on internet and hope that people would
please use a more critical approach to science issues that appear in
the popular press (the same people who brought us Cold Fusion ).


As for the L.A. Time article - a dirty deal by the Times and
unjustifiable bad publicity for SIO. A public hearing was being held
in Washnigton D.C. concerning the permits for the operation (ATOC =
Acoustic Thermometry of Ocean Climate) on Monday, the 21st (an
academic and administrative holiday at UCSD). It was some officers of
the Internaitonal Cetacean Society that got hold of the Times science
writer, and their side of the story is all he heard (he writes that no
one could be contacted at SIO, implying that we weren't talking, but
it was a holiday here and the principals were in Washington anyway!).
As you will recall, this was to be the next step following the Heard
Island Experiment of a few years ago, headed up by Walter Munk and
during which there were plenty of marine mammal observers and no
untoward responces were observed. In fact, apparently a cruise ship
produces more sound and then at depths where most of the marine
mammals are found. Walter Munk addressed a general meeting at SIO
yesterday afternoon and I'll FAX you a copy of one of the handouts.

I am appalled by the distortions in the e-mail message, as in the
Times article, but am thankful you sent it.

Best regards,


William A. Newman, Ph.D.
Professor, Scripps Institution of Oceanography