Dictionary of Arguments


Philosophical and Scientific Issues in Dispute
 
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Entry
Reference
Geology Bretz Gould I 204 ff
Geology/J. Harlen Bretz/Gould: Question: whether the Grand Canyon has gradually emerged. J. Harlen Bretz (1923) thesis: the canyon was formed by a single gigantic flood wave of melt water. The water masses would have eaten into the earth several hundred meters deep and flowed off after a few days. (1)
Gould I 209
In fact, Bretz was confirmed decades later by geology. Today: majority opinion. A glacial lake in western Montana had emptied in a catastrophic manner. GouldVsBretz: Bretz had worked like an ant, but had come too close to the structures to see them: he did not notice the ripples in the riverbed. (See also Method/Gould, Receipt/Gould).
Gould I 210
Methods/Proofs/Gould: however, one has to see it in a more differentiated way. Events which, according to traditional wisdom, cannot "occur" are rarely recognized on the basis of collected evidence, they require a mechanism for their explanation after they can occur. The empirical evidence of that time seems plausible to us today, but it was not at that time because no acceptable force could be named that would have been able to move entire continents.

1. Bretz, G. H.,


Gould I
Stephen Jay Gould
The Panda’s Thumb. More Reflections in Natural History, New York 1980
German Edition:
Der Daumen des Panda Frankfurt 2009

Gould II
Stephen Jay Gould
Hen’s Teeth and Horse’s Toes. Further Reflections in Natural History, New York 1983
German Edition:
Wie das Zebra zu seinen Streifen kommt Frankfurt 1991

Gould III
Stephen Jay Gould
Full House. The Spread of Excellence from Plato to Darwin, New York 1996
German Edition:
Illusion Fortschritt Frankfurt 2004

Gould IV
Stephen Jay Gould
The Flamingo’s Smile. Reflections in Natural History, New York 1985
German Edition:
Das Lächeln des Flamingos Basel 1989