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Re: “Scott of the Antarctic: Glorious Failure?

I forgot to mention, in addition to the 4 days of non-existent blizzard, Cherry-Garrard claimed Dimitri Gerof, the dog driver, faked illness for 2 additional days, thus extending the delay for Cherry-Garrard to 6 days, almost the limit of his endurance before he would have to turn back (assuming he didn't kill the weaker dogs for food). So Cherry-Garrard's account of the First Relief Party is highly suspicious and smacks of him covering up after Scott's body was found, at which point he would have known the distance between himself and Scott.

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Posted by Kristoffer on 05/02/2012 at 7:04 PM

Re: “Scott of the Antarctic: Glorious Failure?

H.L.J., defensive much? I never even mentioned Huntford. As for Karen May's alleged “discovery”, Huntford has already stated on page 457 of his book (The Last Place On Earth, 1999 edition) that Scott had changed the orders for the dogs verbally to Lt. Evans. He goes on further to say on page 520 that in the crisis of saving Lt. Evans from scurvy, that Lt. Evans forgot them. Thus, May's little strawman is refuted. Cherry-Garrard's own account of the First Relief Party is extremely suspicious, given that he records 4 days of blizzard with no corresponding blizzard reported by Captain Scott until March 10, and the timing of the blizzards, which occur just when he could have reached Scott from his position in under 5 days (with 14 days food left for men and 17 left for the dogs, after starting out with 21 for men and 24 for the dogs, as per The Worst Journey in the World) suggests that he knew the distance between himself and Scott. In other words, it smacks of an ex post facto cover-up by Cherry-Garrard. Barry, you have fallen victim to a classic example of rewriting of the facts. The articles that talk about Scott's Glossopteris fossil have the same reasoning: In order for plate tectonics/whatever variant to be proven, a Glossopteris fossil had to be found in Antarctica. Scott found one there. Therefore Scott proved whatever variant of the argument. This is a logical fallacy call affirmation of the consequent, with a long record of abuse, first defined and refuted by Aristotle in his Sophistici Elenchi: “A consequent gives rise to fallacy because the consecution of consequent and antecedent seems reciprocal. If ? follows from A we imagine that A must follow from B. Hence mistaken perception in sensation, as when gall is mistaken for honey because it is yellow ; and because rain wets the ground, wetness of the ground is supposed a proof of rain.” ( Aside from D.J. Beerling's undocumented claims in his book The Emerald Planet: How Plants Shaped Earths' History, there is no evidence that Scott's Glossopteris fossiil was ever used. In fact, if one looks at the actual history of plate tectonic theory, one will see that the fossil failed utterly to resolve anything, and likely would have been regarded with suspicion: This link indicates how Glossopteris fossils found in Russia were misidentified. This would have opened Scott's fossil to attack. This link does a good job of illustrating the skepticism still in place about plate tectonics, and has these prophetic words: “When these numerous problems are viewed together, emphasis that has been placed on the Glossopteris flora as “compelling evidence” of once-continuous lands seems dangerously near the unscientific procedure of selecting evidence to support a favored theory.”

Posted by Kristoffer on 05/02/2012 at 4:45 PM

Re: “Scott of the Antarctic: Glorious Failure?

I hate to break it to you Barry, but the analysis of weather which you mention (Susan Solomon's article and book) has been debunked. I recommend you take a look at these articles:

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Posted by Kristoffer on 03/29/2012 at 8:58 AM

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