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Morality and Science

Hi Andrew,
        Welcome back. As your post addresses several areas, I'll answer the following comments re morality and science. As one of the people involved in the Origin of Sports Discussion, I am one of the ones spoken of.
or "He has a different moral ethic than that to which I subscribe, so I will discount his work".
It will NEVER be resolved by us because we are not a jury and thus are rendered incapable of reaching an unbiased verdict on this matter
.  I would also offer a "caveat emptor" to any would seek participation in a Hosta genetics discussion with the soul purpose of berating a fellow member or even worse, the discussion moderator.   If NONE wish to be part of the discussion because I am being a bully, then so be it, but I am not inclined to coddle those whose sole agenda appears to be salacity, moral decadence, slander, libelous innuendoes, or waste our time by being flip.
.  I hope it's still a free country, even if not a free world.
     The first statement is one that I posted on, so this may be concerning that post. I said that his earlier commission of plagiarism did not negate his theories. They are totally separate. A theory is an idea as to how something happens. The problem with the plagiarism issue is that it concerns the honest reporting of facts, research, etc. I won't get into any specific examples, but the issue is honesty, not the soundness of theories. Plagiarism is considered very important in academic circles for this reason. It can destroy a career. If Jim Hawes took his case to the proper authorities as you and others have suggested, Ben could find his career destroyed and his life ruined. Be careful what you ask for. Jim wanted to settle it "within the community" so Ben could learn the error of his ways in a much less destructive manner. Ben has the option of offering a simple apology, which I'm sure would satisfy Jim,
and it would go no further. This done, Ben could begin the process of rebuilding his good name. If we don't have the patience to let people work their way through difficult times, at least we should refrain from egging them into further trouble. If some complain that they don't find the problems of others to be interesting entertainment, they can always delete without opening posts on subjects they don't like.
      I, for one, applaud Jim for his patience and generosity in allowing Ben time to work his way around to greater understanding without submitting him to the much higher consequences of turning it over to higher authorities. To write someone off as not worth the effort is the ultimate condemnation. When this happens, the community has failed that person. It is necessary sometimes, human nature being what it is, but let's not rush to judgment on that. You say we are not a jury, but then you offer judgment. You have judged Ben deserving of relegation to a higher court, that he does not deserve a chance to work it out here in this community. You should know the consequences if he is found guilty are serious ones.
      It's still a free country, Andrew, and you and others can pretend there is no right and wrong, that only the level of civility should count. I must say though that the harshest, coldest judgment I've seen on the open has come from people who claim they do not judge others, as if this were some worthwhile goal. Pictures or scientific data or hostas from your yard, theft is wrong. We all know that. The real question is: Do we give the perpetrators another chance, or do we throw them away?
                                                                                                                ......Bill Meyer 
BTW- The American Hosta Society does NOT have in its bylaws any provision for denying or revoking membership on ANY grounds. Maybe we should think about why.

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