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Citations and references in technical papers tend to be for things like where data came from, where an idea was proposed, where methodology was described, where a line of argumentation was made, where a fossil was formally described, and other things along those lines.If the reader doubts that papers only rarely use quotes or wants to see for themselves how how scientists use the work of other scientists there is a simple solution.When someone -- no matter what kinds of degrees, qualifications, prestige, or honors he has -- is quoted to support a proposition, it does not imply that the proposition is true.
It is not merely the authority's opinion that should be used, but rather the authority's evidence, interpretations of evidence, and lines of reasoning that should be used.
Furthermore, one cannot ignore the evidence and lines of reasoning of authorities with different views.
Real scientific argumentation only rarely involves the use of quotes as anyone who has ever looked at scientific papers or publications knows.
When an argument is based on evidence there is little need for frequent quotations.
However, the antievolutionist use of quotes is invalid and does not in any way provide evidence for creationism or against evolution.
The reasons for this fall into several major categories: the use of quotations often is a fallacy of "argument from authority," selective quotation may be occurring, the quotations are often out-of-date, the quoted authorities are often not appropriate authorities, evolution deniers are sometimes not honest in representing who the people they quote are, and many of the quotations are misquotations.
The young-earth creationists in particular are arguing that most of mainstream science is wrong.
A few of them propose that is it very close to all being wrong, including most of physics and chemistry.
Some of my colleagues and myself have been amused and amazed to read ourselves quoted in a way showing that we are really antievolutionists under the skin." ne of the favorite tactics of evolution deniers and other pseudoscientists is to use numerous quotations to make their case.