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James Pindell and John Dewey reply to Keith James

To the Editor (Rec'd & Pub'd 9 February 2010)

Sir, We wish that we could say that we read Keith James's latest piece with interest, but it would be untrue. In our opinion, it is a litany of errors, misquotation, phrases twisted out of context, misunderstanding, inaccuracy, confusion, and pseudoscience that render it of no scientific account. Moreover, the points and misunderstandings that he raises have been rebutted and clarified succinctly and accurately by Iain Neill, whose work and opinions we fully endorse.

We find it sad that Dr James has descended to belittling Iain's work and youth in a sarcastic and condescending manner that has no place in scientific debate. We feel that a further scientific rebuttal of James's opinions is superfluous and counterproductive in that it could lend to his arguments a credibility that, in our view, they do not deserve.

It is telling that James needs to stray from quantitative kinematic rules, and acceptance of geological principles such as subduction zone metamorphism and geochemical definition of arc vs. continental crust, in order to force his model to "work". For this reason, we have decided to take no part in this artificial "debate" (which amounts to a handful of people failing to be able to appreciate how obvious the Pacific origin is) beyond this letter.

James urges Iain to learn to "think for himself"; he has done so, and, in so doing, has reached the correct negative opinion of the nonsensical "In-situ" model. Iain is a fine and committed young field geologist/petrologist/geochemist who has learned a lot about the Caribbean, and who does not deserve such rudeness.

We hope that Keith James does not really believe his (in our view) silly statement that we are hiding behind Iain's skirts. Dr James has been exposed to a wealth of solid data and arguments both for the Pacific origin and against the in-situ origin, at both his own meeting in Siguenza, Spain and also in Cardiff, Wales. If these venues and many others cannot correct his view of the Caribbean, then no amount of magazine-style "debate" ever will.

We wish him well.

John Dewey and Jim Pindell
  • Editor writes:  According to the rules by which Geoscientist moderates online debates, this withdrawal from the process by the "Pacific Origin" advocates concludes the Caribbean Debate.