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The Goddess Theory

July 30, 1989

I was disturbed by the tone Jacques Leslie took regarding archeologists who disagree with Marija Gimbutas' vivid picture of prehistoric life in southeastern Europe ("The Goddess Theory," June 11). Leslie is prepared to render those archeologists as boring scholars "who think that archeology is legitimate only to the degree that it is grounded in science"--as if this were a horrible insult?

Archeologists must fight their desire to be flightful because other archeologists--and, more important, the general public--assume that what they propose has scientific grounds. The information generated by archeologists is considered scientific, and, as a result (rightly or wrongly) is often accepted as fact.

Scientists of any kind have a responsibility to indicate the degree of certainty with which they are able to make claims or generate hypotheses, and they should be applauded when doing so, not condescended to.

MONICA GYULAI

Van Nuys

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