Honesty is essential to the maintenance of creativity. Honesty with others will reduce self-deception. Honesty does not mean that everything known must be used or told. Honesty must be coupled with the proper evaluation to be complete. Accurate evaluation will make it easy to determine the best use.
When honesty has been practiced so long and with such diligence that it is automatic, judgments and estimates will be realistic. The resultant accuracy can contribute to the accuracy of derivative hypotheses.
The defense of honesty should include the careful labeling of humor. The unrealistic aspect of humor should not blend with the real and confuse, rather it should delight by its contrast. Thus the choice of humor should be determined by the audience, not the teller. Perhaps a sophisticated listener can discriminate on a very fine scale and appreciate what would be uniform and bland to the less sophisticated. So also, honesty is partially determined by the listener, be it self or someone else. Is it honesty to state something true when we know it is or will be misunderstood? If we are willing to state something it is pointless to say anything unless we are willing to say it clearly.
A cartoon to amplify the third sentence of the above quotation showed a woman and a man in their backyard, each talking over adjacent sides of the fence to another woman and another man. The quotation under the cartoon could be attributed to either one talking, it reads "I wish what went in Pat's ear went out the other ear instead of the mouth."
Honesty makes life easier when you don't have to clutter up your mind with lies or misinformation. It makes it easier to keep from believing what started out as a lie. It makes it easier to believe others; but evaluating information as it comes in may make it easier to reject untrue information.
A basic faith in the honesty of scientists made me look beyond the conflict of the view Gans and Northcutt present, as noted in blogs 16 and 17, June 23 and 24, 2013, and make the major discovery of how the two main groups of animals are linked. That view reestablishing the annelid theory of chordate origin has yet to be understood by my peers.
Joseph G. Engemann November 11, 2013