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The ARN Approach

Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.

To seek the truth. Our first job is to examine the truth--not persuade others of our current version of the truth. We all have a world-view through which we filter the facts, and we all get caught up in persuasion. But when we do persuade, we must be careful not to use flawed, outdated or uninformed arguements--for when they are discovered, they discredit everything we say in the future. We would rather err on the side of being too cautious than too persuasive.

The first to present his case seems right, until another comes forward to question him.

To be critical. We cannot work in the scientific and technical arena without learning to be critical--critical of our friends, our opponents, and ourselves. As humans, we are often tempted to be more lenient with our own ideas than the ideas of others. By encouraging dialog and debate, we have tried to address this problem in our publications.

A fool finds no pleasure in understanding, but delights in airing his own opinions.

To be open-minded. Scientific knowledge is constantly changing. We cannot hope to practice science by clinging to yesterday's evidence when today's evidence brings us fresh insight. To be sure, we must learn to recognize the "filters" through which others are sifting their data. But we shouldn't discard data simply because it conflicts with our preconceptions.

Before his downfall a man's heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.

To be humble. The fact that science often deals with circumstantial evidence, the fact that more evidence may turn up tomorrow, and the fact that we all make mistakes should work together to keep us humble. We don't have all the answers, and we shouldn't talk as if we do. We must be ready to admit our mistakes and face the fact that we will make them.

The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.

To be kind. We want to assume the best about people who disagree with us and allow them every opportunity to defend themselves.

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