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Re: Brontosaursus

On Mar 23, 13:04, Bart Singer wrote:
} Subject: Re: Brontosaursus
> Larry Loen writes:
>      [lots of stuff deleted]
> > I can think of nothing _more_ confusing than the present case,
> > where I can still pick up different books freshly published that use
> > Brontosaurus and Apatasaurus.  Is it really worth it to spend
> > the next 50 years having to teach every school child about this
> > issue, or can the scientists rise above pedantry in this one
> > special case?
> I actually think that this is an excellent story for teaching children
> about dinosaurs, biological names, classification and the scientific
> process.  Over the next 50 years, only a few adults are going to continue 
> to be confused by this issue.  If handled correctly, this misnomer can 
> help school children learn a lot more about science  than simply learning
> the correct name of a dinosaur.
>-- End of excerpt from Bart Singer

Never underestimate the power of pedantry.

I think it far more likely to teach children that the names are the
important facts of paleontology, not evolution, not paleoecology, not
anything other than the species classification.  Witness the big flap a few
years ago over the "brontosaurus" stamp, and the fact that this issue keeps
cropping up here on a regular basis.


Bob Myers                               Unocal Energy Resources Division
Internet: Bob.Myers@st.unocal.com       P. O. Box 68076
Phone: [714] 693-6951                   Anaheim, California  92817-8076