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To all members of this list,
It seems that my post on the classification has alarmed and maybe offended
the wrong people. With all the crosstalk going on about ameteurs vs
professional paleontologist, I soon realized that the term ameteur meant
different things to different people. In the interest of defending those
persons who in one form or another contribute directly to the advancement of
paleontology, Types 1-3 were erected. In NO WAY was it intended to offend
anyone that falls into these catagories since they perform a POSITIVE
A caveat to this is the Type 3b who through ignorance or lack of experience
may unknowingly be performing a disservice to the field . Through outreach
programs and friendly contact with the professionals (sensu lato) these people
could move up the rank and eventually contribute a net positive to
paleontology, before they could become Type 4's. The dividing line between
the "good guys" and the "bad guys" is marked by the Type 3-4 boundary.
The heiradchy was so constructed so as to direct the reader's and lists
attention to the real culprit, Type 4. These should not be equated with
ameteurs no matter how you rank them. They are an outgroup to the main clade
of paleontologists (Type 1-3). A Type 4 does not deserve to be even called a
paleontologist. For the sake of clarity and thanks to several individuals who
were both constructive and non-flaming, I will ammend category 4.
Type 4 Non-Paleontologist
Any person who willingly and knowingly who for reasons of greed and profit,
trespass, steal, raid, and damage areas of scientific
importance.Specifically, these are persons who destroy the scientific value
of a fossil, steal from sites and now museums for black market purposes, and
_ DO NOT_ contribute to the advancement of paleontology.
Not all for-profit brokers would fall in this category if they are able to
prove that their specimens are certifiably legally acquired and accompanied
with essential geologic and paleontologic information.
Neither do ANY other persons or organizations that are employed or
contracted by museums and institutions fall into Type 4.
It should by now be obvious that we (Types 1-3) should be collaborating on
how to deal with Type 4 behavior. It is not fair to lump ameteurs with Type
4's and was my point!
My apologies to anyone who was, is, or will be offended by my original post.
It does NOT extend to Type 4's ! You do have to admit it brought out several
lurkers and sparked beneficial discussion:)
Thomas R. Lipka