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The Dinosaur Egg Debate
One thing is for certain in relation to this question; we will never stop
people collecting fossils. Part of my own enjoyment, which is shared by
many others is the excitement and enjoyment of holding and touching
something that links us back across so many millions of years.
Even people who have no immediate interest in fossils, dinosaurs, etc. etc.
are suddenly fascinated by something which is tangible and real. Museums
provide a wonderful stage on which these wonders may be presented. For some
of us however being in the audience leaves us unsatisfied, wanting more. It
is here that fossil collecting meets a need that many of us posses. It can
not be ignored by those so affected.
So driven by an interest and a need to experience fossils at first hand
many people collect from fossil sites or purchase them. Some people may
even go on to become professional palaeontologist, inspired by a simple
ammonite picked up on a beach or tooth purchased from a fossil fair.
I believe that the palaeontologist, the child on the beach, the
professional collector/seller can work creatively and positively together.
None of them is more important than the other, one is the root that feeds
the branch that holds the leaf.
I would much rather look at ways of making the relationships between the
various parties work and become a source of further education and
enjoyment. Simply trying to prevent or curtail the activities of another
will not work. That energy or motivation which drives them/us in the first
place should harnessed and utilised.
How do we begin this process, how do we head towards this utopia? Well, we
should view this challenge as a journey and not as a destination, it will
never end and will need constant revision and constant work.
We should begin with the premise of trying to create relationships that
work between these various bodies, compromise and support being the key
issues I believe, something that we as people can occasionally be very good
For me personally its a case of looking at what I am doing and asking some
Of what assistance can I be to my colleagues and friends in this field of
How can I share with others what I know and have learnt?
Are my actions detrimental to knowledge and understanding of this science?
If so stop, immediately.
Are my actions detrimental to the environment? If so stop, immediately.
If I do this, no matter what my background, I believe I contribute both to
the science but also to people who share my interests. I approach all
people with these issues in mind and look to try and create relationships
which foster these believes. In this way I may begin to create an alliance
between all concerned which benefits everybody. Idealist? Perhaps, but if
we each do our little bit and approach each situation with these positive
intentions we can only do good for the benefit of all concerned and the
furtherance of this science.
Finally a parable. A man owned a small plot of land, through which a stream
ran. Every spring salmon ran up stream and through the mans plot of land.
The man took exception to this, the stream was rightfully his and he should
decide who used it or swam through it. So he decided to try and stop the
salmon. At first he set nets and traps, but this only caught a few. It was
the nature of the salmon to run up steam no matter what. Frustrated by his
efforts, the man struck on the perfect solution, he built a damn. The
salmon were stopped, but then so was the river.
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