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another lurking professional



Chip Pretzman sent me the following a couple of days ago; I'm
forwarding it to you guys with his permission:

  Date: Wed, 25 Oct 1995 15:12:30 -0400
  To: rowe@lepomis.psych.upenn.edu
  From: cpretzma@postbox.acs.ohio-state.edu (Chip Pretzman)
  Subject: Re: Naming new dinos

  >From Graeme Worth:
  >> As an amateur in the field I'm impressed by the qualifications of
  >> many correspondents - what has occured to me, though, is why aren't
  >> there more of the professionals online?
  >
  >From M. Rowe in reply:

  > Graeme, there are probably a lot more professionals who are aware
  > of this list than subscribe to it, and there are definitely more
  > that subscribe to it than actively participate in it.  I think the
  > main reason for both is that research is an incredibly
  > time-consuming occupation, and few have the heart, soul and
  > temperament to deal with both an active research life and the
  > public service that participation on this list generally
  > represents for them.<

  Welcome Graeme! And Mickey, you are absolutely right, most
  professionals do not have the time to read all of the mail through
  this server.  I let it pile up for three days and then spend half a
  day reading it, give up because of time constraints, and miss all of
  the good stuff.  Other pros probably feel the same way, or just skim
  thru the listings picking out what looks interesting by way of
  title.
  
  Also, I have a feeling that if a Horner or Ostrom or others of that
  level showed up, the mail would increase exponentially! <GG>
  
  I am a molecular geneticist at The Ohio State University, Laboratory
  of Evolutionary Genetics.  I follow the evolutionary discussions
  more than the morphology discussions, and was especially interested
  in Graeme's comments on how a true species is determined. Indeed how
  can branching points in a tree be determined from the fossil record,
  which is replete with disarticulated material.  There are many
  questions that the fossil record will probably never be able to
  answer.  The basis for this shortcoming is that pattern genes that
  determine phenotype only represent 1 to 2% of any organisms' genome.
  Physiological genes account for the vast remainder, and these genes
  and their products/effects are invisible in the fossil
  record.....well almost.
  
  Without being too premature, let me say that I am very very
  close. Being a molecular geneticist with a very extensive collection
  of professionally identified bones, and a new DNA extraction
  technique, there may soon be answers to the various questions that
  have longed plaqued the field.
  
  I am close to publishing, and will keep you all informed as
  circumstances permit.
  
  Meanwhile, I really enjoy reading all of the missives, but please
  understand that it may be a rare occasion when I have time enough to
  respond or comment or chat.
  
  Cheers
  
  -Chip Pretzman
  
  PS- It would be nice if certain people would concatenate their
  answers to other people, and not waste five messages answering one
  person who wrote five paragraphs. This would cut down the work on
  the part of us for whom time is scarce.