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Amber, etc., for sale

Bruce Mortenson -
        Did you make any attempt to inquire whether the specimens you 
assumed to be "scientifically valuable" were in fact exceptional? Did you 
check to see whether information on provenance, taphonomy, etc., had been 
preserved? Or did you just assume the worst, curse the evil profiteers, 
and go quietly away?
        If the collectors and preparators were responsible, your post 
does them an injustice (and may hurt their business unfairly, considering 
the way you posted it). If they were NOT responsible, you missed a chance 
to - pardon the old flower-child term - "raise their consciousness" about 
what they were doing. And it doesn't take confrontation. A fossil PLUS
PROVENANCE is (and of right ought to be) much more valuable than a mere
chunk of rock that appears to be shaped like a bone. Smart collectors can
see this. Support the smart, cooperative ones and let the dumb ones starve.
        Banning commercial collection, or making the collectors pariahs,
is the Wrong Thing. Anguishing over every crinoid ring, every bit of Baltic
amber, is the Wrong Thing. Encouraging collectors, whether they are
commercial or noncommercial, amateur or pro, to preserve the scientific
value of potentially-important fossils is the Right Thing. And so is 
staying friendly with the people who share your passion.

 Steve Jackson - yes, of SJ Games - yes, we won the Secret Service case
Learn Web or die - http://www.io.com/sjgames/ - dinosaurs, Lego, Kahlua!
          The heck with PGP keys; finger for Geek Code. Fnord.