[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]
Re: Baucus Bill
______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: Baucus Bill
Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org at
Date: 9/28/95 3:49 PM
Fossils are not mere curios to be bought/traded and made into jewelry and
dust-gathering knick-knacks. If a fossil ends up in a museum, there is a
chance that someday it will be studied by a scientist, even 100 years from
now. An important fossil in an amateur collection is lost to science.
However, the vast majority of fossils are common enough that no one objects
to it being in private hands. By pushing this issue with rather strong
rhetoric, people like Mr. Poling will end up alienating the scientific
community and amateur paleontology will end up regulated as harshly as
archaeology. In short, amateurs should be learning about the science of
paleontology, not just collecting dust gatherers. Professional
paleontologists in turn should be educating the public.
I agree with you in that no one should be insulting the very people whose
LIVELYHOOD is dependant on fossils-whether in collections or no.
make the science we all crave happen. The rules they request to make their
studies easier are important guidelines we should all hold dear.
However,I object to the seeming exclusion of uneducated amateurs from
collecting. Fossil collecting and it's history throughout, up to, and
including the last few years has been an amateur thing, as well as a
professional thing. If we amateurs had never bothered to collect because it
wasn't something we were trained in and science didn't want us to, science
wouldn't have the first icthyosaur, iguanodon, archeopteryx, etc. which were
all discovered by amateurs before the importance of the finds were recognised
by anyone WITH training, and before the science was even invented.
Paleontology's own history would not exist without amateurs' interest in
something outside their own training.
Heck, Leonardo Da Vinci collected fossils!!!!!!
I suggest that in all likelihood, the fossil collections in the British Museum
and Yale were GRANDLY supported by the private collections of Victorians that
used fossils as the very knick-knacks you abhor.
I wouldn't want to go out merely to make a knick-knack out of a very nice
fossil, but I would like to go out and collect with what understanding I have
of the subject, ignorant or not, and donate, deliver, collect for a museum if
I know more than most average joes about fossil collecting, but then more
average joes have collected fossils than I have. Don't just forbid them from
it. Train them. As part of the school kid training, maybe, like "Don't pick
it up if it looks brittle" or "if it looks like a dead thing, go get an adult"