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Re: $$Sue$$

In a message dated 96-04-12 16:31:23 EDT, HILL.SHARON@a1.pader.gov wrote:

>I hardly know the whole story of the "Sue" T. Rex but I can't help
>but think how utterly appalling it is for the land owner to ask an
>outrageous amount in exchange for it. I was reading Jeff Poling's
>webpage article "For the Sake of Sue" and got a good idea about
>what's happening. That T. Rex died in an unfortunate place
>indeed. (Too bad it didn't croak on a more generous person's
>land). Obviously, he wants to be set for life instead of donating
>the specimen for study. It's a shame.

The government has stated, as far as I know, that the man may dispose
of the specimen as he sees fit. There's nothing wrong with him trying
to set himself up for life. That's what any rational person would do,
given such a windfall.  It would be wonderful if some
philanthropically inclined rich person or foundation purchased the
specimen from him at his asking price (more or less), then donated the
specimen to a qualified scientific institution. Such a rich entity
could well afford to give the specimen to science, but the present
owner certainly cannot. If scientists want to work on this specimen,
let them figure out some way to raise the money to pay for it.

I don't understand why the owners of such specimens must feel obliged
to "donate" them to the "noble cause" of science, or why some people
feel they should be so obliged. I've never been donated anything in my
adult life, and I don't expect to be. Indeed, altogether too much of
my adult life is spent avoiding the multitude of thieves out there
trying to _take away_ my money and my property for nothing. If he were
to donate the specimen to science, science would simply walk off with
it. A few scientists would publish a few papers on it (for which they
would be paid from various grants and other income sources), and he
would be left with nothing but, perhaps, a little plaque with his name
on it in some museum. And that would be that.