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Raptor Unread and T. rex Gangrene



Hello all,

With the sensations associated with a root canal I have just read the
posting suggesting that Ranger Bob's fictional work is great for this field
of science. If that's true let us just pretend the dinosaurs all died at
noon (CST)  last saturday from boredom. Whew, that was easier than any of
us ever imagined, wasn't it?! While we're at it let's pretend all the mass
extinctions were caused by the same thing. I feel so good for contributing
so deeply to paleontology, now send me my sheepskin, someone.

I suppose this is true, if you want the great unwashed masses to believe
that paleontology is whatever you think it is. We need professionals to
gather the facts and present them in a professional manner. Horner's
contention that T. rex was NOT a predator is good for this field of study,
when hard proof exist that it was? Does science allow for imagination when
it departs from fact? I think at this point it departs from science and
becomes entertainment. Entertainment does not equal science, and when that
becomes the standard the media will satrt issuing PhD.'s. What's worse is
these people know much better, or should at least.

There is MUCH more we can do in this field than pretend. Otherwise the good
science we do becomes secondary, as seen through the imagination promoted
as fact for popular consuption. If all that matters is popularity to
advance paleontology I'll start writing books about the dating habits of
dinoosaurs, and target the teen market. "Young Edmontosaurs in Love", or
"Nanotyrannosaur Nuggies", what do you think?

Speculation, argument, study, peer review, research, field work, specimen
preperation,  and straining for years to become a Dr. of paleontology
insinuates a deeper desire than makin' a buck. I contend that the ONLY
reason either JP or Raptor Red were ever done was for the dollars involved.
Well done? You bet! Science? No way in H___!!!

Sure intertainment has its place, and the public gobblesit up, but to say
these works of fiction actually contribute to paleontology is a work of
fiction in and of itself. To me the important thing for paleontology, in
the eyes of the public, is accurate consistant presentation of facts. Make
up stories, name dinosaurs whatever suits you, present vague ideas as fact,
and you wind up with a confused public. This "advancement" is the kind that
takes years to correct. Sorry S.S. Lazarus, but a series of "Raptor Reds"
would do more harm than all the "Land Before Time" and "Lion King" tpye
products the industry could crank out in 20 years.

Roger A. Stephenson
rstephen@cswnet.com