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Re: Fossil Ownership

Forgot to send this to the list, so I'm forwarding:
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Jeff Poling wrote:
> At 03:24 PM 12/14/96 -0500, Gothgrrl@aol.com wrote:

>> Private collections, being inherently less stable than public
>> collections, should, generally, never be the focus of scientific
>> publications, and especially not publications wherein new taxa are
>> described.
>    So if "Sinosauropteryx" was in a Japanese businessman's private
> collection, analyses should not be published?  That's patently
> ridiculous.  I understand you don't think fossils should be
> privately owned, but going to the point of obstructing scientific
> understanding while fossils are still privately owned is nuts.

Caitlin can probably correct me on this if I'm wrong, but I got the
impression that she meant that, as a practical matter, it would be a
lot more difficult to evaluate it, especially if it's really valuable.
First you have to get Mr. Yamamoto's permission to even look at
Sinsauropteryx.  Can we take it back to the center, Yamamoto-san, or
do we need to look at it in the lobby?  Then, regardless of where
you're analyzing it, you are treading on eggshells with his expensive
hunk of matrix and bone.  You'd naturally be a little more inquisitive
and spirited in your analysis of a fossil if it didn't belong to
someone who paid some big bundle of dough for it.  Maybe I'm wrong
here; since I'm not a professional, degreed paleontologist, my opinion
is probably pretty dumb.  All of us non-pros should keep that in mind!

Jeff, from our private posts you've made it clear that Homo Sapiens is
#1 in your book.  Remember that Caitlan is a Homo Sapiens!  It hurts
to have your ideas called "patently ridiculous" and "nuts". Ouch!  :)


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