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missing a point



We're getting some overreaction from people here that others have 
commented on from time to time.  To wit:

Dinogeorge wrote (02/07/96; 12:38p):

>The term "suprafamilial group" is far less specific than "superfamily." 
It
>could denote a group of any Linnaean rank above family, such as order, 
>class, or phylum.

Of course it's not very specific.  Just what's needed here.

>Ornithomimosauroidea and Arctometatarsaliuroidea would be invalid 
>superfamily names, because there are no genera named _Ornithomimosaurus_ 
and
>_Arctometatarsaliurus_.
 
I don't know about the rest of you, but I hurridly wrote my previous 
posting out, because I have lots of other stuff to do.  When people take 
the trouble to respond to something I posted and a reply seems 
appropriate, I feel I should.  Yes, of course, GO is correct, and I could 
see how the rule would be applied as soon as he reminded me a couple of 
days ago.  I know there are no such genera.  Good lord, is this all you 
guys do?

Then, Stan Friesen wrote (02/07/96; 11:50a; after I wrote my last 
posting):

>From: "King, Norm" <nking.ucs@smtp.usi.edu>
>> 
>> RULES? RULES?  I don't need no stinking rules!

>If you wish to present your structure as a real biological
>classification, using the established categories and formal names,
>than you had better follow the rules, or you will be lying to your
>audience.

That was a joke.  Didn't you see the movie?

>Simplifying for the public is one thing - but making false statements
>is quite another, and claiming that a Superfamily Arctometatarsalia
>exists is indeed a false statement.

>swf@elsegundoca.attgis.com         sarima@netcom.com

>The peace of God be with you.

Lying?  Making false statements.  Geez!--I've already shown that I want 
to get it correct.  That's why I laid it out for comments.  I hope I have 
a solution that is correct AND understandable for a reasonably 
intelligent layperson.  I can't believe you put "The peace of God be with 
you" after that.  I hope YOU find it!  Loosen up, man!   

--------------------------------

NOW, FOR "MISSING A POINT:"

We all know that the American public is turned off and tuned out about 
science.  I can tell you that mentioning every detail, using just the 
right word, quibbling over taxonomic boundaries, accusing people of 
purposeful misrepresentation--and making a big deal out of all of 
that--is not going to endear a paleontologist, or the science of 
paleontology, to the public.  It'll downright turn them off.  They wonder 
what could be more trivial.  Not only that, but the vocabulary is almost 
unpenetrable.  They won't even try.  

But I think that this stuff ought to be accessible for everyone.  Yes, 
EVERYONE!  It's interesting.  It's even kind of fun.  Let's bring some 
more people out there along with us.  I'm not sure what you guys are 
wanting me to do, but I'm not going to become someone who will make 
people say:  "What kind of a science is paleontology?," or "What happened 
to this guy on the way to becoming a scientist?" that made him this way?  
And then "I'm not like that, so guess I'll do something else!"  They 
don't think much of people who can get so uptight about all this.  The 
reaction goes something like, "GET A LIFE!"

We don't need to start teaching cladistics of ICZN rules in middle 
school.  We also don't need it in a college course for general science 
students (I talk about both, nevertheless--how else could you explain 
_Brontosaurus_ or why some people consider birds to be dinosaurs?).  If 
you think this is important to the world at large, you're simply out of 
touch.

I hope I can ask for more opinions on this stuff here, because I want to 
incorporate the latest word, and translate it (correctly!) to my 
audience.  I'm aware that even _The Dinosauria_ is out of date, and isn't 
even necessarily authoritative on a lot.  If you all are bothered by my 
inquiries, and would rather clutter the list with jokes about sauropod 
gasbags, I'll go away.  I thought that what I'm trying to use this list 
for would be an idealistically good use for it.

Can't wait to read the responses to this.  I really hope that only a few 
of you out there have been troubled(!) by my postings.

--------------------------------

Does someone have a reference on just what muscles were attached to the 
theropod pubic boot, and what function they had?

*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
Norman R. King                                       tel:  (812) 464-1794
Department of Geosciences                            fax:  (812) 464-1960
University of Southern Indiana
8600 University Blvd.
Evansville, IN 47712                      e-mail:  nking.ucs@smtp.usi.edu