[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: missing a point

Thanks for your response, GO.  I also appreciate the responses others 
sent to my direct e-mail address.  Perspective is important, and while I 
don't want to bore people, here's some scoop that might help you see 
where I'm coming from:

I'm trying to be the best advocate I can for paleontology.  Paleontology 
really needs advocates right now--its survival is threatened in academia, 
as well as in government agencies.  Perhaps I understand the criticisms 
that have been leveled at paleontology because I'm not really a 
paleontologist.  I have used fossils extensively for biostratigraphic 
zonation and paleoenvironmental interpretations, but I am actually a 
physical stratigrapher.  Nevertheless, I am very comfortable with 
fossils, and some of my best friends are paleontologists!  My current 
research is on Pennsylvanian "cyclothems" (now called "sequences") of the 
Illinois basin, primarily using subsurface data such as geophysical logs. 
 So, from time to time, I CAN USE THE HELP!

This list actually worked well for coelurosaurs.  Now I can also see that 
my presentation on ceratosaurs needs work, and I suspect it will be 
different next time.  Sorry if my ideas don't please everyone.  I don't 
have all of the data, and it seems that very little out there in the 
literature is quite right.  There certainly are an abundance of differing 
opinions.  That means I'm going to be objectively wrong on certain 
things, and I can't even be sure in the published literature where 
objectivity ends and subjectivity sets in.  I actually do accept that 
birds are dinosaurs.  It's just that the rest of the world isn't quite 
there yet.  I can help ease people into that mindset, though, so we talk 
about the issue a lot in my class.

There clearly is a gap in taxonomy between what is needed to reflect 
concepts based on the cladistic paradigm (I may not be using that word 
correctly) and what is available in the established rules.  Relative to 
Stan Friesen's comments, I believe that we ought to begin doing what 
needs to be done.  Often times, things don't get changed willingly or 
quickly, yet we have work to do TODAY.  The inappropriate rules will 
ultimately have to be changed to reflect actual practice.  There's 
nothing sinister or dishonest about it.
It needs to be discussed calmly and rationally.  I hope you all keep 
trying to poke holes in what I suggest--the final product will be better 
for it.
So, this is the spirit in which my inquiries have been made.  Sorry for 
flaming up yesterday.  I couldn't very well kick my dog over this, so I 
kicked what seemed the most likely targets at the time.

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