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Re: Not-well-thought-out Paleo-positions.

At 12:00 AM 22/08/97 -0800, you wrote:
>Paleo-types are not getting the point. All the whining about raptor-this
>and t-rex that isn't going to change human nature. Sorry. You can toss and
>turn all you want but it isn't going to change. This position is not well
>thought out.
I think the point you may have missed is that the arguement about not liking
the pop culture dinosaurs IS well thought out.  It just disagrees with your
opinion.  An expert in anything will try to give the correct information to
the world whenever they see the subject they are so fond of being screwed
up.  When the children pronounce words wrong in my class, do math problems
incorrectly, or label their "parts of the body" sheet in an incorrect manner
(no matter what words are used at home), I correct them.  The children can
call a Triceratops a "trike" all they like, PROVIDED they know the real
information.  This is the point of education.  We try very hard to make sure
the children are at least exposed to correct information.  Children (this
goes allong with a recent post by Mr. Olshevsky) learn everything on their
own.  A teacher's job is to try to focus the children in particular
directions.  We try to expose them to as much as possible, hoping that some
of it sinks in.  One cannot be forced to learn.

>No one cares about dinosaurs as much as dinosaur people do. They don't care
>about the distinction between Deinonychus and Velociraptor and nothing is
>going to change that because they don't really give the whole issue a
>second thought.
This is why people who are passionate about a subject should speak up.  If
we do not, only false information will be learned.

>Blurring of the line between science and pop culture? I don't see how that
>is possible regardless of this "issue". There are scientists and
>non-scientists and that's probably the way it's always been and always will
>be. Is one side winning and the other side losing? I don't think so. I
>think science is more in danger of becoming a religion than it is of being
>killed off by the pop culture media. Beware of DOGMA!!
The problem with pop culture is that most people see it as truth.  If you do
not think this is a problem, then why do any research?  We are always trying
to clarify points or theories, until they resemble reality the closest.  The
whole point is not to just fill technical journals, but to spread correct
information.  If pop culture is going against this process, should we not
speak up?

>Hey, I also said some nice things about your work. Gotta take the bad with
>the good. Sorry if you were offended. "Chowderhead" is supposed to be a
>light-hearted characterization. When I state these opinions I don't mean
>that I think you or anyone *is* a "chowderhead" or "stupid" or "juvenile".
>I mean that in my opinion someone is *displaying* attributes of "stupidity"
>or "immaturity" or "chowder". No one is stupid all the time or immature all
>the time. I sometimes use colorful metaphors because they illustrate the
>thought more powerfully and I often feel very passionate about some of the
>discussions here.
Part time chowderhead, metaphor, or a result of passion are not good excuses
for name calling.  It gets the discussion nowhere.  I do not wish to attack
any person, but can we try to keep it a bit more professional.  Always
remember, ideas are separate from the person in hypotheses.  We can like the
person, but hate the idea.

>Please don't be offended and no one should take
>these views as a personal attack.
When somebody is called a chowderhead, it is hard not to take it personally.


"the truth is, I don't really care how the dinosaurs died.
I'm interested in how they lived."  (Dr. John R. Horner,
from the Complete T.rex, 1993)
The two most common elements in the universe are
hydrogen and stupidity.