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Hello all,

I know I'm new to the list (and I don't post much) so I hope you will forgive
me for a slightly off topic post.

I've seen this big running argument referring to the laypeople.  Well, here
is a layperson.  I find dinosaurs interesting, but not so much that I will
make a career out of them (i drift more towards primate evolution and
behavior), but always an interest and a hobby.  Perhaps I can help to absolve
this argument, since i am a layperson.  Jurrassic Park and The Lost World
were entertaining.  Unfortunately it was presented as loaded with facts
(although my professors were quick to point out the mistakes made in JP and
TLW as well as many other movies (such as volcano)), and for those of us who
haven't yet acquired the technical knowledge we tend to believe.  This was a
bad thing for Speilberg to do, but there really isn't much that can be done
about it except to try to educate the masses.  As a result, raptors has
become a  household word.  Instead of complaining about it, use it to your
advantage.  Use the word raptor to get your audience of non-paleopeople's
attention, and then point out the problems.  as for the
Brontosaurus/Apatosaurus thing, most of us grew up with Brontosaurus, and the
general public doesn't care enough to learn that it has changed.  Use the
common terms to get the public's attention then correct them.  When I am
talking about my beloved bonobos, I will refer to them as a pygmy chimp, from
there I tell them the differences.  If I were to walk up and start going on
about _Pan paniscus_ (kinda put on the spot here, sure hope i got it right)
no one is going to know or care what I am talking about.

Now, I've also noticed a lot of name calling here.  This is so
unprofessional. Remember, there are laypersons on this list, think of how
this looks towards your profession.  It reminds me of a bunch of damn
creationists.  There is no need (in an intelligent and mature conversation)
to revert to such unprofessionalism as name calling.

Finally, up towards the top is the email address of the letter.  Use it.  It
is understandable that these posts are going to veer off, but the discussion
of our education system is a bit far from dinosaurs.  And for some reason, my
mailbox can only hold a limited number of mail (i'm working on fixing that)
and I am missing some posts so that I can read these messages that have
nothing to do with the reason I'm on this list. (I really hope my paragraph
on off topic posts wasn't too hyppocritical)

Now, quit acting childish.  be the professionals you are supposed to be and
help to educate the uneducated (i have learned a few things since i've been

Thank you for indulging my raving