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Re: Horner Talks



Darren Naish wrote:
>Well, little Jack Horner gave his talks at the BM the other day. I missed out,
>but I hear they were actually pretty good - even if the subject matter was the
>usual kind of stuff he covers (tyrannosaurs were scavengers, ceratopian
>bonebeds.

I'm sorry to be a dissapointment, my dear Darren... But the Horner talks
(specially the Saturday one, the one that promised a deconstruction of "The
Lost World"), were not precisely good.
I agree with many of Horner's analyses and I admire much of his work but at
the level of giving public talks he is not precisely brilliant... Boring it
was. There was a lot of lack of information and some misinformation in his
talks, specially when time came to speak about the technical errors on the
construction of the Dinosaurs in the Lost World (blaming all on Spielberg
correctly, but when asked about specifics in the anatomy of the dinosaurs
he would skip the questions... We were left with the question why there was
any scientific advisor for the movie anyway...)
The worst is the he kept also blaming and mentioning Robert Bakker ('his
competitor' in his own words) in a peculiarly irritating sarcastic way that
pretended to be humoristic ('At least a T. rex ate my competitor in the
movie').Unfortunately, Horner doesn't have very much a sense of humour and
dear, I have been at Bakker's talks, and you can like him or dislike him
but you are always taken aback by the knowledge of the man and his ability
to engage audiences.
Horner's vaguely dogmatic assumptions about "T. rex the Scavenger" were
pathetic and his extremely defensive stance wouldn't allow for any nice
discussion. Bakker is forceful in his arguments, but he always lets you
contradict him... In fact, he likes it!
The only things that were clear in Horner's talks were that the science
of"The Lost World" is rubbish but you have to see it because the dinosaurs
are fantastic (?!!?). That dino-poo smelled bad. That the mother dinosaurs
probably had the 'disgusting' habit of regurgitating pre-masticated food
for the offspring. And that, after seeing an old illustration of two
dinosaurs almost embraced in a fight (bellies and claws upfront) 'they
could be doing something even worst than killing each other...'
I couldn't believe my ears!

P.S. For the record: he did say that the Stegosaurs incorporated all the
new knowledge, including the throat bag of ossicles. Why nobody has seen it
is a mystery.
And by the way dears Darren and George... Dinosaurs were endothermic and
mesothermic obviously, NEVER ectothermic (Counting votes?)... We'll have a
chat at our joint lecture Saturday 26 at Conway Hall..., So expect
fireworks!

Luis Rey

Visit my website http://www.ndirect.co.uk/~luisrey