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Re: What went wrong all those years ago?
On Wed, 8 Oct 1997 14:56:48 -0400 (EDT), Dan Varner wrote:
> Caleb Lewis wonders about the "Dark Ages" of dinosaur paleontology "when all
> the views of dinosaurs went drastically wrong". <snip> The short answer
>is > practically nobody was studying them.
And the reason nobody was studying them, of course, was the generally
accepted idea that dinosaurs were simply an evolutionary dead-end not
worthy of study.
Greg Wenzel has told me a (rather frightening) story of his college
paleontology class. He was attending Boston University in '74; the class
was a general survey of the history of life. Near the end of the course,
after spending most of the year studying invertebrates, they finally had
gotten to the early vertebrates. One morning, they arrived in class to find
the teacher in the middle of arraying the Marx toy dinos on his desktop.
Greg thought, "Ooh, dinosaurs! Finally!" The teacher finished spreading out
the toys as the students took their seats. When they were settled, he
looked up at them and with a broad sweep of his arm, scraped all the toys
back into their box. "Dinosaurs," he said. "They left no living
descendants. On to mammals." And that was all on the subject of dinosaurs
that they covered.
Bakker's "Dinosaur Renaissance" article was published a few years later.