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

Re: Herbivorous Dinosaurs of the World ?

Dan Varner said:

< This [Pred. Dins. of the Wrld] is your favorite book, right? From Am. Scientist to Sci.
American, Greg Paul was absolutely crucified by the reviewers. He was hammered
with a vengeance, I've never seen anything thing like it. No wonder his next
major publication was in Japanese! The professional reception to PDW was
absolutely disgraceful and an excercise in overkill. Go back in time in a library
and read the reviews for yourself. >
One example is to be found in Sci. Am. Jan 89 pp92-95.  (Already cynical, after reading it I went straight home and ordered the book, and of course I was an instant disciple.  I have no place for the book in my bookshelf; it lives permanently on my desk.)
The reason the rest of the intended series was not published was because what we can safely call the "establishment" of dino palaeo squashed it.  What a triumph for dino lovers, the field, and science in general!  Now compare that chorus of criticism with the wall of silence we have now : I say again - when  did you last see secondary flightlessness (2F) aired by those who railed so bitterly against what is slowly but steadily emerging as the peculiarly frightening truth?  Surely those nice academics and fellow dinosaur fans cannot be . . . that sort of thing couldn't happen these days . . . could it?
The issue is not just about depriving a couple of hundred fans on this list ; consider the effect on people's careers: Greg is an obvious potential victim, though thank goodness he appears to be flourishing despite "them".  But imagine what will be going on in palaeo departments everywhere - which famous professor would take a "Paulite" on, when an alternative was available who was unlikely to push 2F and so embarrass cladistics, the basis of all the department's work?
And if you are tempted to disguise the issue by putting forward some smoke screen such as "I know a Paulite who got a job two years ago", or "Well, it's been mentioned in Fortean Times, hasn't it?" ask yourself how much you really like fairness, free speech and truth.  The basic facts are these (in my hubritic opinion of course):
1) 2F was the main threat in _PDW_ (not warm bloodedness or lumping Velocir&Deino);
2) 2F is almost totally inconsistent with current cladistics; (any good professional would realise that subconsciously even as he read _PDW_)
3) The acceptance of 2F at the expense of cladistics would make thousands of professionals within biology around the world look very silly indeed;
4) There was a (de facto) concerted attempt to strangle 2F at birth;
5) There is a (de facto) concerted attempt to stifle it going on at this very minute (I've never seen it acknowledged in Science /Nature/Sci Am/New Sci/Am Sci/Nat Geog, and I've been checking for years; even an imbalance in mentions in summary paras would be unprofessional - this is a ratio of zero - though the Feduccian straw man is wheeled out and safely beaten every time).
6) 2F is so common in later K N.hemisph theropods as to be effectively true (you'll have to take our word for it for the time being!) and getting more support by the month;
7) An immoral situation can arise unconsciously, imperceptibly, without conspiracy.  The crime is really committed when those with responsibility fail to redress the situation.
Greg will presumably be producing another book sometime.  Would you have all those editors and reviewers do it all over it, all over again?  Believe me, they will!! - unless it is made clear to them that what they are doing is totally unnacceptable on half a dozen counts. 
That means that everyone who has admired Greg Paul's work, including Jurassic Park (compare the T.Rex head through the truck window with the picture on p 33 of _PDW_), or Dinogeorge's work, should write at least one letter/email to every journal/dinopalaeo dept/TV program on the subject, soon, and again each time another one perpetrates this CRIME.
It would also be a help if fellow list members were to express their opinions on whether this, the most important issue to appear in dino palaeo in at least twenty years should be allowed to be discussed on the list. 
Finally, why not have a vote on "The most significant dinosaur book 1950-1998".  If this list, arguably a worldwide body of opinion of some significance at least, could confirm _PDW_ as high on the list, (as well as having voted its author as being the most influential current dino artist) it would make the hiding of the book's most significant topic a little more embarrassing for those responsible.
John V Jackson   
Did you think Martin, Feduccia et al. put up a stubborn resistance?  Wait till you see ..., ..., ... ,... . . . !