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Re random ramblings



Hello all,

Miguel "Mike" de Sosa wrote,
"Non-experts don't make substantial contributions to the science anyway, so
why should names be geared towards them rather than to the people who are
actually going to use it (and know what it means)?"

Sorry, but this statement just doesn't hold water, and is not based in fact.

I am not a "professional" paleontologist by any strech of the imagination,
but I feel I have made several worthwhile and important contributions to
this field of science. I found a Pachycephalosaur skull, and a quite nice
one too. I have led dig teams in the absence of our team leaders. I have
discovered several other display quality specimens. I'm not offended, but I
refuse to accept that the time, money, and other sacrifices I make to
return to the field every summer are not important contributions. My
compilation of field notes and observations are small but important
contributions in our efforts in the upper Hell Creek formation in South
Dakota. This summer will mark my fourth season, and I seriously doubt that
"Dino" Russ Jacobson and Steve "Arnold" Sroka, our dig leaders, would have
me back much less promote me to field assistant were I not making important
contributions. Of course this "is" an assumption on my part, a truely
amatuer trait! :-)

Dr. Horner wasn't a  degreed paleontologist when he was pointed toward "egg
mountain" by a non-pro.

The Dr.'s wife that discovered the Iguanadon teeth in England was far from
a professional.

Amatuers make very important and continuing contributions to this science. Fact!

So, don't take this personally, but you're just flat-out wrong. Not a
personal attack, just a claification of incorrect thinking.

No, do not dumb-down any of the nomenclature or papers so we ignorant
amatuers my understand. Those of us that really want to advance our
knowledge will make the extra effort to learn and comprehend. Whether that
learning comes by asking an endless string of questions or reading
everything we can get our hands on, or actually digging up the fossils, we
do learn. We amatuers have the bliss of ignorance only as long as the
professionals allow it. Few, if any, of us formed our thoughts on
dinosauria from thin air. We read, watched, or listened to data provided by
professionals, and just like us amatuers there are times when the pros are,
well, wrong. That's why we continue to study, to gain a better
understanding. Granted that without the professionals there's no telling
what crazy ideas we could come up with, but then again basic logic is a
useful tool all of may use. Whether we use that tool has no bearing on
professional-amatuer status.

Roger A. Stephenson
Hell Creek Homey