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Re: [Dinosaurs Don't Count
"GOBI 2010" <email@example.com> wrote:
> I don't mean to flame, but...
> I recently got the boo "1001 things everyone should know about
> science" by James trefil from the library..while browsing through it,
> I found the dinosaur section...
> and read
> "From the viewpoint of science dinosaurs do not count"...
> "There were never more than a few species of the large dinosaurs
> around at any one time...they were angolous to modern elephants and
> rhinos: beautiful and interesting, but carying little information....
> Add to this the fact that dinosaurs, because they were land animals
> rarely left fossils, and you have a situation where the kind of fossil
> that is most interesting to the public is probably least interesting
> to scientists"....
> For some odd reason while reading this I had a gut reaction to want to
> throw the book away, and say "WHAT A CREEP!"--(I get defensive about
> my favorite topics!)...
> Anyway, what I gleaned from the above was that in the author's
> opinion, dinosaurs are rather unimportant because they lived on land,
> rarely fossilised...and he believes that scientificly dinosaurs are of
> little value.
> I don't think this is so!
> So, I'm asking list members your opinions:
> Why would dinosaurs be or not be scientificly "important" or
> noteworthy? and do dinosaur fossils have "little scientific value"?,
> if so, what is their value?
> Jessica Wagar
> Amateur Paleontologist/Paleoartist
As DinoGeorge, Thom, Allan, Jamie and others have already stated, pure science
always seems to have to take second chair next to applied science.
This is especially sad when considering that pure science came first and it is
(or at least was) part of human nature to learn for the sake of learning.
This leads to one of the most annoying things that I notice whenever a
paleontologist, biologist, herpetologist or any other specialized pure
scientist is asked: "Why do you do what you do?"
I say why does this deserve an answer? Why aren't these questions ever asked
to sports stars or actors (occasionally in the latter), why is that acceptable
while those of us who learn for the sake of learning are always given a
I suppose it comes with the job description.
As for why Mr. Trefill said what he said, I'd have to say that he was trying
to make a point that deinosaurs aren't the only things that are worth
studying, though I do think that he was a bit brash in his statement.
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