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Re: The Last Dinosaur Book



In a message dated 4/29/99 8:36:07 AM EST, 102354.2222@compuserve.com writes:

<< Ah yes, but you forget that Dr. Mitchell explicity explained in the
 book (or maybe you haven't gotten there yet) that his definition of the
 word "dinosaur," in order to use it in the term in the identical fashion as
 the general public whose Jungian psyche he's trying to understand, has the
 same definition as the word "fossil."  We had some people come through the
 Denver Museum several years ago who, while going through the old fossil
 mammal hall, were heard to explain "Here's the rhinoceros dinosaur, and
 here's the elephant dinosaur," etc., etc.  Thus, for the purposes of the
 book, _any_ fossil organism is a dinosaur. >>

I haven't come across this peculiar notion in the book--yet. If I do, I guess 
it would have to fall into that category of "little, nitpicky" errors that I 
complained about in the post to which you responded. I just finished the 
book's chapter on dinosaurs as a monophyletic group, however, and at least in 
that chapter he more or less explicitly deals with dinosaurs as a 
>particular< group of organisms. This means that he knows, more or less, what 
dinosaurs are in a scientific sense, which is not consistent with the above 
"definition" of dinosaurs as any fossil whatsoever. In any case, however, the 
sentence about La Brea could have been written without the error and without 
losing its impact, and insofar as it was not, it's a mistake.