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Re: Fixing dinosaurian carnivour question

MKIRKALDY@aol.com wrote:

> Nevertheless, the charter of the Dinosaur Mailing List is the _scientific_
> discussion of dinosaurs, with an insistence on using the complete and
> correct scientific terms.  In doing so, we don't have to guess what
> the poster "really meant," which was what started this thread.
> Mary
> mkirkaldy@aol.com

If that is indeed the official charter, than what is being said is that all of
those who do not have a complete grasp of any of the subjects here (in other
words, amateurs) should unsubscribe from the list.  Perhaps the language of
the charter should be somewhat amended, then, to make it clear that those of
us who do not completely understand the material here are not welcomed.

I'm sorry if that sounded harsh, but I have to vent this.  It is so
unfortunate that such a subject as this should come up.  I can't imagine
anything that would squash an enthusiastic amateur's passion for the subject
more than being blasted for imprecise use of familiar terminology.  I myself
have loved Dinosaurs (indeed, all things prehistoric) since I was a small
child.  Nonetheless, circumstances prescribed a different profession for
myself, and so I have not gained all of the knowledge that most people here
have.  Nonetheless, I have managed to enjoy most of the threads in this
mailing list that I have started, and NEVER have I been rebuked for not
knowing my material.  Several months ago, I even began a somewhat substantial
thread of what Dinosaurs might have lead to intelligence, for use in a short
fictional story of mine.  I do not recall receiving a single complaint on that
most unscientific discussion.

Just so, it seems that I must have been in error.  For a young person to ask
what the smallest carnivorous dinosaur was, and then to have several responses
dealing with birds (when I should think it would be obvious what he meant,
even if it was not expressly stated), as well as his use of imprecise language
in delineating the subject, is ridiculous.

In essence, what I am saying is that not all of us have PhD's in this area,
but nonetheless we love the subject.  If, however, that holds us back from
using the complete and correct scientific terms, then I for one will
unsubscribe if so requested, so as not to offend any such scientific
sensibilities in the future.

Apologies, also, if this email has offended anyone.  That was not my intent.
Indeed, I rarely write such things as this, but in this case I felt that I had
to say something.


(by the way, I was unaware that the classification of Aves under the
Dinosauria was universally accepted.  I may be wrong, but if it isn't, than
why should we all be constrained in regarding birds as Dinosaurs on this
list?  Of course, if it HAS been universally accepted, then, well, never

John M. Dollan
Graduate Assistant-Residence Life
Montana State University-Northern
ICQ 308260
Visit Explorations at http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Academy/1861

"Exploration is an obsession.  The more I discover, the more I want to know.
Unfortunately I will not be able to discover everything I want."
 --Meave Leakey

"Never be afraid to try something new.  Remember, amateurs built the Ark.
Professionals built the Titanic."