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Re: Response to Gould?



In a message dated 12/1/00 11:46:46 PM, qilongia@yahoo.com writes:

<< I'd like to see where it is written that dinosaurs have a specific
meaning that they are "giant," "extinct," or "monsters." Don Glut has
done a study and continues to do so that has shown that Hollywood has
had an incomparable effect in displaying to children in the early
decades of the last century [I can't wait till the year turns so that
it _will_ be the new millenium] that they were giant, lumbering, grey
"monsters", like brontosaurs that ate people.... Similarly, paintings
by Knight have also given our youth an inerasable series of ideas that
the scientist, who are so right and so smart and not to be questioned
(because who in their right mind would question Hawking or Einstein?),
got it right, and that it isn't a series of ideas and tests >>

Indeed, there are thousands of books for children not all of them good, but 
they are there, that portray dinosaurs as huge and extinct. Dinosaur isn't 
just scientific jargan, it's a common name for a group of exinct beasties 
that are well known to everyone. Centuries of usage have consolidated the the 
meaning of the common term.

That's why I've been ranting against the misuse of the term "reptile." 
Centuries of usage have given the term a specific meaning. We can't casually 
change it capriciously and call whoever disagrees stupid or uninformed. 
That's why "aminiote" is preferrable to repitle.

eric l.