[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: Feathered dino scandal

In a message dated 2/1/00 7:43:10 AM Central Standard Time, 
tholtz@geol.umd.edu writes:

> The greatest shame about that "Archaeoraptor" affair was that National
>  Geographic made such a big deal of it in the published version of their
>  article, in the press conference, and in their exhibit.  Because it is an
>  unpublished specimen it has had zero (0) effect on the study of bird 
>  ans feather origins.  Instead, the other two critters which were on display
>  were MUCH more significant scientifically: clearly members of
>  well-established groups of non-avian theropods, with protofeathers.
    I take exception to the above statement for several reasons... First of 
all, NG is not the expert here, but merely a reporter of information related 
to them by the "experts".  Secondly, it was made out to be a big deal by the 
"experts" that are quoted in the NGS article, "Its a missing link between 
terrestrial dinosaurs and birds that could fly," Stephen Czerkas . Again, NGS 
simply relayed information given to them by the "experts" that indicated that 
it had a tremendous impact on the dino-bird study, despite the fact that it 
was not yet described. Third, the greatest shame is the fact that the  
specimen is purchased, named, and sensationalized without the due process of 
scientific study it deserved. When it is then found to be a composite, the 
finger pointing starts... first at the seller, and now at NGS. When will the 
"experts" take the responsibility for their expert opinion, and their 
actions, in this affair, and stop others from pointing fingers at the others 
involved? Let face it folks... the Czerkas made a mistake, actually several 
of them, in this affair. However, let them shoulder the responsibility for 
their part in it. Anyone, even the experts can make a mistake. Lets not 
childishly point fingers at others in an attempt to save face for anyone, and 
lets not let the zeal to prove a point, or gain notoriety,overshadow the 
scientific process. Carl J. Cook