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Re: worrying decline

  Chris wrote:

  "I don't want people relying on me, but on the fossil, ..."

  That's it!

  For exactly the same philosophical reason I am worried about the
primacy of works dealing with "mind constructions" (phylogenies) over
those dealing  with the real world (the fossils in our case). Obviously
descriptions are also somehow "mind constructions", but not as much as
phylogenies are.

  It's not that I want cladistic works not to be done, absolutely the
contrary. I just would like to carry on seen descriptions getting more
and more comprehensive in the literature.

  Obviously no description is going to be as good as to see the real
specimen (if you can, go see the specimen). But several times (not very
often I have to agree) when looking at specimens in collections, I was
unable to collect more information than that already available in the
literature. Maybe this tells more about me than about the literature,
but I still do think that proper descriptive works have their place in
our science.


Max Cardoso Langer
Department of Earth-Sciences, University of Bristol
Wills Memorial Building, Queens Road
BS8 1RJ    Bristol     UK
Phone: 44 117 954 5402
FAX: 44 117 925 3385
E-mail: Max.Langer@bristol.ac.uk
Web page: http://palaeo.gly.bris.ac.uk/personnel/langer/langer.html

"There is a crack, a crack, in everything.
 That's how the ligth gets in. That's how the ligth gets in."
                                                   L. Cohen