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Re: A little off subject...Re: Sue had no wishbone...

In a message dated 2/25/2001 9:42:54 AM Eastern Standard Time, 
demann@kornet.net writes:

<In no way should someone who has achieved the accolades of their peers and
earned their stripes through hard work and diligence be disregarded.  Dr(s)
Bakker, Horner and the rest have earned and, (of course) well deserve them.
I meant that lack of formal schooling on a subject should not discount
someone's achievements. >
Which brings me to one of my favorite subjects:  anyone can be a 
paleontologist--  young, old, educated/uneducated--makes no difference!  The 
title is much too loosely used.  

Jack Horner indeed has no formal degree, although he had attended the 
University of Montana in the 60s and 70s, studying geology and zoology.  His 
honorary doctorate in science from U. of Montana came the same year (1986) as 
he was awarded a MacArthur (Genius) Fellowship.  It seems pretty far-fetched 
that a person would be able to become another Jack Horner today without the 
educational background, which would include a Ph.D.  There is simply too much 
competition.  Also, I think that Dr. Horner would agree that there are gaps 
in his knowledge that might have been filled through a more formal route.  

On  achievements and dismissing thereof, and also dissenting opinions, we 
have to ask, "What are this person's credentials?"  Anyone can look for 
fossils, but that doesn't make him a paleontologist nor does it mean that he 
knows what he has found, its significance in the fossil record, or even 
(horrors) its size when it was alive.   I may be a dandy amateur brain 
surgeon, but you probably wouldn't want to call me if you had a tumor, and 
after all even Dr. Lecter had a legitimate doctorate so he knew what he was 

Anyone can self-publish, give lectures, and issue press releases.  Whether or 
not what they are saying is scientifically meaningful goes back to peer