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RE: Notes from the under-matrix.
I didn't interpret David's remarks as denigrating to all researchers,
least of all those who get out in the field (such as yourself).
My impression of what he said is that he's using a new technique, that
he feels is being ignored by professionals. He claims to have found
some interesting features in existing fossils using these new
If true, this new tool is very worthwhile, and even if you can't do it
yourself, you'd probably send photos off to a lab where it was being
done. [NOTE: IF IT IS TRUE].
The problem is, of course, that a double-blind experiment is necessary,
such as suggested by Jaime. If structures revealed by David's
experiments can be verified in the specimen, then the technique is
valid. If not, then David may be pulling information out of artifacts
of the photo or the digitalization, or even, from the preparation of the
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf
Of Robert G. Tuck Jr.
Sent: Wednesday, March 26, 2003 11:41 PM
To: email@example.com; Jaime A. Headden; dinosaur list
Subject: Re: Notes from the under-matrix.
> The problem is this: professionals like Chris and David are ceding
interesting discoveries to goofballs like me, who never had a geology
and last dissected a frog in junior high. That's wrong and it should be
You've lost me here.
I've dissected many a vertebrate in college and since. I've endured the
Texas Permian redbeds in summer. I've survived sandstorms and various
environmental conditions in Iran and especially right next to Iraq and a
mere 80 kilometers from Basrah. Have you ever heard a jackal's howl at 3
a.m. along the Iraqi border, or crawled into its lair [size matters; I
fit: it smelled terrible; lots of decaying bones] the next day, or
[barely] temperatures ranging from minus 30C to plus 49C, or have been
arrested/shot-at/held-at-bay/or suspected of being an American "satan,"
slogged into remote Iranian wadis [canyons] to inspect Triassac dinosaur
footprints, or studied, first-hand, Indian Mugger crocodiles along the
malaria-infested Iranian/Pakistan Baluchistan border [I survived!], or
drunk water from goat-skins dipped into Pakistani water-holes and
Hormuz Island [Persian Gulf] cisterns [I lived!], or spent hours and
carefully chipping away with dental tools at fossil specimens, or dealt
with/comforting/supplying paleontological expeditions [Miocene --
northwestern Iran/Kurdistan, or encountered nasty saw-scaled/horned
deadly seasnakes, lethal scorpions, solpugids, or half-meter-long
centipedes, or have lived among Arabic / Kurdish / Qashqi / Bakthiari /
Baluchistani tribespeople as a crazy [it saved my life many times!]
lizard / snake / frog / bone/ bug-hunter?.
When you have, then perhaps you may criticize professional researchers'
Please don't disdain those of us who have gone through (and continure to
experience) utter hell (and several shades of possible death) just to
few scraps of scientific data, material, and specimens so that other,
competent, experts may examine and interpret them.
To this day, I blame the late (*un*lamented) 'Ayatollah Khomeini and his
minyons for my abortive research on those wonderful crocodiles in
Baluchistan, far west of the Indus River. You know, I found hatchling
footprints, indicating a thriving population . . . but I cannot prove
nor can I publish! My notes and data and measurements were seized by the
Iranian Revolutionary Islamic Committee. HP Dr. Tom Holtz and HP Dr.
Farlow (among others) would rightly box my ears if I tried to publish
[outdated, no longer substantiated] data.
-= Tuck =-