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Re: national geographic mag

Regarding National Geographic. No question that the "Archaeoraptor" debacle has been problematic to the science. I think it can be argued that the story was premature and made it through the editorial process somehow diminishing the reputation of NG mag. I have never seen it in a print copy but NG has gone pretty far on the web to expose the system of systematic "artistic" enhancement of fossils from China. A Google search will find you many NG web articles on the subject. No researcher worth their stuff would look at these materials again without appropriate 3 dimensional radiological examination to look for assemble pieces and fakes. The Chinese have no compunction about altering the slabs for monetary gain. Their processes goes far beyond simple restoration/preservation all the way toward just making the thing look impressive so it brings more cash. Some of the work is brilliantly done but it does tend to put a dampener on the research value of the specimen.

The new article is essentially about commercial collecting fossils and a discussion of the war between commercial collectors and the SVP. The author states upfront that he had a preconceived notion that commercials were hacks and money grubbing grave robbers. The conclusion may come as a surprise and be objectionable to some on this list. It raised my eyebrows. I don't want to give away the ending ;-)

Frank Bliss
MS Biostratigraphy
Weston, Wyoming

On Apr 28, 2005, at 1:46 AM, Mike Taylor wrote:

Date: Wed, 27 Apr 2005 22:30:54 -0600 (MDT)
From: "Richard W. Travsky" <rtravsky@uwyo.edu>

In case you have not noticed it, there is an interesting
paleontological article along the lines of some recent threads on
this list in the latest National Geographic Magazine. , May 2005
pg. 48.  It may take some of you by surprise, it certainly caught
me napping. A definite must read for any SVP member.

Yes, surprised no one had mentioned it before now (my copy arrived last week...).

Please, don't feel any obligation to explain what you're talking about for the benefit of all us NG non-subscribers. We'll probably figure it out in time. :-)

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/o ) \/ Mike Taylor <mike@miketaylor.org.uk> http://www.miketaylor.org.uk
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