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Re: Fw: Most popular/common dinosaur misconceptions
On 8/21/06, Nick Pharris <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
And remember that to a depressingly large section of the public,
mammoths and saber-toothed cats are dinosaurs, too--and those assuredly
did live alongside early humans.
It's a very similar sort of thing to what the IAU is going through
now. I see a lot of articles about how they are "redefining" what a
"planet" is. But for that to be true, there would have had to have
actually been some preexisting definition.
It's not that scientists are redefining terms like "planet" and
"dinosaur"; it's that they were never rigorously defined in the first
place. Rigorous definitions are going to include and/or exclude some
traditional content. But it's okay, because that traditional content
never delimited a scientifically useful group to begin with. The
traditional usages are just accidents of history, and it's high time
to move on.
T. Michael Keesey
The Dinosauricon: http://dino.lm.com
Parry & Carney: http://parryandcarney.com