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Re: The (long) future of paleontology



> Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2006 13:50:52 +0100 (MET)
> From: David Marjanovic <david.marjanovic@gmx.at>
>
>> such practically 'useless' fields as palaeontology (which will
>> never cure dieases, feed the starving, etc) that rely more on
>> satisfying human curosity than need.
> 
> Don't you say that.
> 
> Think of paleoclimatology. What is the world like when it is, say,
> on average 5 ÂC warmer than today? A very big part of the answer is
> to look back instead of forwards, _find_ some time in Earth history
> which was that warm, and research it. Will the deserts disappear?
> Did they disappear the last 10 times? ...

True enough ...  but it's hard to see how the dinosaur work that we
all love makes any such contribution.  I think Jim Farlow was bang on
target when he said "I have always prided myself on being in a field
that has no practical application."

 _/|_    ___________________________________________________________________
/o ) \/  Mike Taylor  <mike@miketaylor.org.uk>  http://www.miketaylor.org.uk
)_v__/\  "I started college as a physics major.  It was too weird for me,
         so I switched to philosophy instead" -- Bill McQuain.