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Re: Fieldwork or bust? (Was: Stenopelix valdensis)



And no, the "unnamed paleontologist" is NOT Mary Schweitzer.  Dr.
Schweitzer is a better field geologist than I am, to be honest!

<pb>
--

On Wed, 12 Jul 2006 05:57:55 +0000 (pd) Phillip Bigelow
<bigelowp@juno.com> writes:
> 
> I agree with Denver's point.
> 
> I personally know a paleontologist (who shall remain unnamed) that 
> rarely
> visits the field (and when she does, it is only on 1-day field trips 
> at
> annual meetings).  She does all of her work in museum collections.  
> She
> openly admitted to me that she couldn't "read" an outcrop if her 
> life
> depended on it.  Even though her knowledge of biology is impressive, 
> I'm
> not sure that I would trust the sections of her papers that deal 
> with
> stratigraphic context or biostratigraphic context.
> 
> With time, as paleontology becomes fragmented into more and more
> subdisciplines and subspecialties, I believe that this "disconnect 
> with
> the dirt" will only become greater.  Many of today's paleontologists 
> were
> educated only as biologists.  There are increasingly more 
> paleontology
> grads that lack an adequate education in geology, even 
> introductory-level
> geology, and who have no desire to learn any geo after the fact.  I
> should note, however, that these people still constitute a small 
> minority
> of all paleontologists.
> 
> <pb>
> --
> Nesciamus, non attingamus
> 
> 
> 
> On Wed, 12 Jul 2006 11:21:51 +0100 mike@miketaylor.org.uk (Mike 
> Taylor)
> writes:
> > Not at all wanting to get caught up in Denver and Mickey's 
> argument,
> > but as I was reading a recent post in that thread, my eye was 
> > caught
> > by this fragment:
> > 
> > Denver Fowler writes:
> >  > You cannot gain a true appreciation of time, stratigraphy,
> >  > variation, or the fossil record as a whole, unless you actually 
> 
> > go
> >  > out into it and dig.
> > 
> > Would most other DMLers perceive this as true?  What specific 
> > insight
> > into the fossil record can only be gained in the field and not 
> from
> > studying in collections or the literature?  I am genuinely 
> curious.
> > 
> >  _/|_        
> > 
> ___________________________________________________________________
> > /o ) \/  Mike Taylor  <mike@miketaylor.org.uk>  
> > http://www.miketaylor.org.uk
> > )_v__/\  "Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but they are 
> 
> > not
> >      entitled to their own facts" -- U.S. Senator Pat 
> Moynihan.
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 


--
Nesciamus, non attingamus