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RE: Dinosaur a tecnical term; fish is not (was RE: Fish with milk (Sheesh spinoff))
> From: Andreas Johansson [mailto:email@example.com]
> > But also, to be fair, "fish" is an ancient English word far predating the
> > science of biology, while "dinosaur" is a term from
> > technical literature, dates only to 1842, and created specifically for use
> > in scientific contexts.
> I suppose the next step will be insisting that all bilaterians are worms ...
Actually, that is NOT the next step from the point I was just making (i.e.,
that the word "dinosaur" was ONLY coined for a technical taxonomic context,
just like "plesiosaur" or "entelodont" or "cnidarian".
However, that being said, when I do introduce bilaterians in Historical Geology
and in Principles of Paleontology, I introduce them as "worms, broadly
defined." And then go on to show HOW broadly... (And unless one is just being
an obscurantist, the basic underlying structure of bilaterians IS a worm body,
but one modified in some highly interesting ways in the various subclades).
The point in doing so is not to be cutesy. It is to drive home the really
signficant imporant messages that EVOLUTIONARY THINKING IS IMPORTANT and that
TYPOLOGICAL THINKING SHOULD BE LEFT DYING IN THE DUST. Not to put too fine a
point or two on it...
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
Department of Geology Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland College Park Scholars
Building 237, Room 1117
College Park, MD 20742
Phone: 301-405-4084 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fax (Geol): 301-314-9661 Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796