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RE: Dinosaur a tecnical term; fish is not (was RE: Fish with milk (Sheesh spinoff))



> From: Andreas Johansson [mailto:andreasj@gmail.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
        Mailing Address:
                Building 237, Room 1117
                College Park, MD  20742  
     
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~jmerck/eltsite
Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796