[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Tyranno volume review

Brusatte's JVP review of the T rex symposium volume is pretty good but I 
have a few comments. Brusatte keeps stating that those chapters he likes could 
have been published in a peer reviewed journal, and as Jerry and George 
said in the Seinfeld episode in which they were mistaken as gay, not that 
there's anything wrong with that. Brusatte criticizes my chapter as not being 
suitable for a peer reviewed journal. He is correct, but he is wrong in finding 
this to be an automatic problem. One of the reasons we have academic books 
is so that researchers can produce studies that do not fit into the narrow 
confines of journals, and can have more appeal for the general public. 

Brusatte uses a James Dean analogy to criticize my that T rex "grew rapidly 
and died remarkably young." There is actually nothing over the top about my 
scientifically accurate statement, and I never thought of James Dean while 
writing it, in fact I don't really get the connection since Dean died 
prematurally for a human due to a technology related accident, while the 
typical lifespan of T. rex appears to have been three decades short of 
similar sized elephants. It is Brusatte who is being over the top in invoking a 
movie star's name.

Nor does Brusatte note that much of my chapter is actually conservative, in 
that I debunk a lot of speculative ideas about tyrannosaurs, such as the 
lack of solid evidence that they were highly social and parental. Another, 
conservative researcher sent me a note in appreciation of this point. As for 
the length of the chapter it was meant to cover a broad array of topics about 
tyrannosaurs at a time when our knowledge base as expanded to a level hard 
to imagine just a decade or two ago, which is a good idea for the one book 
that celebrated the 100th anniversary of the species. The other shorter 
chapters were more narrowly focused.

Brusatte is exhibiting the unfortunate tendency we humans have to be 
controlling in wanting others to conform by doing things in a particular 
manner. It is generally better to limit ones criticisms to matters of 
accuracy and analysis rather than of taste.

GSPaul </HTML>