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Re: FW: New Fossil Protection Regulations in China

 On Sept. 14, 03:03 CEST, dale mcinnes wrote:

 WhOOOAA ....... David. I meant what I said. I'm talking about Natural
 Selection. It's in everything we do. Currently our science is being
 selected against acquiring massive funding.

You're conflating several distinct meanings of "selected".

 Why?? We have been fairly
 unsuccessful competitors for [$$$$$$] and are being "weeded out/
 ignored". Damn right it's Natural Selection. You either play the game
 for everything it's worth or lose the competitive edge. Lose the
 competitive edge and you better start tightening your belt.

I'm talking about raising awareness to the fact that basic research _in general_ should be funded well. That's, after all, where most discoveries and almost all unexpected discoveries come from. Are you saying vertebrate paleontology should compete against other sciences for funding?

 The soviet people come to mind.

Because that's suuuuch a good analogy to a science. <vehement nodding>

 Natural Selection is very much a part of Darwinism

What do you mean by "Darwinism"? Because that's a rarely used term. I've only encountered it from the following groups of people:

- Unmentionable Ones who want to pretend that a scientific theory is a political (or even religious) ideology, and an evil one at that; - Historians of science who want to distinguish the theory of evolution by natural selection (Darwinism) from, most commonly, the theory of evolution by acquisition of new characteristics (Lamarckism); - Historians of science who want to distinguish the old version(s) of the theory of evolution by natural selection (Darwinism) from the modern theory of evolution by mutation, selection, and drift (Modern Synthesis or neodarwinism).

You don't seem to fit into any of those categories, so what do you mean?

 and has been used in many instances other than biological.
 I probably shouldn't have been so liberal in my terms. And yes. We
 "ought" to practise it ..... better than we have.

Natural selection is something the environment does, not something living beings (or genes) do. They are the passive part.

 Now. As for being short sighted ..... hmmmmmmm ......

 Working on the "political will????" Lobbyists and politicians???
 Working on them?? Isn't that what we have been doing for 100 years??

Frankly, no. By far not enough. Billions per year are spent on wars and (other) prestige projects, while university budgets are slashed and universities are told "nope, we can't afford to leave you one more million".

 They have no interest in our field. What we really need David is to
 stop looking in all the wrong places. This is what I mean by
 changing strategy. Why would you keep approaching the same type of
 people for funding??

What other types are there? And do we really want their influence on our research?

 Before you can even begin to use politics David, you have to
 understand politics. And you don't. Our field does not have
 "political value". You can attain it. Yes. And it only takes a very
 small number of individuals to do so. They have to be gifted or have
 spent a reasonable amount of time working in this arena AND have a
 fairly fanatical drive towards papaeontology. That small number, even
 one individual is ALL it takes to pull the rest of us through.

 Don't believe me?? I'll demonstrate it to you.

How? By being that "even one individual [that] is ALL it takes to pull the rest of us through"? In that case, more power to you, but what have you been waiting for for all those decades? (The 1949 in your e-mail address, is that your year of birth?)

 If we continue taking your approach to funding, we certainly WILL
 leave even MORE people "in the dust" as it were.

You've just misunderstood what I want to do. I'm into big-picture thinking.

 As a side note. This is what science is all about. You and me.
 Throwing ideas around. Then testing them out in the real world. Uuuh.
 You first. dale