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RE: Alabama senator Hillary Herbert & birds with teeth

On Sat, January 22, 2011 3:04 pm, Mar Qos Aker wrote:
> Fellow dino-lovers:
> That Dinosaur Wars American Experience was painful to watch. Its
> hodge-podging of dates and dis/dys linear plot (and I think it's being
> courteous to say it that way) show mere a lack of coherence.

I didn't find it so bad, although I would have (do, actually, in class)
emphasize that dinosaurs were originally known from England-and Europe
more generally-but were known only from fragmentary material until
Hadrosaurus and then the western dinosaurs. And I would have emphasized
that the "war" was over fossil mammals as well (which they did come to now
and again, but didn't include in (for example) the species counts between
the two.)

Also, there is a tendency of these things to be very pro-Cope, because
(let's face it) Marsh was a jerk as a person. BUT one could also highlight
Cope's obsessions with generating a larger total publication record, or
(okay, this is a bit Whiggish, but...) Cope's lack of acceptance of
natural selection (as opposed to Marsh's strong embrace of and promotion
of it).

> If that was the way it was even vaguely, then how insular were we as a
> country. E. g. no university none were granting doctorates. Really?
The Ph.D. (as opposed to a doctorate in law, medicine, or theology) is a
relatively new things, which got their start in Germany (Humboldt?
Tubingen? Not certain which). Yale (in 1860s) was the first North American
university to offer Ph.D.s in the arts and sciences; Johns Hopkins (in the
1870s) was the first North American university which was originally
designed along the new German model, with a graduate program from the

Marsh got his undergraduate degree at Yale just before they started a
Ph.D. program, so yes; he did have to go to Europe to pursue such a

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Email: tholtz@umd.edu   Phone: 301-405-4084
Office: Centreville 1216
Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
Dept. of Geology, University of Maryland
Fax: 301-314-9661

Faculty Director, Science & Global Change Program, College Park Scholars
Fax: 301-314-9843

Mailing Address:        Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                        Department of Geology
                        Building 237, Room 1117
                        University of Maryland
                        College Park, MD 20742 USA