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Re: Germany then and now



We can't be insulting whole ethnicities on this list. Let's be civil.

Let's not blame everyone in a language group for the political acts of people 
60 or more years ago. Let's not assign personalities or tendencies to someone 
based on their national origin. 

Evolutionary theory has been distorted in the past to fit supremacist and 
capitalist ideologies, that is a legitimate field to debate: wherever we 
suspect that work done in these periods was distorted to fit political agendas.

It is not legitimate to stereotype all Germans as precise. I can find you some 
imprecise Germans and some super precise... I don't know, hippies? Americans? 
Spaniards?... if you want me to. Now, I have a great grandfather Friedrich and 
so I use the K word sometimes, but its different when we call each other that. 
But I don't just drop it in public without explanation. 

I will also remind you of anti-German violence in the United States during both 
world wars. Whole German language libraries were burned.

I am as antifascist a person as you will ever meet, and I know that this 
political tendency was not some innate flaw in some "German character". It runs 
through all societies.


On Sep 29, 2011, at 1:30 PM, Jaime Headden wrote:

> 
>   Where in the Mary Anning does one think that paleos are unaware of our deep 
> history? We are familiar with historical elements of collection and are 
> reminded of this in sharp detail any time anyone has to back track through a 
> fieldbook from the 20s or before the beginning of the last century, who was 
> in any way familiar with the collection programs in the south of England, in 
> what is now Belgium and in northern Italy, collectors and prospectors 
> travelling to European colonies abroad and arriving in Java and southern 
> Africa. You think that we are somehow ignorant?
> 
>   Do you seriously think this is an adequate defense of your use of these 
> throwaway terms, or your bigotry?
> 
>   I call your bluff, Greg: The use of the terms "Kraut" and "fascist" have in 
> no way an element of "paleo history" to them in connection to Werner Janensch 
> or Willi Hennig, regardless of whether they were members of the Nazis, and 
> are only bigoted in the purest form, and this post an inadequate way to cover 
> your tail on this score. It's come up before and you've been called on it 
> before. If you want to discuss this, write a book and place these remarks 
> (with evidence!) in there. Maybe some of us might actually pick it up. Until 
> then, I think, it doesn't belong on this list.
> 
> Cheers,
> 
>  Jaime A. Headden
>  The Bite Stuff (site v2)
>  http://qilong.wordpress.com/
> 
> "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)
> 
> 
> "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a
> different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race
> has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or
> his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion 
> Backs)
> 
> 
> ----------------------------------------
>> Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2011 13:19:22 -0400
>> From: GSP1954@aol.com
>> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
>> Subject: Re: Germany then and now
>> 
>> 
>> In a message dated 9/29/11 11:21:03 AM, paleeoguy@gmail.com writes:
>> 
>> << Get your measurements, Greg. That`s what this list is for. Please go
>> 
>> to WWII forum if you want to rag on 20th century Germany. >>
>> 
>> Although I can understand where some of this is coming from, in the end I
>> disagree. There is a real danger to popular paleo pretending that the field
>> has in a sense no deep history outside the rather cheerful tale we are
>> normally presented. It is rather like how it is only recently being 
>> acknowledged
>> that even the NE US was heavily dependent upon slavery until the early 1800s.
>> I had no clue that the White House was built largely by slaves until fairly
>> recently, or that early NYC was also built to a great extent by bonded
>> humans.
>> 
>> Of course this list can include extensive discussions on paleohistory,
>> especially the "fun & entertaining side" such as the famous Marsh-Cope feud 
>> and
>> what it was like to work at Garden Park and Como Bluff in the 1880s. But
>> what happened at Tendaguru? It was the largest dinosaur "mining" operation 
>> that
>> I know of, involving hundreds of colonized laborers. What circumstances
>> were they operating under? Where they happy to have the pay however minimal I
>> suspect it was? Or were they in some way discontented or forced by the German
>> colonizers? How did it connect with the notorious genocides underway in
>> Africa at that time? And what happened when the Brits took over? Where they
>> nicer, or worse? That the fate of all these Africans has been largely ignored
>> in favor of the western oriented focus of paleohistory is not to the credit
>> of the paleocommunity.
>> 
>> For example, is the circumstances that the Africans worked at Tendaguru
>> covered at the new HMN exhibit? If not it should be researched and covered at
>> the museum. This sort of thing has practical implications for modern paleo.
>> By treating the past efforts of colonized peoples with more attention and
>> respect the field may enjoy better relations with some current governments
>> where resentment against the colonial period remains strong. Just waving it 
>> away
>> as being typical of those olden days is not the best idea PR wise.
>> 
>> Likewise that some key German paleos were in deep with the Nazis is fair
>> game for discussion. What I would better like to know is who did what and
>> when. It's worth a book assumming it has not yet been done -- better than yet
>> another tome on Marsh & Cope.
>> 
>> When I used the term Kraut for some Nazi era paleos I was just venting a
>> little frustation about how bad some of the figure scaling is in the
>> Palaeontolographica publication figures and text -- the Germans are supposed 
>> to be so
>> meticulous after all -- and I did not expect any notice of it. But in
>> hindsight the subject has greater import. Paleontology is not just about
>> measurements and fossils, it is part of the greater human story for better 
>> or for
>> worse.
>> 
>> GSPaul</HTML>
>                                         

Jason Brougham
Senior Principal Preparator
American Museum of Natural History
jaseb@amnh.org
(212) 496 3544