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A Tough Question .. Or Is It ??

Good grief people .. I was merely stating the obvious.
A rose by any other name is still ..

Wayne -- All human endeavors can be regarded as professional 
hobbies if this is what you would want to do for the rest of 
your life if money were no consideration.

Did I come even close to suggesting that one has to make a profit
to pursue a worthy career ?? I stated quite matter of factly that 
professional hobbyists have contributed a very great deal to science.

Science is indeed .. all aspects .. hugely profitable in many other 
ways than merely monetary. No one is in this field for the $$$$ .. 
trust me .. but everyone looks for $$$$ in order to survive and buy 
the time to afford to do what they love doing .. even in paaeontology.

Money ..profit .. whatever you call it .. IS a very powerful tool that 
enables one quite a bit more freedom and real power to do things .. that
gov't funding wouldn't sniff at. 

What de Tocqueville posed is entirely irrelevant .. totally subjective.

The LHC .. a manned trip to Mars .. feeding the poor .. yes .. great
endeavors. But seriously .. wouldn't it be just a little bit better if
they were more profitable ??

You really think the "poor" like hand-outs rather than being helped to 
their feet by encouraging them to be more industrious .. more profitable ?? 
But it just makes you feel good .. right ?? "Poor" people shouldn't become 
a hobby .. but it always starts out that way .. and handouts are always good 
PR for any group or corporation.

Jerry -- You mean .. I think .. that no field stands alone [isolated from 
any other].

"Every business is a conscious choice made by gov't" -- Are you kidding me ??

Yes .. gov't has its favorites but .. "Profit Making Entitiess" provide the 
taxes. No taxes. No gov't. Gov't makes the conscious choice to support 
"non-profit entities" [professional hobbies]. This in no way detracts from 
their value.

Of course people just love .. adore .. are totally mesmerized by palaeontology.
That's a given. So .. why are we still being supported by gov't ?? Because it's
more comfortable being on the gov't dole ?? Let some non-palaeo politicals 
what's good funding for our science ?? Wouldn't it be terrible to put those 
in the hands of those who actually do ??

It would cause us to actually split our time. So we don't. So we accept the 
common denominator when it comes to funding. Non profit gov't funding.

Mike Habib -- Well said. No comment.

Thomas Holtz -- Science .. Art .. and so forth ARE the human condition .. which
should come first. No arguement there but .. sustainable tasks such as business
is a .. "routine maintenance for society" ?? 

Once again .. Are you kidding me ??

Profitable business actually provides much more than this .. it fills GREAT 
and DESIRES if you like .. and those desires can be food on the table .. car in 
garage .. food for the soul [motion pictures/ music/ religion/ Politics] .. and 
palaeontology is no different.

I stand by my original definition. Don't miss the point here folks .. it 
a very basic .. extremely important question here.

Why is such a popular .. and I do mean "much beloved" entity still on gov't 
subsidy ??

I have to admit .. I did not expect such a response but .. think about it ..