It has been fascinating to research the mareís nest dad left in Provo. Some of it is not useful and has been discarded but far more of it is valuable, and includes some surprises. The biggest surprise to me was how many articles he had published alone and with a co-author. I am surprised because he was hyper-sensitive to comments about his writing. He seemed to always take it as harsh criticism when it was in fact just objective comments about things that did need attention. I guess I figured that the criticisms of his work would stop him.
For example, he asked me to edit an article for him while I was at Indiana University finishing my PhD. He knew that I earned part of a living by being an editor for LINGUISTICS SCIENCES which was a going concern at the time in international linguistics matters. He sent the article I which was a good first draft. It clearly had been worked on and it clearly needed some polishing but no major revisions. I went through the article carefully to give him as many suggestions as I found, advising him that most of the things I said didnít really matter in the final analysis, and that if he wished to ignore them, to go ahead and ignore them. Or words to that effect. I knew he was sensitive so I said it nicer to him than I just did.
I returned the manuscript to him in a week or so so that he didnít have to wait. I was proud of the work I did for him, and anticipated hearing a thank you, or something nice, also because I invested hours in the job. Well, I waited, and I waited and I waited. I am still waiting.
It was even too painful for him to bring up the topic. I know that over the years when he took good ideas for books to publishers that after a good start, he dropped by the way. When the editor began to poke at his work, he wanted to protect it, defend it, make it feel better. The more they poked -usually women I think which wasnít a good thing for him, being a male chauvinist, though not as bad as Archie Bunker- the more defensive he became, until he somehow severed the relationship.
That was too bad because he had great ideas, and the fact that he was already a world-famous (as he liked to say when no one was listening) paleontologist guaranteed him a lot of sales. He could have made a bit more money had he hung in there. You can see, then, why it is surprising that he managed to publish so many articles and name so many dinosaurs as he did.
The next pages on this node are each dedicated to one of the topics to make it easier to track. The first sub-page is Publications, which start with his writings at Harvard. The second sub-page is Dinosaur Names. That includes names that he gave to dinosaurs, and dinosuars that were named after him.
You will find his BIBLIOGRAPHY HERE.
His Mistakes in Assigning known dinosaur bones to Ďnewí species
Yes, he made mistakes, several mistakes, in his naming of new dinosaurs. Period. There, I said it. I hate to say it. It is unfortunate that he made several mistakes in assigning bones he found to new species.
He studied the format and rules of nomenclature and studied published articles which erected new genera and assigned previously unassigned bones to new species. He didnít want to make names.
This is a list of the new names he created.
It turns out that in most of his descriptions of new creatures he was right, which is pretty nice for an uneducated guy. But it is unfortunate that he made mistakes and they, not his good work, are what is remembered in certain quarters. The criticisms -which are valud- of his errors are what probably discouraged him so much near the end of his life that he even gave up the idea that he was a paleontologist. He told me that he discovered that he wasnít one, that all he was was an adventurer and an explorer. Well, he was more, but he was so sensitive to criticism that he responds this way.
The only thing I can say in response is that either Marsh or Cope, the grand old men of the 19th Century Paleo world, who also pursued publicity like he did, made at least one mistake that I am aware of. It has become somewhat famous. The problem was they found Diplodocus or antrodemus, whichever I donít know, without a skull. The man in question solved the problem by deciding which of the skulls he had in the environment most likely belonged to this new animal. Unfortunately for both him and the dinosaur, it was the wrong skull. It wasnít for decades that the problem was discovered and resolved. These images tell that story. The top photo shows the skull that was originally assigned, certainly a great skull. The bottom photo shows the one that belonged to the animal, which was proven by the fact that it was found with enough articulated material to unequivocally make the identification positive.
I donít know what Iím trying to do here. I just wish he hadnít made those mistakes. He wonít be forgiven like Marsh or Cope. Their mistake is laughed off, his is proof that he should have gone to school. Perhaps thatís true afterall, but he was a brave man in there swinging at every ball thrown his way. I love him for it.