Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Pet Peeve
archaeology vs. paleontology

I just watched an ABC news clip entitled "Archaeologists uncover 148-million-year-old dinosaur bones."

This annoyed me. Because archaeologists don't dig up/study dinosaurs. Paleontologists do. I mean, if the "layperson" gets it wrong, fine. But to have news people screw it up when it's their JOB to get facts right, that's just lazy and annoying. And it's ABC news, for Christ's sake, not some little crappy news station. And it wasn't just the video headline--the dude on the video called them archaeologists, as well.

But then I thought, "Hey, maybe I should look into this more--maybe it was archaeologists who uncovered them while they were doing some other archaeological task." But no. Every other article I read refers to them as paleontologists (of which I'm grateful most got it right). So they clearly seem to have been paleontologists, not archaeologists (whose job is to dig up/study human remains and artifacts).

On a different news related note, if I see one more article about that stupid-ass Miley Cyrus photo shoot, I may be forced to kill myself. Seriously. Was it really that scandalous?? No. It wasn't.

8 Comments:

At 6/18/2008 6:51 PM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

maybe they think the average idiot doesn't know what a paleontologist is.

 
At 6/18/2008 9:09 PM, Blogger Elissa said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 6/18/2008 9:11 PM, Blogger Elissa said...

Couldn't the archaeologist have been looking for human remains and accidentally found dinosaurs instead therefore making it a discovery by an archaeologist, not a paleontologist? It could happen....

 
At 6/18/2008 9:25 PM, Blogger Candy said...

Yeah...I just read another article this morning about Miley Cyrus and how her dad wasn't there at the shoot. WTF? I don't think those pictures were scandalous, either.

News reporters get things wrong all the time. It was crazy how many facts reporters got wrong about the way the child welfare system in Texas works when they were reporting about FLDS. My coworkers got really frustrated about it.

 
At 6/19/2008 4:54 AM, Anonymous joleen said...

I thought the same thing you and elissa did about it being archaeologists, until I read your second paragraph. Sunny likes Hannah Montana.

 
At 6/19/2008 1:42 PM, Blogger Emily said...

Yeah, like I said, I also entertained the thought that maybe they WERE archaeologists. But I've concluded that they weren't based on the fact that:

1. Numerous other articles referred to them as paleontologists.

2. Apparently "they" have known for a while that this area was a good place for dino bones, but they hadn't done a large scale dig until now, when the Bureau of Land Management sent out a team to dig stuff up.

3. I'd assume that the Bureau of Land Management would send a team of proper paleontologists to a dig in an area that's supposed to be rife with dinos. Not saying that maybe there weren't a few archaeologists along for the ride, as well...

I think Liz had a good point--maybe they purposely didn't use the term paleontologist because they thought people were dumb and wouldn't understand the word. But copping out and using the wrong term just increases the misinformation.

I realize this isn't that important in the grand scheme of things, but it annoyed me nonetheless.

Now, the difference between archaeologists and anthropologists I find a little more tenuous. Joleen, do you have a minor in anthropology?

And do you guys spell it "archaeology" or "archeology"? I like the first one because it LOOKS more old...and archaeologists study old things. :)

 
At 6/19/2008 1:50 PM, Blogger Elissa said...

Maybe I should read your entire post before I comment....

Miley Cyrus is getting old fast.

 
At 6/19/2008 8:45 PM, Anonymous joleen said...

Archaeology is a branch of anthropology. Anthropology is the study of mankind basically with the branches being physical anthropology, cultural anthropology and archaeology.

 

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