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August 01, 2003

Palaeontology database in the house!

Palaeontology databases will add some computational verve to the intuitive and oh-so-subjective task of interpreting fossils and commenting on the record as it is according to this article in Nature. I have a friend who is doing graduate work in "computational palaeontology," who would have thought that there was such a field [1]? Additionally, these sorts of tools might be useful against the Creationists in the public domain. After all, have a dispute with a anti-evolution nutter? If you have a public database you could plop him in front of palaeontology.google.com and give him a heavy dose of reality. Finally, many children are introduced to science through a love of dinosaurs and natural history, and this database could be another way of luring young minds to science as they scour it for minutiae on their favorite species (usually T-Rex of course!).

[1] He's a CIS guy who works in the biology department now.

Posted by razib at 01:27 AM