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Scientist banned from using "hobbit" for H. floresiensis

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    That's a shame. You'd think they'd allow scientists a little leeway with their 'trade mark'.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,606 ✭✭✭ stoneill


    I suppose Halflings is out of the question too.


  • Registered Users Posts: 714 Ziphius


    Sigh. Never liked the use of the word 'hobbit' in this case to be honest. But I prefer it to the corporate protectionism seen here. I'll be sure to refer to Bilbo and Frodo as Hobbits(TM) in future.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    I have a cousin who calls me "hobbit" and he never had any legal problems because of it :(


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,551 Rubecula


    maybe he could use Hobitt??


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  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    Let's hob it!


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,551 Rubecula


    The Hob that ate all the Hob Nobs? :pac:


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,388 gbee


    Science needs maturity and confidence [don't mention global warming], and referring to a fictitious character is certainly not credulous.


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    gbee wrote: »
    Science needs maturity and confidence [don't mention global warming], and referring to a fictitious character is certainly not credulous.

    But science also needs to stimulate interest within the next generation. While tabloidesque, using the term 'Hobbit' in relation to H. floresiensis brought about much extra publicity and piqued the curiosity of a great many who most likely would have overlooked the discovery were it not for the nickname attributed to it. As far as I'm concerned, generating interest in kids is vital for the long term future of science in general.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    Galvasean wrote: »
    But science also needs to stimulate interest within the next generation. While tabloidesque, using the term 'Hobbit' in relation to H. floresiensis brought about much extra publicity and piqued the curiosity of a great many who most likely would have overlooked the discovery were it not for the nickname attributed to it. As far as I'm concerned, generating interest in kids is vital for the long term future of science in general.

    I agree 100%.

    I think its important that the "maturity and confidence" don´t turn into "elitism and pedantry", which is something I see happen a lot. This can only result in alienating people with a genuine interest on these matters.
    And its not like paleontology doesn´t owe a lot to popular culture already. If it wasn´t for movies like King Kong, Jurassic Park etc, the public would probably not be as interested in paleontology as it is. I mean, for God's sake, a scientist has just named a dinosaur after Tolkien's Sauron, and this is not a nickname like in H. floresiensis' case, but an official scientific name. I see no harm in paying homage to literature, fiction or film, which at the end of the day are the very things that inspired many people to become paleontologists in the first place.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,388 gbee


    Adam Khor wrote: »
    Tolkien's Sauron,

    I did not know this, but I stand by my assertion, not everyone likes Hobbits and only time will tell if the name was a good choice or not, science is littered with name changes from ill advised contemporary associations.

    In any even the 'rights' holders don't want cross contamination and despite two excellent posts, which I could agree with, I still think the association ill advised ~ perhaps I'm wrong.

    As an aside one thing that irks me is the way Astronomy is taught to children, rather the constellations, we are making new ones, in 100 years time we run the risk of having descended from Hobbits and and trying to find life in the constellation of Marge Simpson.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    gbee wrote: »
    science is littered with name changes from ill advised contemporary associations.

    Such as?
    gbee wrote: »
    As an aside one thing that irks me is the way Astronomy is taught to children, rather the constellations, we are making new ones, in 100 years time we run the risk of having descended from Hobbits and and trying to find life in the constellation of Marge Simpson.

    I would cringe at the thought of naming a constellation after Marge Simpson but hey, still better than one named after Moe or Flanders...:pac:

    Still, going back to the hobbits, I don´t think Tolkien mythology is a "temporary" thing. I mean, there's HUGE following to his work after all this time and we still revere and love many authors from before his time- just the same as we keep remembering the characters of Greek, Roman, Egyptian mythology for example.
    I know to some it may be an outrage to compare Frodo and co. to Hercules or Jason, but hey, in a couple thousand years they're all gonna be ancient mythology.
    And if the moment comes when all these characters, myth and fiction are forgotten... well I seriously doubt anyone will remember or care about science by then.

    Just my thoughts tho.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,551 Rubecula


    Hmmmm

    Under the brilliant light of Mickey Mouse we discussed the historical references of Gandalf and the Hobbits.

    Yes I can see this could be a bit weird. But in all honesty if the facts are correct, is the name that important?


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    Rubecula wrote: »
    Hmmmm

    Under the brilliant light of Mickey Mouse we discussed the historical references of Gandalf and the Hobbits.

    *cringes*
    Rubecula wrote: »
    Yes I can see this could be a bit weird. But in all honesty if the facts are correct, is the name that important?

    I guess not but I still hate it when people gives dinosaurs lame names after the places where they were found, or after people's surnames. It kinda ruins the mystique classic dinosaur names used to have. A Tyrannosaurus rex, Triceratops or Velociraptor sounds awesome; Puertasaurus, Nigersaurus, or God forbid, Geosternbergia sternbergi... those are just lazy.

    Then of course many people would criticize me for basing it all on awesomeness...


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    A rose by any other name....


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