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Diana Marques <[log in to unmask]>
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SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration- <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 15 Feb 2011 17:38:46 +0000
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Valuable $00.02 Frank. You are right about those two groups and for Friday I'm actually including both (as separate entities as you suggest) as the two show the strong connection of illustration with scientific knowledge, which is the point I'll try to make  on the one hand the most current scientific knowledge researchers have and illustrators follow to produce images that later might prove to be wrong (as in the example Jenny pointed out about the species at the Burgess shale); on the other hand the scientific knowledge illustrators themselves have which depends on their search for references and might lead to misinformed images.

On 2011/02/15, at 16:56, Frank Ippolito wrote:

> hi diana,
> one thing that comes to mind while reading the input is that the examples fall under two broad categories: instances where the illustrator did not represent the 'current' state of scientific knowledge and those where they did. in the latter case, I do not see this as a mistake. in reality it is merely representing the process of science - which does not define a *truth* but only a current understanding. creationists and other science revisionists often cite these inconsistencies as proof that evolution is a flawed theory. if you choose to include examples that represent that process, I'd suggest structuring the talk so it is clearly shown to be a whole different enchilada. although there are plenty of entertaining stories of museums that mounted the wrong dino skull on a restoration in the their halls, I feel that painting these examples with a broad stroke that puts them in the same category as an illustrator who put too many toes on a known species of salamander (gulp) does a disservice to the whole scientific process. in the case of the slighted salamander, the illustrator made an error that was then disseminated into literature. now THAT's a reason to pile on. (just not too hard, guys)
> $00.02
> -frank
>> On 2/15/11 7:59 AM, Diana Marques wrote:
>>> Thank you All for the great contributions!
>>> I have been researching the suggestions and ideas and indeed found plenty of "pinned butterflies" in flight and monarchs with six legs instead of four (especially in stock art websites...). I have yet to find spiders with missing patellas but I can imagine they're also abundant out there.
>>> As far as Peterson's three-toed woodpecker I was unable to find the image but some people write about that inaccuracy in his otherwise great work. And Barry, you are so right about the flashlight in the eyes, overweight captive animals pretending to be in the wild and birds with missing feathers.
>>> Jenny, thank you for mentioning Stephen Jay Gould's book, I was able to get it and will extract the information and add to other Charles Knight's images.
>>> Fantastic examples at the Left Handed DNA Hall of Fame, certainly an eye-opener.
>>> As far as other things I have or other people provided me with, there's my favorite, an image of a shark described as "men devourer" with accordingly fire red eyes and bull's nose. And plenty of rubber animals as in legs with no articulations, dolphins that can bend like cats, among others.
>>> Regarding a possible journal article, I would be glad to do it with the caveat of being a more descriptive text since for most images would be difficult to track the illustrator for asking permission for reproduction (and even if I did track them, would I want to tell them what the purpose was...?)
>>> Thank you again, if you can think of any other examples let me know, I can start a little collection we can all look at at GNSI conferences,
>>> Diana
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