SCIART-L Archives

SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration-


Options: Use Forum View

Use Monospaced Font
Show HTML Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
Frank Ippolito <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration- <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 15 Feb 2011 11:56:35 -0500
text/plain (67 lines)
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)



> 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
> Need to leave or subscribe to the Sciart-L listserv? Follow the 
> instructions at

Need to leave or subscribe to the Sciart-L listserv? Follow the instructions at