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Posted by Scott Thomson on March 04, 2002 at 17:45:49:
In Reply to: Re: Queries answered and more posted by Patrick Alexander on March 04, 2002 at 04:00:41:
Personally I tend to agree with Ray on one issue here. That is that many (not all) amatures would "run rings around" many academics for knowledge of reptiles.
Just so you know I am what would be classified as an academic.
Now I will explain why and where. Most academics have no prior interest in reptiles. They gain an opportunity in their final year to do post graduate work on reptiles. They end up with a Masters, maybe a PhD and this is the sum total of their experience. Usually about five years on a very specific topic. They are then supposedly experts. Your average amature has had a keen interest in herpetology and reptiles from a young age. They tend (again not always) not to do well at Uni because they are too specialised in their interests. However they may have 15 years or more knowledge. Although it may not be as specific as the academic it will usually be broader. This is what Ray is referring to.
A more broad knowledge is in a lot of ways better than a narrow (though maybe more detailed) knowledge.