Private collectors have been selling and buying fossils, the petrified remains of ancient organisms, ever since the eighteenth century. In recent years, however, the sale of fossils, particularly of dinosaurs and other large vertebrates, has grown into a big business. Rare and important fossils are now being sold to private ownership for millions of dollars. This is an unfortunate development for both scientists and the general public.
The article states that the selling of fossils to private ownership is creating a problem for both public and scientists. However, the professor explains that although it carries some negative consequences, it is exaggerated by the reading and provides the benefits of it.
First, the reading claims that the public is directly affected since they cannot have access to the fossils. Because private owners buy the fossils, the audience cannot easily reach them. Thus, it will tend to decline the public interest in dinosaurs' fossils. The professor refutes this point by saying that the fossils can be appreciated by the public more than ever before through this method. According to the speaker, they acquire these bones which makes it accessible for everybody even though the low level institutions, such as public libraries.
Second, the article posits that scientists also are affected since they lose access to the information provided by the fossils. Thus, they miss important information about extinct life because museums cannot compete with the prices against private owners. However, the speaker says that in order to obtain the value of fossils, scientists must identify the piece. In other words, scientists are involved in the process since they have to check them out after the private owner buys them. As a result, scientists won't miss information as the article stated previously.
Third, the reading says that the unearth fossils are prone to be destroyed in untrained hand because private owners lack of knowledge about getting and keeping the fossil in the correct conditions. The professor opposes to this point by explaining that even the discovery made by an untrained person is important to get new information; otherwise, the fossil will be undiscovered, so scientific institutions should recollect all the data possible although they lack of training to perform it.
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