Gregory S. Paul

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Gregory S. Paul
Gregory S Paul in Princeton.jpg
Gregory Paul in 2011
Born (1954-12-24) December 24, 1954 (age 59)
Washington DC
Residence Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Nationality American
Fields Paleontology, Paleoart, Sociology, Theology
Institutions Independent
Known for

Accurate dinosaur restorations
Pioneering feathered theropods during "Dinosaur Renaissance"

Technical/popular books and articles, criticism of religion
Influences Charles R. Knight, William Scheele, Bill Berry
Influenced Artists during and after the "Dinosaur Renaissance"

Gregory Scott Paul (December 24, 1954) is an American freelance researcher, author and illustrator who works in paleontology, and more recently has examined sociology and theology. He is best known for his work and research on theropod dinosaurs and his detailed illustrations, both live and skeletal.[1] Professionally investigating and restoring dinosaurs for three decades, Paul received an on-screen credit as dinosaur specialist on Jurassic Park and Discovery Channel's When Dinosaurs Roamed America and Dinosaur Planet. He is the author and illustrator of Predatory Dinosaurs of the World (1988), The Complete Illustrated Guide to Dinosaur Skeletons (1996), Dinosaurs of the Air (2001), The Princeton Field Guide To Dinosaurs (2010), Gregory S. Paul's Dinosaur Coffee Table Book (2010), and editor of The Scientific American Book of Dinosaurs (2000). Paul's recent research on the interactions of religion and society has received international press and media coverage.

Paleontology[edit]

Illustrations[edit]

Stegosaurus stenops and Allosaurus fragilis mounts posed after illustrations made by Gregory S. Paul, Denver Museum of Nature and Science[2]

Paul helped pioneer the "new look" of dinosaurs in the 1970s.[3] Through a series of dynamic ink drawings and oil paintings he was among the first professional artists to depict them as active, warm-blooded and – in the case of the small ones – feathered.[3] Many later dinosaur illustrations are a reflection of his anatomical insights or even a direct imitation of his style.[1][4] The fact that he worked closely with paleontologists, did his own independent paleontological research and created a series of skeletal restorations of all sufficiently known dinosaurs, lead many to regard his images as a sort of scientific standard to be followed.[5] This tendency is stimulated by his habit of constantly redrawing older work to let it reflect the latest finds and theories. Much of it is in black-and-white,[6] in ink or colored pencil. Sculptors have used these anatomical templates as a resource for decades,[7] and still do today[8] many unauthorized and uncredited[9] Even one of his scientific critics, Storrs L. Olson, described him in a review in the Scientific American as "a superior artist". He was inspired by classic paleoartists such as Charles R. Knight, and has a fondness for the dinosaur restorations of the little-known artist Bill Berry.[10][11]

Paul's line art and paintings have been published in over 100 popular books and shown in more documentaries than other modern paleoartists [12] including several television programs such as The Nature of Things, NOVA, Horizon, and PaleoWorld.[2] Among the magazines his art has appeared in are: Time, Smithsonian, Discover, Scientific American, Equinox and Natural History.

Research[edit]

From 1977 to 1984, Paul was an informal research associate and illustrator for Robert Bakker in the Earth and Planetary Sciences department at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.[2] Paul lacks a formal degree in paleontology, but has participated in numerous field expeditions and has authored or co-authored over 30 scientific papers and over 40 popular science articles.[2] Paul proposed that some of the bird-like feathered theropods were winged fliers, and that others were secondarily flightless, an idea supported by some fossils from China. Paul's thermoregulatory concept of "terramegathermy" proposes that only animals with high metabolic rates can exceed one tonne on land.[citation needed] Paul has named the following dinosaurs, alone or with co-authors:

The first three of these are now commonly assigned to other taxa. The theropod Cryptovolans pauli is named after him in recognition of his (presumed correct) predictions about feathered and flying dinosaurs. Sellacoxa pauli is named after him to recognize his recent work in iguanodont research.

Paul's designs of the great pterosaur Quetzalcoatlus northropi were instrumental in building AeroVironment's half-scale robot star of the 1986 IMAX movie On the Wing.

Writing[edit]

Aside from many scientific articles, Paul has written four books on paleontology, all illustrated by the author himself:

  • Predatory Dinosaurs of the World (1988): Aimed at a popular audience; informed part of the Jurassic Park novel, as evidenced by acknowledgement from author Michael Crichton. It also influenced dinosaur designs for the film.[18]
  • The Complete Illustrated Guide to Dinosaur Skeletons (1996): Only available in Japan for a short time, this reference book reproduced Paul's skeletal reconstructions.
  • Dinosaurs of the Air (2002): Quite scholarly, the book puts forth the hypothesis that some theropods, especially maniraptors like Velociraptor, were descended from flying dinosaurs who later lost the ability to fly.
  • The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs (2010): The work is 320 pages covering 735 species with over six hundred of Paul's illustrations.
  • Gregory S. Paul's Dinosaur Coffee Table Book (2010): A large-format hardbound collection of colour works, with commentary on each. Many pieces are revised works in progress to reflect new evidence, and are pictured next to the original works.

Paul was also editor of The Scientific American Book of Dinosaurs (2000).

Religion[edit]

Because creationists claim that popular acceptance of evolution harms societies, and because the sociology of religion's cultural impact is under-researched,[19][20] Paul began to investigate what he labels the "moral-creator socioeconomic hypothesis." Paul authored a paper in 2005[21] wherein, he states in the introduction that the paper is "not an attempt to present a definitive study that establishes cause versus effect between religiosity, secularism and societal health".[22] He concludes that less religious first world societies generally have low social dysfunction. However, many important and unresolved problems were noted by other researchers on his methodology such as lack of clarity in his definitions and concepts of "religion" and "secular", too much reliance on scatter plots instead of multivariate and multiple regression analysis which single out variables from complex phenomena to better source the probable causes of any correlations, and not indicating the limits of his sources of data in such as the diverse linguistical understanding of "religion" in all cultures in the data used.[23][24]

In a follow-up paper in 2009 [25] he notes "high religiosity is not universal to human populations, and it is actually inversely related to a wide range of socio-economic indicators representing the health of modern democracies." Paul holds that, "once a nation's population becomes prosperous and secure, for example through economic security and universal health care, much of the population loses interest in seeking the aid and protection of supernatural entities. This effect appears to be so consistent that it may prevent nations from being highly religious while enjoying good internal socioeconomic conditions."

These conclusions are in line with other sociological research such as Pippa Norris and Ronald Ingelhart's Sacred and Secular (2004) and Phil Zuckerman's Society Without God (2009). His research is not in line with works from John Micklethwait and Adrian Woodbridge,[26] or research from Peter L. Berger (2009)[27] and Philip Jenkins.[28] These latter works argue that the resurgence of religion in diverse and previously secular nations such as India, Singapore, China and Turkey, which has primarily been among the more educated, economic upper-class, when viewed alongside the continued religious adherence in the United States, seems to paint Europe (the primary center of Paul and Zuckerman's arguments) as the exception instead of the norm.

Paul's paper goes on to conclude that religion is not universal, that there is no well developed God gene, and that humans are much more adapted to be materialists than spiritual. The study was covered by the senior science editor at Newsweek who observed that the "brain may indeed be predisposed to supernatural beliefs. But that predisposition may need environmental input to be fully realized."[29] An article in USA Today presents contrasting views on Paul's conclusions.[30]

In Philosophy and Theology Paul published a paper that cites the large scale deaths of children as evidence against the existence of a good God.[31] The paper concludes that the widely held free will and best of all possible worlds theological hypotheses are not correct. The absence of a moral creator is cited in the Evolutionary Psychology paper as one reason why religiosity would not lead to superior societal conditions.

In a discussion in Science,[32] Paul observes that "Prosperous modernity is proving to be the nemesis of religion". The same piece also claims that the lack of religion in some hunter-gatherers refutes the God gene hypothesis, in which a propensity to religion is genetically hard wired into the human brain.

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b 1970s
  2. ^ a b c d Curriculum Vitae – Gregory S. Paul: Books, Articles, Abstracts & Other Projects
  3. ^ a b Gregory S. Paul: The Full Autobiography Part 3
  4. ^ Products & Services - Gregory S. Paul: Available For Projects, Commissions
  5. ^ Naish, D. (2009). The Great Dinosaur Discoveries. A & C Black Publishers Ltd, London. p. 138
  6. ^ Jane P. Davidson. (2008). A History of Paleontology Illustration, Indiana University Press, p. 180
  7. ^ Rimell, R. (1995)Building and Painting Model Dinosaurs. Kalmbach Publishers, Wisconsin. p. 40
  8. ^ Debus, Allen and Bob Morales. Dinosaur Sculpting: A Complete Guide (2013) p70, 112, 143
  9. ^ Telleria, R. The Visual Guide to Scale Model Dinosaurs (2012), p19, 21.
  10. ^ http://gspauldino.com/PTinterview2006.pdf
  11. ^ http://gspauldino.com/PTinterview1999.pdf
  12. ^ http://gspauldino.com/autobiography.html
  13. ^ a b c G.S. Paul, 1988, Predatory Dinosaurs of the World. Simon & Schuster, New York pp. 1–464
  14. ^ Brett-Surman, Michael K., Paul, Gregory S. (1985) "A new family of bird-like dinosaurs linking Laurasia and Gondwanaland." Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 5(2): 133–138.
  15. ^ Paul, G.S. (1988). "The brachiosaur giants of the Morrison and Tendaguru with a description of a new subgenus, Giraffatitan, and a comparison of the world's largest dinosaurs". Hunteria, 2(3): 1–14.
  16. ^ a b c Paul, Gregory S. (2008). "A revised taxonomy of the iguanodont dinosaur genera and species". Cretaceous Research 29 (2): 192–216. doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2007.04.009. 
  17. ^ A. Elzanowski, G.S. Paul, and T.A. Stidham, 2001, "An avian quadrate from the Late Cretaceous Lance Formation of Wyoming", Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 20(4): 712–719
  18. ^ http://www.fxguide.com/featured/welcome-back-to-jurassic-park/
  19. ^ Bloom, Paul. "Does Religion Make You Nice? Does Atheism Make You Mean?" Slate November 7, 2008.
  20. ^ Shermer, Michael. (2009). "Bowling for God" Scientific American 12/06.
  21. ^ Paul, Gregory S. (2005). "Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies" (PDF). Journal of Religion and Society 7. Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  22. ^ Paul, G.S. (2005), p. 2.
  23. ^ Jensen, Gary (2006). "Religious Cosmologies and Homicide Rates among Nations: A Closer Look". Journal of Religion and Society 8. 
  24. ^ Moreno-Riano, Gerson; Mark Smith, Thomas Mach. "Religiosity, Secularism, and Social Health". Journal of Religion and Society 8. 
  25. ^ Paul, G.S. (2009) "The Chronic Dependence of Popular Religiosity upon Dysfunctional Psychosociological Conditions". Evolutionary Psychology 7 (3) [1]
  26. ^ Micklethwait, John and Woodridge, Adrian .God is Back
  27. ^ Berger, Peter. ed., "Religious America, Secular Europe?" ISBN 978-0-7546-6011-8
  28. ^ Jenkins, Philip. "The Next Christendom: The Coming Global Christianity"
  29. ^ Begley, S. (2009). "Unwired for God: Religious beliefs may not be innate", Newsweek.
  30. ^ Vergano, D. (2009). "Science, religion debated as envangelical takes top NIH post". USA Today. 
  31. ^ Paul, G.S. (2009) "Theodicy's Problem: A Statistical Look at the Holocaust of the Children and the Implications of Natural Evil For the Free Will and Best of All Possible Worlds Hypotheses" Philosophy and Theology 19:125–149
  32. ^ Paul, G. S. (2010). "Religion Tied to Socioeconomic Status". Science 327 (5966): 642. doi:10.1126/science.327.5966.642-b. 

References[edit]

  • Begley, S. (2009). "Unwired for God: Religious beliefs may not be innate". Newsweek. 
  • Norris, P., Ingelhart, R. (2004). Sacred and Secular. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 
  • Paul, G. S. (2009). "The Chronic Dependence of Popular Religiosity upon Dysfunctional Psychosociological Conditions". Evolutionary Psychology 7 (3): 398–441. 
  • Paul, G. S. (2005). "Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popularity Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies". Journal of Religion & Society 7: 1–17. 
  • Paul, G. S. (2010). "Religion Tied to Socioeconomic Status". Science 327 (5966): 642. doi:10.1126/science.327.5966.642-b. 
  • Paul, G. S. (1998). "Terramegathermy and Cope's rule in the time of the titans". Modern Geology. 23 (1–4). 
  • Paul, G.S. (2002). Dinosaurs of the Air: The Evolution and Loss of Flight in Dinosaurs and Birds. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-6763-0. 
  • Paul, G.S. (1986). "The Science and Art of Restoring the Life Appearance of Dinosaurs and Their Relatives: A Rigorous How-To Guide". Dinosaurs Past and Present Volume II (eds. Czerkas, Olson; Los Angeles: Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Press). 
  • Vergano, D. (September 14, 2009). "Science, religion debated as envangelical takes top NIH post". USA Today. Retrieved May 4, 2010. 
  • Zuckerman, P. (2009). Society Without God. New York: New York University Press. ISBN 0-8147-9714-8. 

External links[edit]