Talk:James A. Jensen

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Pre 2008[edit]

Talk: James A. Jensen

I deleted the reference to an error that Jensen made in inaccurately erecting a new genus on the basis of one vertebra which was from brachiosaurus. Inserting one negative with half a dozen positives gives the negative inappropriate weight. You are referred to his website <> for details of his life. Jim Jensen (a son)

While I respect very much your wish that there should not be imbalance, I feel that it is important that we do not censor information on Wikipedia. Is there a form of words that would enable you to restore this information yet retain the proportionality that you so understandably seek? - Ballista 05:49, 24 September 2006 (UTC)
Hmmm...thanks for chance to 'talk' about this. I appreciate that greatly. It obviously feels like censorship, what I did. However, I am not squelching a fact - it is a fact. Indeed, he made others as well. Should we list them all? If so, how far back would we go in enumerating people's errors? When one is in grad school? Or do we wait till after they are employed in the field, or do we give them 5 years grace before starting? Do we report everyone's errors? I'm not being sarcastic, just extending the issue logically. I bet that if you look at the wikipages for Mr. Cope or Mr. Marsh -I forget which- that you won't find a discussion of one of the most famous paleo errors of all time, assigning the wrong skull to good ol' apatosaurus? Why not. I don't know why not but I'll bet a buck. However, if you believe that this error should be listed, please provide an explanation of the benefit it provides to readers to see it listed and I'll reinsert it -and will expect that everyone's pages will start listing their errors. :) Thanks again for giving me a chance to talk about this before making a change. Jim Jensen 05:21, 26 October 2006
I don't see any additional comments on this page since my October note, but will enter a note. Thank you for the direction to take in revising this page which badly needs it. I have started the job and will upload it after I have it finished. Nothing will remain as it is at present. Jim Jensen 20:52 PST 5 February 2007. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 04:53, 6 February 2007 (UTC).

I am nearly finished with revision of the James A. Jensen article. One large topic is in the works locally and I will also insert several photos. Otherwise, it is nearly finished. Doctorjrj 02:25, 11 February 2007 (UTC) Jim Jensen 6:25 pm PST 10 Feb 2007

I have nearly finished revisions, & just tweak language for style, not content. I still need to insert the images which I will do. I have sorted out the copyright of the first image I tried to insert, kronosaurus queenslandicus.jpg. I have the copies of the two sizes of the actual postcard and it does not show any kind of copyright mark or text. I did major overhaul of the Museum of Paleontology and Geology. Doctorjrj 14:49, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

I did a major overhaul of the section on the Museum of Geology and Paleontology. Doctorjrj 19:32, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

I confirmed by email today that Dr. Rod Scheetz, a specialist in the Dry Mesa Quarry, has agreed to expand the paragraph on Dry Mesa here, as well as writing a detailed separate article. Doctorjrj 15:42, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

I notice another note at the top of the article requesting additional revisions since my last overhaul. So I have done another really major revision. There are so many changes that I will not attempt to enumerate them because I can't remember them. Please compare the present version to the prior version if you need to see just how extensive the changes are, inclusions, deletions, and revisions. I trust that this is closer to the expected style. Doctorjrj 01:00, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

I tagged it not for style, but for copy editing because there were some grammatical errors i noted as reading it, I rather enjoyed the section on BYU conflicts and thought it told a good bit about his character while still being educational, maybe some time I'll try to re-integrate that. Liddell 04:59, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Thank you so much for an actual comment! I have worked on the article some more and would appreciate your suggestions. Doctorjrj 23:09, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

I worked on the section dealing with conflict, including facts I just gleaned from documents in dad's estate. However, the section is too long. Would you be willing to edit it and reduce its size? If the size is OK as it is, that's OK with me, but I am not sure what limitations or expectations are since this is the first article I have written for Wikipedia. Thanks for your assistance. Doctorjrj 04:04, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Liddell: Am not sure why I asked your assistance! My apologies. I'll take care of it. Given all of the facts I discovered yesterday, that section must be rewritten. Doctorjrj 15:08, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Hi Liddell: I still can't pare the conflict paragraph down much if I am going to include specific details. As it is, I have compressed them enormously so the alternative is to just take out facts and replace them with generic observations about what went on. What do you think? Doctorjrj 22:23, 24 February 2007 (UTC)


ClicketyClack. Thanks for the additions and changes. FYI, the paragraph on Dry Mesa will be substantially expanded by an article from a professional paleontologist. Otherwise, this article is basically finished, except for the images. I'm having a terrible time picking the proper type of license. Doctorjrj 05:21, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

NPOV Issues?[edit]

Reading this article I thought it was a little too gushing for an encyclopedia article. I was unsurprised to find it had been edited by a member of the person's family. Sections like this especially (the whole thing in general, but the last sentence more specifically):

Jensen’s last mount was that of a virtuoso who was in complete control of his materials and methods. He extended the free-standing concept to the ultimate level, mounting a medium-sized dinosaur in a running position, on one foot which is grasping a narrow, thin cantilevered ledge which itself is elevated 3 feet above the floor. As an artist, welder and machinist, he was able to fabricate a serpentine steel armature sufficiently small to be concealed inside of the skeleton, and sufficiently strong to support the double-scissor structure on three resting points. (See image) The design of the mount created a lever and fulcrum at each contact point, thereby multiplying the forces that had to be accounted for in the armature. The first resting-point is the right hip which supports the skeleton minus the right leg; the second resting-point which bears the entire weight is the junction of the right foot and the end of the ramp; the third resting point which supports the complete skeleton and 15 free-standing feet of the ramp is the joint formed by the rear end of that 15 foot segment and the top edge of the only vertical support for the ramp. The remainder of the ramp extends backwards to the floor. The cantilevered, double-scissor concept of this mount will not be surpassed until levitation is practical.

This doesn't sound like a neutral point of view to me (or even necessarily true--I can't imagine why anyone would want to, but what if some bone-geek mounts an old skeleton using a triple scissor cantilevered technique on titanium alloy supports next week?)

Just my .02 dollars, Greg [[User_talk:Evilgreg3000|(Talk)]] 13:43, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Whoops! Guilty as charged[edit]

Apropos this statement in his final paragraph ("I can't imagine why anyone would want to... "), EVILGreg is gratuitously nasty. He has overlooked the Wikipedia policy on NPOV problems which encourages editors like himself to "...point(ing) the perpetrators to this page (but politely — one gets more flies with honey than with vinegar)."(

I admit that I was hyperventilating a bit! but he really was "a truly great man" whether or not he was my dad. (Source: "It was an honor and privilege for me to have known such a truly great man." which is the last line of letter of consolation written by Jack McIntosh of Wesleyan University, one of the prominent men of paleontology today, which is found at"

I did not know I was violating any Wiki policy in writing my dad's biography. Greg's silly venom doesn't help anything, does it, other than reveal something about him, though I am not sure what that is. However, in spite of the silliness, Greg's point is well taken. As a result, I have reviewed other the relevant Wiki policies, and find that I am probably violating more than one. After consideration of those rules what I have done, I suspect that as long as I, a family member, is the editor of the biography, I and the article will always be open to the allegation of lack of objectivity. Since it actually doesn't matter whether or not his story is told in Wikipedia (and since it is told with considerably detail and much more hyperventilation on his own website ( where I write the rules. <grin>) I am going to take the one action that will protect me and dad and his story from valid complaints -as well as cheap shots- on Wikipedia.

So: Dear Wikipedia editors: I request that, insofar as it is possible according to Wikipedia policies, everything I wrote about "James A Jensen" and "Dinosaur Jim" be permanently removed from Wikipedia, and that the original stub be returned to its place as the Wikipedia entry about James A Jensen. This is not pique or anger. The reason for doing this is to forestall any future claims of bias on the basis of family contribution. In scholarly enterprises, that is a legitimate issue which I overlooked. The obvious benefit of this action will be to clear the field for a non-family member, if there ever should be one who is interested, to write the article.

I support Wikipedia's search for excellence and objectivity and fairness and 'documentability'. Those kinds of standards are what are making Wikipedia a legitimate scholarly resource, far beyond what I had expected when I first heard about it years ago. Those are the standards I had to meet when I did a doctorate 25 years ago and they apply today an enterprise like Wikipedia. Thanks for the education and best of luck. Wikipedia is a great intellectual enterprise. Jim Jensen # 2 13:29, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

(Only suggestion would be to train the editors to follow your policy about vinegar and honey! <grin>) -- --

I thought your exhaustive article was rather informative and would be of great use if it were just cleaned up a bit, a bias tag instead of a deletion/revert to stub seems much more in order. Liddell 09:20, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Whoops! Guilty as charged (me too!)[edit]

I agree with Liddell completely, and I'm sorry to see this drastic edit of what I generally thought was a very informative article.

I'd like to apologize for the tone of my contribution to this talk page; you're totally accurate in your assessment of my unnecessarily snide tone. That said, I really did think the article was a bit too gushing in places for an encyclopedia and needed some correction.

I visited the page in the first place only because I was interested in reading about your father, and I found plenty of information here in the article's previous form. I find it somewhat sad that I'm the cause of the article's demise; that I'll be to blame when the next anonymous surfer comes looking to read about your dad and his many contributions to paleontology and finds just this stub instead is not something I'll take any pride from.

I'd like very much for you to restore your very informative contribution (though admittedly I would prefer the tone was dialed back a notch closer to neutral). If you don't I'm reluctantly put in the position of owing it to the wikipedia to improve this stub. I'll give you some time to see this (or not) and hopefully change your mind before I make a fumbling attempt at a serious edit to this page.

Greg [[User_talk:Evilgreg3000|(Talk)]] 23:58, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Man alive! This is bizarre[edit]

It is true that James A Jensen's name was on the LDS roster when he cashed in his chips, but he wasn't a believer. A man who calls the holiest of LDS holies "fantasy" certainly is not one. But far be it from me to confuse with facts whoever is enthusiastically appending various sorts of "LDS"-related labels to his name. The best thing to do with this sort of tripe is to ignore it -unless you step in it. He must be turning over in his grave. DoctorJRJ 01 October 2007 Doctorjrj 19:59, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

Reverting to 2007 version of James A. Jensen[edit]

I am the son of James A. Jensen who wrote the original article. I removed it after being notified that it was excessively biased, which it was. In the interest of providing a more complete biography than is currently in Wikipedia, I am going to revert to the deleted version. It will be revised to remove unnecessary phrases and adjectives so that factual material remains. Doctorjrj (talk) 15:07, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

I am the "Biased" Party[edit]

I am glad to see the box at top of article recognizing possibility that I am biased. This tag is necessary when relatives write about their relatives. As is evident from this Talk Page, I have waxed hot and cold about even participating in creating this article about James A. Jensen. In the end, after consultations with other contributors, I agreed to put my version -with all of the revisions others see fit to make- back on Wikipedia.

The rationale for doing this is the simple fact that no one else, including my only sibling, knows the history of James Alvin Jensen as I do. I have the memories, the experience and the documents.

After my first drafts which were admittedly excessively complimentary, I took control of my adjectives and adverbs and perspective. I have reworked the article word by word weeding out biased statements or claims. An encyclopedia should be created by third-parties but as just noted that isn't possible here. But I have attempted to the best of my ability to take a third-party perspective here.

The biggest problem with my contributions is that many of the facts come from my memory. This leaves me susceptible to charges of having "memories of convenience" for which there is no reliable assay, no way to test them. I have done my best to be objective but acknowledge that there may still be bias. If there is, it is not intentional. I would prefer that it be entirely objective and free from claims of bias.

I inherited his papers, documents, writing, correspondence, and photos. Those are used extensively in this article, but since most of them are unpublished, statements based on those sources cannot be tested. There is no alternative if I am going to write his story.

However, I have undertaken an enormous project that may allay some questions about what is said in this Wiki article. I have basically 'published' a large percentage of those photos and information by creating a 200+ page/URL website, <>,in which I produce copies or scans of letters, maps, creations, photos (~1,000), and anything else I have which bears on his history. That page is obviously subject to charges of bias. However, in contrast to this Wiki article which has limited space, that website has unlimited space so I am able to reproduce enormous amounts of information, photos, drawings, etc. which provide support for some bald claims made in this article which cannot be supported here by that same kind of information.

Finally, I would be more than happy to share anything I have of his that others might wish to see. Indeed, <> generates a trickle of requests for photos, reprints, or information, which are a pleasure to receive. I will use this email: until I die. Being 67 years of age in 2009, and having long genes (an uncle survived to 103), I should be around to reply for another 30 or so years. Feel free to write with any questions or comments, and please corrects points of bias in this article as you see them. Doctorjrj (talk) 18:06, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

No Way to get off the S--- List[edit]

Apparently my albatross is not an albatross. It is a nasty sounding notice at the top of the article which will remain there longer than I am going to be alive. I understand that to degree, but it sticks in my craw. I did my damndest to clean it up, to find and root out bias and name calling and flames and lack objectivity, etc. so that no one's tender ears/eyes will be violated. I do support the objective of making sure that things are objective, but can't you take enough time off from hounding some minor problems and sort of give articles a deep once-over to see if there is any reason to keep that warning posted? Oh well, it's still better than ANYONE else could have done because I am the only one who knows his story and owns his archives and morgue. <chuckle,grin> Doctorjrj (talk) 06:06, 14 December 2009 (UTC)


I've done a bit of work removing some of the original research in this article. Some obviously still remains. I removed all the remaining asides about materials that his son possesses, personal reflections and philosophies that are unlikely to become sourced, the unsourced BYU dispute, etc. I understand that this article is a labor of love created by a member of Dr. Jensen's family, and, with some reworking, it can remain that and still be a nice encyclopedic article.

If anyone feels my changes have gone too far, s/he is welcome to revert all or part of it, so long as work continues on the clean-up of this article. Firsfron of Ronchester 09:09, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

Clean-Up, Act II[edit]

I don't see any reason to leave any of the article in Wikipedia. If some one else wishes to put something in, that's fine. Doctorjrj (talk) 20:37, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

WOW! Thank you very much.[edit]

I am amazed that someone cared enough about dad to do what s/he did with this article. I strived mightily to 'clean it up" and I thought I had done an excellent job. Depends, I suppose, one one's metric. However, it was not adequate for the purpose of an encyclopedia and that has been abundantly proven by the revised article before us. I simply was not capable of ferreting out the personal, intimate details as has now been done. I realized, of course, that most of what I said was undocumentable, but I persisted because it was his story, such an extraordinary man, and I wished that it would be noted somewhere other than the very personal, intimate <> which I pulled together splashing mightily in the wonderful history which only I (an sometimes my brother) knows now. I was off limits there and could do whatever I dang well pleased to do. Encyclopedic it is not. Thank you whoever you are for this job you have done. You recognize in your last comment that the creation of the article in the first place was a 'labor of love." I want you to know that I do understand that this final revision that you have done is also a labor of love. Thank you very much from dad's sons for the work you did for him.

I can't stand it any longer.[edit]

The issue is simple: I understand why the bias warnings are posted. Automatically, a family member is assumed to be biased, and I am and was. But I have tried to remove my bias where I could, and another person has taken the article in hand and is revising it so that it is a true encyclopedia article. So now there is no need for the notices, but Wikipedia apparently will not remove the notices. Once the notice is placed, it remains forever - is that the case? That's unfair to readers who will doubt what they read. ] comment added by (User talk:Doctorjrj talk

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