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Archiver > APG > 2008-01 > 1199682082

From: "Drew Smith" <>
Subject: Re: [APG] Genealogy Definitions
Date: Mon, 7 Jan 2008 00:01:22 -0500
References: <5e931bb30801062026o1eb220cajae094d19b2de32a4@mail.gmail.com><577692.97724.qm@web31607.mail.mud.yahoo.com>
In-Reply-To: <577692.97724.qm@web31607.mail.mud.yahoo.com>

On Jan 6, 2008 11:33 PM, Ray Beere Johnson II <> wrote:
> --- Drew Smith <> wrote:
> > It
> > is standard (and reasonable) practice for
> > genealogists to be the ones
> > to create the definitions used by the
> > profession of genealogical
> > research.
> Ah, but that is *not* what this thread is
> about. These are terms, supposedly, to be used by
> the public...

Yes, they are to be used by the public, just as the public can (and
do) use the terms of math and science. But when the public use the
terms of math and science without understanding how they are defined
by mathematicians and scientists, they quickly get into trouble.
(This is why you constantly hear the uninformed members of the general
public saying things like "Evolution is only a theory", because those
members of the general public don't understand what scientists mean by
the word "theory".)

> Grabbing terms and defining them to control
> the public perception...

I don't think this thread has anything to do with "controlling" the
public perception. I think it has to do with minimizing vagueness and
ambiguity in talking about the profession of genealogy, both by
ourselves and by those who use the services of genealogists. When
mathematicians and scientists began to carefully define the terms they
themselves use, they helped their professions make enormous strides.
I think that the genealogical profession could benefit in the same

Drew Smith

This thread: