Panbiogeography of the Americas

John Grehan jrg13 at PSU.EDU
Mon Sep 27 21:52:57 CDT 1999

>Fred R. Rickson wrote

>It isn't just the "new cladists" who don't see much science in Croizat.
>When the books first came out the 50's - 60's, comment that this "guessing"
>in not science was just as strong as today (we even had a graduate seminar
>on the books/ideas).

Trouble is, Croizat got it right. He predicted geological features that were not
known in his time. If his work was not  science it still worked. What
is your explanation for non science getting valid results (i.e. empirically
corroborated predictions)?

You just don't put dots on a map, draw connecting
>lines, and then hypothesize interconnecting land bridges and call it valid

This is a good example of the perjoritive perspecitve  of biologists towards
geography. Perhaps geography is not a science either.

We owe Croizat a large debt of gratitude for the enormous amount
>of plant distribution information he put together, and stimulation as to
>some very unusual taxonomic situations, but not for explanation of how
>those distributions came about.

If his explanations are invalid (ironically a great number of
biogeographers, including
cladists and non cladists, agree with his explanations for many groups) I don't
see how one can owe Croizat a debt of gratitude for anything. Its contradictory.

If the assertion that panbiogeography is not science is correct, then Fred
Rickson has
identified a development perhaps more insidious than creationism being
taught in schools.
Panbiogeography is not only being taught in institutions of higher
learning, but also
published by reputable scientific journals and books. How could such
organizations be
so blind to panbiogeography not being science?

John Grehan

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