Raven and Axelrod's paper

Allan Shanfield anshanfield at UCDAVIS.EDU
Wed May 3 10:15:37 CDT 2000

Dear John,

Admittedly, their paper is a narrative. What alternatives can I look for
in lieu of this work, something that deals with many plant families?
Especially a work that is "scientific", in dealing with testable
hypotheses, disproving, etc. If you can suggest any relevant sources, I'd
be grateful.


Allan Shanfield
Env. Hort.
UC Davis

> The paper by Raven and Axelrod (1974) open with the claim that plate
> tectonic theory requires that "we" recognize certain new principles of
> biogeography, but the paper is simply conventional centers of
> origin/dispersal biogeography latched ad hoc onto a new geological setting.
> The authors admit this in stating that they attempt to interpret flowering
> plant distributions in the light of newly available geological evidence. In
> this context the centers of origin/dipsersal biogeography is devoid of
> empirical content and reduced biogeography to a non-science since the
> interpretations are dependant
> soley on the historical theories (narratives) proposed by geologists. Their
> paper is "interesting"
> as an example of biogeographers reducing biogeography to a non-science (as
> a series of biological narratives resting on geological narratives), but it
> consequently has nothing to offer in the way of a biogeographic insight
> into the past.
> John Grehan

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