FW: Islands, Science and Creationism

Les Kaufman lesk at BU.EDU
Mon Apr 15 10:42:09 CDT 2002

Would somebody please explain to me how panbiogeography works for marine
systems.  Take, for example, species like the pelagic dolphin or black
durgeon triggerfish, which are pantropical, as compared to the splendid
toadfish, restricted to the Central American shelf?

Bill Shear wrote:
> ------ Forwarded Message
> From: Bill Shear <wshear at email.hsc.edu>
> Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2002 11:41:49 -0400
> To: John Grehan <jrg13 at PSU.EDU>
> Subject: Re: Islands, Science and Creationism
> > This is exactly what Darwinian biogeography did for the Galapagos with all
> > its assertions of overwater dispersal being the only possible origin for
> > the Galapagos biota. Croizat's approach did not rely on accepted historical
> > geological reconstructions and his method took theory ahead of the current
> > knowledge of the time and generated predictions of future empirical
> > discovery. Regardless of philosophical and rhetorical objections and the
> > priority traditionally given to other disciplines over biogeography,
> > panbiogeography actually works.
> Now I'm confused.  The present-day Galapagos cannot be demonstrated to have
> had any land connection with previous archipelagos, and always has been
> separated from the South American continent or any other land mass by water.
> What possible other means of dispersal than "overwater" could account for
> the terrestrial biota found there?
> Bill Shear
> ------ End of Forwarded Message

Les Kaufman
Biology Department
Boston University
5 Cummington St.
Boston, MA 02215
lesk at bu.edu
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