[Taxacom] panbiogeography critique

mivie at montana.edu mivie at montana.edu
Mon Jun 29 12:27:51 CDT 2009


Perfect example of why Authority is not a way to evaluate science. 
Simpson was the epitome of authority,  in spite of being startlingly
wrong.

> Robin Leech wrote:
>
>> Until J. Tuzo Wilson of the U. of Toronto, in late 1963, in the Canadian
>> Journal of Physics, elaborated and explained how drifting continents and
>> plate tectonics go together, most scientists were still doubters.
>
> * growing up in the era when plate tectonics was the current scientific
> revolution, I was always impressed by the way zoogeographers skated
> around what we now take to be the evidence for it.
>
> In my file of mini-reviews of books I find on the bedroom floor, there's
> this entry:
>
> Simpson, George Gaylord. 1953. Life of the Past: An introduction to
> paleontology. xii+198 pp. -- probably from the collection of the late
> P.W. Schueler. GGS shows himself not to have anticipated phylogenetic
> systematics, not even a little tiny bit. Though he did anticipate
> continental drift – a little tiny bit in a grudgingly negative way.
>
>         Quite entertainingly, for us now, Simpson says that the creation
> of the Atlantic Ocean by continental rifting is impossible, and that
> there's no evidence for it, unless the rifting was so long in the past
> as to coincide with the dates now accepted for the creation of the
> Atlantic Ocean by continental rifting, and then cites a lot of the
> relationships which are now considered to be the result of the rifting...
>
> fred.
> =====================================
>
>> It was the botanists who championed continental drift at a time when
>> most
>> zoologists poo-poohed it.  In fact some zoologists went so far as to say
>> that the botanists used continental drift to explain what good science
>> could
>> not.  In other words, used the explanation of continental drift as a
>> crutch.
>>
>> As a kid in Vernon, BC, during WWII, I can recall my Father showing me a
>> globe of the world.  He showed how South America and Africa fit
>> together,
>> and explained how they used to be one continent.  Further, that some of
>> the
>> insect groups and other animals were related.  Dad was a water beetle
>> specialist.
>
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