[Taxacom] Why I do this, and Why you should too -- The End

Barry Roth barry_roth at yahoo.com
Mon Jun 29 14:36:25 CDT 2009

Well okay, I'll add my few pence (pence being pretty much worthless in the States):  years ago I spent many hours poring over Leon Croizat's writings, thrilled by the idea that there might be procedures in there I could bring to bear on my organisms of interest.  Kudos to the California Academy of Sciences library, I had access to all the voluminous text I could handle.  I searched the painstakingly compiled data and examples, looking for, somewhere, anywhere, a statement of how to DO panbiogeography.  Where was the algorithm?  Where were the definitions of the unique jargon?
Along came Platnick, Rosen, and Nelson with their combination of vicariance biogeography and cladistic analysis -- clearly and elegantly laid out -- and I thought my grail quest was over.  Then Croizat spoke ex cathedra, no, that wasn't it at all.  I entered into a collaboration with a colleague who had actually visited the Great Man, and I thought I'd get the insight I needed; but when I presented to him my contribution to our planned paper, he said our ideas on biogeography were so far apart, there was no point in continuing our collaboration.  It was not Leon Croizat's or anyone else's fault that my friend acted that way.  But it was in keeping with what I have come to view as the bait-and-switch nature of the practice of panbiogeography.
I'm grateful for important insights such as the discrediting of the "center of origin" concept and the refusal to ask essentially fatuous "where did they come from"-style questions.  At least some of these insights may have had their origins in panbiogeography.  But to this day I regard my foray into panbiogeography as, if not a complete waste of time, an ultimately blind alley.
Thanks to Mike Ivie for sticking with this thread as long as he did.
Barry Roth

--- On Mon, 6/29/09, mivie at montana.edu <mivie at montana.edu> wrote:

Dear Taxacomers,

Any of you who are still reading this stuff must be wondering why I keep
at it?  They are now down to the rather helpless whimpering of quoting
incoherent paragraphs of holy texts, but however down, still not out.
Well, thank you to the many who have written off list to support me, but
it is time more of you stepped up and participated.

[...]I have spent a large amount of time the last few days, and taken a lot of
yours, to try to show the cult nature of this pseudo-science.  It reliance
on authority, circularity, cherry-picking of certain outcomes and holy
texts, plus the missionary zeal and diversionary tactics of its chief
proponents exposes it for what it is.  The tactic of going sideways when
logically pinned is what happens when those same type of people press your
door bell and want to just "discuss things" with you.

It is now your turn to show the susceptible among us where you stand.  I
am finished, my efforts, poor as they have been, are what I have.

Michael Ivie


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