[Taxacom] panbiogeography critique

Michael Heads michael.heads at yahoo.com
Tue Jun 30 00:00:50 CDT 2009

Dear Peter,

It was interesting to hear Miss Perry's version of the story. Here's another anecdote. As some of you may know, Croizat was the botanist on the first expedition to the head of the Orinoco. He was busy learning the Indians' language and discovered that their word for 'white man' was 'he who sh*ts on the track'. Keen young field workers take note! Just when you think you've got miles away into the deepest forest, you're actually on a main road... 

Michael Heads    

Wellington, New Zealand.

My papers on biogeography are at: http://tiny.cc/RiUE0

--- On Tue, 6/30/09, Peter Stevens <peter.stevens at mobot.org> wrote:

> From: Peter Stevens <peter.stevens at mobot.org>
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] panbiogeography critique
> To: "John Grehan" <jgrehan at sciencebuff.org>
> Cc: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Date: Tuesday, June 30, 2009, 9:15 AM

> Croizat, on his very own "Space,
> Time, Form" - "I do admit that fully  
> 99% of the pagination of my works is  wind, trifle,
> piffle, rot,  
> stuff, in sum, entirely unworthy of the attention of the
> serious  
> scientist." - so that gave him on his own estimation 50-60
> useful  
> pages.  But then, you all should read what he thought
> about serious  
> scientists...  Lily Perry told a very nice story where
> L.C. compared  
> how he thought with how she thought: when asked to i.d. a
> plant, Miss  
> Perry said she would think about it, and came back the next
> day with  
> the name and how she had got there. L.C. thereupon said
> words to the  
> effect, "you are so careful, you will not step from one
> stone to  
> another until you are absolutely sure that they are close
> enough  
> together; as for me, I skip from stone to stone without
> worrying how  
> far they are apart" - and Miss Perry made skipping motions
> with her  
> hands with pleasant accompanying sounds.
> P.
> On Jun 29, 2009, at 11:41 AM, John Grehan wrote:
> > Michael Ivie characterized Croizat's writings as
> thousands of pages of
> > gibberish and that Croizat being right on something is
> a correlate of
> > the chimpanzee or orangutan pounding on a typewriter
> and occasionally
> > producing a sentence.
> >
> > The trouble with such characterizations is that they
> are made without
> > substance. Croizat had his own style, but it was not
> gibberish any  
> > more
> > than modern biogeographic papers (that in my view
> sometimes do read  
> > like
> > gibberish).
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