[Taxacom] No more whinging and whining?

Karl Magnacca kmagnacca at wesleyan.edu
Wed Feb 1 14:00:30 CST 2012


John Grehan wrote:
> Also, perhaps this book will make it more difficult for
> Hawaiians (the biogeographers) to keep up the pretence that there
> is no possible alternative to their dispersalist model for the
> islands' biota.

Not really.  The Chapter 1 excerpt makes it clear (in the section
"Island biogeography with metapopulations and without founders")
that Heads' case rests on including plant dispersal among oceanic
islands separated by hundreds of miles under his category of
"ordinary movement, seen every day".  Somehow, in panbiogeographers'
minds, events that happen every few thousand years can't happen over
longer distances every few tens or hundreds of thousand years.

Another interesting contrast of quotes:
"Puritans of all sorts (whether Oliver Cromwell or Louis XIV) cannot
stand anyone having a different view from themselves. The inflexible
schemes of these great simplifiers, levellers, and systematizers can
hold up progress for decades. In contrast, geologists (Chamberlin,
1890 reprinted 1965) and now molecular biologists (Hickerson et al.,
2010) cite the method of 'multiple working hypotheses'."

versus:

"Normal ecological movement and range expansion, along with other
kinds of 'dispersal' such as daily and annual migrations, are
accepted here; long distance dispersal/founder speciation is not."

Granted, what most people would call long distance dispersal is
somehow jammed under "normal" dispersal, but still...

> (I call it a 'pretence' because they know darned well that there
> is an alternative).

Wishful thinking is not a viable alternative.

Karl





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