[Taxacom] A good year indeed!

Michael A. Ivie mivie at montana.edu
Thu Nov 13 14:32:38 CST 2014


Jason,

On further reflection, I may see where you misunderstood.  Social 
Darwinism is the idea of the survival of the fittest.  It is absolute, 
and the social losers lose because of a fault of their own.

This has nothing to do with my comments. It is more the "survival of the 
fit enough."  Do not look at it from the individual side, where the 
underemployed in our science cannot be said to be deficient, but from 
the health of the science, where those who "win" a job are as an 
aggregate, a highly selected pool of excellence.  This makes things grim 
for any individual, as the "best" might never get a job, but the "best 
enough" does.  However, I am talking about the future of insect 
systematics, and it is looking solid.  Many jobs this year, and a large 
pool of excellence.

Mike

On 11/13/2014 1:00 PM, JF Mate wrote:
>> As in all human enterprises, the laws of Malthus apply to our science.Our "reproductive capacity" is far higher than the carrying capacity of our institutions. There will always be a larger supply of propagules than can survive (i.e. be provided academic jobs), and selection will take the best and discard the others, often a majority. Some cohorts will have very strong selection, so that a tiny percentage make it through, and at other times selection will be relaxed, and a larger percentage will make it. Of course, this means that sometimes very excellent propagules will be discarded in lean times, and less excellent ones will make it through in fat times. However, the academic reproductive rate will always provide a diverse pool with different attributes and abilities, so that the overall resulting set will be maximally beneficial to the future.
> Mike, you are flogging a dead horse with a new stick. Do you think it
> wise to appeal to social darwinism to support your own personal
> opinion?
>
> Best
>
> Jason
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> Celebrating 27 years of Taxacom in 2014.

-- 
__________________________________________________

Michael A. Ivie, Ph.D., F.R.E.S.

Montana Entomology Collection
Marsh Labs, Room 50
1911 West Lincoln Street
NW corner of Lincoln and S.19th
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717
USA

(406) 994-4610 (voice)
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