[Taxacom] Forgotting at the edge of miracles

John Grehan calabar.john at gmail.com
Sat Apr 25 17:34:55 CDT 2015


If Stephen's view of biogeography is that it is just a series of beliefs or
assertions then there is certainly not much more to be said about that.
Everyone is entitled to their beliefs and there is no where further to go
with that. But if one views biogeography as a science in the sense of
applying methods of analysis (of geography and phylogeny) then one goes
beyond just stating a personal belief to presenting a reasoned judgement or
argument about the efficacy of particular methods and their results - as
with any other science.

John Grehan

On Sat, Apr 25, 2015 at 6:15 PM, Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>
wrote:

> Biogeography is just a pompous "academic" (in the worst sense) waste of
> time! Putting aside, for present purposes, the vast issue of marine
> biogeography, chance transoceanic dispersal of terrestrials is *unlikely*,
> yes, but all that means is that it isn't going to happen lots of times in a
> short stretch of time. Given many millions of years, it can still happen
> often enough to be a significant factor. There seems to be a slide from
> "unlikely to happen" to "can't happen"! Any academic discipline which is
> based ultimately on chance events is not going to be very useful!
> Biogeography ... we don't need to know! The existence of sister taxa on
> adjacent islands (or other landmasses) can be explained equally well by
> dispersal (since dispersal is most likely to happen between adjacent
> landmasses) or by vicariance (since vicariance is most likely to happen
> between adjacent landmasses)!
>
> Stephen
>
> --------------------------------------------
> On Sun, 26/4/15, Richard Pyle <deepreef at bishopmuseum.org> wrote:
>
>  Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Forgotting at the edge of miracles
>  To: "'Anthony Gill'" <gill.anthony at gmail.com>, "'Karl Magnacca'" <
> kmagnacca at wesleyan.edu>
>  Cc: "'TAXACOM'" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>, "'Dr. Antonio Lopez'" <
> cycas at mnhnc.inf.cu>
>  Received: Sunday, 26 April, 2015, 12:35 AM
>
>  The same argument could
>  be applied to ANY model of biogeography (dispersal,
>  vicariance, panbiogeography, etc., etc.)  That is, any
>  presumption that any single model accounts for every pattern
>  (or even most patterns) is, in my opinion, naïve.  This is
>  not to say that, in the end, one model does not dominate.
>  But we are SO, SO, SO far away from understanding both
>  evolutionary history and the actual distribution patterns of
>  most living things, that only people who don't really
>  understand the nature of biodiversity make claims that we
>  are close to fully understanding it.
>
>  Aloha,
>  Rich
>
>
>  > -----Original
>  Message-----
>  > From: Taxacom [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu]
>  On Behalf Of
>  > Anthony Gill
>  > Sent: Saturday, April 25, 2015 1:12 AM
>  > To: Karl Magnacca
>  > Cc:
>  TAXACOM; Dr. Antonio Lopez
>  > Subject: Re:
>  [Taxacom] Forgotting at the edge of miracles
>  >
>  > Of course, there are
>  other from beyond panbiogeography that are concerned
>  > that dispersal explanations should not be
>  given a first-order explanation for
>  >
>  everything in biogeography. There is pattern to be
>  discovered and explored. A
>  > presumption
>  of dispersal as an explanation for everything makes for
>  > uninteresting, and ultimately irrelevant,
>  research. I want no part of that.
>  >
>  > Tony
>  >
>  > On Sat, Apr 25, 2015 at 10:55 AM, Karl
>  Magnacca
>  > <kmagnacca at wesleyan.edu>
>  > wrote:
>  >
>  > > On Thu, 23 Apr 2015 13:24:32
>  "Dr. Antonio Lopez"
>  > >
>  <cycas at mnhnc.inf.cu>
>  wrote:
>  > > > Colleague:
>  > > >
>  > > >
>  Thank you for the article of Head. Only when I read
>  everything I am
>  > > > able to
>  understand and to reason. I never understood that
>  supposed
>  > > > difference between
>  dispersalism and vicariancism as different
>  > > > schools.
>  >
>  >
>  > > That's because
>  they're not.  It's only in the mind of
>  panbiogeograpy
>  > > supporters like
>  Grehan and Heads, who promote the idea that because
>  > > rare trans-oceanic dispersal is
>  unlikely, that therefore it never
>  > >
>  happens (while simultaneously claiming that they say no such
>  thing,
>  > > invoking the undefined term
>  "regular dispersal") that such a dichotomy
>  > > exists.
>  > >
>  > > Karl
>  > >
>  > >
>  _______________________________________________
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>  > >
>  > > Celebrating
>  28 years of Taxacom in 2015.
>  > >
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  > --
>  > Dr Anthony C. Gill
>  >
>  Natural History Curator
>  > A12 Macleay
>  Museum
>  > University of Sydney
>  > NSW 2006
>  >
>  Australia.
>  >
>  > Ph.
>  +61 02 9036 6499
>  >
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>  Celebrating 28 years of
>  Taxacom in 2015.
>
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