[Taxacom] Forgotting at the edge of miracles

Pierre Deleporte pierre.deleporte at univ-rennes1.fr
Mon Apr 27 09:33:36 CDT 2015


In my view, "pure pattern" biogeography suffers of the same flaws
as "pure pattern" (= purely 'struturalist') classifications
(phenetics of ages, 'pattern cladistics' of varied sorts... pick your 
choice)

there "are" no self-evident classifications and classes out there;
we conceive them, not discover them as materially consistent entities

there "are" no self-consistent 'clades' out there,
they are conceived according to some rules and (hopefully) some needs
(e.g. historical evolutionary narratives, or purely structuralist 
arbitrary classes...)

there "are" no tracks or baselines out there,
they are conceived such way by biogeographers of some kind
who decide to trace virtual lines on maps according to some self-styled 
rules

classificatory decisions (however sensible or not)
are of course not "testable" in themselves; they are arguable at best -
and explanations are inductive, not refutational in themselves
(Kirk can explain that...)

it is not clear for me if contemporaneous 'panbiogeography'
is still conceived as a purely "independent" structuralist approach
(see the rich archive on this list)
or has been completely turned into plain classical vicariance biogeography
(based on a privileged model of speciation and resulting distributions
with explicit phylogenetic reference)

if the latter is the case, why not abandon the panbiogeographic jargon,
historically linked to a particular classificatory formalism?
Hovencampian distributional "gaps" (= putative locations of 'barriers')
between vicariant sister groups could profitably take the place of "tracks"
with the advantage of possibly being two-dimensional
(= considering the whole intervening zone
between spatial distributions of sister groups).

Best,
Pierre


Le 27/04/2015 12:56, Peter Hovenkamp a écrit :
> That's interesting. You appear interested in refutations of tracks, 
> nodes and baselines.
> Could you please take your favourite standard track, node or baseline 
> (I have no preference) and just lean back and think what evidence you 
> would accept as refuting evidence. Then let us know.
>
> Best,
>
> Peter Hovenkamp
>
>
> John Grehan schreef op 26-Apr-15 om 6:45 PM:
>> I’m not so sure that the situation in biogeography is so complex in
>> general. There are standard tracks, nodes and baselines. They have been
>> extensively documented and none refuted. There are spatial correlations
>> with geomorphology. These have been widely documented and none refuted.
>> Some have objected to there being an informative relationship, but 
>> usually
>> because of the misapplication of molecular clocks.
>>
>> I would be interested to know the empirical basis for the predication 
>> that
>> 40- 60 vegetable species have successfully colonized Cuba every million
>> years. What is the basis for dating Quercus oleoides var sagraeana at 
>> less
>> than a million years?
>>
>>
>>
>> Cuba definitely has an interesting biogeography with key connections 
>> across
>> the Pacific (not surprising given geologist’s predictions for a Pacific
>> origin for some of the Cuban geology) and it is within one of the major
>> biogeographic nodes of the world).
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> John Grehan
>>
>> On Sun, Apr 26, 2015 at 12:04 PM, Dr. Antonio Lopez <cycas at mnhnc.inf.cu>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> Biogeography is a synthesis science, in this science anything can be 
>>> seen
>>> from the point of view of the biology or from the geography only. 
>>> But in
>>> these cases we would have the history of the four blind ministers 
>>> and the
>>> elephant. That makes everything much more complex, but we should 
>>> assume it
>>> with that same complexity. For me, vicarianz and dispersal are two 
>>> faces of
>>> the same coin, not different coins. The dispersal at big distances, 
>>> without
>>> doubts is an exception. In accordance with my calculations to Cuba 
>>> arrived
>>> between 40 and 60 vegetable successful species every million years, 
>>> which
>>> is nothing. The oldest lineage that we have identified (as much for
>>> calculation as for DNA), Pinus tropicalis, is probably in the area 
>>> before
>>> the rupture of Pangea and the most recent Quercus oleoides var 
>>> sagraeana, a
>>> hybrid, has less than a million years. Both share the almost exact same
>>> distribution.
>>>
>>> In the 60-70 millions of years of biggest Antilles, the events of 
>>> massive
>>> extinction are recurrent and with them vicariant processes constants 
>>> have
>>> taken place. Then came processes of adaptive radiation. All that 
>>> which has
>>> generated species with mechanisms of adaptation to avoid the 
>>> extinction of
>>> the linages. We have more than 2.5 thousand of endemic species (50% 
>>> of our
>>> flora)
>>>
>>> As a famous taxonomist, unfortunately already dead, wrote: a true
>>> taxonomic nightmares. I can say the same thing as biogeographist.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Dr. Antonio López Almirall
>>>
>>> Conservador del Herbario
>>>
>>> Museo Nacional de Historia Natural
>>>
>>> Obispo 61, Plaza de Armas
>>>
>>> Habana Vieja 10100, La Habana
>>>
>>> CUBA
>>>
>>> Email cycas at mnhnc.inf.cu
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> *De:* John Grehan [mailto:calabar.john at gmail.com]
>>> *Enviado el:* sábado, 25 de abril de 2015 09:56 p. m.
>>> *Para:* Anthony Gill
>>> *CC:* Stephen Thorpe; Karl Magnacca; Richard Pyle; TAXACOM; Dr. Antonio
>>> Lopez
>>> *Asunto:* Re: [Taxacom] Forgotting at the edge of miracles
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> We already have plenty of monkeys - us.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> John Grehan
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On Sat, Apr 25, 2015 at 9:43 PM, Anthony Gill <gill.anthony at gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>> Well, I've just set up a bunch of monkeys on laptops. I'm not expecting
>>> Shakespeare's sonnets, but given enough time I'm hoping they'll 
>>> knock out a
>>> decent taxonomic monograph or two.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On Sun, Apr 26, 2015 at 8:34 AM, John Grehan <calabar.john at gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>> 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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>>>   Taxacom in 2015.
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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.
>
> _______________________________________________
> Taxacom Mailing List
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> http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/taxacom
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>
> Celebrating 28 years of Taxacom in 2015.


-- 
Pierre DELEPORTE
UMR 6552 EthoS
Université Rennes 1, CNRS
Station Biologique
35380 Paimpont
tél (+33) 02 99 61 81 63
fax (+33) 02 99 61 81 88




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