[Taxacom] Morrone 2015 track analysis beyond panbiogeography

John Grehan calabar.john at gmail.com
Sat Jan 31 11:35:39 CST 2015

As noted earlier on TAXACOM, the paper by Waters et al (2013) represented a
watershed in the science of biogeography by openly called for suppression
of a competing research program (something that will surely interest
historians and philosophers of science) and berating reviewers and editors
who failed to send panbiogeography to Coventry (i.e. exile).

Fortunately for the quality of biogeographic research in general, the
Journal of Biogeography has not been one to fall into line behind Waters et
al as witnessed by the recent publication by Juan Morrone (2015) ‘Track
analysis beyond panbiogeography.” Morrone notes that “it seems that the
authors [Waters et al] would like to have a sort of Index librorum
*prohibitorum* for panbiogeographic papers. In case a ban on
panbiogeographic papers is proposed, it should first be demonstrated that
they are not scientific contributions.”

Of course I could not agree more, and given the widespread
misrepresentation of molecular clock dates as absolute or maximal (rather
than minimal) it might be more the case that it is molecular dispersalism
that is lacking in scientific content. Whether Morrone is able to go
‘beyond panbiogeography’ I leave for the reader to judge. I do not agree
with several aspects of the paper, and be that as it may, Morrone does make
the case that panbiogeography continues to be an active and serious subject
of enquiry regardless of the prejudices of Waters et al.

So for anyone interested in keeping in touch with the debate and issues I
would strongly recommend reading this paper. It can be obtained from the
author or at the following: http://unam.academia.edu/JuanJMorrone and

John Grehan

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