News from IAB

The mission of the International Association of Bryologists (IAB), as a society, is to strengthen bryology by encouraging interactions among all persons interested in byophytes.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Re: BRYONET: local endemics


I believe I understand your point, but I think you miss mine.
"This is because I believe the way we name things affects how we (including
people outside systematic biology) approach various problems when we try
to reach a deeper understanding of biodiversity and organism function. " I
believe that the people outside systematic biology do not have the either
the time, interest, or ability to "reach a deeper understanding of
biodiversity and organism function."
Most who know me, know that I work as an air conditioner repairman. I work
in a blue collar shop, where the concepts being discussed here would be
mocked if they even became a topic of discussion. Most of my coworkers do
not know the meaning of Botany, and few could tell the difference
between an
oak tree and a pine tree. When the US endangered species act is the
subject, it is usually derided as being supported by tree huggers, and an
attempt to prevent a farmer from plowing his own land to protect some
"rat". I am not sure how such subjects are viewed in the rest of the world,
but in the US, there are far more people who care more about an actress'
plastic surgery, than those who care about evolution. Even active amateurs
in native plant societies have no idea of this discussion of the species
concept. Their relationship to the monophyly question is reflected in their
annoyance with the constant name and family changes that have resulted from
the commitment to monophyly. So far from being "of very high interest for
some" reworking the binomial system is not only alien and a source of
annoyance, but potentially also a reason to alienate people from science
altogether. Remember, it was only 9 months ago that the United States had a
president that did not believe in evolution, and essentially ignored
as a tool for making decisions, even about biology.
I like Paul Wilson's idea of somehow combining the two systems, although I
do not understand how it can work.
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through Michigan Technological University
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Secretary-Treasurer Jim Shevock <>
First VP: Masanobu Higuchi, Second VP: Jiri Vana
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