Panbiogeography: method and synthesis in biogeography


If philosophy is the devil’s whore, as Martin Luther once quipped, then biogeography and biological systematics are fast becoming Old Nick’s bordello. Advocates of the new biogeography, ecology and geography (Haines-Young and Petch, 1980; Nelson and Platnick, 1981; Simberloff, 1983) attempt to lay the foundations for these disciplines within the twin philosophical strictures of Popper’s (1959, 1972) epistemological prescription for critical rationalism and falsification. This attempt to enlist philosophy as the paid companion of these sciences traps them within traditional binary oppositions; e.g. science versus non-science; falsifiable and testable hypotheses versus narrative, ‘Just so’ scenarios; ecological versus historical biogeography; pattern versus process; and vicariance versus dispersal, which serve to polarize debate (Chapter 2).


Ocean Basin Generalize Track Individual Track Biogeographic Analysis Vicariance Model 
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© Chapman and Hall 1988

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  • R. Craw

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