at Wed Dec 3 12:31:35 2008 [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by RichardFHoyer ]
Actually, intuition was not involved with the manner in which I viewed the claim that a break occurred in the boa's distribution in the Mt. Lassen region. Instead, I relied on existing evidence, application of basic biological concepts, and rational thought processes to support my position. So where we disagree is that I cannot find any evidence, of a scientific nature, that would support the claim of a break in the species' distribution.
I do not consider that randomly collected vouchers which by chance, had tissue taken and tested, as representing evidence for claiming a break in any species' distribution let alone that of the Rubber Boa. But I do understand how the authors were misled by their data in reaching such a conclusion. After all, their data do show the two subclades as having quite separate geographical distributions.
How easy it is to criticize as it is free. But then one has to be aware of 'he who dare casts the first stone be without sin---or similar sage advice. Hah.
When I contacted Glenn about this point, I wasn't as 'forceful' as I am here as I thought that surely that glitch would be caught during the peer review process. But such glitches aside, I agree that the results obtained by Javier's mtDNA research was an important step forward. In addition, at least for the time being, it also put to rest the notion of the Great Basis subspecies (C. b. utahensis).
I certainly agree with your last paragraph. I do not know exactly what Gould mentioned but I agree in the broad context. Too many individuals in and out of science accept scientific findings as if etched in stone.
Also, I have read and reviewed a number of scientific publications in which the experimental design and results obtained were quite nice. The mistakes I see being made are in the interpretation of those results. This is particularly true in the field of Conservation Biology where individuals have pre-existing biases that interfere with analyzing their results in an impartial and objective manner.
Richard F. Hoyer
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