NANFA-- reply from non-list member
Wed, 20 Feb 2002 20:17:29 EST

I forwarded some posts to a non-list member. She asked me to send her
comments to the list.

Chuck Church
Indianapolis, Indiana USA

>> Which isn't to say that Gene doesn't know anything about
ichthyology..... merely that it's not his principal pursuit.>>

Yes, when I went to grad school in ecology I was floored to discover that a
good number of my fellow grad students were not naturalists. How did they
*get* there if they weren't into nature?? I wondered. My advisor
distinguished between people interested in critters and people interested
in processes (he is the first kind). The first kind of person wants to
know about fish ecology, population dynamics, evolution, behavior, etc.
because s/he wants to understand fish better. The second kind of person
thinks a fish is a useful example of some abstract process, like the
evolution of sexual selection or physiological adaptation to saline
environments. The worst type of people - *YAWN* - are those who are just
interested in what genes do. You can't even SEE a gene, for
petessake. It was beyond fathoming!

(who wishes you could somehow get a PhD in "the natural history of the
macroorganisms of the eastern US")

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