DR. JAMES ADAMS
jadams at Carpet.dalton.peachnet.edu
Mon Sep 28 14:08:22 EDT 1998
I had vowed to myself not to post anything else having to do
with this thread, but I've broken promises to myself before . . .
Mark Walker wrote:
> Every individual that goes into the field to explicitly
> observe/study/investigate the natural world is obligated to keep records
> (however simple) of what is observed. It is this behavior that gives
> watching and collecting a scientific value, regardless of an individual's
> credentials or even underlying motivation.
I couldn't agree more. Personally, I feel it is pointless, even
inappropriate, to collect specimens without keeping data. Indeed the
data is *more* important than the specimen, as the data include not
only the name of the species, but minimally information about where
it can be found as well as a flight time (for insects that have
wings). Heck, I remember crying (yes, this really *did* happen) one
time when I tried to catch a scorpion, only to mangle it
terribly. I didn't have enough of anything left to identify it and
so felt tremendous guilt that I had killed this scorpion for
ultimately no purpose.
Chris Raper wrote:
> > I think the sadest thing about the whole anti-collecting movement is
> > that, more and more now, I am getting stoped in the countryside and
> > asked why I am carrying a net.
I have noticed a very strange phenomenon associated with this very
circumstance. When asked what I am doing with a net, if I say I am
collecting butterflies, I often get criticism. When I say I am
collecting insects, I often get interest. Heck, I can even say I am
collecting bees (which I have been known to do), which are arguably
more important in many respects than butterflies to a given
ecosystem, and many people will think I am a bit looney and *praise*
me for collecting something *harmful* (that stings). The human mind
is a very bizarre thing!!
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