Lepidoptery and Agendas

JH jhimmel at connix.com
Thu Oct 12 20:44:01 EDT 2000

>The elitist attitudes and excessive verbiage that predominate this list
>serve are more  reminiscent of soap-box public exhibitionism, than a true
>exchange of ideas and knowledge.  It is easy to hit others over the head
>when you are "in the ether" and there's barely any chance of meeting them
>head on in the context of  "real life."  

That's nothing!  It seems that lepidopterists have a long history of getting their blood up to a boil.  There is a great exerpt  from "American Entomologists" (Mallis, '91) that gives an example of a feud between the turn of the century enotmologists, John Smith and H.G. Dyar. 
"Although Smith was good-natured, he was stubborn and somewhat opinionated. Thus when he and the sarcastic H. G. Dyar locked horns on a number of occasions the reverberations were felt throughout the entomological world.  Such journals as the Entomological News record a few encounters between the two behemoths.  In fact, according to several of their contemporaries, the feud reached the stage where Dyar named an insect corpulentis in honor of the rotund Smith, and Smith reciprocated the honor by naming one dyaria!"

Some of the most heated debates, often delving into personal attacks, took place in the scientific journals of the time, such as Papillio.  I was discussing this with another lepidopterist who is on this list (probably didn't need to, but I left your name out) and it seems the internet, more specifically, LEPS-L, has become that format as the journals have grown more tame.

Nothing to do with this debate, but I'm throwing it out there anyway.

John Himmelman

John Himmelman
Killingworth, CT USA
jhimmel at connix.com
Visit my websites at:
-----Original Message-----
From: mbpi at juno.com <mbpi at juno.com>
To: LEPS-L at lists.yale.edu <LEPS-L at lists.yale.edu>
Date: Thursday, October 12, 2000 8:00 PM
Subject: Lepidoptery and Agendas

>I'd like to put in my 2 cents worth, despite the fact that I'm no
>"Lepidopterist," per sea, but do have a background in Wildlife Management
>and Biology, not to mention various other sundry professional

>My interest in butterflies evolved from an interest in birds...a natural
>segue.  I fell into the New York City Butterfly Club crowd, and it was
>not a "happy" experience.  My interest was not taken seriously, and as a
>result, I pursue my interest ALONE, elsewhere.  We all need people who
>share our interest and are open to our input:  that's how we gain
>knowledge and expertise.  Everybody doesn't know "everything," including
>the know-it-alls.  There is something of value in everyone's input...
>What ever happened to camaraderie and sharing?!  And how about
>"mentoring" new participants instead of "bashing" them over the head with
>YOUR agenda?  There's a subtle difference...
>M.B. Prondzinski
>Juno now offers FREE Internet Access!
>Try it today - there's no risk!  For your FREE software, visit:
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