Bend the Facts

Martha Rosett Lutz lutzrun at
Wed Jun 13 12:25:35 EDT 2001

Leroy C. Koehn wrote:

"I am personally offended by Mr. Cherubini's statments that collectings and
releasing have anything in common. They do not. Knowledge is gained through
collecting and preseving specimens by Lepidopterists. Only money is gained
through releasing."

Well . . . they do have a few things in common, and as long as the
commonalities and differences are clearly understood, we ought to be able
to agree and/or disagree peacefully on the various issues that involve
collecting and releasing.

For example:
I have worked with young kids (K-8) in the classroom, and sometimes we
breed local species, study them, and then release them.  These kids
definitely gain knowledge from the activities we undertake.  They
definitely do not gain any money.  If anything, I usually end up spending
some personal money to provide the kids with simple equipment for their
activities (for example, small paintbrushes for handling tiny larvae).

There are collectors who sell the organisms they collect (money, but
sometimes no real knowledge content, if they neglect to include any data at
all when they sell their specimens--purely "Oh--gee!" value for the

There are people like myself, who breed and release local species in order
to use them in the classroom, and who sometimes prefer doing this locally
instead of using a commercial kit (more costly, often uses artificial food,
which misses some learning opportunities for the students).

'Collecting' and 'releasing' are not adequately distinguished by which
confers knowledge and which provides income.  Nor are they identical
activities.  There is sufficient overlap in their uses (education,
academia, income, etc.) that they can be considered to have something in
common.  They are, however, still separate activities.  I think Paul's
point is that they are lumped for some purposes, even though they have
different characteristics and often have different long-term goals, and
that this sometimes diminishes the information content of the terminology.

Well . . . I'm off to the dentist.   An annoying little pain that I had
been igoring (too busy to deal with it) turned out to be an infection that
was damaging my jaw bone below one molar, so yesterday I had a root canal,
and there are some follow-up procedures between now and mid-July, so I
don't promise to keep up with the postings, but will do my best to keep in

In Stride,
(but no running today, doctor's orders!  Speed at the track tomorrow . . . )
Martha Rosett Lutz


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