museum 'poachers'

Ron Gatrelle gatrelle at
Tue Apr 9 21:03:58 EDT 2002

----- Original Message -----
From: "James Kruse" <fnjjk1 at>
To: "Lepslist" <LEPS-L at>
Sent: Tuesday, April 09, 2002 8:21 PM
Subject: museum 'poachers'

> Speaking for myself, I am not trolling the net for lepidopteran species
> my "list" and then traveling across the country and trampling anyone's
> butterfly garden to collect (or get a photo). I think a more valid
> is that every time you post to a list-serve, someone collects your email
> send you spam later.
> Jim

By the way when I posted earlier that Museum collectors "... are not some
noble cut above the "lay" collector.   Myth.  Go to a museum and get to
know the people - they are up to their necks in dead stuff."       This was
not intended as a slam to the museum people - it was a slam to the _myth_
protrayed by the politically correct that there is supposedly this group of
"scientific collectors"  who are only found in museums and institutions who
are noble while all _lay_ collectors is a slime bags.   All collectors
collect for the same reason -- they enjoy it.   BUT- the question is what
is the_it_ they enjoy?

This is also why Martin's post was good.   He cut through the pretence and
cloak of science (one still ends up with a trophy).

And Jim's is great too because it points out the hypocrracy of those
non-consumptive types who are just as rude, and as driven as any poacher,
in their quest for that trophy photo or last check on their brag, I mean,
life list.

One thing is for sure, one can not be a _scientific_ collector, without
first being a _collector_.   Does this mean that without collecting there
can be no science?  In the broadest truth.  Yes, it does mean that.

Conversely, I have never heard of a scientific watcher - but I have sure
heard of rude, obsessive, ones.  Does this mean one can not accomplish
science via watching?     I am going to say yes and no.   Observation is a
watching but watching is not always observation.   Scientific
observation -- I have heard that phrase.  I have never heard the phrase
scientific watching.  Perhaps that is why we have no Scientific Butterfly
Watchers.   But we have a lot of people involved in Scientific Butterfly
Observation.   The difference?   The latter records data the former just
makes a list.

My conclusion is that the prisms we filter our phrases through cast only
the imagery we wish.  They don't really prove anything.  In life, we who
are "involved" with lepidoptera - regardless of our education in it or
practice of it - are all either scientific or non scientific based on the
motive of our hearts and goals of our minds.   Or, you can't judge a book
by its cover - just its content.

I am enjoying this thread as there are a lot of good points being made on
all sides.  (Or is that, from all perspectives?)   Mirrors are most useful
when aimed at ourselves, but only if we look into them.

Oooooh tooo long a day.   I will end with Jim's words above -- speaking for



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