Skip to comments.Fewer students study botany, more plant collections closing
Posted on 05/25/2015 9:39:52 AM PDT by Olog-hai
The teeming plant world could become a virtual mystery in the coming decades as college students increasingly shy away from studying botany and universities across the U.S. shutter their long-standing herbaria.
Since 1988, the number of research universities offering botany degrees has dropped by half, according to National Science Foundation research funding statistics. And the National Center for Education Statistics reports that fewer than 400 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral botany degrees were awarded in 2012. Educators say thats because students are being pushed into more modern, technology-related majors.
Current botanists fear that will lead to a dearth of people able to teach about, identify and use plants, which could harm conservation efforts and even the ability to develop alternate fuels and important medicines. At the same time, universities and states struggling under budget cuts are closing the sometimes-expensive task of maintaining herbariacollections of plant species that botanists can reference or use for genetic material.
We arent going to understand what we have in the world. By some estimates, only 20 percent of the (plant and animal) species in the world have been identified, said Joe Miller, a program officer at the National Science Foundations Division of Environmental Biology.
(Excerpt) Read more at hosted.ap.org ...
Well, now the professor just put himself out of a job.
Womyn’s Studies, Queer Studies, and Black History are much easier degrees. Why work hard for an education? Obama’s going to take care of you anyway.
Hello! The less than serious are already majoring in fluff courses.
I wonder if Savage will chime on this topic. He waxes nostalgic about his plant collecting days in the tropics and they are featured in museums here and in England.
I took botany in college and could barely understand it, but I still have my text books and I still love botanic renderings of the 19th century.
In recent climate change chats on Huffington/Slate/Cheat type sites I’ve noticed that among those who support global warming, those who come from a background of Physics, chemistry, math and real sciences have cogent arguments, even if I don’t agree with them.
But those who invoke environmental science and similar college courses are totally incoherent in their arguments. And those with a background in diversity courses or humanities seem unable to get beyond the ad hominem arguments.
There are probably exceptions. But there does seem to be a pattern.
No, their arguments are not cogent. If you use an atmosphere that does not exist anywhere on the planet as a baseline for measuring, then it is garbage, not science.
Maybe if they put botany in with the womyn's studies department and renamed it Vegestudies there would be more interest.
An argument does not have to be correct to be cogent. There are a few on the left who do, in fact, have cogent arguments. That is true in economics and other areas, as well as climate change.
Actually the same is true on the right. For example, most arguments on immigration, trade policy, gay marriage are not cogent. They are emotional, lack logic and embarrassing.
The same is true in economics. The Hannitys of the world repeat “only the rich pay taxes”, which every person with a pay stub knows is not true.
But the biggest mistake of both the left and right is in assuming there are only 2 economic systems: Capitalism and Socialism. So corporatists (Adam Smith called them mercantilists) are called socialists by capitalists and capitalists by socialists. And then we wonder why nobody understands the stimulus, or Federal Reserve or trade policy.
To be cogent, one has to be logical and clear; therefore, flawed logic is absence of cogency by definition.
There is nothing non-cogent with arguments in defense of the free exercise clause of the First Amendment, or in defense of the free market versus government-micromanaged economy.
You appear to be mistaking flowery oration for cogency.
Some of these arguments appear cogent because they are simply stated and follow logically from the starting propositions.
I agree with spintreebob that if people don't recognize that there is more to the economic debate than capitalism vs. socialism they are necessarily starting from faulty propositions, and any argument they make no matter how valid will lead to a wrong conclusion.
Flawed premises do not make for valid arguments, bottom line. They are called deceptions, and as such are hewn down readily by attacking the flawed base.
I did not say “capitalism versus socialism”. I stated the true natures and actual namesfree market versus government-micromanaged economy. I will not hand the argument to Marx and his devotees by using their terminology.
Perhaps you meant to type 'sound' rather than 'valid'.
Also, I didn't claim that you had made any "capitalism vs socialism" simplification. I merely agreed with spinfreebob.
I can agree with him without necessarily disagreeing with you, which is what I did.
There are very many quite intelligent people who are liberal. Some of these people are scientists and philosophers who are quite astute at arguing logically and rationally from their starting premises.
It would be silly to make the claim that their arguments are invalid or that they are just plain stupid or ignorant.
The only reasonable cause for them to be as intelligent as they are and still liberal is that they are starting from faulty premises. Either that or you have to assume that there is some sinister conspiracy whereby they know they are arguing illogically, but are doing so to advance some nefarious agenda. I used to believe that, but now know that is a nonsensical position.
Absolutely certain premises are very difficult to come by. Some of the best thinkers like Descartes thought hard about this and came up with precious little, e.g. I think therefore I am. So it is quite reasonable to assume that individual humans with limited knowledge will support different starting premises. To my feeble mind it makes more sense to question the premises of liberals than their logic or their ulterior motives.
Linking to a source that actively seeks to make bad arguments appear good in order to create a difference in semantics? That is called “argumentum ad verecundiam”a logical fallacy, for the record.
No deceptive arguments are valid, by the definition of validitywhich is a synonym of soundness, if one looks in a dictionary or thesaurus.
Dictionaries are good for providing lots of definitions for the same word. Philosophers prefer for each word they use to mean one specific thing. So what philosophers mean by 'valid' and what you or I mean by 'valid' in casual conversation can be two different things.
If you don't trust the one source I provided on what philosophers mean by 'valid', then how about these:
...and there are dozens of other links.
I've read and agreed with numerous posts you have made on other threads. I thought for sure you knew the difference between valid and sound arguments. There are others on FR who spend too much time underestimating the intelligence of the liberal opposition. Not all liberals are idiots. They are just imperfect humans who have chosen bad premises from which to start. I think that is why it is so difficult to change peoples' minds and why so much political and social argumentation is talking past each other. Since we don't start out from the same premises, any amount of logic or reason doesn't help end the debate. It's why everyone wants to get to kids when they're young in order to shape their minds in a specific way, to fix the premises early and make them as unshakable as possible.
Philosophers have been using valid and sound in the way mentioned at all of the links I pointed you to because it is useful to do so. It is useful to distinguish those arguments that are fallacious due to faulty premises from those that are fallacious due to faulty reasoning.
I don't know why you would want to conflate the two types of philosophical error. It serves no useful purpose.
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