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Fewer students study botany, more plant collections closing
Associated Press ^ | May 25, 2015 12:36 PM EDT | Claudia Lauer

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 that’s 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 herbaria—collections of plant species that botanists can reference or use for genetic material.

“We aren’t 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 Foundation’s Division of Environmental Biology. …

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Agriculture; Education; Food; Gardening; Health/Medicine; Science
KEYWORDS: alternatefuels; associatedpress; botany; claudialauer; conservation; globalwarminghoax; herbaria; liberalagenda; nsf
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1 posted on 05/25/2015 9:39:52 AM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai
Many botany courses in college are steeped in taxonomy and become a nightmare of memorization and minutia. One of the hardest courses I ever saw was a innocuous course called, House Plants. The professor flunked routinely over half the class each semester.
2 posted on 05/25/2015 9:50:11 AM PDT by vetvetdoug
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To: vetvetdoug

Well, now the professor just put himself out of a job.

3 posted on 05/25/2015 9:50:54 AM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai

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.

4 posted on 05/25/2015 9:52:12 AM PDT by Bryanw92 (Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: Olog-hai
Sad thing is that he's probably too dense to realize it or care if he does. He or she is probably patting themselves on the back for challenging students and weeding out the less than serious.

Hello! The less than serious are already majoring in fluff courses.

5 posted on 05/25/2015 10:25:37 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: Olog-hai

6 posted on 05/25/2015 10:29:03 AM PDT by bgill (CDC site, "we still do not know exactly how people are infected with Ebola")
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To: Olog-hai

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.

7 posted on 05/25/2015 11:30:59 AM PDT by lulu16 (May the Good Lord take a liking to you!)
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To: Olog-hai

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.

8 posted on 05/25/2015 11:49:36 AM PDT by spintreebob
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To: Olog-hai

Brawndo It's Got What Plants Crave!

"I'm no botanist but I know if you put water on plants they grow."
Clip via YouTube

9 posted on 05/25/2015 11:55:08 AM PDT by Crazy Jim (There are known unknowns and then there are unknown unknowns. - Donald Rumsfeld)
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To: spintreebob

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.

10 posted on 05/25/2015 12:00:38 PM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai
We've gone from being racists and speciesists to being kingdomists.

Maybe if they put botany in with the womyn's studies department and renamed it Vegestudies there would be more interest.

11 posted on 05/25/2015 12:39:09 PM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear
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To: Olog-hai

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.

12 posted on 05/25/2015 1:12:29 PM PDT by spintreebob
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To: spintreebob

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.

13 posted on 05/25/2015 1:18:30 PM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai; spintreebob
Liberals often make valid arguments, but starting from flawed propositions.

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.

14 posted on 05/25/2015 2:21:07 PM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear
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To: who_would_fardels_bear

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 names—free market versus government-micromanaged economy. I will not hand the argument to Marx and his devotees by using their terminology.

15 posted on 05/25/2015 2:31:09 PM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai
An argument doesn't require good premises to be valid. There are numerous links I could point you to such as this one:

Validity and Soundness

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.

16 posted on 05/25/2015 3:04:04 PM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear
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To: who_would_fardels_bear

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 validity—which is a synonym of soundness, if one looks in a dictionary or thesaurus.

17 posted on 05/25/2015 3:13:56 PM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai
Philosophy is an enterprise that has been ongoing for millennia. Philosophers try whenever possible to be as precise in their terminology as possible in order to avoid ambiguities and fallacies such as that of equivocation.

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:


Truth, Validity, and Soundness

Univ of Idaho on Validity and Soundness

Montana weighs in on Validity and Soundness

...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.

18 posted on 05/25/2015 3:40:05 PM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear
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To: who_would_fardels_bear
There are real philosophers and pseudo-philosophers.

And doubling down on argumentum ad verecundiam will not make deceptive arguments valid/sound.
19 posted on 05/25/2015 3:43:40 PM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai
Mine is not an argumentum ad verecundiam. I'm merely defining terms. You use the words premise, logical, etc. which have specific meanings to philosophers. Similarly valid is a term used by philosophers to mean a specific thing.

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.

20 posted on 05/25/2015 4:03:36 PM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear
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