Mathematics vs. natural history

A further belated thought on Lindenmayer & Likens’ complaint that ecology is losing its culture of place-based, empirical natural history in favor of (among other things) mathematics.

My thought was that they’re actually more right than they know. In fact, mathematical modeling has been replacing natural history for decades! No self-respecting natural historian would write anything like this, or this. If only we could go back in time to when it was possible to publish mathematics-free natural history like this and this. But sadly, there’s probably no holding back the mathematical tide that’s been coming in for so long, despite Likens’ long-standing efforts to do so.

Oh, wait…

5 thoughts on “Mathematics vs. natural history

  1. Pingback: A statistical question and answer site for pros « Oikos Blog

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  5. Pingback: Stats vs. scouts, polls vs. pundits, and ecology vs. natural history | Dynamic Ecology

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