David I. Theodoropoulos, critical of plant invasions

Johnson3591@aol.com Johnson3591@aol.com
Mon, 08 Dec 2003 18:18:59 PST

I cannot use this occasion to weigh in for, or against, the USDA and its 
increasingly permit-based regulations.  For better or worse the USDA seems bent or 
regulating everything in sight, or perhaps a bit more.  

However, I do wish to comment directly about David I. Theodoropoulos.  He has 
written a number of essays over the years, and has written a book called 
"Invasion Biology: Critique of a Pseudoscience."  His pseudonym is JL Hudson, and 
he runs the JL Hudson Seedbank that he bills as "A Public Access Seedbank."  I 
would make several points about this author:
1.  His seed bank is excellent and innovative, and is truly public access.  
You can send in seeds and get credit with which to order other seeds.  
2.  He is wonderfully knowledgeable about plants, seeds, plant uses and other 
facets of plants, including patenting issues.
3.  As near as I can tell his work is not scientific (I'm putting on my 
botanist hat here).  By this I mean he does not publish experimental results in 
peer-reviewed journals of scientific societies or other accepted peer-reviewed 
outlets.  He has published non experimental type manuscripts (essays), and he is 
a member of many scientific societies (remember, all you have to do is pay a 
fee to belong).  

When a person does not publish in scientific journals there are typically 2 
reasons proposed:  1) a conspiracy is at work that seeks to prevent the truth 
from being heard, or 2) the work does not exist or is of insufficient quality 
to pass peer-review.  Either way, JL Hudson/D. I. Theodoropoulos has no typical 
scientific credentials; but he does have much in the way of criticism of the 
work of others.  Additionally, he does have a lifetime of sociological and 
horticultural work to his credit.  

JL Hudson (a.k.a. David I. Theodoropoulos) has written extensively (in non 
scientific settings) about the errors of ecologists and other biologists who 
promote the idea of "ecosystems" or "native plant communities," etc.  Sometimes 
he comes out and says this forthrightly; other times he cloaks his comments in 
euphemism.  I use the following 2 quotes to illustrate my meaning.  

JL Hudson Quote 1:  
FROM:  <A HREF="http://www.dtheo.com/NativesVs.Exotics.htm">http://www.dtheo.com/NativesVs.Exotics.htm</A>  
"In this spirit I would like to point out that there is absolutely no 
biological validity to the concepts of 'native' and 'exotic' species, nor is there 
evidence that man's introduction of species into new habitats has any negative 
impact on global biological diversity."

JL Hudson Quote 2: 
FROM:  <A HREF="http://www.dtheo.com/Abstracts.htm">http://www.dtheo.com/Abstracts.htm</A>  
"Field work among nativists [those who proclaim native plant communities are 
real] found high resistance to contradictory evidence, faulty ingroup/outgroup 
categorizations, self-sealing arguments, defensive projection, conformation 
with the frustration-aggression-displacement theory of prejudice, and strong 
parallels with the conspiracy-theory psychologies of xenophobia and racism. The 
origins of the anti-exotics movement in the 1930s in National Socialist 
Germany confirm this."

By all means, read his book if you want an entertaining view of the world, 
especially plant ecology and the native plant movement.  And, by all means, in 
contrast to some reviewers, feel free to be "turned off" by his unfavorable 
comparisons between the discipline of Plant Ecology and Nazi Socialism.  


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