First of all, this is a fan letter. SOF is the high point of my Sunday AM: the diversity of topics is marvelous; the hour is both exciting and restful. In contrast with news talk and interview shows, you engage rather than debate with guests, let them finish their thoughts and respond to them. A thought on discovery vs invention: in ecology we create measures that we think increase understanding such as numbers of species in relation to area or climate. But we also can create nonsense measures such as the Levins index #1, the ratio of endemic species in a country to the number of deputies in the national assembly. Once created it is real-- we can measure it, map it by continents and latitudes, etc. But what makes it nonsense is that it tells us only about itself.Indices of species diversity have the same status as the Levins Index #1, they are both human creations and in that sense real, but the diversity measure throws light on other thing s--evolution, geography, coexistence, etc. So we invent and then discover what our inventions teach us, if anything.
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