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Léon Croizat

Suffice it for my own part to state that, in my opinion, biogeography is to stand as a science having for its principal purpose to account for the history of life in relation to firm concepts of time and space. This science does in my opinion cover as one both phytogeography and zoogeography, its being unthinkable that constructive concepts of time and space valid in regard of plants can be invalid as concern animals, and the other way around.
-- Léon Croizat, Panbiogeography, Vol. I: 1 (1958)
A science of dispersal is only as wide or as narrow as the preoccupations of those who entertain it. Those who look to it for a pleasant account of sundry theories and curious cases of distributon may rest satisfied with much less, of course, than those who intend to reach bottom in everything of nature they touch.
-- Léon Croizat, Panbiogeography, Vol. I: 1 (1958)
It is of course well known that the time-honoured pastime of rigging up ever better "zoogeographic" provinces or the like has no end because, not to mention legitimate, or a trifle less than legitimate, differences of opinion among "zoogeographers" (and "phytogeographers"), life perversely tends to interdigitate all over, thus voiding man's clever schemes.
-- Léon Croizat, Panbiogeography, Vol. I: 131 (1958)
Nature knows neither time nor distance.
-- Léon Croizat, Panbiogeography, Vol. IIb: 968 (1958)
Geological changes have profound effect upon dispersal. In a very definite sense earth a-making and life a-making are one.
-- Léon Croizat, Panbiogeography, Vol. IIb: 1020 (1958)
Much against the belief now current, the purpose of science is not factual knowlege but constant deepening of knowledge in the joint sense of idea and fact. We legitimately learn and think only to learn about more and to think more deeply and broadly. It could quite reasonably be affirmed that the ultimate purpose of science is its own destruction, on account of whatever is being known at a given moment along the trajectory of creative enquiry only serving to leave the present behind toward the future. Because of this, the word philosophy - in the sheer etymological sense of love of knowledge - is effectively synonymous of science understood as a continuous process. Philosophy and science are accordingly insepearable.
-- Léon Croizat, Pincipia Botanica: 1465-1466 (1961)
I happen to be by birth, to repeat, absolutely impervious to authority unable to demonstrate its tenets on grounds better than authority. Whether Aristotle or Darwin, Thomas Aquinas or Martin Luther, Velázquez or Picasso, etc., etc., a name means a round nothing to me. The work anonymously speaks for its author, not the other way around in my opinion.
-- Léon Croizat, Space, Time, Form: iii (1964)
Earth and life did evolve together and quite apace; and the present, whether by volcano, sparrow or daisy is but function of the past.
-- Léon Croizat, Space, Time, Form: 147 (1964)
A politician who has no understanding of biology is just as good as a biologist who has no understanding of psychology. Of either there is great abundance.
-- Léon Croizat, Space, Time, Form: 179 (1964)
In fact, between the biogeography of Zimmerman, Fosberg, Darlington Jr., Mayr, Simpson, Van Steenis, Fleming, etc,. and that which we are going to outline to our readers the difference is the same as between the cosmology of Ptolemy and that of Copernicus.
-- Léon Croizat, Mem. Soc. Broteriana 20: 27-28 (1968)
I trenchantly affirm (1) a botanist or zoologist does emphatically not venture on thin ice when he trusts the records of extant distribution. Beyond these records and the facts they display, nothing exists of which scientific biogeography may primarily take account.
-- Léon Croizat, Proceedings of the Symposium On Recent Advances in Tropical Ecology 2: 576 (1968)
Biogeography is like chess:he who really understands the game can tell in a matter of a few moves whether he stands before a genuine master or a prententious patzer.
-- Léon Croizat, Systematic Zoology 26: 231 (1977)
The panbiogeographic method stands beyond question as based on the straight search, analysis and synthesis of factual material. It might naturally, entail errors of judgement on the part of those who make use of its byproducts in the light of personal lack of information, theoretical preconceptions of their own etc., but--as a method, to repeat--it is the only really scientific way of thinking and doing.
-- Léon Croizat, Systematic Zoology 31: 300 (1982)
I have indeed lived and worked to my taste either in art of science. What more could a man desire? Knowledge has always been my goal. There is much that I shall leave behind undone but something at least I was privileged to leave for the world to use, if it so intends. As the Latin poet said I will leave the table of the living like a guest who has eaten his fill. Yes, if I had another life to spend, I certainly would not waste it. But that cannot be, so why complain?
-- Léon Croizat, Tuatara 27: 7 (1984)
My task as a scientist is the same as my task as a man.
-- Léon Croizat, Rivista di Biologia - Biology Forum 81: 595 (1988)


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