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Re: copes law




On Sun, 26 Jan 1997, Ronald Orenstein wrote:
> Of course all things are NOT always equal - a large habitat generalist may
> be better able to cope with change (the cause of all extinctions) than a
> small specialist...

While I agree that large generalists may be better able to cope with
change, I quibble with the aside that change causes all extinctions.  We
are in danger here of committing a tautology. Extinction is change>change
is extinction.  Or is it that change happens first causing in balance in
species' composition.  If so, how do we know whether or not it is the
species themselves which are causing the change.  This offhand remark is
too easily, almost universally accepted--it shouldn't be.  The cause of
most extinctions is unknown.