Botany and Taxonomy: If we understand what we have, we understand what can be lost forever.
On his 1,000 mile walk from Indiana to the Gulf of Mexico, not long after the Civil War ended, John Muir encountered a man who questioned his motive to study plants, or ‘botanize’ as he often put it.
The man said, “You look like a strong-minded man, and surely you are able to do something better than wander the country and look at weeds and blossoms. These are hard times, and real work is required of every man that is able. Picking up blossoms doesn’t seem to be a man’s work at all in any kind of times.”
John Muir asked, ” You are a believer in the Bible, are you not?” The man replied, “Oh, yes.”
Muir then responded, “Well, you know Solomon was a strong-minded man, and he is generally believed to have been the very wisest man the world ever saw, and yet he considered it was…
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