Dr. Zonneveld's theories
I too must admit to sharing your frustration at the way the
discussion progressed. I had hoped we could become better aquainted with the
theories of Dr. Zonneveld, which although they run counter to the
conventional wisdom put forth by those scientists who have done research in
the field of plant variegation, are not necessarily invalid unless proven to
be so by further research. Because of the enmity which some participants
feel towards Dr. Zonneveld, it may be that he was reluctant to answer
questions in greater detail. If this is the case, perhaps he can offer a
full explanation of his "Rule of Thumb" theory to us now that the discussion
has more or less ended. Specifically I would like to know more about the
claim that mitotic recombination is responsible for such a large number of
sports, and the omission of cloroplast mutations as an important cause. Ben
has offered little or no justification for either of these central points in
the discussion and, as it is his theory, the rest of us are at a loss as to
his reticence in explaining it in any meaningful detail. Dr. Zonneveld, if
you wish your theories to be given more weight, now is the time to explain
them as a rebuttal to the conclusions drawn about them. If you plan on doing
research to back up these theories, I would like to hear about it and its
Some of the anger and frustration directed at Dr. Zonneveld can be
attributed to his plagiarism of some earlier work by Mr. Hawes. I was hoping
that that would not become an issue in this discussion, despite the
deplorable nature of that incident, for if we are to be students of Hosta
science we are compelled to consider the validity of his theories. Dr.
Zonneveld must live with that unfortunate incident and accept that it may
color judgment of his later activities. It was his choice to commit that act
and his further choice to offer no apologies for it. I must question why he
repeatedly brought it up during the discussion, as if to wave a red flag at
His choice of argument style is also a hindrance to a better
mannered discussion as some take offense at his apparent arrogance and
unwillingness to be forthright in answering questions with more than a few
words when a serious effort was made to pose said questions. Perhaps some
have jumped to conclusions as to the weakness of his theories, but he offers
so little in their defense that such conclusions were inevitable.
I, for one, call upon him now to explain his theories further and
offer us some reason to think they are anything more than simple guesses. As
you have put forth these theories for the last few years in three separate
articles, Dr. Zonneveld, it is reasonable to expect that you can offer an
in-depth explanation of why you think they are correct. Now is the time when
you are called upon to do so. This discussion will be summarized in the same
publication in which you presented them, and if you do not wish it to be
perceived as one-sided, you are responsible for presenting your side. No one
else can be expected to do it for you.
We are all students in the realm of Hosta science, for until the
research is done we do not know enough to claim the position of teachers.
Knowledge will come in time but until then let us strive to be open-minded
and consider the merit of what is presented to us impartially. If Dr.
Zonneveld has more to say about his theories, let us listen and judge its
worth without consideration of his earlier behavior. There is still the
possibility that he may be proved right when the research is done.
> Mr Hawes,
> Thank you for your message. I totally accept that I am only one vote
> and I support democratic principles.
> First, I apologise unreservedly to "Mr Lanier" for wrongly including
> him in my message. As you rightly said, it was someone else and there
> is nothing to be gained by mentioning that person now.
> Secondly, I stand by my criticism of the discussion and will try and
> explain why...
> There were at least two levels in this important open discussion.
> Those who knew what they were talking about 'The Teachers', like your
> goodself, and those who were at various stages of learning ,'The
> Students', which includes me and probably many others on this robin.
> [Hostapix and Phoenix are no longer coming through to me, so I cannot
> speak for them]. My 'Student ' level of knowledge doesn't allow me to
> contribute effectively to such a high level discussion, BUT I had
> to learn much and store the detailed information which I could then,
> later, study.
> However the 'Teachers' were throwing so much 'mud' at each other that
> we ended up with a 'blackboard' that was illegible and a 'NOISE LEVEL'
> that was unpleasant. I believe, sincerely, that those arguments should
> take place outside the 'classroom'.
> I am not qualified to comment on the allegation of plagiarism, but I
> do respect your, understandingly, strong feelings on that matter. It
> can never be condoned.
> However, I do think that if more enquiring questions rather than 'mud'
> had been thrown, then the discussion might have proved more
> For my selfishness to learn more and my frustration at watching the
> discussion collapse, I do apologise. A better mannered discussion
> might have contributed more to everyone's HOSTA knowledge and I
> sincerely believe that 'The Teachers' have a responsibility to behave
> I really do look forward to reading the summary.
> Yours Respectfully
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