Vicariance proponents favored a "style of argument based on equal parts shouting and sarcasm," with the heaviest sarcasm heaped on "dispersalism," the old, supposedly untestable idea that plants and animals arrived at their present locations more or less on their own power, through a series of chance long-distance voyages. "Damned benighted dispersalism," as Mr. de Queiroz calls it, with tongue in cheek, dates back to Charles Darwin, who proposed that drifting icebergs may have served as a means of transport, and even to earlier biblical scholars, who theorized that, after Noah landed on Mount Ararat, his menagerie spread around the world as ship cargo or by traveling from island to island, steppingstone fashion. To Croizat, dispersalism was "a world of make-believe and pretense" and for Nelson it was "a science of the improbable, the rare, the mysterious, and the miraculous."

— manner of arguing  

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