Mystery – part 31, Conclusion

There is a serious problem of personal perception. I am now 84yrs old with all the accompanying ailments of the inevitability of decay. I have had a long break from Haworthia and have a wish to see, from my perspective, those things resolved that are not. The very nature of the journey and the experience, has involved conflict and personal differences. I can’t apologise because how can I be sure that I am either right or wrong? My motive has been, as far as is possible, purely to grasp the truth and writing about the issue has been central to the process. It all involves a very serious journey into philosophy and science, and even into the meaning of those two words viz. love of knowledge and “to know”. Do you know anything if what you know is not true?”

These posts are not intended to follow what has gone before. They are just a platform for me to reach out and meet people that may be asking the same kind of questions I have asked and who just might want to see things through another lens. Polish my own perceptions and fix distortions. In my journey with Haworthia I have met countless people from both ends of the intellectual and academic spectrum and do not want to pretend about where I might fit as it could easily be what is perceived as the wrong end and justifiably so. There is no wrong end for anybody else. It is about motive and those with the right motive hopefully will gravitate here of their own volition.

Haworthias are not poisonous plants and have given me a vast amount of pleasure. I treasure all the people encountered in my personal journey. In these posts too.

This has been a small excursion into the amazing world of variation and exploring the problem of names to fit. It does seem to me that science offers more promises than solutions. Personally I feel that science has disappointed and tricked me into trying to find answers where it has hidden the truth. Darwinian selection and survival seems to be a dead horse. A species model just does not fit no matter how one tries to define the word species. Botany with its taxonomy and nomenclature are a breeding ground for argument and disagreement. A collective approach was attempted in the genus Aloe, but in my opinion that was a disaster as it never addressed the core problem. My suggestion is that this should be tried again but recognizing that the myth and reality of species needs to be admitted and seen for what it is. This will have to be a process and it should start with next generation sequencing? No – it needs to start with us.

From the practical point of view, and to give credit where credit is due, I think an account should be given of the eastern flank of the greater retusoid puzzle. The person who holds the key, the understanding, insight and the pictures for this is Kobus Venter for whom far more credit should have been given for the publication of “Haworthia Revisited”. Much the same could have been said for Steven Hammer. When I undertook to write revisited, I said I could not do so without the help of these two stalwarts. That I failed to acknowledge them adequately, is because I did not think the book was complete enough to be of such credit to anyone. But I have also come a very long way since that book with the publication of the Updates (print and digital) and the involvement of Harry Mays and Lawrence Loucka.  A final account should include the case of Brandrivier H. emelyae var multifolia to indicate or prove, that classification is just a moment in time and we may never arrive at an answer that is true.

~ Bruce Bayer
19 September, 2019