“Invasion Biology: Critique of a Pseudoscience”

Broom is the likely occupant of East Bay public land now shaded by non-native trees that will be destroyed the FEMA projects.  Share alike.
Broom is the likely occupant of East Bay public land now shaded by non-native trees that will be destroyed by the FEMA projects. Share Alike.

Invasion Biology:  Critique of a Pseudoscience is a book by David Theodorpoulos. (1)  He explains in the preface of the book, how he arrived at the conclusion that invasion biology is a pseudoscience and why he felt compelled to explain that conclusion in his book.

Theodoropoulos was from an early age a lover of nature and he always spent much of his time outdoors, observing nature.  He recalls noticing decades before writing his book that some plant species—such as broom—tended to occupy disturbed ground such as roadsides.  He was also aware that introduced species of plants were contributing to biological diversity.  Putting those two observations together, he concluded that plants that are introduced and dispersed by the activities of man are integrating into ecosystems and increasing biodiversity.

As the hysteria about “alien invasions” began to mount in the 1990s, Theodoropoulos could not reconcile this anxiety with his observations of nature.  He read the studies that supported invasion biology and found their scientific methods and their conclusions unsatisfactory.  He concluded that the fear of introduced plants was motivated by “psychological factors” that are not supported by scientific evidence. 

As he shared his observations with others, he was subjected to abusive attacks by proponents of invasion biology, which ultimately compelled him to write his book to defend his opinion of invasion biology.  He explains why he wrote his book:

“During the past decade ‘invader’ fears have reached a fevered pitch, with  a constant barrage from the media fanning the flames, and a huge volume of literature has been published, produced by scientists with a self-interest in promoting this ideology.  Corporate and bureaucratic interests have intruded, pushing their agendas of profit and control.  Finally, the use of invader fears to justify total human control of the natural world has shown that the ideology has reached a dangerous place.”   (emphasis added)

David Theodorpoulos will be speaking in the East Bay on Sunday, July 14, 2013.  Here is the announcement of this event by its sponsor East Bay Pesticide Alert:



Who is behind the deforestation and pesticiding of the East Bay Hills, from Richmond to Hayward?

**Slideshow with narration, followed by discussion**


Conservation Biologist and Author:

Invasion Biology: Critique of a Pseudoscience

+ Update from Save Mt. Sutro Forest

SUNDAY, JULY 14, 2013, 6:30PM (doors open 6PM)

Historic Hall, Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists

1924 Cedar (one block east of MLK, Jr. Way)

Hear about Invasion Biology from a different perspective of non-native species, based on Evolutionary Biology, and find out about the native plant restoration movement’s connection to the pesticide industry.

**Please refrain from using scented products prior to attending **Wheelchair accessible

Co-sponsored by East Bay Pesticide Alert (dontspraycalifornia.org) (see wildfire pages) & Social Justice Committee BFUU (bfuu.org)


We have read Mr. Theodoropoulos’ book and we have heard him speak.  We can highly recommend both his book and his talk as informative and interesting.   We can also recommend the speaker about the Sutro Forest in San Francisco.  If you are not aware of how widespread the destruction of non-native plants and trees is, you will want to hear about the plans to destroy over 30,000 trees on Mount Sutro in San Francisco.  Please come to learn about the destructive consequences of projects that are attempting to convert our diverse landscape into native plant advocates’ fantasy of what it looked like 250 years ago.

Update:  A video of this presentation is now available here.


(1)    Avvar Books, 2003