[meteorite-list] Why do we collect anything?

From: Kevin Kichinka <marsrox_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu, 7 Jul 2016 20:35:13 +0300
Message-ID: <CANDn_7G50GW3_nQt0ys3ibjvpdpVBT5yXe0r-LYcFEUB75GGcQ_at_mail.gmail.com>

Anne Black wondered if "We need a proper definition of what constitutes a
collection? (Is it) stuff properly curated and catalogued (or) stuff picked
up here and there?"

Col-lect- v 1.To bring together in a group; gather; assemble. 2. To
accumulate as a hobby or for study.

I found insight re Anne's question on p3 of a book titled 'The Art of
Collecting Meteorites'. The author quotes Harvey Nininger who said, "There
is hardly an object under the sun, made either by man or nature that you
cannot sell today if you look around for a buyer."

Then we learn that research anthropologist Margie Akin called collecting a
universal impulse deeply rooted in evolutionary biology. "Comparing,
categorizing and collecting helped people survive."

She said that noticing differences in rocks and mushrooms gave early people
an evolutionary advantage when it came to making tools or looking for food.

Akin identified three ways to evaluate collections:

Sense of completeness (although what's complete to one person may lack
totality to another)

Level of formality (the state of perfection of each object)

Intensity (the amount of time spent searching for and researching the

The guy who wrote this book way back early in the 21st century concluded,
"Perhaps the 'meteorite-collecting impulse' should be considered a
cutting-edge of evolution. Darwin would be intrigued."

Or maybe not.

Typed with one finger on my Samsung J7 here on a mountaintop in Costa Rica
while butterflies the size of a 'Ruddy Treerunner' fly by creating a breeze
that will ripple around a world near you.

Kevin Kichinka
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Received on Thu 07 Jul 2016 01:35:13 PM PDT

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