An alternate view of introduced species


As part of our 2008 Permaculture Design Course, David I. Theodoropoulos taught a class based on his book: Invasion Biology: Critique of A Pseudoscience, and in doing so, made a very convincing case why he classifies invasion biology as a pseudoscience.

Invasion biology is the attempt to address—through science—the ecology, influence, and impact of introduced species.

In a well-written review of David’s book, D. Holmgren elaborates:

“The author puts a very strong case that invasion biology is a pseudoscience and that nativist ideology is a danger to environmental thinking and society at large as well as a direct threat to biodiversity conservation.

The evidence provided of beneficial effects of naturalised plants and animals is drawn from the author’s own observations and a significant number of peer reviewed scientific papers supporting his case. However he makes even greater reference to scientific papers and reports, which draw conclusions of great and varied harm from human spread of plants animals and microorganisms. In other words, Theodoropoulos uses evidence from the Invasive biology literature to support his own conclusions.

In my more limited reading of both scientific papers and more popular presentations of the nativist ideology I have been struck by how much of the evidence that is typically used to describe ecological harm can in fact be equally interpreted to indicate ecological benefits…”

Click here to download the entire pdf book review by David Holmgren.

Here I am with David Theodoropoulos and Larry Santoyo at the Cabrillo College Horticulture Center with the Monterey Bay in the background for our Permaculture Design Course.


Here’s the cover of Dave’s book with an excerpt from a book review. Click here to order the book.


“In this provocative work, Mr. Theodoropoulos uses a combination of detailed bibliographic research, precise language, and skillful polemics to analyze invasion biology as a pseudoscience… it is an organic work of great analytical force and bibliographic intensity…. The credibility of the book’s arguments is based in fundamental evolutionary ecology…. Critics may dispute some of his analyses or judgments, but their own credibility would need to be measured against Mr. Theodoropoulos’s analytical rigor, clarity of expression, and transparency of agenda…. Mr. Theodoropoulos’ ideas are, in this book, ecologically coherent, precisely conceived, and effectively articulated.”
—Dr. D.L. Scarnecchia, Washington State University. Book Review, Rangelands 26(2), April 2004.


About Ken

In 1967, 10-year-old Ken Foster read The Secret Garden by Frances Burnett. It took him a whole summer to read, but it inspired him to see gardening as a celebration of our coexistence with nature. In 1985, he took on an apprenticeship at the UC Santa Cruz Farm and Garden, and there he discovered his passion. He founded Terra Nova Ecological Landscaping in 1988, and has dedicated his life to caring for the environment and community through sustainable landscaping. He also teaches a permaculture class at Cabrillo College. When he’s not busy with designing, installing, and maintaining ecological landscapes, Ken can be found riding his bike around town, or making mandalas out of salvaged herbs that would otherwise have been sent to the landfill.


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