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IVORY-BILLS  LiVE???!  ...

=> THE blog devoted to news and commentary on the most iconic bird in American ornithology, the Ivory-billed Woodpecker (IBWO)... and... sometimes other schtuff.
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"....The truth is out there."

-- Dr. Jerome Jackson, 2002 (... & Agent Fox Mulder)

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

-- Hamlet

"All truth passes through 3 stages: First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident."

-- Arthur Schopenhauer






Saturday, December 14, 2013

 

-- "interesting followup"... --

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Cornell's John Fitzpatrick is in a new ~11 min. audio interview, recounting the Ivory-bill story. Nothing new in it, until the 9-minute point when he mentions what he terms an "interesting followup" occurring in the winter of 2008-9 when a "colleague" recorded a lengthy (but "inconclusive") set of kent-like sounds about "every 10-15 seconds" from treetops -- I think it's implied that this was in the Big Woods (Arkansas), though I'm not at all positive about that:

http://tinyurl.com/ma4dfos
(click on the arrowhead to start the audio)


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Comments:
So is this recording available for public access, or at least for scientific analysis upon special request?
 
I really found it difficult to listen to the lead up to Fitzpatrick's segment, even though I agreed entirely with the debunker who said that this sort of nonsense--Yetis and Nessies--was horribly damaging to the education process and the formulation of critical thinking skills. My troubles might be from spending too much time on the Internet as it is, where "anything goes" in some circles, particularly where the trolls congregate. I'm starting to have a really low tolerance for horse$#!!%! when there is so much genuinely interesting information to be had and meaningful debate in authentic areas of exploration. Or possibly it was that idiot ninth grade biology teacher who spent so many class periods on Bigfoot the year the Patterson film (a proven hoax, but it took years for one of the participants to come forward and stamp "denied" on that claim).

Fitzpatrick acquitted himself--and the IBWO-- nicely, but then the proprietors of Big Picture Science brought in their own version of a "Bigfoot Huckster" with the biologist "who's been hired to bring back the passenger pigeon."

I wouldn't hold your breath, folks, or even consider making a holiday donation (I'd buy a lottery ticket instead; I think there's a better chance). I recognize nothing truly innovative occurs when nothing is attempted, but I do enough science writing on that subject to have huge doubts. There are simply too many billions of nucleotide pairs in the autosome for me to believe it's possible to "export" the sequences learned from decoding the genome to a viable ovum. I recall it was CT who mentioned Stewart Brand was involved in a similar project, and I found the article where I was the only one to comment. Nobody seemed to disagree.

We will doubtless see incredible achievements from the DNA genome work; in utero treatment of genetic disorders comes to mind, probably not too far in the future, and others I can't even imagine, but my guess is the passenger pigeon is going to remain strictly museum fare.

That skepticism, however, has no spillover effect on my belief the Ivory-bill probably still flies in the Southeast.
 
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