"....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.”
"All truth passes through 3 stages: First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident."
-- Arthur Schopenhauer
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Clipped this interesting chunk of post from another's webpage:
"The old certainty that the bird [Ivory-bill] didn't exist was replaced by a fragile new knowledge that it did, news that arrived in a flood of scientists' tears -- the accounts of those who first saw the bird are drenched in shuddering emotion. Ornithologists everywhere were happy to have been so wrong for so long. (Imagine if political pundits were half so happy to admit error, how interesting political discourse might get...)
The reappearance of the woodpecker seems like a second chance -- a chance to expand its habitat, to get it right this time. Maybe that's what links the big surprises of 2005, this sense that there can be another unexpected round, the tenth inning in which the outcome could be different; that failure and devastation are not always final. Scott Simon, the Arkansas Nature Conservancy director who, with Cornell University scientists, led the search for the woodpecker, writes, "It is sometimes said that faith requires the suspension of belief. In this case, belief has been rewarded with reality. The fact is, the Ivory-billed Woodpecker survives. What a great outcome for decades of faith, hope, and prayers."
The woodpecker was a spectacular thing unto itself, but also a message that we don't really know what's out there, even in the forests of the not-very-wild southeast, let alone the ocean depths from which previously uncatalogued creatures regularly emerge. Late last month, University of Alaska marine biologists reported seven new species found during an expedition under the arctic ice that uncovered a much richer habitat with far more fauna than anticipated....
The woodpecker is a small story; the big environmental story of our time is about extinctions and endangerments, about creatures and habitats moving toward the very brink this bird came back from; but this small story suggests that there are still grounds to hope -- to doubt that we truly know exactly what is out there and what is possible. Hope is not history's Barcalounger, as is often thought: it requires you get back out there and protect that habitat or stop that war. It is not the same as optimism, the belief that everything will probably turn out all right despite your inactivity, the same kind of inactivity that despair begets. Hope involves a sense of possibility, but with it comes responsibility." ( -- Rebecca Solnit)