"....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, March 29, 2006
-- Looking Ahead, a Tad --
With little more than a month left in the official Big Woods search season it must be acknowledged that the season could end without evidence confirming earlier claims for the Ivory-bill there. Cornell has consistently said that they would only give their full report in May after searching ended, and despite various rumors, official indications are that only further un-definitive sightings and acoustic evidence have thus far been attained (even the number of these might be somewhat disappointing). On-the-other-hand, it has always been the case that the only great likelihood of attaining glossy incontrovertible IBWO footage would come upon finding an active nesthole, and the next 30 days remain prime time for that. Many believe that, given the heat they are facing, if Cornell had such evidence already they would find a way to report it before May; then-again, existence of an active nest is the very sort of info they might clamp down tight on (for the birds' protection) and definitely not divulge until nesting season passes. In short, a lot could happen in the next 30 days, but we ought also be prepared for the possibility of disappointment.
Finally, keep in mind as well, there remain several other southern locales still to hear from or in need of thorough searching, and the Big Woods itself was not fully covered in this initial season (which focussed on some so-called "hot zones") -- that said, it must be recognized that for many of the fence-post sitters out there, much of the impetus and drive for searching will evaporate if this season passes without greater success.
Back in February you told your readers that March will be the month where some evidence will come forth from Cornell and we must be patience. NOW you are telling us April will thru May will be the month and then you will change it to June or July!
You or I do not have a clue what Cornell has so far. The heads of Cornell Ornth. Lab could be spending their time writing another article for Science to counter Sibley's or they could be seeing a nest right now. We do not have a clue what is going on with Cornell.
All I know there is a great post on Frontiers of Identification from a scientist who has published seeveral articles in the Science journal. The posting slams Matt Sharp's opinions.
No, I don't have a clue what Cornell has, but I do hear more rumors thru private email than the average Joe -- things which I almost never pass along because the specifics/details are usually so slim that I can not vouch for the accuracy of the reports or the credibility of the sender, and in a few instances am specifically instructed NOT to pass the info along. The purpose of the above post was to both caution believers against jumping on every rumor that may pop up in the ensuing 30 days, but also not be overly discouraged by the lack of conclusive evidence to this point in time.
I preach patience because I have already waited 40 years for this bird to be found, I am willing to wait a few more if necessary, especially since we've reached a point where sightings, EVEN GOOD LONG ones, will no longer be adequate for doubters who will insist on clearcut, time-dated video. And especially since large-scale, organized searching has only begun for the first time in history in the last few yrs.
I continue to heartily recommend the discussion on "Frontiers;" both sides have made good but I think unresolvable points, and would simply again caution that to the degree that several folks are ONLY focussing on the Luneau video they are skipping 90% of the IBWO evidence.
It is important to think that there are at least two people posting skeptical comments. It is okay to think of "us and them" scenarios to build up group cohesion but if we start talking about "us and him" scenarios we just sound completely paranoid and/or delusional.
Of course I think they're paranoid and possibly delusional. ;-)
Also it's fun to be anonymous and in hiding, spew invective and venom. Heck we could try first names and places. Or we could
do the advice columnist thing like
"Perplexed in Peoria". But the Arkansas Duck Hunting Cabal might
still come North and give us a load a buckshot if we give that even that much information!
Paul in New Paltz
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