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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






Monday, July 10, 2006

 

-- A BirdForum Post --

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The following thoughts of interest were posted by a relative newcomer to BirdForum today:

"Many of the first-order features of [Cornell's] initial presentation carried troubling parallels to well-known scientific debacles. Science by news conference has not a particularly good history, marked by Fleischmann-Pons' cold fusion and the infamous NASA Martian meteorite episode. It may well be necessary to hold a news conference to get out ahead of a major story that is about to leak, but in the scientific community there will be instant suspicion. I'm sure the Cornell story carries some of these associations.
Perhaps Cornell went this route with the reasonable expectation that the Killer Photo was imminent and any questions would soon be moot. At that time they had a fair number of good sightings and an idea that those birds were breeding locally, so good field ornithology should quickly lead to photo ops at roost or nest holes.
As the sightings declined rather than increased, undue attention fell on the Luneau video which... has only enough resolution to be highly suggestive but not conclusive of IBWO. After having been questioned publicly by household names such as Sibley, the Luneau video now carries a certain flavor shared by fetishes of the tinfoil crowd such as the Zapruder film or even the Bigfoot movie. People get very nervous when the zealots fight pixel wars.
With such associations, and a sorry history of other IBWO claims, many minds will be closed to anything less than incontrovertible proof.
But sometimes I wonder if an additional source of resistance may be in the status of IBWO as an iconic failure of wildlife conservation. Could it be that many who were raised on this sad tale are unwilling to consider that the species may have survived after all?"
....or possibly unwilling to accept their role, through cynicism and inaction, in the species' eventual demise if it survived well passed its 1940's presumption of extinction.
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