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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.

Web ivorybills.blogspot.com

"....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, September 11, 2006


-- Wherefore Art Thou, Ivory-bill --

Previously, I've repeatedly made the argument that EVEN IF I believed the Ivory-bill was extinct I would STILL operate on the assumption that it survives --- because the potentiial consequences of assuming it extinct only to find out later one is wrong, are far worse than the consequences of assuming it is alive, only to find out later it has been gone for decades. It is the same reason our legal system assumes people are innocent until proven guilty, lest innocents suffer undeserved punishment. Some biologists call this "the Romeo error" (after Shakespeare's Romeo poisoning himself upon believing, incorrectly, that Juliet has died), and it ought to be avoided whenever possible; this is why anyone serious about bird life should be encouraging (not discouraging or derisive of) IBWO searchers in their efforts. Indeed, why anyone serious about birds would do otherwise is beyond me... other than possibly trying to prop up the slender skeptical scaffold upon which they have sequestered themselves.

BTW, Jim Fitzpatrick (John's brother) spoke at the New Jersey Meadowlands yesterday on "the search for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker" --- if anyone heard the talk I'd be interested to know if he happened to indicate when Cornell's final summary report for last season would be out, or had anything new to say.

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