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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, February 03, 2007

 

-- Of Extinction and Ether --


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Ornithological McCarthyism continues to spill forth from some internet quarters, piling speculation upon unfounded speculation to discount IBWO evidence, and confusing mere alternative explanations for science. Tsk, tsk. By all appearances one 'skeptical' blogger (actually, he gives 'skepticism' a bad name) seems to be little more than a tool of right-wing ideologue interests and the Exxon P.R. Dept. (kinda like a certain dim-witted President we know of). Many skeptics/scoffers have painted themselves into corners of no escape by now, and so keep plowing forward, all-the-while wearing blinders (gee, again kinda like a certain prevaricating Vice-President). If an IBWO photo arrives the squirming should be fascinating to watch (...sort of like the squirming in the White House for outing a CIA operative while preaching patriotism, cough, cough).

The shaky belief in IBWO extinction is a bit reminiscent of the 100+ years of physicists' belief in "ether" as a permeating medium throughout the universe, used to account for various effects. They fit each new piece of knowledge or experimental finding to the pre-conceived notion of ether as long as they could, until finally in the early 20th century Einstein deduced once-and-for-all there simply was no ether. Never had been. Even in physics (far more rigorous than biology) pre-conceived suppositions are dangerously ensnaring entities. So too, this century, may the ethereal notion of Ivory-bill extinction plummet to the pseudoscientific graveyard, despite the efforts of those who must now be wishing it to be true.

On a very sad side-note: tornadoes that swept through central Florida Friday not only devastated many human lives, but also killed 18 young endangered Whooping Cranes in a safety enclosure, that had been led down to Fla. from Wisconsin. The storms probably did not affect the Florida areas harboring greatest IBWO potential, although the Suwannee area is not too far away.
Addendum: one of the 18 Whoopers was finally found alive some distance away (tracked by a radio transmitter it was wearing); not much consolation, but at least a piece of good news under the circumstances.
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