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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, June 04, 2007


-- Auburn Update --

Latest post from Geoff Hill here:



from the Web Grab Bag:

Birds were once dinosaurs... errr, NOT so fast. In another example of widely-believed, but not-wholly supported ornithological gospel some contrarian scientists contend that birds did not evolve from ground-based dinosaurs (as the public likes to thinketh) who ran so fast they took to the air, but rather from small tree-dwelling reptiles.


Yes, very interesting. You've heard Feduccia talk, haven't you? I found him very convincing. And the two sides of the bird origins (dinosaur/not dinosaur) debate make the IBWO believers versus skeptics look downright polite. Here are some interesting quotes:

But the majority of scientists in the field are unconvinced [about skepticism over the bird-dinosaur link]

"These people have been flogging the same horse for a long time," said Kevin Padian, curator of the University of California Museum of Paleontology.

"It is appalling that Proceedings B chose to publish this nonsense."


National Geographic magazine and other media have heavily publicized stories about feathered dinosaurs. [Editorial note: including publication of one fraudulent fossil on the front page, and publication of the retraction as an endnote some months later.] But contrarian views struggle to get heard, Feduccia said.

"One of the primary arguments used to deflect our view is that we are a fringe group," he said. "But if science operates by a majority view, we're in serious trouble.

"We are dealing here basically with a faith-based science where the contrarian view is silenced to a large extent by the popular press," he added.

Does this remind you of the two sides of any other issue in ornithology?
on target Patrick; I had a couple of motives in citing this particular issue, one of which was definitely its longstanding and analogous nature to the IBWO debate, which remains simple compared to the complex and theoretical arguments over bird origins.
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