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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






Thursday, August 30, 2007

 

-- Just A Ramble --


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Sightings, sounds, searches, and yes, science, continue... as does spreading skepticism. The skeptics' echo chamber reverberates with the claim that Ivory-bills are extinct, and thus any claimed evidence is automatically viewed through the prism of that premise, and then dismissed in favor of alternative conjectures. Skeptics'
faith in the ability of humans to find and photograph rare creatures is paramount, despite the number that have previously gone missing for decades.

The downside of having the fuzzy Auburn video released publicly is that it gives skeptics yet another instance to say, "see, that's inconclusive." Through some sort of twisted logic, cynics view anything that is not conclusive of Ivory-bills existing as somehow supportive of them not existing. It's as if someone took pieces of evidence that tied someone to a crime, but, because the pieces weren't definitive, instead used them to argue the accused must be innocent. Non-definitive evidence is simply non-definitive evidence, it does not support one side more than another (and certainly not the naysaying side).

Certain subjects (abortion, animal rights, creationism vs. evolution, come to mind) can hardly be debated anymore because protagonists start from such different underlying assumptions, that agreement cannot be reached. So too it has come to pass in the Ivory-billed debate. Underlying assumptions about extinction, about the ecology/behavior of Ivory-bills, about evidence, and about human capabilities, cannot be reconciled.

Time may tell in the next couple years if the Ivory-billed Woodpecker lives; unfortunately for skeptics, none of their arguments, nor time nor logic alone, can possibly tell in the short term if the species is extinct... but do give 'em credit for trying!
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Comments:
"Skeptics' faith in the ability of humans to find and photograph rare creatures is paramount"

and based on very extensive first hand experience, at least in the case of John Wall and Tim Allwood

"it gives skeptics yet another instance to say, "see, that's inconclusive."

It's worse than inconclusive.

Regarding the criminal analogy, doesn't a statute of limitations expire long before six decades have past?

"Time may tell"

63 years isn't enough?
 
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