"....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.”
"All truth passes through 3 stages: First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident."
-- Arthur Schopenhauer
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
-- A Little Bit of Knowledge --
Einstein knew a lot about physics... but there was far more he didn't know. Some folks reading this blog know a lot about Ivory-billed Woodpeckers... but there's a lot more they don't know.
Whether one's name is "Einstein" or "John Doe" we are, all of us, ignorant about most things, i.e. on any given subject, what we don't know far exceeds what we do. Einstein, and all true scientists, understand this implicitly (but science-amateurs do not!). So the naivete displayed by skeptics at times concerning Ivory-bills, and bird behavior/cognition in general, is of little note (we all share in it) --- what IS noteworthy however, is the ignorance they often display... of their own ignorance --- their willingness, based on scant information, to state with certainty, things impossible to know with certainty.
It's oft' said that 'a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing,' and it's certainly true with the thimblefull of knowledge we possess regarding Ivory-bills. Given the number and variety of credible sightings over time in various locales by various people, the greatest probability is that some of these birds yet exist, and no amount of skeptical circular arguing, conjecturing, selective use of data, or singular focus on photographic evidence, will change that in the short term.
For believers of Ivory-bill persistence the worst that can happen is that the species is never definitively documented, and we are left forever wondering, as an unanswerable question, when truly did the last individuals die. For certain of the skeptics however, the worst calamity would now be for the species to be conclusively found (heaven forbid!!)... leaving their credibility in a shambles, and that previously-disguised ignorance exposed for all to view. And should that point arrive, keep in mind, that they painted themselves into a corner of their own free accord; no one pushed them.
...hey, but seriously, I don't often promote commercial products here, but to my surprise in the last year have fallen in love with these : (light, mind-boggingly comfortable, sturdy, easy-to-clean, vegan-friendly, simple, many styles)
or, if you're in college, may want to check out these versions.
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