"....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, April 08, 2008
-- Or, Maybe Not --
An e-mailer reminds me that I haven't done a TOP 10 list for awhile, so without further ado:
Top 10 press releases from assorted skeptics in the event an Ivory-billed Woodpecker is caught on videotape:
10. Jerry Jackson: Hallelujah, hallelujah, I'm a believer!!
9. David Sibley: Get it to my studio pronto so I can sketch those coverts and secondaries!
8. Ilya MacLean: If it looks like an Ivory-bill, and it flies like an Ivory-bill, and it toots like an Ivory-bill, c'mon it's gotta be some sorta duck.
7. The Board of the American Birding Association: huuuuuhhh, say WHAAAAAT????
6. Louis Bevier: It doesn't matter a twit, the Luneau video is STIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIILL a Pileated.
5. Kenn Kaufman: DOHHHHHHH!!!
4. Patrick Coin: LORD GOD, what a videotape!!
3. Jane Turner: Ok so it's NOT a Pileated, but are we absolutely positively certain it isn't a bloody-crested, oversized, bi-laterally leucistic crow, with jaundiced eyes and steroidal albino beak-syndrome. Are we sure, huh?....
2. Martin Collinson: CRIIIIIIKEY!!!!
1. Tom Nelson: seeeee, what did I tell ya, yet more evidence that global warming is just a friggin' sham! (...oh, and puhhleeeeze everyone, stop by my blog and read today's 163 scintillating posts).
As for the evidence, it's been out there for decades; if you choose not to see it as "decent" that's your choice.
Horrors, cyberthrush, now you're starting to sound a lot like Fishcrow, who hasn't earned a lot of respect among ornithologists for his ignorant attacks on the profession. Knowledge of a subject is a hindrance? Come on now! How about a little more respect for the bird scientists?
Besides, ornithology is a broad field, as you well know. To be a Ph.D. ornithologist and not be an expert in field identification is not unusual in this age of specialization.
But I have a great deal of respect for the field identification experts such as Jon Dunn, Pete Dunne, Kenn Kaufmann, and David Sibley, all of whom have expressed a great deal of skepticism about the authenticity of recent IBWO sightings.
Last I knew Pete Dunne still leaned toward belief in the IBWO's existence. Of course, I respect Sibley and Kaufman's ID skills as well, but they are birders, not scientists, and this is ultimately a debate over the nature of scientific evidence. I too am skeptical toward 90%+ of IBWO sightings, but that matters little if there are 2-10% I find credible or at least worth checking further.
Heck, having worked in the field, I'm skeptical of 90% of the money spent on medical research, but that doesn't mean I think they should stop funding it.
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