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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

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


-- No Collins Paper --


Well, nothing is ever simple in the Ivory-bill world... Mike Collins is announcing that his paper, "Flight Mechanics of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker," has been "pulled" from publication at PLoS. His brief explanation is at his website (12/16 entry).
I'd heard about certain problems that had arisen, and that publication would be delayed at least a minimum of two-to-three weeks from last Friday, and I could take an educated guess about some of what transpired, but since I don't know with certainty, won't speculate here. Nothing in this arena much surprises anymore.

All rather perdictable, right down to the people pulling the paper being the usual incompetent idiots who just can't see how obviously right he is

There is no need to guess or speculate. The entire story is posted at my website.

Mike Collins
In all due respect Mike, I'm sure there are details that are not included in the "entire story" as posted on your site -- indeed details that you (or I or others) would not necessarily even be aware of; and PLoS's precise version of events/circumstances would likely differ from your own -- that's just the nature of such matters.
But truly, good luck finding some other appropriate outlet for the paper; I'm sure many would like to see and judge it in a formal, journal-like setting.
My point was that the details posted on my website are all that I am aware of. Your speculation about "certain problems that had arisen" are news to me. If you are aware of something else, then let's hear it. There is certainly nothing wrong with the paper, which was reviewed by an expert on flight mechanics and an expert on woodpeckers and clearly contains the best set of data that has been obtained to date.

Where did the post go? I haven't been able to see it at Mike's site upon learning of the post earlier this afternoon. Sorry, Mike, for whatever went wrong.
Thanks for the concern, but it appears that the problem has been resolved. We will have to wait and see to be sure, however, since nothing in this arena much surprises anymore (to borrow a line from cyberthrush, who also pointed out that things can happen behind that scenes that we never hear about).

there were additional comments awaiting moderation when I returned from work today all essentially asking 'whazzup' with Mike's missing 12/16 entry? -- given his comment above, I presume there's no need to post those queries (but just letting you know they were received), and we'll all just wait and see what transpires now...
Okay...let me take a stab at this. The author (Mike) and the editor had a disagreement about an issue (this happens much too often; editors can be prickly, and authors can be defensive). One of the parties decided the paper needed to be resolved. Judging from Mike's most recent post, the impasse was broken, agreement was reached, and the paper remains "in press" after all. Am I right? (I do hope so.)
It didn't have anything to do with the content of the paper, which was subjected to a thorough review process involving experts in woodpeckers and flight mechanics. That's all I can say about it, besides repeating what cyberthrush said about nothing being surprising in this arena anymore.

Okay...I'm still just as confused. Mike's website currently makes no mention whatsoever of the article being withdrawn. So...is it still "in press" (as I hope) or is it officially "pulled" from PLoS. None of the comments above make this clear!
I'm a few days late reading this blog and Mike's website, but Mike's entries related to this topic are missing again? Anyone know what is up with that? Mike?
okay, my last stab at this -- people are probably better off emailing Mike directly than sending queries to me; that way he can email back privately in case there are things he prefers not to say openly at his or this site. Obviously, Mike's paper isn't going to make or break the IBWO debate so I wouldn't get too impatient waiting to see if it appears.
How do you know what impact the paper will have on the debate? Have you even seen the paper? There has been some exceedingly sloppy evaluation of data, both in recent years (http://www.fishcrow.com/arkansas_video.html) and decades ago (http://www.fishcrow.com/a_little_history.html), but if scientists capable of basic analysis study the data in detail, I think the paper will have a big impact. The paper contains the strongest data that have been obtained, and the analysis has been done very carefully and inspected by experts in flight mechanics. In light of the data that have been obtained (by myself and others), I believe the on-going ivorybill debate is every bit as silly as the on-going "debate" over evolution.

Well, let's wait and see what impact it has, shall we?

I'll put in my two cents that it's none. And that Mike Collins will castigate all those scientists who don't agree with him as idiots.

Oh, and no IBWOs will be found either. Anywhere. Especially by Mike Collins.
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