"....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
Monday, April 20, 2009
-- Quote... Unquote --
"As to assertions without adequate evidence, the literature of science is filled with them, especially the literature of popular science writing. Carl Sagan's list of the "best contemporary science-popularizers" includes E.O. Wilson, Lewis Thomas, and Richard Dawkins, each of whom has put unsubstantiated assertions or counterfactual claims at the very center of the stories they have retailed in the market. Wilson's Sociobiology and On Human Nature rest on the surface of a quaking marsh of unsupported claims about the genetic determination of everything from altruism to xenophobia. Dawkins's vulgarizations of Darwinism speak of nothing in evolution but an inexorable ascendancy of genes that are selectively superior, while the entire body of technical advance in experimental and theoretical evolutionary genetics of the last fifty years has moved in the direction of emphasizing non-selective forces in evolution. Thomas, in various essays, propagandized for the success of modern scientific medicine in eliminating death from disease, while the unchallenged statistical compilations on mortality show that in Europe and North America infectious diseases, including tuberculosis and diphtheria, had ceased to be major causes of mortality by the first decades of the twentieth century, and that at age seventy the expected further lifetime for a white male has gone up only two years since 1950.....
"Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated."
--- Richard Lewontin, 1997 (Harvard geneticist)
Saying you saw an Ivory-bill in NY's Central Park, or at your backyard suet feeder, or a flock of them on fairway #8 of the golf course --- THOSE would be "extraordinary" claims. Saying you saw one in a remote wooded southern swamp, similar to where they once resided, and where dozens have claimed to have seen them since, is NOT an extraordinary claim, it is simply an unproven one.
I've certainly never seen one in Central Park or at my feeder (though I've seen PIWOs near my feeder fairly often.) And perhaps you're right, to the extent that I'd demand a higher evidentiary standard for such a claim, but Sagan's formulation is still simplistic (and subjective) in the extreme.
1. Beyond what is ordinary or usual."
You two are seriously arguing that actually seeing a living Ivorybill these days is ordinary and usual?
Sounds a bit fatuous to me.
Don't forget - "evidence is evidence all of it is ordinary".
1. Beyond what is ordinary or usual."
if that's your simple definition of 'extraordinary' than the evidence accumulated already qualifies as 'extraordinary' for a supposedly extinct species --- name another bird with this amount of evidence that is still considered extinct; on the other hand name all the species that had less evidence than this that were eventually found.
Check out this link where Carl Sagan applies his "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" to alien abductions. By the way, he believed in extraterrestrial life. The bold is mine
we must demand the more rigorous standards of evidence. Precisely because it's so exciting. That's the circumstance in which our hopes may dominate our skeptical scrutiny of the data. So, we have to be very careful. There have been a few instances in the [past]. We thought we found something, and it always turned out to be explicable...
I do not see [in] the alien abduction situation a similar rigorous application of scientific skepticism by its proponents. Instead, I see enormous acceptance at face value - and leading the witness and all sorts of suggestions...
NOVA: Could you please comment on the part of the quality of the evidence that is put forward by these so-called "abduction proponents."
SAGAN: Well, it's almost entirely anecdote. Someone says something happened to them...And, people can say anything. The fact that someone says something doesn't mean it's true. Doesn't mean they're lying, but it doesn't mean it's true.
To be taken seriously, you need physical evidence that can be examined at leisure by skeptical scientists...
Precisely because of human fallibility, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Now, I know that Budd Hopkins responds that extraordinary claims require extraordinary investigations. And I have two kinds of responses to that.
There is a claim that a brontosaurus is tramping through the jungles today in the republic of Congo. Should a massive expedition be mounted with government funds to find it, or it is so implausible as not to be worth serious sustained systematic attention?
And my second point is that to the extent that extraordinary claims require extraordinary investigations, those investigations must be true to the spirit of science. And that means highly skeptical, demanding, rigorous standards of evidence. And it's not a hint of that from alien abduction enthusiasts ... I think that the alien abduction enthusiasts understand the need for physical evidence. It's the pathway to some degree of respectability. And for 40 years, they've been telling us that real evidence is just around the corner, it's about to be released, it's being studied at this moment - and nothing ever comes of it.Sounds familiar to me.
Me too...but about skeptics. How hypocritical, forgetful and obtuse you are about factual occurrences. Those telling us the species IS EXTINCT have been unequivocally wrong for various decades spanning over 80 years.
Yet multiple observers come up with evidence accepted by the Science/AR BRC/many scientists and then Auburn and others find suggestive evidence and you want the flag dropped.
Fella the flag dropped on those calling this species extinct quite a while ago according to your whine that 40 years is enough. Your uniformed stance, solidly bed rocked in ignorance, is wrong. Just because you are paid per post doesn't mean you or anyone that actually matters believes anything you write.
The myth of extinction was found TO BE WRONG in '24, false in '35, wrong in '67, '68 '69 and '71 false in '86 and '87 in Cuba.
Then suspect in '99, false in 2004, questionable in 2005, questionable in 2006, 2008 and 2009.
The species is not cooperating with your myths. Its funny how the skeptics have been proven wrong over and over with this species and they fail to show caution in a conservation centric issue.
Skepticism seems to end at their own repeatedly proven wrong theories. Frankly many of these are not true skeptics; they have ulterior motives.
Do you actually think we are going to believe the never ending line of skeptics that call the species extinct but never show any effort to gather actual data themselves?
Since they have not adapted or accepted the new paradigm of being cautious in regards to environmental and conservation uncertainties we must conclude that most of them are acting on the behalf of special interests.
There are powerful entities that do not want this bird found.
The Truth Seeker
Extinction is not a myth if it's true, is it? Use all the debating points you want but no one has conclusively proven the bird exists for six decades. Doesn't matter much who said what back in the 30s. We know for a fact people have turned in false reports about Ivory-bill sightings recently. Some honestly wrong, some bald-faced lies. We don't know that there are any living birds. You might think you know.
To be taken seriously, you need physical evidence that can be examined at leisure by skeptical scientists... Carl Sagan
according to your whine that 40 years is enough
That was Carl Sagan "whining."
Listen, the Luneau tape shows a large woodpecker which doesn't match any video of a common species, a PIWO, in many ways. In addition the video was taken within an area of multiple sightings by experienced birders.
Its an extraordinary claim that PIWO can have the flight characteristics seen in the Luneau and Pearl videos. Practice what you preach...where is the video of a PIWO looking like either or both of these tapes? PIWOs are several thousand times more common or infinitely more common, according to you, than IBWO. So where is the video?
If you can ask constantly "where is the IBWO video?" then its certainly within the scientific method to ask where is the PIWO video that looks like these videos? Wing beat Hz and bounding are easily portrayed in the subject videos; there is nothing that confusing about looking at these basic characteristics.
Your claim and others that PIWOs can do the things seen in the subject videos is extraordinary and unproven. Yours and others repeated failure to satisfactorily address these facts is laid bare for all to see.
>>>To be taken seriously, you need physical evidence that can be examined at leisure by skeptical scientists... Carl Sagan<<<<
PIWO are relatively common birds with small ranges. Certainly they can be filmed everyday by you and others.
Why do you refuse to either support your extraordinary claims, which if true could be proven in days or stop with your blatant double standards?
When are we going to hear about your discovery of this kenting and double knocking species, new to science?
Have you recordings of Double Knocks outside of the historical range of IBWOs? Do you have them knocking back to one another?
Your arguments are untenable and hypocritical. You are overpaid, if being paid.
Learn your history on this species also. The FL ~ 1970 sightings triggered this species to soon after be added to the ESA. The '70s sighting were accompanied by confirmed IBWO feathers and were taken very seriously at the time and are accepted by some of the top US birders and ornithologists.
You obviously think very highly of your opinion by discounting the AR BRC and various reviewers of the older FL data and a respected list of researchers from 1987 in Cuba.
Do you have any reason for thinking your due diligence of the past or present evidence is so superior to past official reviews by scores of highly qualified people?
Or is it all the usual extraordinary claim of just knowing what the evidence actually is via telepathy?
I doubt you have ever read the published and peer reviewed account of the FL sightings and evidence. It might awaken you a bit assuming you have the experience and knowledge to grasp its detail and significant and extraordinary points.
Since no answers other than jokes and evasion are expected,
You are using the same debating tactics that the crop circle Believers used. "There is no other possible explanation!" "If they weren't made by aliens, how were they made? Show me!" Well, it wasn't up to the skeptics to show how they were made, was it? And of course, there was a boring, simple explanation. Google Uri Geller. Beware of believing things you want to believe without solid evidence.
The IBWO evidence is extraordinarily weak. That's why few ornithologists are buying it. Look at the infamous Birdforum thread. One post in the last three weeks, that one with links to photos of stuffed birds. The lack of posts doesn't prove anything other than it's obvious that most people are no longer buying the "rediscovery."
WHERE IS THE PIWO TAPE similar to what is seen in the various videos?
PIWOs exist. The skeptical claim that the Luneau video shows a PIWO is extraordinary and unproven.
WHERE is the discussion and evidence that something other than what is being seen in various areas, IBWOs, are producing Campephilus-like double knocks and kents?
Why do you refuse to discuss weaknesses in your assertions? No answer needed since your goal is to produce doubt in as many as possible; a careful, open-minded and fair look at the substantial evidence will not help your cause.
There was very little comment on the skeptics (paid shills)website also. The recent lack of comments at Bird Forum is a combination of the evasive nature of the species and the destruction of various skeptical points as untenable and the plethora of idiotic one liners from UK, sod birders.
Top skeptics were cornered there and slunked away.
Do you have any actual field data or pertinent field experience yourself on this issue?
We detect little interest by you in examining the alleged "weak" evidence or examining huge leaps of logic in skeptical assertions.
Have you been observing PIWOS in flight? Do they look anything like the Luneau or Pearl videos as far as flight characteristics? If so please produce the tape.
The above was a fair exchange. Next is what occurs on Bird Forum so you might better understand why less people post there.
>>And please quit throwing your mom and pops garbage cans lids around while filming. They are not just fodder for your ridiculous analogies or for Pub money from the Enquirer for UFO footage . They keep flies down. Don't you want flies down?
Don't you understand that like those churchgoers what we really believe in is our belief. If our lives are easier and more enjoyable because we believe in an all-seeing judgmental deity or a large woodpecker deep in the woods why should you care? If you guys are such "realists" you must realize that there are major limits on humans trying to be rational. Just leave us alone and go be rational somewhere else. Our secular consumer-oriented society doesn't provide much to believe in. For many of us the "rediscovery" provided that.
Let us offer each other the sign of peace after YOU do talk about the unfilmable, magic PIWO.
You buy thats a PIWO in the Luneau and La video. ?
There you have it, pseudoscience at it best. No average or true skeptic would string those words together. Are there any real skeptics out there?....surely you don't want these types carrying the proud banner of an extinction determination.
Birdforum is the standard for extinction?.....and here we are thinking the Whooping Crane can be saved when there are no posts on the species on Bird forum, Craigs List or U Tube. Thats one hundred million down the drain to the marsh.
And where/who is the majority of the ornithologists that say the species is extinct? Certainly there is disappointment that no nests or sedentary population has been found. The species is certainly very rare and concerns about viablity are well placed, although there is no present evidence of in-breeding.
But do not confuse the subdued nature of the community with evidence of present extinction and "all is lost".
Tell us something about yourselves, oh holy skeptics, why are you so eager to write off the species like a long string of prior primates have done, and been wrong over and over.
You seem timid to take a bite at whats really bothering you......need lumber prices a bit lower, need to clear some area for an airport? Why the rush for extinction? Don't want to waste a week and $1,000 for a tick thats not a sure thing like the drive up Sinaloa Wren. Afraid of snakes? You do not need the grant competition for some of your lifes work?
We are reasonable people, just tell the truth and get rid of your lobbyists and we can work it out, but this species will not be prematurely put into the E column with evidence from good people coming in.
They're not interested in debating the facts. They're all about the talismanic repetition of received wisdom. . .hasn't been confirmed in 60 years. . .just like UFOs, bigfoot, searchers are all in it out of greed and hunger for fame. . .and on and on and on. Not an original thought here, and certainly not a rational response to the arguments that have been raised.
Cloaking themselves in the mantle of "reason," these folks bring up cults, accuse anyone who disagrees with them of being "true believers" with nothing but "faith" to rely on. That ain't skepticism; it's projection.
Birdforum is the standard for extinction?Of course it isn't. Seems plausible that lack of interest reflects lack of conviction that the rediscovery is true. It's significant when people cease to believe in something they want very badly to believe in.
The species is certainly very rareNo, it isn't certain at all.
just tell the truth and get rid of your lobbyists and we can work it outThis is an especially amusing line of debate. "You guys are paid liars."
searchers are all in it out of greed and hunger for fame
I think most searchers are in it because it's interesting and it would be fun to prove that IBWOs are still around.
Then you said >>>>No, it isn't certain at all.<<<
You are not the prevailing authority on this and may not have any ability to make a forceful and fully educated determination on the birds numbers. If you have USFWS level information along with intimate knowledge of and participation in private efforts then sure us lowly bloggers will gladly rate your opinion highly.
In the public realm the USFWS, Science editors and AR BRC have determined the species to be extant or at least the AR evidence and FL evidence was enough to trigger certain ESA obligations. AR certainly said the bird was extant and the USFWS says it an ES.
The Science paper of the highest pedigree has not had any retraction by authors or publishers. In addition Hill has presented substantial evidence and Mennill convincing audio evidence that the species existed very recently. This was also published with no retraction.
From the Pearl comes a most intriguing video which again cast great doubt on this species extinction. The Pearl video has been analyzed by the best and has the characteristics that an IBWO should have and not a cormorant, duck or PIWO.
There have also been recent public and private sighting by scientists.
When you combine whats in the public realm and some more than suggestive, unpublished evidence not in the public realm you would be swayed a bit more.
Presently you do not have any field data of your own evidently and you are not privy to all info.
If enough time is spent in the field the bird will be seen depending on the skill of the observer. Have you been in the field? Like to hear about it.
You also provide no plausible explanation of why the substantially white Luneau bird does not have flight characterisitcs consistant with any PIWO ever filmed.
This is a pragamatic problem...no?
Also what is your explanation of the kenting and double knocking near these white birds but not N of the Dixon line ...ever (from our field work and others).
Do you mistake hatches for IBWOs often? Jays for IBWOs? Is this common in experienced field professionals to see and hear things and then record them on audio and/or video tape and they match up quite well to perfectly with IBWO but the recording were made in Maine or Minnesota?
There have been hundreds of contacts like this with putatitve IBWOs in the right areas, but you are contending that the whole body of evidence or parts of it are an interpretive error. Can you present any evidence or examples of your contention that DKs and kents are happening outside the few places the believers say they occur?
Also are you contending the field notes are all visual and auditory interpretive mistakes and the machines recorded sounds but these sounds were not actually there? If there, what causes these sounds and why are they not found in GA, MD and NY?
I am assuming these people know that the period they are taken with is long gone and that they are really not warriors of any kind. As one more spring passes (since the "rediscovery") with no evidence that the IBWO exists, I see the current searchers much like the others I see taking part in role-playing games in the woods. They are getting out and having fun, experiencing a level of camaraderie that may be lacking in their real life and trying to ignore those who may be making judgments on adults playing "let's pretend". Just so they don't think of it as research or having anything to do with conservation I don't mind it - and ultimately it has less environmental impact than playing golf.
Do you have any recording of the swords double knocking, or is that also the mythical and hilarious duck wings hitting each other in the middle of the dry forest?
And yes the swords do make a knocking sound when the medieval warriors fight. Intensity is important when playing make believe.
Hopefully you understand that not finding something is one of the best ways of knowing that those double knocks were made by an Ivory-bill. If you do find something it won't be an Ivory-bill. If you can't find the source you can still believe it was.
News flash:-----There have been many IBWO sighting, some spectacular, associated with double knocks. I quess you forgot.
We really need no first grade field reports on how Swainson's, and Ketucky Warblers and Black Rails or IBWOs are not seen every time you hear their distinctive calls or respective knocks.
Its so easy to find those that really are liars and have no interest in true skepticism. Are the skeptics proud to have you on their side? Few of you ever correct misstatements from the dishonest core, if they happen to be purporting your dogma.
Behind the scenes some believers had heard from a few proponents for years that Sheridan's imagination was healthy.
There seems to be no one supervising the extinction side since you're infiltrated with some unknown, but vocal percent, of untruthful people. At least some of us ostracized Sheridan well in advance of his blow up.
The Science rebuttals and associated silliness that IBWOs should flap slower than a PIWO shows the level of scientific honesty and acumen we are collectively dealing with here.
Your are smart to use anons.
I'll be in the bar.
... I must confess that a man is guilty of unpardonable arrogance who concludes, because an argument has escaped his own investigation, that therefore it does not really exist. I must also confess that, though all the learned, for several ages, should have employed themselves in fruitless search upon any subject, it may still, perhaps, be rash to conclude positively that the subject must, therefore, pass all human comprehension.
... There is a species of scepticism, antecedent to all study and philosophy, which is much inculcated by Descartes and others, as a sovereign preservative against error and precipitate judgement.
It recommends an universal doubt, not only of all our former opinions and principles, but also of our very faculties; of whose veracity, say they, we must assure ourselves, by a chain of reasoning, deduced from some original principle, which cannot possibly be fallacious or deceitful.
(David Hume, 1737)
Hume also said that:
People often lie, and they have good reasons to lie about miracles occurring either because they believe they are doing so for the benefit of their religion or because of the fame that results.
People by nature enjoy relating miracles they have heard without caring for their veracity and thus miracles are easily transmitted even where false.
Hume notes that miracles seem to occur mostly in "ignorant" and "barbarous" nations and times, and the reason they don't occur in the "civilized" societies is such societies aren't awed by what they know to be natural events.
and still no-one can find IBWOs
Thought it was just a bird, certinly one of the rarest one I had seen, certainly interesting.
Do not remember Jackson describing his '80s sightings and others as a miracle. Religious overtones only were brought up by him after the evidence brought forward dwarfed what he and others produced from Cuba.
I believed in "cold fusion" for a few months before it became clear that there was no solid evidence for the claims (and I'm a chemist). I was embarrassed for a while after for signing up for the pipe dream, but for a while I thought "How could a real chemist claim something like this without it being true?" It turns out that humans are highly fallible creatures.
What I don't quite understand is how some people cling to unproven, improbable hypotheses in the absence of compelling evidence. The vast majority of scientists have (with some sadness) dropped our hope for cold fusion, given the complete lack of reproducible evidence for the claims. Clearly, the standard for "compelling evidence" differs, but any trained scientist could only draw one conclusion from this embarrassing Ivory-billed Woodpecker debacle.
You used the phrase "lack of any real evidence". Perhaps this was poorly worded since there is plenty of real evidence. Perhaps you meant to say something else. It's indisputable that there is actual/real evidence.
Getting basic scientific terms right (or wrong in the above case) would be a good start to really examining what the evidence does say and doesn't, a sometimes subjective process. I see no hint by you that the analysis has begun, let alone the conclusionary threshold being reached by you, that the species is extinct.
Respectively excuse me if I accept my own analysis and others that at this point can be seen as comprehensive when compared to your initial presentation here.
>>>E.g., there is no bird on this planet for which the ongoing presence/non-extinction has been established through sounds, or wing-beat frequencies.<<<
First you are attempting to simplify again or parse to attempt to prove a precedent is upon us, when there is none. There are many populations of rare animals/birds monitored and/or taken as fact via acoustical data with no photos.
The exceedingly rare Sumatran Rhino, which an associate had studied related that single animals were never seen for years and sometimes went unphotographed for their entire lifetimes accept they were detected by hearing only and a glance every few years. By hearing the unusual (for Rhinos)acoustical loud purring.
Rare and disjunct populations of birds are periodically found and accepted as truth on only accoustical data. Its done daily by experienced bird tour leaders collecting $5,000/head.
Nocturnals are often accepted as being in existence via sound with no pictures for sometimes decades. In the IBWO case you have much more, you have visual data. Although the former situation happened in Cuba with this species, and the bird was accepted.
Actually thats another well documented point against your claim. Funny, it even eclipses your point because no recording exists either. Your example was disproven with the IBWO. THE BIRD WAS ACCEPTED WITHOUT ANY RECORDING OR FILM as were other species when experts are involved (Cuba).
Preconceived, custom ideas of yours are glaringly obvious as you relate only visual media as being acceptable evidence. You conveniently, to support, your point, selectively move between science and BRC decision yet then ignore by your edict that AR's decision is wrong.
Strangely you also then ignore the substantial video evidence that has suggestive plumage characteristics and other visual clues that these birds are certainly not kingfishers, Pileated and the such. Flight dynamics can produce complex and unique clues to the species involved if you have the discipline to learn about it. IBWO has some unique flight dynamic characteristics. Have you looked at some alleged expert's work who had glossed over this too their own present consternation.
Can you provide details on what creates images as in these fuzzy videos? If they are fuzzy wouldn't they even be more repeatable?
On numerous occasions I have had 50 poor/blurry pixs and one good one of a PIWO. Certainly its not hard to get blurry pixs/vidoes that match the subject videos in the, alleged useless data sets, wing beat Hz and wing bound percents, speed if the distibtion of these dta sets are randomly distributed via T test.?
What about the white in the Ps and Ss in the Collins bird? That has been forcefully and convincingly argued to not be an artifact.
Saying there is no evidence is a bit different than presenting an analysis of it you will learn.
People magazine, relies mostly on visual stimulation for conveyance of information/messages; even TV relates by acoustics. I know of no such limit in science data reporting and many disciplines that scientific truths must only, our wholly rely on visual clues. I see many analogies in Chemistry.
Constructing false limits on science to discard evidence is obvious when it happens. You are not the first to push this. Cynics/lobbyists are about.
Not glossing over the substantial real evidence in the first Science paper, the Auburn/Windsor paper, the LA/Collins paper, the affirmative decision and writings of the respective bird review committee, USFWS and various other evidentiary forms would be a prerequisite to summating the substantial evidence into a supportable conclusion.
Until its discovered what new to science species, kents, Dks, etc. and does the things we see in the field data and on videos you will excuse me if I take the most likely animal that is 100% known to have existed to a least a fraction of a second ago on a geologic scale.
Your claim and others for a new species is ridiculous without a picture. ha.
"Getting basic scientific terms right (or wrong in the above case) would be a good start.."
"Constructing false limits on science to discard evidence is obvious when it happens. You are not the first to push this. Cynics/lobbyists are about."If you would like to encourage real dialogue on this blog you should not approve postings like that which include derisive comments as above in italics - or at least edit them out.
Folks like David may even find reasons for posting again if you make it clear that ramblings like those of TS are not what the site is intended to promote or is getting the blog author's approval.
Feel free to do the same with this comment should you simply want the schoolyard fight to continue.
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