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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






Saturday, May 02, 2009

 

-- Ambrose Bierce Redux --

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Today just a re-written version of a post I did some time ago....

As a public service for any newbies to the Ivory-billed Woodpecker debate, I've compiled a brief glossary of a few terms one ought be acquainted with:

"Groupthink" --- A blind thought process that 'Party A' accuses 'Party B' of engaging in, all the while that 'Party A' is wholly immersed in it.

"Luneau video" --- Modern-day ornithological Rorschach test (or 4 seconds of cryptic, enigmatic, pixelated mystery) that splits all birders into 2 diametric groups.

"kent... kent" --- the sound that Blue Jays repeatedly make... when they're imitating certain big woodpeckers of the deep forest.

"Cornell Lab of Ornithology" --- the renowned professional bastion of knowledge and expertise in North American ornithology... or... NOT.

"extinct" --- the state-of-being of any lifeform that refuses to subject itself to current photographic representation.

"field biology" --- the "science" in which limited observations of small, generally non-random samples are routinely extrapolated to draw loose/false inferences and generalizations about entire populations.

"field marks" --- Specific physical characteristics/markings used to differentiate Ivory-bills from all other birds... except for briefly-glanced, over-sized, bi-laterally leucistic Pileateds.

Bigfoot --- creature whose very non-existence proves the extinction of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker.

"the non-commutative law of mistaken identifications" (or, the one-way direction of mistaken identifications) --- out of dozens of brief "Ivory-bill" sightings ALL can be assumed to actually be Pileated Woodpeckers, but out of 1000's of brief sightings of Pileateds none could ever be an Ivory-bill.

"extraordinary" --- a description typifying any supposition that you don't personally believe in, but definitely not applying to any supposition you do believe in.

"certainty" --- in science, the product of linking conjecture with circular arguments, while ignoring underlying assumptions; otherwise, a term applying only to death and taxes.

Occam's Razor --- the philosophical notion that when faced with multiple explanations for a phenomena one may as well believe whichever explanation one most prefers, and figure out how to justify it afterward.
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Unless other news supercedes it, I'll post the readers' sightings report summary sometime Monday (it's proving more difficult than I anticipated to decide how best to summarize them.)

Haven't decided on your summer vacation yet??? Richard Lyttle posted this (South Carolina) offer over at IBWO Researchers Forum recently:

http://www.ibwo.net/forum/showpost.php?p=5089&postcount=2
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Comments:
"Kent...Kent..." is also the sound that the blue jays STOP imitating when the non-extant bird stops making it after mating, warm-up, and green-up...Haven't heard one of the aggravating little buggers calling that "Kent" person in a few weeks now...
 
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