Ivory-Billed Science

One of science’ virtues is also one of its flaws: science is a social endeavor, it requires confirmation. Evidence has to be testable, tests have to be repeatable.
I respond to an article online about the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker:

Every morning, Michael Collins heads to the Pearl River bayou near his Louisiana home to bird-watch for a couple of hours before work. He gets around the swamp by kayak, hauling cameras, tape recorders, and tree climbing ropes through the swamp, and searches, day after day, for the holy grail of birds – a species that no one is sure even still exists. Every so often – once or twice a year, on average – his perseverance is rewarded: He catches a fleeting glimpse of an ivory-billed woodpecker.

Note my comment there.

That “no one” is false. I saw an ivory billed woodpecker, adult, female in 1989, in Sebring FL. I had a good long look at her, up close. She was just the other side of the screen of my canvas pop-up trailer. I had no camera, I couldn’t record it, except verbally. I wrote to the Audubon Society. I got a response: they’d passed my report on: but no team of investigators arrived. And why should they? Was there a huge budget for follow-up? Maybe enough for a postage stamp.

Universities are the top layer of a school system, school system which since 1870 has been compulsory, and paid for by coerced taxes. (Otherwise it might have no budget at all!) In my experience, both schools and universities, isolate and punish the intelligent, steering resources away from the best and brightest. Crucify Jesus, then enthrone Peter, his betrayer. It’s human nature. Christianity tells us it our nature, some scientists have said similar things in different words. Darwin didn’t trust consciousness. Bateson cautiously trusted parts of it. No one listens to my testimony. Fraud continues to get the budgets.

Good: I promised God I’d try to help. I presume that God anticipated the sabotages that lay ahead for me: even if I didn’t: not fully.

When an ivory-billed is photographed, will the Audubon Society publicize my 1989 report? That’s not in my control: any more than it was in my control where the ivory-billed female flew off to once she spotted me looking at her.

About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
This entry was posted in pk Teaching, science, thinking tools. Bookmark the permalink.

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