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Friday, March 17, 2006

More Ivory-billed Info in Science Magazine

If you read the Sibley Article and the Cornell Rebuttal Article, you've only seen half the evidence they draw on to make their case. Don't forget to check out the supplemental online information--here's the supplemental Sibley info, here's the Cornell extra info.

These articles seem to underscore the fact that reasonable people can disagree about the identification of the bird in the blurry video. If there is disagreement, then we don't have conclusive evidence for Ivory-bills. Frustrating as this may be (who's eyes aren't bleary after trying to figure out what these blurry video images are really showing?), perhaps Nuthatch (a blogger and bird researcher I greatly respect) best sums it up with this statement:

"In the Sibley paper, similar analytical tools were used to reach a different conclusion than in the original paper, akin to two researchers performing the same experiment and getting different results. Nor have the "results" presented in the first paper been replicated in two years of herculean effort. In the world of science, a situation of this nature would generally be considered to be at the "back to the drawing board" stage. And I think that's where the IBWO is at. Still awaiting rediscovery."

Others will disagree, and the video will remain a Rorschach Test in which people will see what they want to see.

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