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News Scientist kills for science

  1. Oct 10, 2015 #1
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 10, 2015 #2


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    Just a guess, but I'd say it is difficult to dissect a bird while it is alive and in its natural habitat.
  4. Oct 10, 2015 #3
    It's not cleaver or funny and it does not answer my question as to the benefit of killing the bird if this article is true.
    The damage such people do towards the general good work done by scientists, and the bad publicity this type of thing generates causes irreparable hostility towards the scientific community, smug remarks such as yours does not generally help and gives the impression of support to this kind of behaviour.
  5. Oct 10, 2015 #4


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    I'm not sure why a scientist needs to kill a creature in the name of science, when one would monitor it remotely. He could have tagged it and monitored its location to where it nests and feeds. Ostensibly it would find a mate, and I'm not sure why one can't wait until the creature is deceased from natural causes.

  6. Oct 10, 2015 #5


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    Maybe it was squirming too much while he was trying to stuff it?

    Look, that was less than half sarcastic: how do you think stuffed birds get into museums? How do you think scientists study the insides of them? Killing things for the advancement of science is a normal thing. Only the scientist could give his specific reason, but there are a number of potential reasons.
    Frankly, I think you are being naive. Again: how do you think stuffed birds/animals get studied or into museums?
  7. Oct 10, 2015 #6


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    The article clearly relays the scientist saying the bird is actually not rare. That's apparently the meaning when he says the bird is

    So there's the alternate narrative by the article's author, the alternate narrative by you, and the actual statement by the scientist. So who is it that actually ignores evidence and skips back into the mysticism of the 18th century?
  8. Oct 10, 2015 #7


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    Next time any PF'rs go in for that biopsy, be sure to decline and ask instead to be monitored remotely.
  9. Oct 11, 2015 #8


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    : coughs, stands up :

    Uh, for the record, I support this kind of behavior.

    Science was built upon the general good work of scientists taking things apart to find what makes them tick. A lot of the general public have distanced themselves from this fact, thinking that science is done - I don't know - in virtual reality simulations.
  10. Oct 11, 2015 #9
    For crying out loud the bird has never been photographed before so in my book that makes it kind of rare as for skipping back to the 18th century why not I mean there is no ability today to get all the information about the birds physical make up using alternative methods such as scans etc.
    Instead just kill the bird like in the good old 18 century to make sure it has not got three livers.
  11. Oct 11, 2015 #10
    It's an interesting topic.
    There has been some concern over specimen collection in endangered species.

    But then again there have been rebuttals.
    Note: the above has about a hundred authors.

    And then there are the arguments FOR specimen collection.

  12. Oct 11, 2015 #11
    I agree but the taking apart thing has been done far too often you seem to give naïve impression that every new found species needs to be torn apart to work out what makes it tick .
  13. Oct 11, 2015 #12
    I especially like the justification the authors give for collecting an endangered specimen .

    "If the kill of

    a single individual increases the extinction

    risk of a species, then it is well below

    viable population size and already among

    the “walking dead.”

    Just a case of justifying anything if you can convince yourself comes to mind.
  14. Oct 11, 2015 #13
    Buckleymanor, at the end of the day it's a judgement call by the researcher. I don't think for a minute that this person is taking a cavalier attitude when they decide what should be done with this creature to better the advancement of science. After all, these are the people in the field with the credentials doing the work and you are a Monday morning quarterback? Am I right?
  15. Oct 11, 2015 #14
    So they are in the field and this must therefore make them have better judgement and on the whole better people than you or I .Get out of here you research groupie they are only people and therefore make stupid mistakes like the rest of us.

    PS. Where I come from we have wingers, inside outside fore wards and the occasional hooker but no quarterbacks.
  16. Oct 11, 2015 #15


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    Your argument suffers from being circular. It is only a valid argument if your stance that studying a species is a bad thing, and therefore needs to be justified at all.
    It's not a bad thing, therefore doesn't need any justification.

    So, why did they provide an explanation? Because someone naively thought that sampling a species will endanger that species. They're addressing that ignorance.
  17. Oct 11, 2015 #16
    Sorry but you are wrong it's not naïve to think that sampling a species can endanger a species.
    Take the last male and female of any species without any backup and then kill one of them for any reason.
    The argument that they are addressing is that they expect people to accept that they are among the "walking dead" so what does it matter if we kill them.
    No the only naïve people are the ones that use such a stupid argument and the ones that accept it to do such a nasty thing.
  18. Oct 11, 2015 #17


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    That is simply not how it works. You don't know the facts here. It may seem as black & white as 1 male / 1 female, but it is not.

    A species with only single mating pair remaining is already genetically extinct. That's what "walking dead" means. That species will never recover and become a viable population again.

    In some cases, having "merely" millions of a population isn't enough. Many species, such as schooling fish and passenger pigeons will only mate if the population size is above a certain number, eg. a school/flock of millions of their kind. If that number drops below the threshold, the species will stop mating and never recover. They are doomed for extinction even when there are millions remaining.

    The overall point here is that this is not merely a case of one scientist murdering a single animal and poof he's a pyscho-path. You are too distant from the scientific process, in particular biology, to appreciate what it entails.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2015
  19. Oct 11, 2015 #18


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    Interesting. As a layman, I find this an appalling practice.
    It reminds me of the scene from Star Trek:

    "...what is this, the dark ages"?​

    Probably because I saw the other day that an entire DNA sequenced can be purchased for around $1000. [ref Oct 1, 2015 MIT]
    Seems odd to chop open a bird, which, as a layman, would simply tell you that the insides look like the insides of most every other bird.

    But the "perp" posted a response:

    He does seem like a reasonable fellow.
    Two things though strike me as incongruous in the above quote:
    1. He spent 20 years there
    and then
    2. He only first detected the bird on his first day out​


    But as a layman, I think I shall ask my cousin in law for his opinion, as he is a field biologist, and follows tortoises around the Arizona desert for months at a time.
    I don't recognize any of the respondees in this thread as being "Field Biologists".
  20. Oct 11, 2015 #19


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    Not sure what you're saying here.

    I would not recommend a layperson - as you call him - chopping open an animal to see what's inside.

    Is this an argument as to why biologists shouldn't?
  21. Oct 11, 2015 #20
    This seems like another false argument or leave it to the experts speech.
    I take you are not familiar with your own ancestry or don't believe in Eve and that a whole species can develop from a single person.
    From your own argument there seems to be tipping points at which a species will not recover.
    Wonder what it is for the Moustached Kingfisher and who can determine that amount.
    Well you might well have an alternative approach but you or I don't have a crystal ball that can look into the past and determine without doubt that your description mine or anyone's is correct.
    Therefore until you can it remains too important for any scientist or other to kill another rare animal without there being at least some reasonable explanation.
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