[Taxacom] Conservation => not a Science

Chris Thompson xelaalex at cox.net
Mon Feb 10 14:43:56 CST 2014

Wonderful, Fred,

The key point is simply "... that conservation biology isn't ... a science."

As scientists we should recognize that evolution is a real phenomenon, that 
change is nature.

But conservation is on the other hand a religious concept, that is, the 
responsibility to preserve things as "God" created them.

So, the public unfortunately see preserving a single giraffe is critical, 
see preserving a species (such as whooping crane) that is a relict from 
thousands of years ago with woolly mammoths and sabre-tooth tigers roam the 
earth as critical, etc.

As death is a natural event for individuals, so is death a natural event for 

The real question for man, is not saving the whooping crane, but asking what 
kind of environment, what kinds of biodiversity we want as a species, and 
then working to try to change various factors, like climate, to make that 
happen, etc.

Wasting a reported $75 million dollars on a spurious sighting of the 
Ivory-billed woodpecker is simply waste ...

But making a rational decision about a single giraffe is good science given 
that all the variables were properly considered.

Oh, well ...

from home

-----Original Message----- 
From: Fred Schueler
Sent: Monday, February 10, 2014 2:55 PM
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Killing of zoo giraffe to avoid inbreeding

Quoting Kim van der Linde <kim at kimvdlinde.com>:

> I think it was the right decision not to take a spot of a genetically
> more valuable giraffe at another institution. The only reason we see
> this outcry is that it was a giraffe.

* it's also that conservation biology isn't seen as a science. If this
had been a case of veterinary pathology calling for the elimination of
a herd or animal, nobody would have sqwacked, but because conservation
biology isn't seen as a science, all the public saw was killing an
individual of a species not widely held in captivity (I wonder how
much of the sqwacking was by Danes, and how much by mush-headed folks
not descended from Vikings?).  We've had this trouble locally with
limnology and forest ecology - the simplest predictions about the
relationships between nutrient status and growth of different kinds of
organisms are *just not believed* - and when the predictions of the
theories are confirmed by the outcomes, it's denied that the outcomes
had been predicted.

Physicists have such an easy time whooping their theories!

          Frederick W. Schueler & Aleta Karstad
Bishops Mills Natural History Centre - http://pinicola.ca/bmnhc.htm
Mudpuppy Night in Oxford Mills - http://pinicola.ca/mudpup1.htm
Daily Paintings - http://karstaddailypaintings.blogspot.com/
          South Nation Basin Art & Science Book
     RR#2 Bishops Mills, Ontario, Canada K0G 1T0
   on the Smiths Falls Limestone Plain 44* 52'N 75* 42'W
    (613)258-3107 <bckcdb at istar.ca> http://pinicola.ca/

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