[Taxacom] more dead bodies...

Doug Yanega dyanega at ucr.edu
Fri Oct 23 12:04:09 CDT 2015

In another thread, I just commented "There is no logic to public 
outrage; it is little different from pitchforks and torches, except that 
it's Twitter and Facebook now, instead. We cannot afford to ignore this, 
since you can't often reason with an angry mob."

As further witness to this, I just noticed that the publication the 
other day of a new species of Galapagos Giant Tortoise refers to a 
population size of 250, and a holotype collected in 1991 (when the 
putative species it belonged to was estimated at about 4000 
individuals). Not a peep from anyone over this, and yet an angry mob is 
attacking Chris Filardi over a single bird out of a population of over 
4000. Nearly identical situations, yet one of them leads to a massive 
controversy, and the other is completely ignored.

No, I am not suggesting that we attack the authors of the tortoise paper 
- *exactly the opposite* - there is no reason to attack ANYONE here, 
Chris Filardi included, and the kingfisher study should have been 
treated the same way the tortoise study was. The point is that we can 
neither predict nor control what triggers public outrage, so none of us 
can safely assume that we couldn't be the next target for the angry mob. 
The rising tide of Anti-science threatens us all.


Doug Yanega      Dept. of Entomology       Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314     skype: dyanega
phone: (951) 827-4315 (disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

More information about the Taxacom mailing list