Pelecanus erythrorhynchos

| 35 Comments

Pelican2.jpg

Pelecanus erythrorhynchos — American white pelican. Note orange beak and horn on beak, both indicating breeding season. Walden Ponds, Boulder, Colorado.

35 Comments

Looks like the pelican is about to take off. Too bad the bird wasn’t ready to drop some excrement on the heads of local DI sycophants and other creos. Otherwise, yet another a good photograph of yours, Matt.

I watched a bunch of these guys riding thermals near Point Comfort, Texas. Seemed like strange behavior for a pelican. But these are strange birds.

Thanks for sharing the photo.

Soaring is not strange behavior for the several species of white(ish) pelican around the world. It’s the brown pelican that’s the odd one out, soaring much as albatrosses and many other seabirds do, taking advantage of lift provided by the wind being deflected by waves in the ocean.

Too bad the bird wasn’t ready to drop some excrement on the heads of local DI sycophants and other creos.

You don’t think we’d have any of those in Boulder?!

John Kwok said:

Looks like the pelican is about to take off. Too bad the bird wasn’t ready to drop some excrement on the heads of local DI sycophants and other creos.

Indeed. I heard a new one (new to me anyway) over the weekend: pre-human fossils could have just been regular humans with birth defects giving them the small skulls and long arms.

KP said:

John Kwok said:

Looks like the pelican is about to take off. Too bad the bird wasn’t ready to drop some excrement on the heads of local DI sycophants and other creos.

Indeed. I heard a new one (new to me anyway) over the weekend: pre-human fossils could have just been regular humans with birth defects giving them the small skulls and long arms.

… And the moon could have been made from cheese…

“A wonderful bird is the pelican, It’s beak can hold more than it’s belly can.”

Ever see the YouTube video of a pelican nabbing and swallowing a pigeon? Worst new flavor!

KP said: I heard a new one (new to me anyway) over the weekend: pre-human fossils could have just been regular humans with birth defects giving them the small skulls and long arms.

One person’s “birth defect” may be another person’s random mutation.

The Sanity Inspector said:

Ever see the YouTube video of a pelican nabbing and swallowing a pigeon? Worst new flavor!

And then all the photos and videos of pelicans attacking cats and dogs. Is there anything a pelican’t?

Wheels said:

And then all the photos and videos of pelicans attacking cats and dogs. Is there anything a pelican’t?

Another pelican, perhaps?

I enjoyed watching brown pelicans cruise back and forth at Daytona Beach. I would always be amazed when they would fly behind a building instead of in front of it, since my eyes are accustomed to watching much smaller birds. They are big!

Paul Burnett said:

One person’s “birth defect” may be another person’s random mutation.

I thought about pointing that out, but thought it might be too much work to get them to realize that they were making an argument for evolution if the argument was given the very tiny tweak of starting with the common ancestor instead of the modern human.

KP Wrote:

Indeed. I heard a new one (new to me anyway) over the weekend: pre-human fossils could have just been regular humans with birth defects giving them the small skulls and long arms.

If you know who said it, you might want to ask him/her why he/she disagrees with so many anti-evolutionists, and why they disagree with each other. Or why IDers don’t think that those disagreements, much less the lack of evidence for those mutually contradictory conclusions, are not important.

Sadly, apparently you do:

Matt Young said:

Too bad the bird wasn’t ready to drop some excrement on the heads of local DI sycophants and other creos.

You don’t think we’d have any of those in Boulder?!

He’s a University of Colorado philosopher, Bradley Monton, who is quite supportive of ID, as evidenced here:

http://spot.colorado.edu/~monton/Br[…]on/Home.html

Last February I encountered him posting at least one of the US News and World Report blog entries related to Darwin’s birthday and whether or not ID is valid science. I challenged him there and also e-mailed him, but being the typical delusional IDiot that he is, he opted not to reply.

Regards,

John

KP said: I heard a new one (new to me anyway) over the weekend: pre-human fossils could have just been regular humans with birth defects giving them the small skulls and long arms.

Funny how only those particular individuals got preserved, time, after time, after time.

Nonetheless, how does this help anyway, seeing as there supposedly was no pre-human history for them to be preserved in.

I’ve heard and read that there are some physical anthropologists who consider Homo floresiensis (known colloquially as a “hobbit”) who insist that it’s really a fossilized Homo erectus with severe birth defects:

stevaroni said:

KP said: I heard a new one (new to me anyway) over the weekend: pre-human fossils could have just been regular humans with birth defects giving them the small skulls and long arms.

Funny how only those particular individuals got preserved, time, after time, after time.

Nonetheless, how does this help anyway, seeing as there supposedly was no pre-human history for them to be preserved in.

There are two different videos posted there of separate incidents, with the most egregious one - the one I think you are referring to - occurring in a London park:

The Sanity Inspector said:

Ever see the YouTube video of a pelican nabbing and swallowing a pigeon? Worst new flavor!

Matt,

Monton has his own blog in which he writes favorably on ID. He contends he is an atheist who supports it. Back in February, over at US News and World Report, philosopher Robert Pennock wrote a piece attacking him (An attack that was well deserved IMHO), and I think that’s where I encountered him and decided to write back.

You can look at his entries at his personal blog here:

http://bradleymonton.wordpress.com/

Regards,

John

Matt,

As a postscript, I thought I’d post the link to Monton’s CV. It almost reads as though it could be Bill Dembski’s:

http://spot.colorado.edu/~monton/Br[…]ton%20cv.pdf

Regards,

John

He’s a University of Colorado philosopher, Bradley Monton, who is quite supportive of ID, as evidenced here: http://spot.colorado.edu/~monton/Br[…]on/Home.html

I have not read Monton’s book yet, but I think he is not exactly a supporter of ID creationism. A professed atheist, he thinks that some of their arguments should be taken seriously. According to his website (the “ID” link), he considers 4 ID arguments to be “somewhat” plausible. I do not agree, but I would not call him a creationist of any kind.

I think he’s as much an apologist for ID as Steve Fuller. I noticed in his CV that one of his forthcoming articles is a defense of “God of the Gaps”. I don’t know, but it seems to make that if it quacks like a duck and looks like a duck, then it is a duck:

Matt Young said:

He’s a University of Colorado philosopher, Bradley Monton, who is quite supportive of ID, as evidenced here: http://spot.colorado.edu/~monton/Br[…]on/Home.html

I have not read Monton’s book yet, but I think he is not exactly a supporter of ID creationism. A professed atheist, he thinks that some of their arguments should be taken seriously. According to his website (the “ID” link), he considers 4 ID arguments to be “somewhat” plausible. I do not agree, but I would not call him a creationist of any kind.

Another typo. Sorry about that. I meant to say, “I don’t know, but it seems to me that if it quacks like a duck and looks like a duck, then it is a duck.”

stevaroni Wrote:

Nonetheless, how does this help anyway, seeing as there supposedly was no pre-human history for them to be preserved in.

It helps in pointing out that some anti-evolutionists do accept a pre-human history, some do not, and an apparently increasing number think such irreconcilable differences are not important. Ironically either a growing consensus or healthy internal debates would give them some credibility, yet they are retreating from both.

To bring it back to the topic:

Frank B Wrote:

I would always be amazed when they would fly behind a building instead of in front of it, since my eyes are accustomed to watching much smaller birds. They are big!

Similarly, some anti-evolutionists might think that there’s a “big bird kind” and a “little bird kind” whereas others might think that they’re the same “kind”. But to be safe they usually prefer not to ask or tell.

John Kwok said:

Another typo. Sorry about that. I meant to say, “I don’t know, but it seems to me that if it quacks like a duck and looks like a duck, then it is a duck.”

If by “duck” you mean “anti-evolution activist,” I don’t think you’d get any argument. But if you mean “creationist,” you can expect the usual bait-and-switch-based objection from the DI.

If my memory is correct, Pennock had “outed” Monton as both someone involved with the Dishonesty Institute, and hence, therefore, as an Intelligent Design creationist. Of course Monton, in typical DI “new speak”, vehemently denied either accusation:

Frank J said:

John Kwok said:

Another typo. Sorry about that. I meant to say, “I don’t know, but it seems to me that if it quacks like a duck and looks like a duck, then it is a duck.”

If by “duck” you mean “anti-evolution activist,” I don’t think you’d get any argument. But if you mean “creationist,” you can expect the usual bait-and-switch-based objection from the DI.

John Kwok Wrote:

Of course Monton, in typical DI “new speak”, vehemently denied either accusation:

I would bet that he took liberties with the definition of “involved,” and denied that he was a “creationist,” confident that his target audience would define “creationist” as an honest believer of a 6-day-~6000-year-ago creation. Not as “any ‘kind’ of anti-evolution activist,” as it’s normally defined by critics.

It’s actually far more interesting than you can imagine:

Frank J said:

John Kwok Wrote:

Of course Monton, in typical DI “new speak”, vehemently denied either accusation:

I would bet that he took liberties with the definition of “involved,” and denied that he was a “creationist,” confident that his target audience would define “creationist” as an honest believer of a 6-day-~6000-year-ago creation. Not as “any ‘kind’ of anti-evolution activist,” as it’s normally defined by critics.

Am posting the link to his online “rebuttal” to Pennock’s accusations here:

http://bradleymonton.wordpress.com/page/3/

John,

Thanks for the link. I’m still reading it but this Monton quote caught my eye (and destroyed yet another irony meter):

(For the record, I’m just providing a partial defense [of ID].)

IMHO anything short of a “total offense” (quote miners: have your fun with that) against ID is a defense. In fact I increasingly criticize fellow “Darwinists” for effectively “defending” ID - i.e. helping them prop up the big tent by downplaying the irreconcilable differences between “kinds” of anti-evolutionist.

Note: By “total offense” I do not mean attacking their religious or political views, or even their beliefs in demonstrably wrong “what happened when” accounts, if any. Only their tactics at misrepresenting evolution.

Frank J said: Similarly, some anti-evolutionists might think that there’s a “big bird kind” and a “little bird kind” whereas others might think that they’re the same “kind”.

Yes, but every kid knows Big Bird is one of a kind :)

I’ve heard and read that there are some physical anthropologists who consider Homo floresiensis (known colloquially as a “hobbit”) who insist that it’s really a fossilized Homo erectus with severe birth defects

Yes, when the fossils were first announced, at least, not sure if this is still being fought over within the field.

So, did the creationists pick up on that disagreement and apply it universally, or did they argue this earlier and is the fact that there’s been a recent professional argument along the same lines sheer coincidence?

There’s still a few who contend that it’s a hominid showing severe birth defects. Unfortunately, this is so far the only specimen of its kind found, and I suppose that if another was found looking like it, then it would settle the argument once and for all. But, I might too, that there’s been some recent work published that demonstrates conclusively (I think) that this is a new species:

dhogaza said:

I’ve heard and read that there are some physical anthropologists who consider Homo floresiensis (known colloquially as a “hobbit”) who insist that it’s really a fossilized Homo erectus with severe birth defects

Yes, when the fossils were first announced, at least, not sure if this is still being fought over within the field.

So, did the creationists pick up on that disagreement and apply it universally, or did they argue this earlier and is the fact that there’s been a recent professional argument along the same lines sheer coincidence?

Frank J,

You’re quite welcome. He certainly excels in one trait that the DI is known for especially, namely knowing how to “fudge” via literary gymnastics. In plain English, he wants people to know that he supports ID without letting them know that he’s also a willing stooge on behalf of the DI’s Center (for the Renewal) of Science and Culture:

Frank J said:

John,

Thanks for the link. I’m still reading it but this Monton quote caught my eye (and destroyed yet another irony meter):

(For the record, I’m just providing a partial defense [of ID].)

IMHO anything short of a “total offense” (quote miners: have your fun with that) against ID is a defense. In fact I increasingly criticize fellow “Darwinists” for effectively “defending” ID - i.e. helping them prop up the big tent by downplaying the irreconcilable differences between “kinds” of anti-evolutionist.

Note: By “total offense” I do not mean attacking their religious or political views, or even their beliefs in demonstrably wrong “what happened when” accounts, if any. Only their tactics at misrepresenting evolution.

dhogaza said:

Soaring is not strange behavior for the several species of white(ish) pelican around the world. It’s the brown pelican that’s the odd one out, soaring much as albatrosses and many other seabirds do, taking advantage of lift provided by the wind being deflected by waves in the ocean.

I love watching brown pelicans soar, and when they skim the waves. My favorite bird, hands down.

“A wonderful bird is the pelican, It’s beak can hold more than it’s belly can.”

I was surprised to learn just now that the poem to which Scytale refers is not by Ogden Nash:

A wonderful bird is a pelican,

His bill will hold more than his belican.

He can take in his beak

Food enough for a week;

But I’m damned if I see how the helican.

- “The Pelican” (1910) by Dixon Lanire Merrith is another poem often misattributed to Nash

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This page contains a single entry by Matt Young published on May 18, 2009 12:00 PM.

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