Scientist At Work: Notes from the Field

| 16 Comments

Some of you may be interested in a new blog at the NY Times: Scientist At Work: Notes from the Field. For the next few weeks, Dr. Christopher Raxworthy, a herpetologist from the American Museum of Natural History, will be blogging his expedition in Madagascar to study reptiles and amphibians.

There are already a series of post up about the beginning of the expedition.

Wednesday morning in Madagascar’s capital, Antananarivo, which is known as Tana, and with all research permits now in hand, it is time to start thinking about the practical aspects of starting the fieldwork. That means trying to plan (and pack) for everything that can go wrong. And a lot can go wrong in Madagascar. For example, when the car breaks down and strands you in the middle of nowhere, with absolutely no roadside towing, except maybe a couple of zebu cows in the closest village, if you can find their owner. So, a very good place to start the practical preparation is with the car – my trusty old Land Rover, “Baby.”

16 Comments

(insert obvious contrast to the armchair wankers of ID here)

To this biblical creationist Mad(etc) is a good example of post flood fauna migrations and interruption to same. In the Lemurs its a good example of diversity upon adaption of immigrants. Not evolution by selection or intermediates. What probably happened was the island was connected to Africa or closer by decreased depths and a few creatures made it over. Then the water rose shutting it off. Some extinction and then man added a bit more. This is why the isle doesn’t have much fauna and why its different from elsewhere. its a time capusal of a original early migration and not the later migrations that covered africa. I have heard there might be a few other things to be discovered since it has difficult areas. Good luck to this researcher to find cool things. Good adventure too.

fnxtr prophesied:

(insert obvious contrast to the armchair wankers of ID here)

Notice how Idiot Byers doesn’t bother to offer any explanation of how lemurs could have made it all the way to Madagascar from Mount Ararat before macaques or gorillas or zebras?

Byers says: “In the Lemurs its [sic] a good example of diversity upon adaptation of immigrants.”

And this is different from evolution precisely how?

(Byers also says Madagascar “doesn’t have much fauna.” Richard Dawkins in ‘The Ancestor’s Tale’ says Madagascar has “five per cent of all the plant and animal species in the world, more than 80 per cent being found nowhere else.” So one of them got it wrong.)

hoary puccoon said:

Byers says: “In the Lemurs its [sic] a good example of diversity upon adaptation of immigrants.”

And this is different from evolution precisely how?

(Byers also says Madagascar “doesn’t have much fauna.” Richard Dawkins in ‘The Ancestor’s Tale’ says Madagascar has “five per cent of all the plant and animal species in the world, more than 80 per cent being found nowhere else.” So one of them got it wrong.)

So Dawkins is as wrong about Madagascan biological diversity as he is about weasels.…. :)

Robert,

Talk sentence frags. Sometimes capital sometimes not. No coherent thought so not one to be convinced. No understand of science either ways. TIme capusal is way cool but synapses degraded in cranium. Eat shorts intellectual midget. Good adventure why its different from elsewhere. Not creation or poof.

Madagascar is a diversity hot spot that is in desperate need of real conservation efforts. I guess all of the mass migration from the ark went in that direction for some reason. Clinging to ancient mythology isn’t going to help anything. Here is your chance to actually learn something from a real biologist. Don’t waste it by moaning and whining about nonsense.

DS said:

Robert,

Talk sentence frags. Sometimes capital sometimes not. No coherent thought so not one to be convinced. No understand of science either ways. TIme capusal is way cool but synapses degraded in cranium. Eat shorts intellectual midget. Good adventure why its different from elsewhere. Not creation or poof.

Madagascar is a diversity hot spot that is in desperate need of real conservation efforts. I guess all of the mass migration from the ark went in that direction for some reason. Clinging to ancient mythology isn’t going to help anything. Here is your chance to actually learn something from a real biologist. Don’t waste it by moaning and whining about nonsense.

Oh, he will come up with some outright lie to explain it from a Creationist perspective. Look at what he did regarding marsupials in Australia: http://www.rae.org/marsupials.html

Robert Byers is not merely delusional, he’s a damned con artist! Fraud is his life’s work!

Calling Robert’s posts “fraud” gives him too much credit. His is a drift away from reality, not intentional misleading. Delusional is a better term.

KL said:

Calling Robert’s posts “fraud” gives him too much credit. His is a drift away from reality, not intentional misleading. Delusional is a better term.

I respecfully disagree, KL. If he were delusional, he would simply say, “I beleive in the Biblical creation stories,” and leave it at that. You commit fraud when you attempt to make those ancient myths appear scientific with fake terminology, as Henry M. Morris, Ken Ham, and their gang of con artists have been doing since the 1960s. They start with a totally blasphemous premise (“the Bible is the Word of God, therefore it must be true, therefore Earth is only a few thousand years old, therefore Darwin was wrong) and go straight to disbeleiving the true teachings of the Creator as revealed by science through studying the only Word that Creator truly has: the Universe, everything within it, and the physical and chemical laws that govern them all.

And it is because of that blasphemy that atheism spreads, ironically. Not because of Darwin. Evolution allows for atheism but does not deny theism. Biblical Creationism is based on idolatry (making the Bible something to worship as a representation of God) and is thus theologically perverse.

Dale Husband said: Biblical Creationism is based on idolatry (making the Bible something to worship as a representation of God) and is thus theologically perverse.

That’s absolutely right. If the Bible were infallible, then it would necessarily and uniquely partake of an essential element of God Almighty Himself. Nothing is infallible, save God alone. It would therefore necessarily follow that the Bible, being infallible, is God in its very nature.

This places us in some very strange territory indeed.

Dave Luckett said:

That’s absolutely right. If the Bible were infallible, then it would necessarily and uniquely partake of an essential element of God Almighty Himself. Nothing is infallible, save God alone. It would therefore necessarily follow that the Bible, being infallible, is God in its very nature.

This places us in some very strange territory indeed.

It’s a bit like this character who makes the following argument not far into his talk.

“In order to prove there is no god, you would have to be omnipresent and omniscient. If you were omnipresent and omniscient, you would be God, therefore God would exist!”

But the argument works equally the other way, even when claiming the Christian bible is the inerrant word of God. How would one know that without being God?

I would suggest this may have something to do the god complexes of many of the leaders of the fundamentalists and the ID/creationist movement.

Mike Elzinga said:

Dave Luckett said:

That’s absolutely right. If the Bible were infallible, then it would necessarily and uniquely partake of an essential element of God Almighty Himself. Nothing is infallible, save God alone. It would therefore necessarily follow that the Bible, being infallible, is God in its very nature.

This places us in some very strange territory indeed.

It’s a bit like this character who makes the following argument not far into his talk.

“In order to prove there is no god, you would have to be omnipresent and omniscient. If you were omnipresent and omniscient, you would be God, therefore God would exist!”

But the argument works equally the other way, even when claiming the Christian bible is the inerrant word of God. How would one know that without being God?

I would suggest this may have something to do the god complexes of many of the leaders of the fundamentalists and the ID/creationist movement.

Also, note the “evolution violates the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics” BIG LIE! That “biblical Creationists” even brought that fallacy up decades ago should have destroyed their credibility from the start! LOL!

hoary puccoon said:

Byers says: “In the Lemurs its [sic] a good example of diversity upon adaptation of immigrants.”

And this is different from evolution precisely how?

(Byers also says Madagascar “doesn’t have much fauna.” Richard Dawkins in ‘The Ancestor’s Tale’ says Madagascar has “five per cent of all the plant and animal species in the world, more than 80 per cent being found nowhere else.” So one of them got it wrong.)

Not evolution from selection/mutation. Rather instant speciation to fill niches is the better idea. Fauna is not plants. Its the great story of the isle as to how it has few creatures relative to africa. Maybe this guy is counting herds of types of rodents etc. anyways the point is that its unlike africa in diversity. The lemurs are of many types because there was lots of room for them to fill niches instantly. In fact there were more, bigger, in the past then now.Big birds too. The lemurs are just a type of ape.

Robert Byers said:

hoary puccoon said:

Byers says: “In the Lemurs its [sic] a good example of diversity upon adaptation of immigrants.”

And this is different from evolution precisely how?

(Byers also says Madagascar “doesn’t have much fauna.” Richard Dawkins in ‘The Ancestor’s Tale’ says Madagascar has “five per cent of all the plant and animal species in the world, more than 80 per cent being found nowhere else.” So one of them got it wrong.)

Not evolution from selection/mutation. Rather instant speciation to fill niches is the better idea. Fauna is not plants. Its the great story of the isle as to how it has few creatures relative to africa. Maybe this guy is counting herds of types of rodents etc. anyways the point is that its unlike africa in diversity. The lemurs are of many types because there was lots of room for them to fill niches instantly. In fact there were more, bigger, in the past then now.Big birds too. The lemurs are just a type of ape.

Byers, a bit of advice: Don’t take drugs before posting here.

Robert,

I’m glad you are a creationist.

So could lack of sleep partly explain his inability to pay attention to corrections to his errors?

Nah, probably not.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Reed A. Cartwright published on May 6, 2010 4:24 PM.

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