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Showing posts from 2016

Commentary on Science ~ The Price of Ignoring Natural Law

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In April, 2016, National Geographic featured an article entitled “The War on Science,” which questions why many scientific claims face a storm of opposition from the public. It explains that these criticisms result from a tendency to believe in one's religious or political position, rather than in the facts, which is a recent finding by Dan Kahan of Yale University.

Yet, the problems with modern science which might contribute to this public attitude were not examined--when one looks out across the ravaged earth, National Geographic's statement “Modern science is based on things it got right,” appears in a different light.

In addition to widespread pollution and the destabilization of the climate, human activity has caused the sixth mass extinction, the tropical forests needed to support the life-giving atmosphere are devastated, and the oceans are showing signs of ecological collapse.

Why, at the height of science's glory, has it had such a destructive effect on the plane…

More Fisheries Pseudoscience

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Another piece of shark fisheries propaganda has been published. Shark fisherman David Shiffman now claims it to be scientific fact, that most shark scientists believe that shark fishing and shark finning are the best ways to “manage” sharks, when done sustainably. The fact that most shark scientists work for the fishing industry is omitted. 
What true scientist would condone shark finning when it involves the waste of 95 percent of the shark, in a protein starved world? Shark finning has been documented to be responsible for the 25% of shark species currently threatened with extinction, but a little known fact is that the United States is the seventh worst shark finning nation. The paper even affirms that it was the shark fisheries scientists who were the most likely to be in favour of sustainable shark fishing as opposed to outright protection for sharks.
At about the same time as this paper was announced in the news, The Global Strategy for the management of sharks and rays (2015 t…

Seeing is Believing : An Affectionate Shark

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For the first time, affectionate behaviour in a shark has been documented. Jim Abernethy, of Palm Beach in Florida, filmed his reunion with a tiger shark after a separation of two years.

Abernethy, owner and operator of Scuba Adventures in Florida, had gained the shark's trust through gentle touches, initially to remove five hooks from her mouth. Since 2003, he has been using this method to remove hooks from many different species of sharks, as described in this former article about him, here.
The sharks he helped responded by cooperating, and would return for more affection as is seen so clearly in his video with this tiger shark. Abernethy's achievement was only possible because of his dedication to getting to know these mysterious and very unusual animals, while spending so much of his time on location where he could see them almost daily. As the first dive operator to show that sharks are peaceful animals, Jim always treated them with respect and affection. He spends most …

SHARKS DON'T BITE like we do

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Though sharks have gained a mythical reputation for being biters, their behaviour in nature is the opposite of what we would expect from the vicious animals depicted in the media. I had many opportunities to observe sharks under circumstances in which I expected them to bite, as a dog, cat, horse, or bird would tend to do. Yet they did not. 
All other species, wild and tame, with whom I had the intimacy I shared with sharks, had bitten me sooner or later, either by accident or in a fit of pique; even my pet dog sometimes grabs my hand in her teeth along with the offered cookie. 
Further, while the blackfin reef sharks I knew enjoyed roaming with favourite companions, I never saw them fighting with each other. They had friends but no enemies !
For years people had told me, and I half believed myself, that one evening I would be bitten and would bleed to death, or faint and drown. Since I was alone far from shore as night was falling, I could expect no one to save me, and these circumst…