Thursday, August 5, 2021

Bird names are racist, just like everything else

Here is an example of foolish woke thinking in science.

A new paper in an avian science journal is on Towards redressing inaccurate, offensive and inappropriate common bird names:

nglish common names are widely used in ornithological research, birding, media and by the general public and, unlike other taxa, often receive considerably greater use than scientific names. Across the world, many of these names were coined from 18th and 19th century European perspectives and are symbolic of a time when this was the only worldview considered in science. Here, we highlight formal efforts by ornithological societies around the world to change common names of birds to better reflect the diverse perspectives of scientists in the 21st century.
Why stop at birds? The same could be said of any scientific terms, and of the use of the English. It all reflect perspectives of another era.

The examples are extremely silly:

A consistent theme influencing the common names of North and South American birds is ignorance of the bird or of the Americas in general. The Inca Dove is arguably the most ignorantly ssnamed bird in North America. First described by René Lesson in 1847, the Inca Dove ranges from the southwestern USA to Costa Rica, and in no way overlaps with the former area of the Incan empire (NACC 2011c). It is probable (not entirely provable, but no alternative explanation exists) that Lesson, ignorant of the geographical location of Indigenous Nations, selected the Incan empire for the name, thinking that Incas lived in Central America (Choate 1985).
Okay, so some guy in 1847 did not know where the Incas lived centuries earlier. Who care s? Why does this bird name have to match Inca geography?

This is like complaining that butterflies do not eat butter.

I am just noting how scientists are getting sidetracked into leftist political nonsense. Probably no one will defend bird names, because he would be called racist.

The journal Nature now has an editorial on The lack of people of colour in science images must be fixed. You may have noticed that the advertising world is putting pictures of people of color everywhere, and Nature would like to do the same, but it does not have enough pictures to print.

1 comment:

  1. All the fervor over renaming things because they are 'problematic', 'wrong-think', etc reminds me of the good ol' days right after the French revolution when the high minded French elitists decided pretty much everyone, everything, anything that happened previously to themselves offended their new cultural standards. The good news is that they began to cut off each other's heads as they self professed their avant-garde cultural purity and grubbed for further power amongst themselves.

    The left do so enjoy eating their own. Sadly, they also enjoy taking others along for the ride. Each and every time this cycle repeats you can almost hear the chorus refrain:

    "But this time, it will be different!"
    If only it was so.

    "An 'ideal society' would be the graveyard of human greatness."
    Nicolas Gomez Davila

    “They constantly try to escape
    From the darkness outside and within
    By dreaming of systems so perfect that no one will need to be good.
    But the man that is will shadow
    The man that pretends to be.”
    ― T.S. Eliot, The Rock