A Bird in the Mouth is worth 1,000 Rats in a Box.

Good science does not propose rules that are not confirmed by objective observation of nature. Good science reveals nature as it is. If reality contradicts science, then it’s not really science. This is the “Emperor’s New Clothes” phenomenon. If a child correctly perceives objective reality it doesn’t matter how many highly educated people wish to contradict the obvious. For instance, if you drop two balls of unequal weight from a high tower, you will personally kFallingTubsBathtubnow about terminal velocity. If you suggest that the heavier ball hits first, everyone in attendance can check your statement. The child who says, “They hit at the same time” is correct, regardless of how many peer-reviewed papers wish to question his report. (OK, if you want to be totally anal retentive, if they are Galileo’s balls, used in his free-fall experiments, the ball of larger diameter touches a millisecond before the smaller diameter ball. That doesn’t change terminal velocity – the phenomenon controlled by earth’s gravity.)  Likewise, a traditionally trained dog with a bird in its mouth is an observable fact. If the science-based training does not lead to a dog pointing and then retrieving the bird, that, too, is observable.

Contrasting my suggestion that nature trumps opinion, In behavioral science it is “research” that wins the day – regardless of its connection to reality. The ‘findings’ are canonized into an orthodoxy that with each passing research study moves farther and farther away from nature. That means that the child who sees the bird in the dog’s mouth can be dismissed. Who is a child to object to learned scientists producing ‘evidence’ of their findings? The child hasn’t read ‘the literature‘ and cannot cite anything other than what it has seen. The scientists use a formula for study that cannot be questioned. Of course they are correct.

I have a question. If this is science, why no blind trials? If traditional trap15ining is so brutal and ineffective and ‘positive’ methods are effective and kind, why not prove it? It should be easy to do. Train up ten English Pointers and put them in a field-trial against traditionally trained pointers. Then have someone ID which is which. Then there is no argument. A child should be able to do it, let alone field-trial judges with decades of experience. To go one further, why not drag your ten dogs to Kansas in November and hunt pheasants with them? Compare them to any ten dogs trained by top professional trainers. No birds? No good.

And there you see the flaw. The people who wish to assert academic superiority don’t actually train animals to work in the real world. They never conduct blind trials. They can’t. A blind trial demands the correct application of two differing assertions. One set is trained by traditional means and one is trained with Skinnerian ‘positive’ methods. As scientists have no idea what traditional trainers do, they cannot replicate traditional results. They criticize and demean that which the know nothing about. No blind trials, no proof. Sorry, that is the true scientific way.

One problem with ‘put up or shut up’ is GSP_Bird1that behavioral scientists do not accept any knowledge from outside their manner of examination. A pointer with a bird in his mouth can be contradicted by a rat in a box. The onus of science is to confirm reality – and as I said, when science contradicts the bird in the mouth, it’s not really science.

5 thoughts on “A Bird in the Mouth is worth 1,000 Rats in a Box.

  1. It almost seems as though society is pointing towards science vs nature, when in fact both should be used in conjunction for the betterment of people and policies.

  2. Brandon, science is a reflection of nature. If there is no nature there is no science. So it logically can’t be one vs. the other. As fore the betterment of people and policies, look up eugenics. They used science to bolster the idea that they could make people better. I’m not sure I really want science to do more than what it is supposed to do – reveal nature.

  3. If all science was ever used for was to reveal nature, most of us would not be here since we would be dead from a bacterial or viral infection.

    • Chad,
      Humans existed long before vaccination – at best 1,000 years old. My point is that behavioral scientists do not accurately report on nature – yet that is their sworn task. So, no, we would not all be dead because humans invented vaccination at least 800 years before scientists copied and tested folk wisdom.

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