October 22, 2017

Not Knowing What’s Science and What’s Scientism

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The Wildlife Alliance of Maine has placed a link to what they call “science” to prove – “this is the science proving” – that baiting bears changes the dynamics of the animals and the surrounding forests, where bears “could” cause damage to plants.

First off, the fake “study” is not science. It is the result of Scientism and a couple of students who set out to discredit in any way they could, hunting and in particular hunting bear using bait as one of the tools to accomplish the task. In other words, this is very typical of outcome based “scientific research.”

Scientism is nothing more than what some of us have come to recognize as “what scientists say and do.” It is also a dangerous and unrestrained credence of the power and authority realized from the manipulated field of science. This study is a fine example of how the scientific process is foregone and replaced with someone’s belief system because there is power in the publication of “studies.”

The scientific process is almost never followed anymore, due to a myriad of reasons, money being one of them along with political idealism and personal agendas.

Secondly, this “study” takes place within a national park in Canada, where black bears are protected. Without having data at my disposal, an intelligent supposition would be that in a park where black bears are protected, depending upon the cycle the bears were going through during the study period, there are probably too many bears in the park. Those dynamics differ greatly from areas where bears a responsibly managed and kept in check to meet management goals and social tolerances.

The study references bear baiting stations adjacent to the park placed there by hunters. Not all hunters are stupid and thus they realize that with too many bears in the park, perhaps a good place to set up a bait station and a tree stand would be adjacent to the park. Does this tactic actually result in increasing the odds of bagging a bear? I dunno. Neither do the researchers.

The short of all this is that the “scientists” chose a location for their study that is far from being typical of the vast forests that make up Canada and parts of the U.S. So, the dynamics of bears and their habitat is not what one might expect to find in the majority of the rest of the world. Observations might prove interesting but for what purpose other than political?

So, what good then is the study? I alluded to that above. And when the study was all said and done, the authors state that with hunters having baiting stations adjacent to the park, bears “could” cause some damage to the trees and vegetation. I wonder if this “could” happen even if the bait stations weren’t there. Did the “scientists” set up a comparative study area outside of the park, in a location more typical of the forests?

The purpose of the study, more than likely, has been exemplified as we see an animal rights, environmental group emotionally grasping at anything, even when it doesn’t even closely resemble the scientific process, to promote their totalitarian agendas aimed at ending a lifestyle they don’t agree with.

The Wildlife Alliance of Maine, in their posting (on Facebook?) states that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) doesn’t consider this dynamic change possible. Actually, I’ve never heard or read anywhere that MDIFW doesn’t believe that baiting bear changes the dynamics of the forest in places where bear are being baited. It doesn’t take a science degree to understand that any and all “changes” within a forest ecosystem can and will have an effect on the dynamics between animal and ecosystem. It then is left to a person’s, or a group of person’s, perspective on what they want to see or have before them.

I think that it is wrong to make a statement about MDIFW of this kind. MDIFW has made it perfectly clear from the beginning that they would like to continue with baiting bear as a tool to help keep the growth of black bears in check in order to assume responsible management of a healthy bear population. Should numbers of bears drop to management’s desired levels, I’m quite certain that MDIFW would cease bear baiting.

But, within this entire debate, both sides cherry-picking convenient products of Scientism to bolster their arguments, in the grand scheme of things, there is so little baiting going on anywhere that it is akin to somebody dumping a cup of coffee into Sebago Lake (47.68 sq. miles) and declaring that the lake dynamics have changed and thus the lake has gone to hell.