Jacob Groth jacob at swallowtailfarms.com
Fri Oct 13 13:18:35 EDT 2000

Hi Patrick,

I don't make my conclusions based upon "how many" people believe certain facts.  I try to let the facts form my conclusions.  So far, Bruce is one of the only scientists that presents real numbers for examination.  Many of the others simply propose "hypothetical" situations of "what if" type scenario's.  It's easy to say that something "could" be harmful.  All I have ever heard from these majority scientists is that releases "could" be harmful, but I have yet to hear of numbers or studies that would prevent evidence to support this opinion.  Whereas, Bruce supports his opinion with real numbers and scientific reasoning.  That is what wins my opinion.  The doom-sayers know that it is impossible to prove a null hypothesis, so as long as they couch their words in non quantifiable "coulds and woulds," they can never be pinned down and proven wrong.  If I were to say walking could be harmful to butterflies, could you prove me wrong?  No.  But, if I said walking could kill 100 butterflies per hour, then you could start debating with me scientifically.  Bruce is the only one willing to put himself under examination by presenting real numbers and real scenario's.  I'd be more willing to believe the other side of the opinion spectrum if they would simply start presenting case studies with real numbers to analyze.

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Patrick Foley 
  To: jacob at swallowtailfarms.com 
  Cc: Leps List 
  Sent: Thursday, October 12, 2000 7:50 PM
  Subject: Re: Poll?

  I did not call a poll scientific. I said that Bruce's views did not represent a scientific consensus. A consensus involves the shared opinions of people. Is it your experience that most scientists involved in population biology share Bruce's view that the random release of butterflies is safe for all species of butterflies? Would most butterfly population biologists welcome such releases? 


  Jacob Groth wrote: 

    Patrick wrote: "let us conduct a meaningful poll of active researchers in population biology who have given the matter any thought." 
    You call that scientific?  

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