Can blogfish really tie overfishing to fake science like intelligent design and scientific whaling?
Let the record show that blogfish didn't start this debate. Fishery scientist Ray Hilborn said, using very strong language, that proponents of fish conservation are using faith-based pseudo-science similar to intelligent design. OK, let the debate begin.
First question, which side of the overfishing debate is more like the anti-evolution silliness of so-called intelligent design, as exposed by bloggers PZ Myers, Greg Laden, and others?
Fishery scientist Ray Hilborn equates fish conservation science with intelligent design pseudo-science, and says there's nothing wrong with taking most of the fish out of the ocean, in fact it's the goal of management.
But wait...who's really acting on faith when Mr. Hilborn and other fishery scientists recommend removing most of the big fish from a population in order to increase fish productivity? That's a remarkable leap of faith that seems contrary to common sense. Yet that is the upside-down belief of some leading fishery scientists, despite evidence to the contrary.
And let's bring whales into the debate, now that killing whales for science is now being rebranded as "ecosystem management." The so-called thinking is that without whale hunting, those darn whales eat all of our fish. Another example of rebranding a bad idea, like rebranding intelligent design by folding in a made up version of evolution.
To give proper credit, this was an issue raised first in blogfish comments by Rick MacPherson, who's doing great work over at Malaria, bedbugs, sea lice, and sunsets.
This debate has a ways to run before we know which fishery scientists are really using faith to bolster their conclusions. One thing is sure, the rhetoric is heating up so we may be headed for a climactic conclusion.