‘Induction over the history of science suggests that the best theories we have today will prove more or less untrue at the latest by tomorrow afternoon.’ Fodor, J. ‘Why Pigs don’t have wings,’ London Review of Books, 18th Oct 2007

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Intrusive science is killing penguins

A report in Nature suggests that the tagging of king penguins damages their survival chances. Tagging kills penguins

The write up in the Guardian comments that "The researchers found that the survival rates for king penguins with flipper bands dropped by 16% and the birds produced 39% fewer chicks. The finding raises serious questions about the ethics of banding penguins for research and casts doubt on years of data produced by tagging the birds in this way."

This research highlights some of the distress that excessive scientific intrusion into the life of animals can cause them. Perhaps there is a lesson here that much greater care needs to be taken in gathering data on animals and birds.

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