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Celebrated by poets and welcomed as a harbinger of spring, the seasonal outpouring of bird song is also a focus of research for scientists. The way birds learn their songs is similar to the way babies learn to talk and adults master a golf swing, University of Washington researchers say.

I find it surprising that most scientists, believers and nonbelievers alike, refuse to apply their critical thinking skills to matters of religion. Unless religious teachings impinge directly on their work, such as in opposing the teaching of evolution or, more recently, in denying global warming, scientists prefer to follow Stephen Jay Gould's dictum that science and religion occupy two "non-overlapping magisteria."


 

Comments

Glad to see you have responded to Betty Jo's comment, but going by the last few posts there ain't gonna be much in the way of comments here 'cos there ain't no mention of GMOs. Bugger! I just mentioned GMOs, so now we'll hear from Syngas, Red, Gypsy at al. just to prove me wrong.

Controversy is definitely helpful if you want more than 5 comments. And Controversy around here involves, one of the following: 1. GMO's 2. Becker asserting that Judaism is somehow less silly than other religions, 3. Sygnas suggesting AGW isn't real or that libertarianism isn't silly.

Norm could have brought up the New Executive director for the Secularists that is also a card carrying republican. That might get some debate.

Haven't seen Becker in a while, wonder if he's all right.

He is probably still lurking. He was complaining about birding posts, last we heard from him.

Yeah, I've wondered how that mensch is doing.

"et al" I meant to type "et al"!

I thought Gypsy was a vegetarian and she along with Red, and Syngas et Al how did he taste.

I am in no way a vegetarian.

Also the original error way "at al"

re: Bird Brains.

So perhaps my Jay who spoke Red Tailed Hawk wasn't just doing it to tease the chickens, maybe he was abandoned by his parents in his youth, and the Hawk's "scree" was the language he heard and learned. One of the two pair of Western Orioles who live near the house, built their lovely basket nest on the oak right outside our front room picture window. Oh man, I just love the Oriole song.

Cows don't vocalize often. Mary Jane (9 year old brood cow), seems to have decided that greetings are in order, so does this loud "BLUAH" sound when even I go near her. T'is not a threat, but a greeting. no "Moo" for her. Andy the Bull was also big on vocalization. Whenever visitors brought dogs with them, the cows put the calves behind a line of horns. Andy "ignored" the dog, finding sudden interest in destroying a baby cottonwood sapling, twisting it's branches around his horns, also clearing his throat a lot. The throat clearing vocalization seemed to be saying ("I'm not threatened by you, dog, but did you notice just how big my chest cavity is? How loud I can harrumph! that's cuz I'm really a LOT bigger than you! Oh! and look - I have horns. Just sayin'"

It's remarkable hat cows see themselves as threatening. Having had sheep and spent time around horses, I must say the slow and fat cows I have met all seemed like living steaks.

If I heard a cow expressing the size of its chest cavity, my only bought would be, "man, imagine how big the smoker would have to be to cook up those ribs."

That... Thought.... I really need to hire a proofreader

Um...bulls can be quite intimidating when they want to be.

I guess most of my experience is dairy cows. Breed to be a lion's dream.

re: "It's remarkable hat cows see themselves as threatening."

We've had some wild ones. Here, just in case you ever need it, is COW RULE NUMBER 9. "It is ALWAYS easier to whack a cheeky cow on the nose with a stick and then walk away, than it is to run while being chased. This is true irrespective of how close that pasture gate may appear to be."

what, is this thing working now? testing 123

i like birds. i do most of my pontificating on fb these days, anyone who wants can find me under my real name, same as i've always used here. since it seems relatively glitch-free to sign in here now, i might have stuff to say here, too, i'll start checking the site more often. glad to see yr all still around, missed ya.

You do realize than Jonathan Becker is a very common name, right?

So how's the flute making business? What's your take on Syria's troubles? Seen any good movies lately?

I saw a picture of a cave recently and wondered how you were doing.

@tim- sure i do, but no one's had any problem figuring out which one is me so far.

@ betty jo- flutes are good. hope syria's troubles don't interfere with sales. last REALLY good movie i saw- coen bros. remake of "true grit".

@redseven-thanks 4 your concern, doing fine. :)

If you liked True Grit, then I suggest "Winter's Bone" with Jennifer Lawrence and John Hawkes. (best picture, Sundance film festival in 2010). It's not an old Western, but a modern tale taking place in Kentucky. One of the finest films I've seen, and the protagonist has 'bout as much true grit as any.

that's funny, i saw them both around the same time, they were on the same disc a friend lent me, and i was equally impressed by both films. almost mentioned "winter's bone" but i thought it was less well-known. that actress jennifer whats-her-name is big stuff now in "hunger games", which i just saw yesterday and was much less impressed with. she is really terrific, tho.

oh yeah, lawrence, right.

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