Monday, September 22, 2014


                                             the Royal Society



The story of the "extinct" giant snail - supposedly killed by global warming, but recently found alive and well on the same Indian Ocean atoll it has inhabited for the last 80,000 years - is developing into a major environmental scandal.
A scandal that obviously deserves the title Snailgate.

As we reported ten days ago under the heading Extinct Giant Snail Killed By Climate Change Crawls Back From The Dead, the sorry tale began in 2007 with the publication in one of the Royal Society's journals Biology Letters of a "peer-reviewed" study by Justin Gerlach.

Gerlach's study claimed that the Aldabra Banded Snail (Rhachistia aldabrae) had gone extinct in the late 1990s due to climate change.

However, this was immediately disputed by four experts in the field, led by Oxford University ecologist Clive Hambler who argued that there simply wasn't enough evidence to justify to claim, and urged Biology Letters to print their prepared rebuttal.
It said: "The vast majority of the habitat is virtually inaccessible and has never been visited. It is unwise to declare this species extinct after a gap in known records of ten years. We predict ‘rediscovery’ when resources permit.”

Had Biology Letters published this, it would have spared itself the embarrassment of being proved wrong this year when the snail was indeed rediscovered, alive and well, on its island home.

Instead, Biology Letters refused to publish the rebuttal on the grounds that it had failed to pass "peer-review."

Thanks to new research by Times environment correspondent Ben Webster, we now have an inkling as to how this may have happened. The two "peer-reviewers" who accepted the erroneous J Gerlach paper were the same two referees who rejected the subsequent rebuttal paper. Though their reasons for doing so are unclear, one evident possibility is that they did not wish to make themselves look foolish by accepting a paper explicitly rejecting the one they had so recently approved.

None of this would have come to light if the snail had stayed conveniently "extinct." Unfortunately for the Royal Society, Biology Letters, J Gerlach and those two "peer-reviewers", the resurrection snail has come back to haunt them by raising some very awkward questions.

Like: ....

We are at the point as a society where the Big Lie chasm betwixt truth and fiction is more or less unbridgeable.  What chance that people like the Gawker's Adam Weinstien, who calls for the arrest of people who don't subscribeby virtue of their common sense and examination of the factsto man caused climate change; what chance that this nerf-ball will even allow himself to be educated on the matter?  Slim to none. Rabid dog. Click-Click.



Anonymous said...

Years of telling our childrens that ALL opinions are as valid as any other bred crap like that. Artificial self esteem plays in there too. Folks used to be a bit more skeptical of those that claimed they could alter the weather.

Rodger the Real King of France said...

AMEN brother Tim

Rodger the Real King of France said...

AMEN brother Tim

Anonymous said...

Should be
Clang-Clang (cell doors) or Bang-Bang (you know, in a nice way.)
That would also apply to most of The District of Corruption as well.
Lt. Col. Gen. Tailgunner dick

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