Don’t Under-estimate Young Boys!

Don’t Under-estimate Young Boys!

(Boy 5 Years Old, Driving to California, to Buy a Lamborghini … etc.!)

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

Don’t under-estimate the big ideas of young boys—whether those boys are from Israel, Utah, or Oklahoma.

For example, Israel’s David, when young enough that some considered him as just a boy, successfully challenged and killed Goliath the gigantic Gittite.(1) And more recently, there’s kindergartner Adrian Zamarripa, who tried to drive from Ogden (Utah) to California, to buy himself a Lamborghini.(2),(3)

Lamborghini-Miura.on-dirt-road

For the Utah state trooper who made a “traffic stop”, the incident was not what he originally expected.

Trooper Rick Morgan … saw the car swerving so badly on Interstate 15 in Odgen, Utah, that he thought the driver was impaired or needed medical attention. He was driving 32 mph in an area with a speed limit of 70 mph. Morgan told the Associated Press that [the car’s driver] did not respond to his [flashing] lights but pulled over when he hit his siren. “I approached the vehicle and I was expecting to find somebody who needed an ambulance or paramedics,” Morgan said.(3)

But the driver was a 5-year-old kindergartener, Adrian Zamarippa.

Last week [May 4, 2020], 5-year-old Adrian Zamarripa took $3 out of his piggy bank, stole the keys to his parents’ SUV in Ogden, Utah, and went for a joyride on the freeway, following the signs that pointed south to Los Angeles. When the kindergartner was pulled over on Interstate 15 … he told the shocked highway patrol officer that he was on his way to California to buy a Lamborghini sports car.(2)

boy-age-5-wants-Lamborghini.dashcam-traffic-stop-AD2020

How did that happen?

Adrian’s 16-year-old sister, Sidney Flores, who was babysitting, had taken a nap about 11 a.m. while her mom and stepfather were away at work, and that’s when her little brother decided to take the keys from a hook near the door and go after his dream. “We thought he’d been kidnapped and we were all panicked,” said Sidney, speaking on behalf of her family because her parents understand limited English. “I called my mom at work and she came rushing home, crying,” she said. “It never occurred to any of us that he would take off in the car by himself. How would he know how to do that?” Nobody in the family had ever encouraged Adrian to drive, said Sidney, except for when he rode up and down the sidewalks in a battery-powered toy truck at age 2.(2)

Officer Morgan’s dash-cam video recording shows the vehicle pull over onto the multi-lane highway’s left shoulder, and stop, in response to Morgan’s flashing lights. Morgan then approached the driver’s window, to speak to the driver. The recording provides video and audio of this unusual encounter.

But when the window came down, Morgan said it was pretty clear that it was “a very under-aged driver who was behind the wheel.”(3)

Behind the wheel, in this case, meant sitting on the driver’s seat edge, so that his short legs could reach the brake pedal—it took both feet to brake the car to a full stop.  The dash-cam footage records audio of Officer Morgan questioning the young driver.(4)

“How old are you? You’re 5 years old?” Morgan says in the video. “Wow, OK. Where did you learn how to drive a car?” The boy told the trooper he was planning to drive to California to buy himself an Italian luxury sports car [specifically, a Lamborghini]. “He might have been short on the purchase amount, as he only had $3 dollars in his wallet,” the Utah Highway Patrol said in a statement on Twitter. The boy’s parents were contacted and they took custody of their son and the vehicle.(3)

Lamborghini-Miura.on-dirt-road

But Adrian is not the first precocious youngster to do what many would not imagine possible for someone so young, nor will he be the last.

More than a century ago, a 6-year-old boy named Jack played the piano, as his older brother fiddled, at a Texas saloon, earning big money for hours till midnight. But this opportunity was cut short by gunfire—and Jack’s saloon piano playing career was terminated by his mother, when she learned about the shooting.(5)

Jack Abernathy: Catching Live Wolves Bare-Handed - America Comes Alive

That little boy grew up to be “Catch-‘em-alive” Jack Abernathy, the youngest man to be appointed a U.S. Marshal—appointed by none other than Teddy Roosevelt.(5)  Jack was already famous for catching wild wolves alive, with his bare hands, so he could sell them to zoos. Later (as U.S. Marshal), he caught violent criminals, though his hands usually then held firearms.(5),(6)

How The Abernathy Boys Became The Most Adventurous Kids In History ...

If you think Catch-‘em-Alive Jack’s two precocious sons—Louis (“Bud”) and Temple (“Temp”—“I’m not a little boy; I’m a little man!”)—followed in their father’s footsteps, as daring adventurers, you’d be right.(6),(7)

The Astounding Adventures of the Abernathy Boys - 405 Magazine

Bud and Temp Abernathy took their first cowboy adventure in 1909, at ages 9 and 5 –traveling horseback (with a shotgun) from their home in Oklahoma to the Governor’s Mansion in New Mexico and back.(6),(7) One night they lodged with men who identified themselves as being “in the cattle business”; their hosts were cattle rustlers, who hospitably respected them, yet one of the rustlers had recently been in a gunfight where he tried to kill their father (Jack), who was then U.S. Marshal.(6),(7)

Buster Welch | RFD-TV :: Rural America's Most Important Network

On returning to a hometown welcome in Oklahoma, one lady emotionally questioned why their mother had permitted this reckless adventure—to which 5-year-old Temp replied that she was dead.(6)

The Abernathy Boys | Redtree Times

The next adventure Bud and Temp took in 1910, at ages 10 and 6, was to ride horses from their home in Oklahoma to New York City, unsupervised—more than 1500 miles.(6),(7) Bud sent telegrams to their father, on arrival in different cities along the way—including visiting Comanche Chief Quanah Parker (in Oklahoma’s Indian Territory) and, at the White House, President Taft, plus they briefly addressed both House of Congress.(6),(7)

The trip’s main goal was timely reached—rendezvousing with their dad (Jack, who arrived in New York City by train) at the port where Teddy Roosevelt would arrive, returning from his exploits in Africa.(6),(7) Teddy’s arrival was celebrated by a huge ticker-tape parade, with Bud and Temp (on horseback) immediately behind the former president’s car; the equestrian lads were followed by Teddy’s mounted Rough Riders.(6)

Abernathy-boys-NY-parade-with-Teddy.painting

Other adventures followed, including the boys (mostly Bud, as Temp could hardly reach the pedals) driving a small car from New York back to Oklahoma, while their horses rode the train.(6),(7)

The Abernathy Boys | Redtree Times

Soon afterward, in 1911, the two boys rode horses from the Atlantic Ocean (at New York) to the Pacific Ocean (at San Francisco), including a calamity where they almost died, after temporarily losing their horses.(6),(7)

Then there was a motorcycle trip in 1913, with stepbrother Anton.(6)

To recount details of just the highlights of the Abernathy boys’ adventures would require a book—in fact, more than one book, plus a museum.(6),(7),(8)

BUD & ME THE TRUE ADVENTURES OF THE ABERNATHY BOYS - Kindle ...

But there is at least one take-away lesson—for all of us—that we should never under-estimate the young. Children are capable of a whole lot more than most imagine!(9)

No wonder big-picture-thinking Christians invest resources and messaging efforts for reaching children (and more such outreach to come, God willing)—even very young kids are ripe for learning about their wonderful Creator.  Let us help, not hinder, them as they are learning about and coming toward the Lord Jesus Christ.(9)

References

  1. 1st Samuel 17:1-58.
  2. Free, C. 2020. Boy, 5, Steals Family Car in Attempt to Buy a Lamborghini. Posted on WashingtonPost.com (May 11, 2020) at https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2020/05/11/boy-5-steals-family-car-attempt-buy-lamborghini-then-man-with-lamborghini-shows-up-his-house/ .
  3. Yancey-Bragg, N. 2020. 5-year-old Boy Caught Driving on Utah Highway was Heading to California for a Lamborghini. USA Today. Posted (May 5, 2020) at https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/05/05/5-year-old-boy-utah-driving-california-buy-lamborghini/3083410001/ .
  4. Morgan, R. 2020. Utah Highway Patrol (dash-camera recording of Utah trooper conducting traffic stop of 5-year-old driver on Utah highway), May 4, 2020. Posted at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-W-ySng2t8 .
  5. Abernathy, J. R. 2006. Catch ‘em Alive Jack, The Life and Adventures of an American Pioneer. Lincoln, NE: Bison Books/ University of Nebraska Press. See also Marshal Jack Abernathy’s biographic highlights, posted at http://www.budandme.com/catch-em-alive-jack.php .
  6. Abernathy, A, with T. Abernathy. 1998. Bud & Me: The True Adventures of the Abernathy Boys. Irving, TX: Dove Creek Press. See especially pages 13-19 (Jack Abernathy’s wolf-catching adventure with Teddy Roosevelt), pages 20-45 (OK è NM è OK horseback trip), pages 46-89 (OK è NY horseback trip), pages 90-108 (NY è OK roadster car trip); pages 116-150 (NY è CA horseback trip), pages 151-159 (motorcycle trip).  See also the online photo gallery of Bud and Temp, posted at http://www.budandme.com/photo-gallery.php .
  7. Abernathy, M. 2004. Ride the Wind: The Amazing True Story of the Abernathy Boys. Long Riders’ Guild Press (reprint of 1911 book then titled The Rides of the Abernathy Boys). See especially pages 1-65 (OK è NM è OK horseback trip), pages 66-111 (OK è NY horseback trip), pages 112-116 (NY è OK roadster car trip); page 116 (NY è CA horseback trip).
  8. The museum is located in Frederick, Oklahoma, near Wichita Falls, Texas.
  9. Matthew 19:14; Luke 18:16. See also Johnson, J. J. S. 2015. Attracted to Genesis by Magnets and a Bird Book. Acts & Facts. 44(8):19, posted at https://www.icr.org/article/attracted-genesis-by-magnets-bird-book .
    Exploring Oklahoma History - The Adventure of the Abernathy Boys

India’s Shrimp ‘Ranching’ Needs Re-set

India’s Shrimp ‘Ranching’ Needs Re-set

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

And God created great whales, and every living creature that moves, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind … and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:21)

The Aquaculturists: 20/10/2017: Shrimp farming in India

India may be looking to America for a jump-start to revitalize its shrimp aquaculture industry, according to recent report (May 11, 2020) in the Hindu Business Line.

The report, which was issued by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) looks into a range of measures to improve the export potential of the aquaculture sector. Around 90 % of India’s aquaculture production is generally exported. And, although exports have plummeted since the COVID-19 pandemic, the report warns that producers may struggle to meet demand once the movement of goods and people returns to normal . . . (1)

India’s shrimp-farming operations have two major vulnerabilities—dependence on outside (i.e., outside of India, which now includes lockdown/shutdown facts not previously present in the global marketplace) sources for breeding shrimp and for the kind of food that shrimp larva need to eat, so that they can grow into mature shrimp of marketable size.

The Confederation of Indian Industry has recommended measures to improve the export potential of the aquaculture sector in order to capture a major share of the global market. …  The lion’s share of Indian aquaculture comprises shrimp, for which both broodstocks and larval feeds are imported. With the global lockdown situation, the supply of these has been stalled, which will have a significant impact on production, CII said in its report.(2)

But for restarting India’s shrimp-farming operations, some adjustments to “business-as-usual” will be necessary, both logistically and legally.

To reduce the lag time in the supply of broodstock, CII has recommended re-establishing import of broodstock by expediting air transportation from the US by arranging special cargo flights. It is pointed out that the RGCA [Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Aquaculture] quarantine facility in Chennai is shut and its holding capacity is not sufficient for large consignments. Hence, the imported broodstock should be allowed to be taken to hatcheries directly and thereafter sampling can be done by RGCA. On approval, hatchery owners can be allowed to use the broodstock.(2)

India-freshwater-shrimp-farming

What a huge undertaking—revitalizing this part of India’s fisheries/aquaculture industry is truly a “big deal”, in the global marketplace. As a fish/seafood exporter India has very serious competition—for almost 20 years China has been the world’s #1 producer of fish and seafood exports.(3)

India is the world’s second-largest [sic] fish producer with a total production of 13.7 million tonnes in 2018-19 of which 65 % was from inland fishing. Almost 50 % of inland fish production is from culture fisheries, which constitutes 6.5 % of global fish production. Shrimp accounts for a majority share of India’s aquaculture, which is growing at a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of 17.4 % over the past 3 years.(2)

Providing affordable (and available) protein-rich food is a worldwide need.  Harvesting oceanic fish and shellfish—including shrimp—can contribute much to feeding peoples of the world.(4),(5)  Aquaculture (which is comparable to “ranching” sea creatures–like shrimp–as livestock), however, can supplement oceanic finfish and shellfish, for the benefit of many hungry humans.(6),(7)

May God bless America to recover its own economic health—and to do so with such strength that it can once again bless India, and other nations of the world, such as by helping India to jump-start their own now-vulnerable aquaculture industry.(8)

Farmers making a fortune in shrimp farming

References

  1. Staff writer. 2020. Why India’s Shrimp Sector Must Become More Self-Sufficient. The Fish Site. Posted (May 12, 2020) at https://thefishsite.com/articles/why-indias-shrimp-sector-must-become-more-self-sufficient – accessed may 15, 2020.
  2. Kumar, V. S. 2020. CII Chalks Out Steps to Boost Aquaculture Exports. Hindu Business Line. Posted (May 11, 2020) at https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/cii-chalks-out-steps-to-boost-aquaculture-exports/article31555206.ece# — accessed May 15, 2020.
  3. Nag, O. S. 2017. Top Fish and Seafood Exporting Countries. Posted (April 25, 2017) at https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/top-fish-and-seafood-exporting-countries.html —  accessed May 15, 2020.
  4. According to the Lord Jesus, fish are good food. Matthew 7:9-11; Luke 11:11-13..
  5. Incorporating actuarial biology insights (pioneered by marine biologist Johan Hjort) has enabled the world’s shrimp industry, including shrimp-farming, to economically maximize productivity. See Johnson, J. J. S. 2019. Northern Prawns, Baltic Prawns, and Brown Shrimp, Illustrating Genesis 1:22 (including Johan Hjort’s Actuarial Biology Research on Pandalus borealis). Nordic Legacy Series (Norwegian Society of Texas, Fort Worth, Texas, February 24, 2019), 15 pages.
  6. Aquaculture now faces new challenges from pandemic politics. See Johnson, J. J. S. 2020. Fish Farming Feeds Scots, But It’s Not Getting Easier.  COVID-19 News. Posted April 21, 2020) at https://www.icr.org/article/fish-farming-feeds-scots-but-not-getting-easier .
  7. Fish-farming, using managed coast water net-pens is one aquaculture method useful in fulfilling the Genesis Mandate. See Johnson, J. J. S. 2013. Fulfilling the Genesis Mandate while Helping the Poor. Acts & Facts. 42(12):19, posted at https://www.icr.org/article/fulfilling-genesis-mandate-while-helping .
  8. Acts 20:35.

 

Double-take on Doing Math in Public

Double-take on Doing Math in Public:

Chinese Fudge Factory Doubles Output

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

HotFudgeSundae-with--Cherry.Braums

Hot Fudge Sundae, with brownie & cherry (photo credit: Braum’s)

Recent reports (April 17, 2020) show that Chinese fudge is being produced, in Wuhan, at numbers now doubling earlier reports.  And more cherry-picked statistics.

The official Covid-19 death toll for Wuhan has been revised [as of April 17, 2020] up by 1,290 to 3,869 as life in the city returns to something like normal as many restrictions are lifted. Authorities in the Chinese city where the global coronavirus pandemic began late last year have revised its death toll upwards by 50%, as the government in Beijing again denied there had been any cover-up in its handling of the crisis.

A local government taskforce in Wuhan charged with virus prevention added 1,290 fatalities to the city’s toll, taking the confirmed count to 3,869 from a previously reported 2,579. Wuhan, a city of 11 million people, suffered more fatalities than any other city in China as residents struggled get help from its overwhelmed medical system.(1)

Is this governmental science fiction—what accountants call “cooking the books”,  what historians call political revisionism, and what scientists attribute to “fudge” factors?(2)

cooking-the-books.picture

Maybe this doubled mortality statistic has a more benign explanation, something like the record-keepers were just too busy reacting to the crisis, to accurately count Coronavirus corpses.

The revision comes after weeks of scepticism, from both within and outside China, over the officially reported figures. Officials said Friday’s revision was the result of incorrect or delayed reporting and not because information had been suppressed.

“Medical workers at some facilities might have been preoccupied with saving lives and there existed delayed reporting, underreporting or misreporting, but there has never been any cover-up and we do not allow cover-ups,” said China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian at a news briefing in Beijing.(1)

But this misinformation—whether accidental or faked—is not surprising, as recent scholarship has documented.(1),(2)

Coronavirus expert Ralph Baric, from the University of North Carolina, is uneasy about the numbers coming out of China. “I’m very suspicious about anything they’re saying,” Baric said, pointing to the low numbers China is reporting from other provinces in the country. “The math says there should be a lot more cases.”(3)

Lamentably, statistical “fudge” factors have plagued scientific statistics in many contexts, both inside and outside China, and in diverse scientific fields beyond the healthcare industry.(2),(4),(5)

Of course, having debunked fake science for decades, creation scientists are never shocked when evolutionist reports are proven false.(4),(5),(6),(7),(8),(9)

How is this relevant to us today, as we strive—separating real-world science “wheat” from misinformation “chaff”—to understand what is really happening in the world of scientific research and education, not limited to pandemics?

In particular, is this relevant to our understanding of politically controversial scientific reporting in non-healthcare arenas—such as dinosaur DNA research,(6) radiometric dating chronologies,(7) animal depopulation alarmism,(8) and bogus allegations of anthropogenic global warming/”climate change”?(8),(9)

Keep your eyes open. Social agenda motivations matter. Don’t trust anything that is popularly promoted—whether it be evolutionary genes-in-magic (“natural selection”), or uniformitarianism-based “deep time”, or alarmist “global warming” hype, or suspicious healthcare statistics—just because a scientist-salesman is promoting it.

If a ton of money or political power (such as gate-keeping at state university science programs) — or theological-political influence (as is found in some so-called “Christian apologetics” programs belonging to private religious colleges) is at stake, don’t swallow whatever was just offered for popular consumption.  It just might be that the scientist-salesman is marketing freshly baked fudge.(2)

Wuhan-laboratory

References

1.     Kuo, Lily. 2020. China denies cover-up as Wuhan coronavirus deaths revised up 50% Increase in total comes after weeks of scepticism over officially reported figures. The Guardian (April 17, 2020). Posted at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/17/china-denies-cover-up-as-wuhan-coronavirus-deaths-revised-up-50  —  accessed April 17, 2020.

2.     Johnson, James J. S. 2020. Hot Fudge Sundaes and Cherry Picked Statistics. ICR News (April  19, 2020). Posted at https://www.icr.org/article/11999/   – accessed April 19, 2020. See also See Proverbs 20:10, 23; Micah 6:11. Moreover, Accumulating evidences appear to show personal liberty-stifling politics, socialized healthcare economics, and population control agendas–harnessing the world’s COVID-19 pandemic–include more than recklessly sloppy science and bureaucratic bungling. See Hanne Nabintu Herland, “The COVID-19 Scandal: Billionaire Bill Gates and WHO: Hanne Nabintu Herland Sounds Alarm Over Oligarch ‘Pandemic Expert’”, WorldNetDaily (WND.com: April 22, 2020), posted at  https://www.wnd.com/2020/04/covid-19-scandal-billionaire-bill-gates/?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=wnd-newsletter&utm_campaign=dailyam&utm_content=newsletter ; accessed April 23, 2020.

3.  Suspicion was expressed prior to Wuhan’s recently published revisions. Branswell, H. 2020. Experts say confusion over coronavirus case count in China is muddying picture of spread. StatNews. (February 20, 2020; accessed April 9, 2020), posted at https://www.statnews.com/2020/02/20/experts-say-confusion-over-coronavirus-case-count-in-china-is-muddying-picture-of-spread/ .

4.     Fake science is no newcomer to Chinese research reports. For example, Clarey, Timothy. 2016. Dinosaurs Designed without Feathers. Acts & Facts. 45(3). Posted at https://www.icr.org/article/dinosaurs-designed-without-feathers — accessed April 17, 2020; Sherwin, Frank. 2016. Another Feathered Dinosaur Tale. Creation Science Update (December 10, 2016), posted at https://www.icr.org/article/another-feathered-dinosaur-tale .

5.  Totalitarian regimes, like communist China, mandate (and thus exemplify) state-approved “consensus science”. See Guliuzza, Randy J. 2009. Consensus Science: The Rise of a Scientific Elite. Acts & Facts. 38(5):4, posted at  https://www.icr.org/article/consensus-science-rise-scientific-elite/ . However, fake science results all too frequently when “fudge factors” are used, elsewhere, to transmogrify research data for political power grabs. Johnson, James J. S. 2020. Do You Really Have a Jaguar? ICR News (April 5, 2020), posted at https://www.icr.org/article/do-you-really-have-a-jaguar .

6.     Regarding spoliation and suppression of DNA research data, see Johnson, James J. S., Jeff P. Tomkins, and Brian Thomas. 2009. Dinosaur DNA Research: Is the Tale Wagging the Evidence? Acts & Facts. 38(10):4-6. Posted at https://www.icr.org/article/dinosaur-dna-research-tale-wagging — accessed April 17, 2020.

7.     For an example of fudge factor problems in the radiometric “dating game”, see Hebert, Jake. 2020. Manganese Nodules Inconsistent with Radiometric Dating. Creation Science Update (January 30, 2020), posted at https://www.icr.org/article/manganese-nodules-radiometric-dating . See also Johnson, James J. S. 2018. Viking Bones Contradict Carbon-14 Assumptions. Acts & Facts. 47(5). Posted at https://www.icr.org/article/viking-bones-contradict-c14-assumptions — accessed April 17, 2020.

8.     Misreported research data, producing false pictures of both Alaska Pollock populations and “climate change” dynamics, see Johnson, James J. S. 2018. Something Fishy About Global Warming Claims. Acts & Facts. 47(3):21, posted at https://www.icr.org/article/something-fishy-about-global-warming . See also, accord, Bailey, K. M. 2013. Billion-Dollar Fish: The Untold Story of Alaska Pollock. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2-44, 46-88, 199-215.

9.     Johnson, James J. S. 2020. Signs of the Times: Glacier Meltdown. Acts & Facts. 49(4):21, posted at https://www.icr.org/article/signs-of-the-times-glacier-meltdown .

Doing Math in Public Can Be Risky

 

DOING MATH IN PUBLIC IS FULL OF RISKS:  Hot Fudge Sundae, Cherries, and the Wuhan Virus

James J. S. Johnson

 

To celebrate my wife’s birthday, recently, a restaurant dinner was not an option (due to Coronavirus “social distancing” mandates), so drive-through fried chicken and a hot fudge sundae had to suffice.  The cherry topped the dessert, but there was not enough fudge, so I returned (later) for another hot fudge sundae.

Somehow that dessert—something about fudge and cherries—reminded me of all the math calculations and projections being thrown around, nowadays, as we swim in the deep, dark flood-waters of Coronavirus pandemic forecasting.(1)

HotFudgeSundae-with--Cherry.Braums

Hot Fudge Sundae, with brownie & cherry (photo credit: Braum’s)

Repeatedly my wife has warned me, when I prepare to speak at a church or school or other venue, “don’t try to do math in public!” So this article is not intended to advocate one statistical analysis, epidemiology model, or pandemic projection over another.

Rather, this consideration of recent Coronavirus-related reports is intended only as a caution—as we follow the latest news and “experts”(1),(2)—to recall that statistics reporting has its validity vulnerabilities, including “cherry-picked” data and analytical “fudge”.(2)  But the challenge of separating “wheat” (accurate information) from “chaff” (false, misleading, or confusing information) is nothing new. Consider the following illustrations and the questions that they raise.

Government statistics are only as sound as their underlying data collection and analytical reporting processes. In a prior article,(2) the example was given of EEOC litigation. At trial the EEOC advocated “cherry-picked” statistics (i.e., “fake math”), to falsely accuse a private corporation of employment discrimination.(2),(3)   The federal trial judge shamed the EEOC for bearing false witness against the company, by portraying the quantitative facts in a deliberately dishonest and skewed (“cherry-picked”) analysis.(3)

Cherries-wild

Sometimes, however, the shoe is on the other foot. In another article,(4) an example was given of private sector businesses lying to government inspectors, in order to deceptively catch Alaska Pollock quantities that approximately doubled the amounts reported as caught, in order to evade international treaty-mandated catch limits.(4),(5) Further complicating the math used for government statistics, the Pollock population reports were used, in environmental politics, to fuel the billion-dollar “global warming”  industry.(5)

In short, if data needs to be harnessed, to build or defend billion-dollar fortunes, don’t expect purist math.(6) But how is this relevant, to quantifying and forecasting the Coronavirus pandemic’s demographics?

First, as in all forensic evidence contexts, consider the reliability (and potentially influential motives) of the sources who are reporting the facts.(6)

Should all statistical data reported by communist governments be naïvely trusted?

Coronavirus expert Ralph Baric, from the University of North Carolina, is uneasy about the numbers coming out of China. “I’m very suspicious about anything they’re saying,” Baric said, pointing to the low numbers China is reporting from other provinces in the country. “The math says there should be a lot more cases.”(7)

Is it relevant that a hospital receives more federal money for reporting a Coronavirus-caused in-patient service than for treating a patient who is not designated as a Coronavirus victim?(8)

What if a patient has a Coronavirus infection, recovers, then dies of a heart attack or traffic accident? If the autopsy indicates a recent Coronavirus infection, is that alone sufficient to label Coronavirus as the cause of death, etiologically speaking?

This is not to suggest (or to discourage) that statisticians need to rigorously scrutinize Coronavirus cause-of-death reports, with cynical “follow-the-money-trail” distrust. However, if government-funded billions of dollars are at stake, it is at least worth some “peer review” to confirm what norms were used for reporting and sorting data.(8)

Likewise, is it prudent to consider who makes a fortune, if one remedy is selected over another? For example, if hydroxychloroquine (maybe in combination with azithromycin and/or zinc) is a simple, cheap, quick, safe, and accessible remedy, who would profit (or fail to profit) by its wholesale use in treating Coronavirus victims?(9)

Or, if hydroxychloroquine it is the best overall solution, and is already available on the market as a generic medicine (and safely used for decades), so patent royalties are not an economic issue, to treating Coronavirus infections, who stands to lose a pharmaceutical fortune if it is now used?(9),(10),(11)

The statistics have yet another challenge: what about the many people who (at some point) have acquired the Coronavirus, and got horribly sick for days or weeks, and eventually recovered—but are afraid to report what they experienced, due to fear of job loss or governmental intrusions that may add to a problem that is now “cured”?(12)

The statistical lethality of Coronavirus is a quotient derived from dividing the numerator (number of Coronavirus deaths within a specific population) by the denominator (total number of Coronavirus infections in that same population combining the number of survivors with those who died).(13)

But a fear-motivated failure, to report a successful recovery from Coronavirus infection, leads to an inaccurately smaller denominator, producing a lethality quotient that erringly suggests that Coronavirus infections are statistically more deadly, in a human population, than they really are.(12),(13)

In other words, the Coronavirus statistics are not a simple matter of merely counting who gets sick and recovers, versus who gets sick and does not recover. No wonder I must avoid doing math in public.

So, next time you watch a television evening news report, on Coronavirus statistics and projections from those statistics—don’t panic–there might be some fake math (opined by Dr. Faux or his ilk) that incites fear-mongering, implying no returning to “normal”.

Certainly, the pandemic deserves prayer and care, but not panic.(14) Maybe (note that qualifier: “maybe”) it’s not as bad as the numbers appear to suggest. Maybe some of the so-called experts represent industries that make more money, or gain more power, if the pandemic is worse (or harder to cure) than it really is. It is storming outside, no doubt, but maybe the sky is not falling. For now, being careful and prayerful is a good idea, but panicking helps no one.(15)

Think about it. Maybe enjoy a hot fudge sundae, with picked cherries on top.

REFERENCES

  1. Forecasting, based on scientific “models” (simulation-based projections) is a tricky business. Johnson, J. J. S. 2020. Signs of the Times: Glacier Meltdown. Acts & Facts. 49(4):21. https://www.icr.org/article/signs-of-the-times-glacier-meltdown . Likewise, recognizing the legitimacy and limitations of “experts” is tricky business, well served by forensic evidence norms and perspectives. 2012. Johnson, J. J. S. Acts & Facts. 41(11):8-10. https://www.icr.org/article/what-good-are-experts .
  2. Incorporating “fudge” factors invalidates research data, as well as conclusions relying upon such data. Coppedge, D. F. 2008. Cosmology’s Error Bars. Acts & Facts. 37(7)15. https://www.icr.org/article/cosmologys-error-bars . Likewise, cherry-picking research data, to skew statistics, is fake math. Johnson, J. J. S. 2015. Cherry Picking Data is the Pits. Acts & Facts. 44(7):19. https://www.icr.org/article/cherry-picking-data-pits .
  3. “In an egregious example of scientific dishonesty, Murphy cherry-picked certain individuals…in an attempt to pump up the number of ‘fails’ in his database…conveniently increas[ing] the fail percentage by over twenty percent, rendering it a meaningless, skewed statistic.” EEOC v. Freeman, 961 F.Supp2d 783, 795 (D. Md. 2013), affirmed, 778 F.3d 463, 471 (4th Cir. 2015) (decrying the EEOC’s cherry-picked data presentation as “slipshod work, faulty analysis, and statistical sleight of hand”).
  4. Johnson, J. J. S. 2018. Something Fishy About Global Warming Claims. Acts & Facts. 47(3):21.
  5. Bailey, K. M. 2013. Billion-Dollar Fish: The Untold Story of Alaska Pollock. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2-44, 46-88, 199-215. See also Miles, E. et al. 1982. The Management of Marine Regions: The North Pacific. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 160-165, 172, 184-193, 220-223; Kasahara, H. 1972. Japanese Distant-Water Fisheries: A Review.  Fishery Bulletin. 70(2):227-282.
  6. See Proverbs 20:10, 23; Micah 6:11. Improper influences are known to transmogrify peer review into veneer review. In re Hurricane Sandy Cases (Raimey & Raisfeld v. Wright National Flood Insurance Company), 2014 WL 5801540, *1, *3 (E.D.N.Y. 2014) (Gary R. Brown, U.S. District Judge), analyzed in Johnson, J. J. S. 2015. Forensic Science Frustrated by “Peer Review”. Acts & Facts. 44(2):18. https://www.icr.org/article/forensic-science-frustrated-by-peer/ . In America, Hurricane Sandy caused 147 direct deaths, at least 75 indirect deaths, and about $70 billion in property damages (as estimated in March 2014). Sandy’s diameter reached 1,100 miles, with storm surges that caused tidewater flooding up to 7.9 feet above normally dry ground. See U.S. NOAA, National Weather Service, “Hurricane /Post-Tropical Cyclone Sandy, October 22-29, 2012” and the National Hurricane Center’s Tropical Cyclone Report, both posted at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov, accessed December 1, 2014.
  7. Branswell, H. 2020. Experts say confusion over coronavirus case count in China is muddying picture of spread (February 20, 2020; accessed April 9, 2020), posted at https://www.statnews.com/2020/02/20/experts-say-confusion-over-coronavirus-case-count-in-china-is-muddying-picture-of-spread/ . Totalitarian regimes, like communist China, mandate (and thus exemplify) state-approved “consensus science”. See Guliuzza, R. J. 2009. Consensus Science: The Rise of a Scientific Elite. Acts & Facts. 38(5):4. https://www.icr.org/article/consensus-science-rise-scientific-elite/ .
  8. Consumer groups and public health experts said paying hospitals for uncompensated care [i.e., for treating Coronavirus patients who are uninsured] would not help the millions of Americans who are now without coverage. … [but who are ill] without the virus … [so uninsured non-Coronavirus patients, in hospitals, remain an unpaid] burden on emergency rooms and hospital staff.” Abelson, R., and M. Sanger-Katz. 2020. Trump Says Hospitals Will Be Paid for Treating Uninsured Coronavirus Patients. New York Times (April 3, 2020; accessed April 9, 2020), posted at https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/03/upshot/trump-hospitals-coronavirus.html .
  9. “The White House coronavirus task force had its biggest fight yet on Saturday [March 28, 2020], pitting economic adviser Peter Navarro against infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci. At issue: How enthusiastically should the White House tout the prospects of an antimalarial drug to fight COVID-19? … Navarro pointed to the pile of folders on the desk, which included printouts of studies on hydroxychloroquine from around the world. Navarro said to Fauci, ‘That’s science, not anecdote,’ said another of the sources. Navarro started raising his voice, and at one point accused Fauci of objecting to Trump’s travel restrictions, saying, ‘You were the one who early on objected to the travel restrictions with China,’ saying that travel restrictions don’t work.” Swan, J. 2020. Scoop: Inside the Epic White House Fight Over Hydroxychloroquine. Axios Health. Posted at https://www.axios.com/coronavirus-hydroxychloroquine-white-house-01306286-0bbc-4042-9bfe-890413c6220d.html . Updated April 5, 2020; accessed April 9, 2020.
  10. One Coronavirus-infected Michigan legislator (Karen Whitsett) is grateful to be an “anecdotal” evidence of hydroxychloroquine’s effectiveness. “A Democratic state representative from Detroit is crediting hydroxychloroquine — and Republican President Donald Trump who touted the drug — for saving her in her battle with the coronavirus. State Rep. Karen Whitsett, who learned Monday [March 16, 2020] she has tested positive for COVID-19, said she started taking hydroxychloroquine on March 31, prescribed by her [medical] doctor, after both she and her husband sought treatment for a range of symptoms on March 18. ‘It was less than two hours’ before she started to feel relief, said Whitsett, who had experienced shortness of breath, swollen lymph nodes, and what felt like a sinus infection.” Egan, P. 2020. Detroit Rep Says Hydroxychloroquine, Trump Helped Save her Life amid COVID-19 Fight. Detroit Free Press. Posted at https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2020/04/06/democrat-karen-whitsett-coronavirus-hydroxychloroquine-trump/2955430001/  (updated April 6, 2020; accessed April 9, 2020).
  11. Likewise, cartographic comparisons of malaria demographics, globally, with Coronavirus demographics, are worth serious investigation. Spencer, R. 2020. Some COVID-19 vs. Malaria Numbers: Countries with Malaria have Virtually No Coronavirus Cases Reported. Posted at https://www.drroyspencer.com/2020/03/some-covid-19-vs-malaria-numbers-countries-with-malaria-have-virtually-no-coronavirus-cases-reported/ . (March 18, 2020; accessed April 9, 2020.)
  12. This author, being a licensed attorney, communicates often with other attorneys. In short, there are folks who report (in confidence) that they are afraid of disadvantages if they disclose symptoms of recent illness (form which they are now fully recovered), that appear to match the symptoms of the Coronavirus.
  13. Centers for Disease Control. 2020. Principles of Epidemiology in Public Health Practice: Lesson 3, section 3: Mortality Frequency Measures. https://www.cdc.gov/csels/dsepd/ss1978/lesson3/section3.html (accessed April 9, 2020).
  14. Care, of course, means efficient delivery of healthcare as needed—please pray for everyone who is involved in fighting the Coronavirus pandemic. Actually, this is a Genesis Mandate-relevant crisis. And this is not the first time we have needed heroes in an epidemic/pandemic. Johnson, J. J. S. 2013. Siberian Huskies and the Dominion Mandate. Acts & Facts. 42(6):18-19. https://www.icr.org/article/siberian-huskies-dominion-mandate .
  15. See 2 Timothy 1:7.

JJSJ-Mammoth-PaloDuroCanyon.AD2018

Cetaceans’ Submarine Songfests

CETACEANS’  SUBMARINE  SONGFESTS: 

Norwegians and Americans Scrutinize Saltwater Serenades

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

Blue Whale in Red Sea   (Novinite.com image)

HUMPBACK WHALE (The Bermudian Magazine)

 And God created great whales [tannînim], and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind; and God saw that it was good.   (Genesis 1:21)

 What is “whale-song”?  Music-like whale talk!  Whales are cetaceans, a category of whales and whale-like marine mammals, e.g., porpoises and dolphins. Our English word “cetacean” derives from the Greek noun kêtos (κητος) which appears in Matthew 12:40 (as “whale”), so “whales” are mentioned in Scripture.

Consider Genesis 1:21, quoted above.  Consider also Job 7:12, Ezekiel 32:2, and Matthew 12:40, as well as the reference in Lamentations 4:3a (“Even the sea monsters draw out the breast, they give suck to their young ones:”).

For a short YouTube on humpback “songs” (by Oceania iWhales), check out https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=whale+song&view=detail&mid=080AA0FA37A93E87AB44080AA0FA37A93E87AB44&FORM=VIRE (about 3 minutes long).

For a video (by NatGeoOceans) on researching Blue Whales, review this YouTube:  https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Blue+Whale+Sounds&&view=detail&mid=FA613CEC5B6570EB96A8FA613CEC5B6570EB96A8&&FORM=VRDGAR  (video is about 6 minutes, with information on how Blue Whales are observed and recorded).

How can you describe the variety of whale-song sounds?  Screeching, shrieking, grunting, wailing, moaning, groaning, rumbling, buzzing, rattling, sqeaking, squealing, clicking, whistling, whining, rumbling, sputtering, and some low-noted sounds that might be embarrassing if emitted by humans.

Bowhead-whale.NOAA-photo

BOWHEAD WHALE (NOAA Fisheries photo)

BOWHEAD WHALES

Three Norwegian biologists (Dr. Øystein Wiig, Dr. Kit M. Kovacs, and Dr. Christian Lydersen), with an American oceanographer (Dr. Kate M. Stafford), have been studying whale-song—specifically, the songs sung by Bowhead whales from the polar waters of Svalbard, an island territory of Norway.

Almost all mammals communicate using sound, but few species produce complex songs. Two baleen whales sing complex songs that change annually, though only the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) has received much research attention. This study focuses on the other baleen whale singer, the bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus). Members of the Spitsbergen bowhead whale population produced 184 different song types over a 3-year period, based on duty-cycled recordings from a site in Fram Strait in the northeast Atlantic. Distinct song types were recorded over short periods, lasting at most some months. …

Complex ‘song’ in mammals is rare. While many mammalian taxa produce repetitive ‘calls’, sometimes called advertisement songs, few mammals produce vocal displays akin to bird song, which is defined by multiple frequencies and amplitude-modulated elements combined into phrases and organized in long bouts. Such songs have been documented in only a few mammalian species, including some bats (Chiroptera), gibbons (Hylobatidae), mice (Scotinomys spp.), rock hyraxes (Procavia capensis), and two great whales, humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae) and bowhead (Balaena mysticetus) whales [BLUE WHALES sing simplistic loud-and-rhythmic “rap music”, so they are excluded from this listing of “complex song” vocalists!]. With the exception of gibbons, in which males and females duet, complex songs in mammals are thought to be produced only by males. Male mammals are thought to sing to defend territories, advertise their quality, attract mates or some combination of these functions.

The song in baleen whales has been studied extensively only in humpback whales, which sing similar songs within a season across a whole population. The structure of that song gradually evolves [sic – erroneous terminology in original] over the season in unison and transfer of song types has been documented to occur directionally from one population to another over a period of years. Humpback whale songs are composed of a hierarchy from units to sub-phrases to phrases to themes.

Less is known about the songs of bowhead whales compared with humpback whales, but bowhead whale songs generally consist of a single phrase that includes amplitude- and frequency-modulated elements repeated in bouts, with two different sounds often produced simultaneously.

A pilot study from the Fram Strait in 2008 – 2009 provided the first indication that tens of song types were produced by bowhead whales in this region within a single overwinter period. No year-round studies of song diversity exist for other bowhead whale populations although multiple song types in a single year have been documented for two other populations. …

The diversity and interannual variability in songs of bowhead whales in this 3-year study are rivalled only by a few species of songbirds.

Among other mammalian singers, mice and gibbons tend to produce highly stereotyped and repetitive songs with few elements. Variation in rock hyrax and bat songs is primarily through changes in the arrangement of units.

Humpback whales produce complex songs that are similar within a year. Although the repertoire of any one individual bowhead whale in this study cannot be determined, the catalogue of song types (184) is remarkably varied.

It is not known whether individual bowhead whales sing multiple song types in a season, but some are known to share the same song type in the same period in the Bering– Chukchi–Beaufort (BCB) population. Nor is it known if individual bowhead whales maintain the same song throughout their lifetime or if they switch within and/or between years.

One explanation for the very high song diversity in the Spitsbergen bowhead whale population could be that the animals occupying this area in modern times include immigrants from both the BCB and the eastern Canada–western Greenland bowhead populations.

Until recently, these populations have been assumed to be isolated from each other due to extensive, impenetrable sea ice cover in the High Arctic.

However, in the past few decades, extreme declines in sea ice extent and thickness may have facilitated contact between these populations. However, even if this region contains bowhead whales from multiple populations, this does not fully explain the high numbers of different song types recorded in this study or the lack of recurrence of song types from year to year.

It is plausible that the bowhead whales in the Fram Strait are simply a remnant of the original Spitsbergen [Svalbard] population that survived the extreme historical levels of exploitation. The influence of small population size on song diversity is conflicted; some studies suggest song diversity increases in smaller populations, although others have found that reduced or isolated populations exhibit a reduction in song diversity and produce simpler songs.

In some species, females appear to prefer a diverse song repertoire, suggesting that increased complexity of singing might confer reproductive advantages. A recent study of howler monkeys (Alouatta spp.) documented tradeoffs in male reproductive characteristics based on (temporary) social structure: in groups with fewer males, or smaller social groups, males invested more in vocal displays as a reproductive tactic.  …

Bowhead whales are the only High Arctic resident baleen whale. Thus, interspecific identification via song may not confer the same selective [sic – should say “reproductive success”] advantage for bowheads that it might for other cetacean species. This could reduce selection pressure [sic mystical-magic jargon in original] on song stereotypy, allowing for greater variation in song types as a result of a long-term cultural mutation in songs, or song novelty itself might confer an advantage.

Because bowhead whales sing underwater, in heavy ice during the polar night, a nuanced understanding of the variable syntax of this species will be difficult to obtain.

Nevertheless, the singing behaviour of Spitsbergen bowhead whales, in which tens of distinct song types are produced annually, makes them remarkable among mammals.

[Quoting from Kate M. Stafford, Christian Lydersen, Øystein Wiig, & Kit M. Kovacs, “Extreme Diversity in the Songs of Spitsbergen’s Bowhead Whales”, BIOLOGY LETTERS, 14:20180056 (April 2018).]

But, before Bowhead Whale songs were scrutinized, it was the singing of Humpback Whales that was reported — surprisingly revealing a submarine world of sound communications that most folks would never have imagined.

Humpback-Whale.NWF

HUMPBACK WHALE (Nat’l Wildlife Federation photo)

HUMPBACK WHALES

One of the most unusual music recordings to sell into the “multi-platinum” sales level was an LP album produced in AD1970, called “Songs of the Humpback Whale”, recorded by bio-acoustician Dr. Roger Payne, who had (with Scott McVay) discovered humpback “whale-song” (i.e., complex sonic arrangements of sound, sent for communicative purposes) during the AD1967 breeding season.

Prior to AD1970 Dr. Payne had studied echolocation (i.e., “sonar”) in bats, as well as auditory localization in owls, so (biologically speaking) he had “ears to hear” how animals use vocalized sounds to send and receive information to others of their own kind. Some of Dr. Payne’s work was shared with his wife (married AD1960; divorced AD1985), Katharine Boynton Payne, who noticed the predictable patterns of humpback whale-song, such as “rhymes”.  Acoustical research included spectrograms of whale vocalizations, portraying sound peaks, valleys, and gaps—somewhat (according to her) like musical “melodies” and “rhythms”.

To this day, apparently, “Songs of the Humpback Whale” is the best-selling nature sound recording, commercially speaking. The sensation-causing album (“Songs of the Humpback Whale”) presented diverse whale vocalizations (i.e., “whale songs”) that surprised many, promptly selling more than 100,000 copies.

Some of Dr. Payne’s research on whale-song appeared early, published in SCIENCE magazine, as follows:

(1) Humpback whales ( Megaptera novaeangliae ) produce a series of beautiful and varied sounds for a period of 7 to 30 minutes and then repeat the same series with considerable precision. We call such a performance “singing” and each repeated series of sounds a “song.”

(2) All prolonged sound patterns (recorded so far) of this species are in song form, and each individual adheres to its own song type.

(3) There seem to be several song types around which whales construct their songs, but individual variations are pronounced (there is only a very rough species-specific song pattern).

(4) Songs are repeated without any obvious pause between them; thus song sessions may continue for several hours.

(5) The sequence of themes in successive songs by the same individual is the same. Although the number of phrases per theme varies, no theme is ever completely omitted in our sample.

(6) Loud sounds in the ocean, for example dynamite blasts, do not seem to affect the whale’s songs.

(7) The sex of the performer of any of the songs we have studied is unknown.

(8) The function of the songs is unknown.

[Quoting from Roger S. Payne & Scott McVay, “Songs of Humpback Whales”, SCIENCE, 173(3997):585-597 (August 13th 1971).]

humpback whales.ScienceAlert-photo

HUMPBACK WHALES (ScienceAlert photo)

Dr. Payne eventually suggested that both Blue Whales and “fin whales” (a category of baleen whales also called “finback whales” or “rorqual whales”, which include the Common Rorqual, a/k/a “herring whale” and “razorback whale”) could send communicative sounds, underwater, across an entire ocean, and this phenomenon has been since confirmed by research.

Payne later collaborated with IMAX to produce a unique movie, “Whales:  An Unforgettable Journey”.

Others, of course, have joined in the research, studying humpback whale-song in the Atlantic Ocean.

For example, Howard E. Winn and Lois King K. Winn, both at the University of Rhode Island, summarized some of their research as follows:

Songs of the humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae were recorded and analyzed from Grand Turks in the Bahamas to Venezuela. …  The [humpback whale] song is produced only in the winter tropical calving grounds, just before the whales arrive on the banks.  Redundancy is high in that syllables, motifs, phrases and the entire song are repeated. Low, intermediate, and high-frequency sounds are scattered throughout the song. One sound is associated with blowing. The song appears to be partially different each year and there are some differences within a year between banks which may indicate that dialects are present. It is suggested that songs from other populations are quite different. The apparent yearly changes do not occur at one point in time. Only single individuals produce the song and they are hypothesized to be young, sexually mature males.  …

It has been known for 25 years that the humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae produces a variety of sounds. However, it was not until 1971 that Payne and McVay (1971), using recordings of humpbacks from Bermuda, demonstrated that the sounds are produced in an ordered sequence. In 1970, Winnet al. verified their findings by showing that humpbacks in Mona Passage, Puerto Rico, also produce a highly patterned song which lasts from 6 to 35 min and is repeated after surfacing.

Variation in the song’s organization has been explained by a number of hypotheses. Winn (1974, 1975) hypothesized that various song types might rep resent geographic herd dialects. Recently, Payne and Payne (in press) studied additional songs from Bermuda and concluded that the song changes each year. The song’s social and behavioral context has also been studied.

Apparently the song is produced only by single, isolated individuals, primarily while they are in the tropics during the winter (Winn et al., 1970; and this paper). They calve and mate during this period, but generally do not feed (Tomilin, 1967).

The song of [humpback patterns include] … “moans and cries”; to “yups or ups and snores”; to “whos or wos and yups”; to “ees and oos”; to “cries and groans”; and finally to varied “snores and cries”. Snores, cries and other sounds can be found in different themes from year to year; yet, invariably one finds a set pattern of changing themes, in a fixed order. Several times humpbacks have breached in the middle of their song and then restarted the song from the beginning or at some different part of the song.

[Quoting from H. E. Winn & L. K. Winn, “The song of the humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae in the West Indies”, MARINE BIOLOGY, 47(2):97-114 (January 1st 1978).]

Many years after their earliest research together, Dr. Roger Payne joined with his ex-wife (Katharine Payne) to describe their 19 years of studies of humpback whale-song, especially as observed in the Atlantic Ocean near Bermuda:

163 songs of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) recorded near Bermuda during April and May of 13 years between 1957 and 1975 have been analysed as continuous sound spectrograms and compared. In each year’s sample, all whales were singing basically the same song. However, the song was changing conspicuously and progressively with time so that songs separated by a number of years were very different in content. All the songs showed basic structural similarities so that it is possible to define a song form which characterizes songs from many years.  …

An analysis, of the songs sung by groups of whales, shows that normal singing continues even when whales are close enough, presumably, to hear each other. Such analysis demonstrates inter– and intra– individual variability, none of which is as great as the variation between songs of consecutive years. We do not understand the significance of changing songs.

We know of no other non-human animal for which such dramatic non-reversing changes appear in the display pattern of an entire population as part of their normal behavior.

[Quoting from Katharine Payne & Roger Payne, “Large Scale Changes over 19 Years in Songs of Humpback Whales in Bermuda”, ETHOLOGY, 68(2):89-114 (April 26th 2010).]

Blue-whale-vs.-elephant-Britannica-pic

BLUE WHALES

Recently Dr. Ana Širović, a Croatian-born oceanographer at University of California—San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography (based in La Jolla), reported observations of the Blue Whale—and its habit of underwater singing.  Some of these observations were published by Craig Welch, in NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, as follows:

By analyzing thousands of calls from more than 100 whales over 14 years, scientists are learning how these secretive beasts spend their time.

Blue-Whale.NaturalWorldSafaris-photo

BLUE WHALE (Natural World Safaris photo)

The biggest animal to ever live is also the loudest, and it likes to sing at sunset, babble into the night, talk quietly with those nearby, and shout to colleagues 60 miles away.

The blue whale, which can grow to 100 feet long and weigh more than a house, is a veritable chatterbox, especially males, vocalizing several different low-frequency sounds. And for years scientists had only the vaguest notion of when and why these giants of the sea make all those sounds. … In the first effort of its kind, Ana Širović, an oceanographer at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California, and her team scoured a collection of more than 4,500 recordings of blue whale sounds taken from underwater microphones at over a dozen locations over 14 years, from 2002 to 2016, in southern California. The researchers then sync[h]ed the recordings with the movements of 121 whales that had been tagged with suction-cup trackers. What they learned challenged many assumptions about these noisy beasts.

Singing Males

Blue whales of both sexes produce several types of single-note calls, but only males sing. Males are also far noisier, and make different sounds for different reasons, but scientists aren’t always sure what those reasons are. For example, scientists had long assumed that one type of short call was used at meal time. But, instead, males and females frequently produced these vocalizations during dives that didn’t involve foraging at all. “It’s like the two behaviors are entirely separate,” says Širović.

The calls also change with the seasons and with time of day. Some single-note calls seem to occur more often when whales are returning from deep dives. Those may help with pair-bonding, scientists say. Much like birds, which often break into sound as day fades, male blue whales also tend to sing at the end of the day. In some species, such as European robins and nightingales, singing is often adjusted as a means of conserving energy, and energy may be a factor with blue whales as well. But unlike birds, Širović says, “blue whale songs propagate over tens of kilometers or even 100 kilometers.” And when they’re singing, male blues dive deeper. “I think what they are doing by regulating depth is changing the distance over which they’re calling, Širović says. “Individual calls are probably to animals nearby. They may be trying to reach much farther with singing. That’s kind of cool.” She assumes the singing—especially since it’s limited to just males—may somehow be linked to searching for mates. But no one has ever witnessed blue whale reproduction, so she can’t say for certain.

Songs of the Species

Širović has found there are similarities across many species, especially whales in the same family, such as blues, brydes, and sei whales. Males are the predominant singers and there seem to be peak calling seasons. But there are differences, too. Unlike blues, with their deep melodic songs, fin whales don’t really change notes. Their songs, instead, are produced using a single note, but with a rhythmic beat.

And unlike some dolphin species, such as killer whale, it’s not clear whether blues have distinctive voices. So far it appears they do not. “We can’t always tell whether there are 10 calls from 10 whales or one whale calling 10 times,” Širović says. “So far, we can’t really tell Joe Blue Whale from Betty Blue Whale.”

Quoting Craig Welch, “Elusive Blue Whale Behavior Revealed by Their Songs”, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC (February 15th, 2018), posted at https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/02/blue-whale-songs-behavior-decoded-spd/ .
Blue-Whale-breaching.ourmarinespecies.com-photo

BLUE WHALE breaching surface (oumarinespecies.com photo)

This Blue Whale vocalization research, by Dr. Širović, was summarized recently by creation scientist David Coppedge, as follows:

Blue whales—the largest animals in the ocean—are talented singers, too, but little has been known about the music of these secretive beasts.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC reported on a 14-year effort by Scripps Institute in California to decode the vocalizations of 100 blue whales.

Since the sound travels for miles, they could pick up the sounds remotely with underwater microphones, but they also sync[h]ed the sounds with individual whales by outfitting them with suction-cup trackers.

The results were surprising, changing assumptions about blue whale behavior . . .  Both sexes vocalize, but only the males ‘sing’, the researchers found.  They’re also the loudest.  The reasons for all the noise are not well known, but the males seem to begin their ‘deep melodic songs’ around sunset, serenading into the night, probably to attract mates.  …  The more details you learn about living things, the less excuse you have to chalk it up to evolution.

[Quoting from David Coppedge, “Underwater Troubadours”, CREATION MATTERS, 23(2):8-11 (March-April 2018).


Dr. James J. S. Johnson has taught courses in biology, ecology, geography, and related topics (since the mid-AD1990s) for Texas colleges. A student (and traveler) of oceans and seashores, he has lectured as the onboard naturalist (since the late AD1990s) aboard 9 cruise ships, including 4 visiting Alaska and the Inside Passage, with opportunities to see humpback whales, usually (but not always) from a safe distance.  Jim is also a certified specialist in Nordic History & Geography (CNHG) who frequently gives presentations to the Norwegian Society of Texas (and similar groups).  ><> JJSJ      profjjsj@aol.com

BlueWhale-RerdSea-Novinite.com-image

What about Whale Miracles ?

Blue Whale in Red Sea   (Novinite.com image)

What about Whale Miracles?

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here. (Matthew 12:40-41)

Once a sneering skeptic scoffingly discussed the so-called “problem of miracles”, mockingly suggesting that “enlightened” thinkers doubt many Bible “stories”, such as what Christians believe about “the whale miracle”.

But what “whale miracle” was he treating as incredible?  Was he thinking of Jonah being swallowed at sea, yet living to tell the tale of the whale?  If so, is that the only whale miracle?  Some assumptions need clarification, because there’s more than one “whale miracle” to think about.

Jonah-near-whale.Biblewalk-Wordpress-image

The New Testament mentions the prophet Jonah thrice (Matthew 12:39-41 & 16:4; Luke 11:29-32).  The Lord Jesus Christ compared His own death, burial and resurrection to the to the miracle of Jonah in the whale (see especially Matthew 12:40, quoted above).

So what is miraculous about Jonah’s life adventures?

Some say it was God miraculously preserving Jonah’s life, inside the whale (“great fish” in Matthew 12:40), emphasizing how Jonah’s miraculous preservation was comparable to how Christ miraculously defeated death after His crucifixion.(1)

Others (this writer included), considering details of Jonah’s adventure (see especially Jonah 3:2-6, including use of the Hebrew word sheol), suggest that Jonah actually died inside the “great fish”, so the real miracle (that parallels Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection) was how God restored Jonah’s mortal life, miraculously, after Jonah died inside the whale.(2)

Furthermore, others stress that the large-scale revival of the violence-loving Ninevites, at the preaching of Jonah, was just as incredibly miraculous as Jonah’s escaping death in the Mediterranean Sea.(3) Jonah3.10-slideSurely the large-scale repentance of a wickedly violent people, promoted by a previously wicked dictator, involves thousands of heart-miracles, and that is so rare that such large-scale repentance is hard to imagine.(3)

Likewise, although God has sufficient power to preserve a human three days inside an ocean-going cetacean, doing that would be both miraculously rare and remarkable.(1) Even moreso, restoring a once-dead man to mortal life, after the ingested man died inside an oceanic cetacean, is a miracle that doubters quickly shy away from.(2)

Of course, God is quite capable of preserving a man alive, inside a whale – and God is likewise powerful enough to restore life to a man who died inside a whale.  (And, God can even regenerate sin-deadened hearts of repentant humans, who genuinely trust Him for mercy and forgiveness.)

But what other “whale miracles” are there to consider, perhaps miracles “hidden in plain view”?

In fact, the very existence and activities of all the world’s whales – as well as all other cetacean creatures (like porpoises and dolphins) –  constitute a mix of many miracles, beginning on Day 5 of Creation Week, and providentially continually unto the present day.(4)

Blue Whale in Red Sea   (Novinite.com image)

Consider, as examples, these basic facts of Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus) biology,(4) which more or less fit the oceanic lives of other whales:  (a) sensitive underwater hearing, detecting whale “songs” miles away, as well as the amazing whale songs(5) themselves; (b) thick blubber, insulating vital organs from cold seawater; (c) live-birth in ocean-water; (d) recessed mammary nipples, for nursing babies with pressure-ejected milk (some whale mothers provide 150+ gallons of milk daily to their babies!); (e) breathing blow-hole, closing for submergence; (f) “floating” rib-cage, for lung collapse when deep-diving; (g) internally located testes, with counter-current cooling system to protect procreative potency; (h) flexible vertebral joints, for tail movement;  (i) tail fluke controlled by system of tendons and muscles; (j) front flippers for maneuvering in ocean water; (j) “enormous tongues [used to] press the water out of their mouths between the [baleen] whalebone lamellae, thus filtering the water and retaining the minute organisms [such as krill]”(6) — and many more amazing details could be listed, with all of these combined making whale life possible, for every whale in the world.(4)

For those with eyes to see it, every whale is a miracle of God, showing God’s power and bioengineering genius.(4)

After analyzing Blue Whale wonders (such as whale-song), creation scientist David Coppedge says: “The more details you learn about living things, the less excuse you have to chalk it up to evolution.”(7)

Surely Jonah would agree.

Jonah-washed-ashore-pic

References

(1) Morris, John D. Morris, “Did Jonah Really Get Swallowed by a Whale?” Acts & Facts, 22 (December 1993).

(2) J. Vernon McGee, Jonah: Dead or Alive? (Nashville, TN: Thru the Bible Radio Network, 1997), pages 13-17. See also Dr. Henry M. Morris’ editorial footnotes to JONAH 1:17, 2:2, 2:5, & 2:6, in The New Defender’s Study Bible (Nashville, TN: World Publishing, 2006), pages 1319-1320.

(3) Paul Ferguson, “Nineveh’s ‘Impossible’ Repentance”, Bible & Spade, 27(2):32-35 (2014).

(4) “The gradual evolution of a whale [from land mammal to walking whale to oceanic cetacean] is an impossibility, in the same way that a Land Rover could not gradually turn into a submarine. The whale is designed for aquatic life.” Quoting David Shires, “The Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus)— Did it evolve?” Journal of the Creation Science Movement20(6):4-5 (2019).  See also Randy J. Guliuzza, “Are Whales and Evolution Joined at the Hip?”, Acts & Facts, 45(3):12-14 (March 2016).

(5) Whales emit a mix of vocal noises, including wailing, low whistle-like moaning, groaning, screeching, buzzing, rasping, droning, etc.;  the classic audio recording is Roger S. Payne’s Songs of the Humpback Whale (1970, available via EMI Records Ltd, 2001 version).  Regarding whale-song, see Craig Welch, “Elusive Blue Whale Behavior Revealed by Their Songs”, National Geographic (February 15th, 2018); Kate M. Stafford, Christian Lydersen, Øystein Wiig, & Kit M. Kovacs, “Extreme Diversity in the Songs of Spitsbergen’s Bowhead Whales”, Biology Letters, 14:20180056 (April 2018); Roger S. Payne & Scott McVay, “Songs of Humpback Whales”, Science, 173(3997):585-597 (August 13th 1971).

(6) Quoting from John Murray & Johan Hjort. The Depths of the Ocean (London: Macmillan, 1912), page 778.

(7) David Coppedge, “Underwater Troubadors”, Creation Matters, 23(2):11 (2018).

 

Critters Are Smart, Using Cues & Signals

Animals Use Environmental Cues, plus Animals Communicate with Signals

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

Image result for balaam

25 And when the donkey saw the Angel of the LORD, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall: and he smote her again.  26 And the Angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left.  27 And when the donkey saw the Angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam; and Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he [again] smote the donkey with a staff.  28 And the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these 3 times?  29 And Balaam said unto the donkey, Because thou hast mocked me; I wish there was a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee.  30 And the donkey said unto Balaam, Am not I thy donkey, upon whom thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day?  Was I ever known to do so unto thee? and he [i.e., Balaam] said, Nay.  31 Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he [i.e., Balaam] saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way, and His sword drawn in His hand; and he [i.e., Balaam] bowed down his head, and he [i.e., Balaam] fell flat on his face.  32 And the Angel of the LORD said unto him, Why hast thou smitten thy donkey these 3 times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before Me.  33 And the donkey saw Me, and she turned from Me these 3 times: unless she had turned from Me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive.    (Numbers 22:25-33)

Making sense of biological senses is a losing battle for evolutionists, yet explaining creature communication is even worse. There is no chance that animal messaging can be explained by random accidents of bumping biochemicals.

Although their mouths are not “opened” (enabled for speech) like Balaam’s donkey, higher (i.e., nephesh-possessing) animals routinely send other forms of purposeful signals, to influence behaviors of other animals or humans.(1)

To appreciate this, however, we must distinguish between animals using environmental “cues” and truly communicative “signals”.(2)

Ecologically speaking, “cues” are environmental or creature features that, when detected, are useful in acquiring information relevant to future activities.(2),(3)

mosquito-CO2-cartoon

For example, when blood-thirsty mosquitos seek “fast food”, they often fly upwind if their chemoreceptors sense carbon dioxide (CO2), because continually exhaled CO2 reveals where warm-blooded mammals are.  (Carbon dioxide in the air is a “cue” to female mosquitos — indicating that mammal blood is nearby!)

But exhaled CO2 is not a “message” intentionally sent (by mammals) to mosquitos!

Rather, exhaled CO2 is a “cue” to mosquitos, indicating “mammal blood is available here”—but there is no mammalian intent to transmit that (disadvantageous-to-the-mammal) information unto the blood-thirsty parasitic pests.(2)

dogs-with-food-bowls

Contrast that to domesticated dogs barking, to alert humans: “I’m hungry! Feed me!”  That barking, ecologically speaking, is a messaging “signal”—a consciously prepared

message, sent to another intelligent creature (in this example, a human)—for the purpose of prompting a behavioral response (that helps the “speaking” animal).(2),(4)

This is true communication; there is a message sender, a transmitted message (understandable coded information), and a receiver—and the sender’s messaging purpose was to influence responsive action by the receiver.(4)

Yet, for there to be purpose, in message sending, senders must have motives, think, decide, and communicatively act. So message-senders must possess some type of personal (or person-like) internal “software” enabling motivation, thinking, decision-making,–as well as physiological “hardware” sufficient for preparing and transmitting “signaling” actions.(4),(5)

Of course, actions are not true “signals” (i.e., messages) unless they have purposes for influencing responses by signal-comprehending recipients.(2) If signals are incomprehensible to the intended receiver(s), those signals fails to be meaning-conveying messages.(2),(4)

Likewise, message recipients must be able to understand (i.e., decode, decipher) the message sent, sufficiently to facilitate timely and relevant adjustment of the receiver’s own behavior, in response to messages received.(4)

Without these ingredients—(a) sender preparing and sending messages; (b) using language (or comparable code of information) known to both sender and receiver; and (c)  receiver’s reception and response-relevant understanding of messages—no real “communication” occurs.

Yet when creature communication does occur—as it does worldwide, daily, in many contexts—it powerfully demonstrates God’s providential bioengineering design for meaningful and purposeful messaging.  Don’t expect an impersonal “big bang”, eons ago, to invent any of that!

Accordingly, environmental tracking makes sense, because God designed and equipped animals to acquire and adjust to contextual cues.(3)

Furthermore, God designed and equipped us humans—and higher animals—to intentionally communicate purposefully coded signals, to intended recipients, for prompting expected responses.(4),(5),(6),(7)

Get the message?

Image result for balaam

References

(1) Numbers 22. To illustrate dog-to-human communication, in the stranger-than-fiction adventures of Antis (the RAF aviator-dog who, during World War II, displayed lots of nephesh!), see James J. S. Johnson, “High-Altitude Flying Is for the Birds”, Acts & Facts, 45(3):20-21 (March 2016), posted at https://www.icr.org/article/high-altitude-flying-for-birds .

(2) Davies, Nicholas B., et al., An Introduction to Behavioural Ecology, 4th ed. (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), pages 394-423, especially page 395 (contrasting “cues” and “signals”).

(3) See Randy J. Guliuzza & Phil B. Gaskill, “Continuous Environmental Tracking: An Engineering Framework to Understand Adaptation and Diversification” Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Creationism, edited  by John H. Whitmore,  (Pittsburgh: Creation Science Fellowship, 2018), pages 158-184.  See also Randy J. Guliuzza,  “Engineered Adaptability: Continuous Environmental Tracking Wrap-Up”, Acts& Facts, 48(8):17-19 (August 2019), posted at https://www.icr.org/article/continuous-environmental-tracking-wrap-up/ .  Specifically regarding how fish need informational cues within their underwater habitats, see James J. S. Johnson, “Even Fish Need to Know!”, Acts & Facts, 45(1):21 (January 2016), posted at https://www.icr.org/article/even-fish-need-know .

(4) As 1st Corinthians 14:8 reminds us, sounds only make sense if sender and receiver are agreed on the “code” for interpreting messages sent.  In human terms, it takes a common language (or code) for humans to send and receive meaningful messages. Thus, those not knowing the conventional code, or “language”, of signals sent, won’t recognize intended message meanings.  This is true, generally, of all coded information, including God’s biogenetic programming designed to produce biochemical results in protein construction at inanimate ribosome factories.  See James J. S. Johnson, “DNA and RNA: Providential Coding to ‘Revere’ God”, Acts & Facts40(3):8-9 (March 2011), posted at https://www.icr.org/article/dna-rna-providential-coding-revere .

(5) Genesis 1:20-24; 2:19; 9:10-16; Numbers 22:25-30. James J. S. Johnson, “Clever Creatures: ‘Wise from Receiving Wisdom”, Acts & Facts46(3):21 (March 2017), posted at https://www.icr.org/article/clever-creatures-wise-from-receiving .

(6) The principle of 1st Corinthians 14:8 even applies to the sounds of locomotive train air-horns, a/k/a train “whistles”  —  see JJSJ, “Steam Trumpets, for Those with Ears to Hear” (August 20th AD2019) posted at https://pinejay.com/2019/08/20/steam-trumpets-for-those-with-ears-to-hear/  .

(7) James J. S. Johnson, “The Ghost Army”, Acts & Facts44(11):20 (November 2015), posted at https://www.icr.org/article/ghost-army .


 

 

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