To: <>
Subject: science
From: "Tim Dolby" <>
Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2001 18:24:20 +1100
> Michael hunter wrote "Is twitching a science?"

Depending on definitions, I would argue no, "twitching" is a mental and 
physical game, a past time - need I say a "sport".

"Birdwatching" (which incorporates "twitching") is a past time which can lead 
to a greater understanding of the natural history of birds, and consequently 
provide assistance in the development of the science of ornithology - as well 
as the wider scientific paradigm of ecology, a branch of biology.

For instance the debate over whether we include ship assisted birds on our 
"list" is a example of this dichotomy. On the one hand twitching asks whether 
you include because you can add it to your list of 'Australian" birds; on the 
other in we consider it from the science of ecology we examine the implication 
that such a sighting could have on the environment, etc.

Birdwatching I would argue fits somewhere in between - a concern for the 
environment from a 'scientific' or natural history viewpoint, but also the joy 
of the birds in terms of the aesthetic appreciation (or whatever emotional word 
you fancy, ie "love" of birds).


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