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Petition to AOS Leadership on the Recent Decision to Change all Eponymous Bird Names (1 Viewer)

Gary’s post is now the current update to the petition which you can see here: Correcting Misinformation by Gary Rosenberg
A lot of these arguments are strawman arguments (Proponents think all eponyms are named after horrible people, as one example) that I haven't heard most proponents state, or are otherwise subjective opinions. If you are a proponent of the change, I don't see anything in that long post that you didn't already here as an argument several months ago.
 
With all respect to Gary, I stopped reading after seeing several strawmen and blanket generalizations, and seeing other peoples’ opinions / beliefs called “misinformation.”

I still don’t have a dog in this race… I dislike eponyms and I dislike the instability and disruption to printed field guides that this will bring. But it’s hard to take Gary’s post or many of the arguments that I see here and on social media seriously. If his post is becoming the petition that is getting circulated, are people aware that the petition is changing after they’ve signed it? Even if I were strongly opposed to the change I personally wouldn’t attach myself to arguments like Garys’ and many others - they just read poorly and are not logically sound.
 
A lot of these arguments are strawman arguments (Proponents think all eponyms are named after horrible people, as one example) that I haven't heard most proponents state, or are otherwise subjective opinions. If you are a proponent of the change, I don't see anything in that long post that you didn't already here as an argument several months ago.
From BN4B. Eponymous names are associated with colonialism & racism. So if there is no associated racism that one can dig up, if the person is white, they are therefore tied to colonialism, and the name must go. Their words edited for length. You can read the entire statement here: Bird Names For Birds

“The concern about eponymous and honorific common bird names is not new. But the movement to see these names changed is.

Eponyms (a person after whom a discovery, invention, place, etc., is named or thought to be named) and honorific common bird names (a name given to something in honor of a person) are problematic because they perpetuate colonialism and the racism associated with it. The names that these birds currently have—for example, Bachman’s Sparrow—represent and remember people (mainly white men) who often have objectively horrible pasts and do not uphold the morals and standards the bird community should memorialize.

The vast majority of eponymous common names were applied to birds by European and American naturalists during a period of time known as colonialism, when (primarily) European countries subjugated, exploited, and populated territories held by non-white peoples. To legitimize this endeavor, the concept of race as a classification system was developed, and the white “race” and civilization were considered superior to all others. The impacts of colonialism were global, and the false concept of race used to justify colonialism resulted in the reality of racism, a reality which has structured societies, interactions, and even survival ever since.

By continuing to use eponymous common bird names, we continue to reference and honor our distressful colonial heritage and the racism that was a direct consequence of this malicious exploitation. This is unacceptable, and we must do better.”
 
With all respect to Gary, I stopped reading after seeing several strawmen and blanket generalizations, and seeing other peoples’ opinions / beliefs called “misinformation.”

I still don’t have a dog in this race… I dislike eponyms and I dislike the instability and disruption to printed field guides that this will bring. But it’s hard to take Gary’s post or many of the arguments that I see here and on social media seriously. If his post is becoming the petition that is getting circulated, are people aware that the petition is changing after they’ve signed it? Even if I were strongly opposed to the change I personally wouldn’t attach myself to arguments like Garys’ and many others - they just read poorly and are not logically sound.
Like the original proposal and reasons useed to justify it.
 
With all respect to Gary, I stopped reading after seeing several strawmen and blanket generalizations, and seeing other peoples’ opinions / beliefs called “misinformation.”

I still don’t have a dog in this race… I dislike eponyms and I dislike the instability and disruption to printed field guides that this will bring. But it’s hard to take Gary’s post or many of the arguments that I see here and on social media seriously. If his post is becoming the petition that is getting circulated, are people aware that the petition is changing after they’ve signed it? Even if I were strongly opposed to the change I personally wouldn’t attach myself to arguments like Garys’ and many others - they just read poorly and are not logically sound.
I wrote the petition and I can 100% assure you that not one word has been changed since the first second it was posted. I am the only person with the ability to edit the text. It has NOT been edited or changed.
 
From BN4B. Eponymous names are associated with colonialism & racism. So if there is no associated racism that one can dig up, if the person is white, they are therefore tied to colonialism, and the name must go. Their words edited for length. You can read the entire statement here: Bird Names For Birds

“The concern about eponymous and honorific common bird names is not new. But the movement to see these names changed is.

Eponyms (a person after whom a discovery, invention, place, etc., is named or thought to be named) and honorific common bird names (a name given to something in honor of a person) are problematic because they perpetuate colonialism and the racism associated with it. The names that these birds currently have—for example, Bachman’s Sparrow—represent and remember people (mainly white men) who often have objectively horrible pasts and do not uphold the morals and standards the bird community should memorialize.

The vast majority of eponymous common names were applied to birds by European and American naturalists during a period of time known as colonialism, when (primarily) European countries subjugated, exploited, and populated territories held by non-white peoples. To legitimize this endeavor, the concept of race as a classification system was developed, and the white “race” and civilization were considered superior to all others. The impacts of colonialism were global, and the false concept of race used to justify colonialism resulted in the reality of racism, a reality which has structured societies, interactions, and even survival ever since.

By continuing to use eponymous common bird names, we continue to reference and honor our distressful colonial heritage and the racism that was a direct consequence of this malicious exploitation. This is unacceptable, and we must do better.”
With respect, absolute tosh.

I can see it now, Martin Luther Kingbird,
 
A lot of these arguments are strawman arguments (Proponents think all eponyms are named after horrible people, as one example) that I haven't heard most proponents state, or are otherwise subjective opinions. If you are a proponent of the change, I don't see anything in that long post that you didn't already here as an argument several months ago.

With all respect to Gary, I stopped reading after seeing several strawmen and blanket generalizations, and seeing other peoples’ opinions / beliefs called “misinformation.”

I still don’t have a dog in this race… I dislike eponyms and I dislike the instability and disruption to printed field guides that this will bring. But it’s hard to take Gary’s post or many of the arguments that I see here and on social media seriously. If his post is becoming the petition that is getting circulated, are people aware that the petition is changing after they’ve signed it? Even if I were strongly opposed to the change I personally wouldn’t attach myself to arguments like Garys’ and many others - they just read poorly and are not logically sound.

I have done my best to access the decision-makers' output including listening to this.....


'The pivotal biography that I read was Gerard Potter Kirtland. The person for whom Kirtland's Warbler is named after and there is a biography that is actually linked on his Wikipedia page. It was a biography written after his death and it said that he was a great naturalist, he was a physician and his father was a stakeholder in this company that had purchased a lot of land from Connecticut so his family was of means that that was how he got to go to med school and had these assets and opportunities. And I suppose in 2020 you can't read that without thinking well where did that land come from. Obviously the consciousness of knowing about unceded land is kind of in there and is implicit in there and so I was thinking well even for somebody with outstanding ornithological contributions that did not have individual acts of violence this is still somebody who is supported by a system that at its core is inequitable and exploitative and so that I remember thinking huh like maybe you can't decide which names to change because individual and social acts are really closely intertwined and so that was my personal evolution.'

This is a statement by someone who made the recommendation that was adopted. You may argue over language but in any layman's interpretation, this is pretty much a statement that they consider that they are all horrible. Do not get me wrong. Of course, I can express that in a different way. I was a lawyer by profession. I can put forward a distinction between almost identical scenarios. But that is the essence of their approach for me.

It is similar to the suggestion that there is no broader agenda when in reality, this is actually about a small win as part of a far more deserving and significant agenda. The part on Indian killer place names by another one of the decision-makers in the same output makes this clear. It is just that I find a few token historic ornithologists and associated change, confusion and diversion as victims for a wider cause a bit odd. I am at odds with the world on what is important most of the time so if it seemed that I was in the minority, I would smile and stick to my often lapsed commitment not to howl at the moon. But it does seem that they have done a poor job in getting a mandate or carrying the room. A minority appear in support.

If these are strawmen arguments, which I do not consider they are having done my best to access the rationales, at least it is a quid pro quo for for instance the Kaufman output which seemed to concentrate on paraphrasing and misrepresenting opposing arguments and classifying opponents rather than justifications for the ENTIRETY of eponyms and the consequences.

Any way. Someone else's decision and a fight within an organisation of which I am not a member. It will be interesting to see how it is resolved. Certainly, the signatures on the petition are still increasing.


I am pretty relaxed over what Cardellina pusilla is called. It will be a shame though if in a decade, you cannot find the references under what that species is now called.

I was in the pub with a more general naturalist last night. He has found several species new to science and written one significant family bird guide. He has particular expertise in other orders and laughed at the idea that a few names amongst a very small element of the world's biodiversity should cause so much excitement and how impractical this was if applied across biodiversity generally to both vernacular and scientific names. If the rationale makes sense, that is the ultimate and only logical outcome.

All the best

Paul
 
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How do I find it on X? Curious…..
It was just a shallow name-change correlation of FB becoming Meta and Twitter becoming X with the changing of eponyms: the social media owners are but two sides of the same coin and some may argue deserve to be confused with each other...
MJB
 
I still don’t have a dog in this race… But it’s hard to take Gary’s post or many of the arguments that I see here and on social media seriously.
You can say that all you want, but your postings say otherwise.
…are people aware that the petition is changing after they’ve signed it?
Your accusation of misinformation still stands even after you had to apologize for making it up. Very much like your offhand dismissal of a very even-handed and well written piece. Yes, you apparently do have a dog in this race.
 
Colonialism is a practice, not a time period.
Cherry picking (nit picking?) while ignoring the obvious meaning of a quote is a practice, and generally not accidental. But then maybe you don’t understand the implications of “known as” used here, as opposed for example to “the period of colonialism".

Here is the part you took exception to in an attempt to invalidate a great piece of writing, and since there was nothing else to target, you deliberately placed an interpretation that required a misreading of both the original intent and content.
“a period of time known as colonialism”
 
Cherry picking (nit picking?) while ignoring the obvious meaning of a quote is a practice, and generally not accidental. But then maybe you don’t understand the implications of “known as” used here, as opposed for example to “the period of colonialism".

Here is the part you took exception to in an attempt to invalidate a great piece of writing, and since there was nothing else to target, you deliberately placed an interpretation that required a misreading of both the original intent and content.
“a period of time known as colonialism”
I'm genuinely puzzled as to how you could miss the fact that I was quoting the piece written by the people behind the "Bird names four birds" initiative, as referenced by another poster (it's not her own writing - see quotation marks). I even used the proper academic citation method.
It is not in fact a "great piece of writing"; if you read it again, I hope you will agree that it is riddled with distortions and falsehoods and written by people who are clearly unfamiliar with the basic principles of historical research.
Maybe you were confusing this quote with the article written by Gary Rosenberg that was quoted a few posts above?
 
I'm genuinely puzzled as to how you could miss the fact that I was quoting the piece written by the people behind the "Bird names four birds" initiative, as referenced by another poster (it's not her own writing - see quotation marks). I even used the proper academic citation method.
It is not in fact a "great piece of writing"; if you read it again, I hope you will agree that it is riddled with distortions and falsehoods and written by people who are clearly unfamiliar with the basic principles of historical research.
Maybe you were confusing this quote with the article written by Gary Rosenberg that was quoted a few posts above?

I am glad you worked out Trinovid's quotation confusion. It is late over here and I was very perplexed at two such diametrically opposed posts within 6 mins. I think they term that friendly fire.

All the best

Paul
 
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I assume there is some process by which this petition will eventually be formally presented to the AOS. @rahopko when are you planning on doing this? Are you waiting for 5,000 signatures (which it seems like it will pass fairly soon)?
 

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