[r-t] A Ringing Puzzle

Don Morrison dfm at ringing.org
Sat May 24 17:05:02 UTC 2014

On Sat, May 24, 2014 at 11:28 AM, Mark Davies <mark at snowtiger.net> wrote:
> Why do we have to call the 2nd's place version of Parkway Surprise Royal
> (-50-14.50-50.36.14-70.58.16-16.70-16-90) a "Differential Hunter"? It's not
> a differential, it's a Surprise Royal method.
> Similarly, why would we want to call 2nd's place Bristol Major anything
> other than a Surprise Major method?

A young boy takes an interest in birds, and notes that all the ducks
in the pond in his back yard are yellow. He concludes that "all ducks
are yellow".

He doesn't travel much, and continues to view the world of waterfowl
through the lens of his backyard. Finally, though, seventy years later,
now an old man, he notices some new birds in the pond.

They quack like ducks, they walk like ducks. They fly, swim and dive
like ducks. They have the same shape and size as ducks. They feed on
the same things as ducks, and appear to inhabit the same ecological
niche as ducks. They interbreed with the ducks in his pond. When he
kills one and eats it, it tastes like a duck.

But they're brown. Therefore he calls them non-ducks.

Don Morrison <dfm at ringing.org>
"Taxonomists often confuse the invention of a name with the solution
of a problem."        -- Stephen Jay Gould, _The Mismeasure of Man_

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