Japanese whale killing is not science


I heard with interest last month on the ABC Science Show the results of an investigation into the amount of real science the Japanese are performing in their so called ‘scientific’ whale research program. In summary the Japanese position is untenable and basically bullshit.

The story can be found here.

From the transcript:

Pat Quilty: And that’s our pile. Of the original 55 we’re down to 14 that could be relevant.

Jonica Newby: Finally, our panel will separate out the papers that could only be produced by lethal research. Because, let’s face it, the real source of contention is how many whales were killed for this information-6,800. As the sun slips over the yardarm, our panel are nearly ready to deliver a verdict.

Mike Archer: That’s one.

Nick Gales: That’s one another two papers there.

Pat Quilty: And number four.

Mike Archer: All right, that’s it. And from that whole pile of papers we’ve got a total of one, two, three, four papers that can be said to be peer reviewed, that have some relevance to developing or managing a whaling industry and that also would require lethal sampling of whales to get this information. Just four papers.

Nick Gales: So with the 18-year program and 6,800 whales killed, on that basis that means 1,700 whales killed for each one of those four papers.

Mike Archer: That’s extremely depressing.

Nick Gales: It wouldn’t pass an ethics committee.

And that’s the rub, it simply isn’t science. So every time they spurt this crap people get to associate the word “science” with a pack of lies. And with the current wind back to the dark ages of scientific illiteracy the last thing we need is science to loose any more reputation.  Of course it would be nice to see the Japanese have some sort of moral backbone and simply admit it’s a commercial whaling program and not try to hide behind science but then they would have to face the fact what they are doing is both illegal and morally repugnant because they are wilfully ignoring the state of whale population.

I’d like to point out here I’m not particularly enamoured with whales, or dolphins for that matter, whales are down right ugly and dolphins just stupid. However it would appear the average dolphin has more smarts than the Japanese who think that hiding unethical behaviour under the cloak of science is acceptable. It simply is not honourable and the Japanese companies involved in this practice are also removing honour from science.

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11 Comments on “Japanese whale killing is not science”

  1. jonolan says:

    LOL! Nobody outside of the Japanese fish markets thinks this is science! If we start sinking their ships, they will eventually learn. Since it’s the Japanese nothing less will suffice. Face it, it took nuking two of their cities for them to realize that WW2 was a bad idea.

  2. […] unknown wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt […]

  3. Howard says:

    If you people really care about stopping the japanese from hunting whales, then do something about it that would hurt them if they continue! Do something that would force the Japanese Government too stop the practice! BOYCOTT ALL JAPANESE GOODS until they stop whaling!

    The Japanese people, as a whole, if they do not act to prevent such a thing as whaling, must be held responsible for the actions of the few who are actually carrying out such acts, especially if they do not even try to stop it.

    Narcistic Narwhal”?

  4. daisk5 says:

    Japanese whale fishing is completely lawful.
    And is completely scientific.
    In addition, it is a Japanese gastronomic culture to eat whales.
    You should refrain from the act of denying the culture of another country.
    watch this video.

    To the person who wants to know why Japan hunts whales
    http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=xWYOJYEOvSk

    [DragonBall] Freezer VS Japanese whaling
    http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=HdUPHXNPVR4

    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=Ap_0uUICejnG3TGasvh8ePvsy6IX;_ylv=3?qid=20080204060044AAgG9Cy

    Why do the media of australia tell a lie and censorship?
    if doubt me? Post my comment this URL.
    http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,23155612-5007146,00.html

  5. jonolan says:

    The only thing the US imports in any significant quantity from Japan is automobiles. Since I only buy American cars, this would be a null point for me.

  6. skepticssa says:

    RE:US imports
    Japan is the worlds 2nd largest GDP and it’s largest export customer is the USA. Hence the USA imports a LOT from Japan. I would suggest the majority of electronics in the USA, including the computer you are posting that comment on, are from Japanese owned companies.

  7. Steve says:

    It should be a bit easier to boycott Mitsubishi in Adelaide now.

    Please, the word is “lose”, not “loose”.

  8. jonolan says:

    If you look at the numbers you’ll see that the only major export to the US is automobiles.

  9. moses says:

    from where i sit, in my studio apt, i can count at the very least 30 things that were imported from japan…. and thats without looking at the back or bottom of the unknowns… sink the boats!!! cause i sure would like to keep all the puter parts, speakers, space heater, monitor, tools, and nissans! and to the american car buyer, “jonolan” buying american made cars is not patriotic, its stupid… germans and japs are superior engineers!

  10. moses says:

    oh, and by the way, after little investigation, ive come to find that the case of my computer was made in the good ol USA!! yay! im so proud…. but nearly every single part inside of that case was made in japan and china…. turn off your computer right now howard! according to you its the only reasonable thing to do! im sure that’ll hit japan where it hurts….

  11. skepticssa says:

    daisk5 Said
    “And is completely scientific”

    Ok, prove it. You’re making the claim, show links to the papers published in peer reviewed journals that you claim meet the expected standards of the scientific community.
    If Japan is going to behave in such an extreme manner and make claims which appear to be completely bogus it is up to Japan to prove it.
    I am trying to think of another creature that is randomly sampled and killed in the name of animal research and I’m having trouble.
    If you are checking their numbers, ever heard of SONAR?
    It’s just pathetic.


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