Facts Fail To Impress The Superstitious. Film at 11.

Andrew Cooper, a local astronomer, laments the continued belief in astrology, which apparently is so detached from the facts that they’ll print “The Sun has entered Aries,” when, due to precession, the Sun is still well inside Pisces.

Hawai’i is a place of deep spirituality, both mainstream and New Age. A few years ago Tina and I went to a public-comment meeting on regulations for dolphin-human swimming. Spinner dolphins rest during the day in certain coves along the Kona coast (not every cove will do — the dolphins like to rest over sand bottoms that are between, say, 40 and 120 feet deep). There’s no question that dolphins’ behavior is “disrupted” by swimmers or divers (they swim deeper under swimmers and they turn away from divers). If the Marine Mammal Protection Act were followed to the letter, large sections of several of the most popular swimming and diving locations would necessarily have to be entirely closed to humans. So some kind of compromise is needed. Tina and I have friends in both the commercial SCUBA industry and in the conservation community, so we went to this meeting expecting to hear some reasonable talk.

Well. The public testimony was entirely dominated by people explaining that dolphins were: 

  • alien beings
  • transdimensional beings
  • beings of pure spirit

One way or the other, apparently it is the dolphins’ greatest pleasure to seek out humans and swim with them, especially those that pay $75 to drive in high-speed inflatables owned by bed & breakfasts that specialize in “enlightened” New Age tourism. Uh huh. At one point, Tina leaned over and said “You know, I once had a telepathic link with a dolphin. It said… ‘leave me the fuck alone.'” 

Anyway, word has it that after the meeting, the poor researcher whose job it was to respond to these comments had to take two weeks vacation, he was so dismayed.

6 thoughts on “Facts Fail To Impress The Superstitious. Film at 11.

  1. Pingback: Topics about Astrology » Facts Fail To Impress The Superstitious. Film at 11.

  2. So is there any hope that there will be some restrictions to keep the dolphins from losing their minds from lack of “sleep” or rest. I am surprised that there are public meetings about the topic rather than a mandate to the public from the researchers through the corrupt local government. If there is any advantage to having corrupt local officials is being able to pass quick laws to protect the dolphins!

  3. @Fabian : As you know, the local government will not do anything to interfere with business, and “dolphin swims,” although patently against federal law, are advertised openly along Ali’i Drive.

  4. Wow. I would be laughing at your funny, sarcastic write up — if this wasn’t actually truth and made me want to cry. So sad! Thanks for writing up.

  5. What?!?
    I was damn sure the dolphins actually PAID the $75 to swim with humans!

    Is there any way to bring more eyes to the problem?
    It’s very easy to claim such things when you know nobody is listening.

    Anyway, just having a meeting to talk about it is already some progress.
    A lot of those issues just go by unnoticed.

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