Thursday, August 11, 2016

Why Science Fails In The Attempt To Save The Environment, The Animals And The Planet - Ethologist Ila France Porcher Issues Statement

Science might be able to save all of them, if humans made the right choices, based on scientific facts, rather than their beliefs

Earlier this year, National Geographic featured an article entitled “The War on Science,” which questions why many scientific claims face a storm of opposition from the public. It explains that these criticisms result from a tendency to believe in one's religious or political position, rather than in the facts, which is a recent finding by Dan Kahan of Yale University.

This bothers Ethologist Ila France Porcher, as in her opinion the problems with modern science which might contribute to this public attitude were not examined. The sole explanation offered was that people entertaining such doubts are lacking in the correct powers of reasoning because they fail to apply the scientific method.

"To take an example," Porcher stated, "the current opposition to GMO foods was not presented in the context in which these products were actually produced and marketed. A citizen who is aware that GMOs have been developed under the control and for the profit of multi-national corporations, rather than the public good, has every reason to be skeptical."

"Some of those same companies are responsible for the widespread poisoning of the biosphere, having created the 'war on pests,' decade after decade, through persuasive advertising, for profit, without ever concerning themselves with the future results."

"Other multi-national companies spent hundreds of millions of dollars to promote the idea that climate change is a hoax, so public confusion about that is not surprising, either."

"When one looks out across the ravaged earth, National Geographic's statement 'Modern science is based on things it got right,' appears in a different light. In addition to widespread pollution and the destabilization of the climate, human activity has caused the sixth mass extinction, the tropical forests needed to support the life-giving atmosphere are devastated, and the oceans are showing signs of ecological collapse."

"Why, at the height of science's glory, has it had such a destructive effect on the planet upon which we all depend? Why has it offered no guidance to humanity, as civilization expanded, in controlling international events, or finding practical solutions to such serious developments as the threats of nuclear annihilation, and human population growth, which have resulted in dire global problems?

"One important reason is that for a material science in a material world, money has been a decisive factor in determining the direction taken by scientific research."

The full statement is available at her website.

Ila France Porcher is the author of several highly acclaimed books on shark behavior - 'My Sunset Rendezvous, Crisis in Tahiti',  'The Shark Sessions', and 'Sharks : As Animals and Individuals,' which will soon be released. In these books she presents evidence for complex intelligent behavior in shark populations. The foreword to 'The Shark Sessions' was written by shark ethologist Samuel H. 'Doc' Gruber, founder of Bimini Shark Lab and the American Elasmobranch Society. He called the book "a jewel of a story."

It includes an essay by Dr. Johann Mourier, describing his findings on these sharks, which he came to study after they were protected. What he has learned about them throws light on some of the questions raised by her study.

Following the precepts of the field of cognitive ethology, and later with the guidance of world class marine ethologist Dr. Arthur A. Myrberg Jr., formerly of the University of Miami, Ila learned to interpret shark behavior. Part of her study was subsequently published in the peer-reviewed journal Marine Biology, and some of her observations, presented at an International symposium on cognition, are considered to be the first documented evidence of cognition in sharks.

She is also credited with the discovery of a way to study these much maligned predators that does not involve killing them, and was dubbed “the Jane Goodall of Sharks,” for her documentation of their intelligent behavior, while giving a presentation about them at the University of Miami.

Porcher created a mini-documentary to complement the Shark Week entertainment this year, which shows actual footage of the sharks she studied, and some surprising shark behavior.

The full text of the recent statement on science is available at Porcher's website. Ila is available for media interviews and can be reached by email at Her mini documentary on sharks is available on Youtube at More information is available at her website at

About  Ila France Porcher:

Ila France Porcher is a self-taught, published ethologist. She grew up in British Columbia, Canada, and at an early age became fascinated by watching and drawing wild animals. As a result, she naturally became a wildlife artist, and as time passed, began documenting the behaviour of the animals she observed and painted, being especially intrigued by actions suggesting intelligence and cognition.


Ila France Porcher