Peer-reviewed study concludes SeaWorld whales live as long as wild counterparts

Posted Saturday, August 1, 2015 8:09 AM | Contributed by Jeff

A peer-reviewed study, which appears in the July edition of the Journal of Mammalogy, concluded that the life expectancy of a SeaWorld killer whale is 41.6 years, compared to 29 years for killer whales in a southern community of the waters of the Pacific Northwest and 42.3 for whales in a northern community.

Read more from The LA Times.

Thursday, August 13, 2015 3:15 PM
Carrie J.'s avatar

Lord Gonchar said:

I hate to be forced to take the side that seems anti-science because nothing could be further from the truth. It just seems like sometimes the "Science!" crowd has as much blind fervor as the "Religion!" crowd.

...which has as much blind fervor as the "Au contraire!" crowd. ;-) But you know I love ya.

The study is what the study is. The article about the study is the PR statement. It's important to know the difference.

Collusion and corruption can exist in anything, anytime, and anywhere. Googling "peer reviewed flawed" to draw up evidence against peer reviews is just as arbitrary as deciding that Sea World is good or bad based on any one of these studies. If you don't know that this study or the peer-review done for it was corrupted, then it's not really relevant. The process can still be assumed as having been conducted correctly, don't ya think?

But we definitely agree that science is not absolute truth, but an evolution of discovery. We have that going for us. :)


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

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Thursday, August 13, 2015 6:43 PM
Jeff's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:

Obviously, science is good. But humans are fallible.

Science is the best we have at any given time within the constraints of our limitations. Sometimes I think that gets overlooked.

It isn't overlooked... people who look to science embrace and accept the constraints and limitations. That said, just because there are constraints and limitations doesn't make it any less real, and the scientific method and peer review are exactly the things that point out when those constraints or limitations lead to conclusions that are difficult to support. Scientists do not "believe" in science, they treat it as a measure of how close theory is to fact.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Thursday, August 13, 2015 9:32 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

This is going to look sloppy with the whole extensive quote/reply thing, but I gotta be me...

Carrie J. said:

The study is what the study is.

Exactly. I feel it's an attempt at damage control as much as anything.

The article about the study is the PR statement. It's important to know the difference.

I know the article doesn't get written without the study.

Collusion and corruption can exist in anything, anytime, and anywhere.

Precisely. Including the almighty science. That's all my point was.

Googling "peer reviewed flawed" to draw up evidence against peer reviews is just as arbitrary as deciding that Sea World is good or bad based on any one of these studies.

Which should show how much I'm willing to invest in disagreeing with something I tend to agree with.

If you don't know that this study or the peer-review done for it was corrupted, then it's not really relevant. The process can still be assumed as having been conducted correctly, don't ya think?

Absolutely. Except that we know the potential for corruption or inadequacy exists. I'm of the believe that there's at least an argument for an agenda in this case. SeaWorld has so overreacted to the wackos from PETA and behind Blackfish, that I feel like it's worth consideration in this case.

You don't have to be very cynical at all to see where ulterior motive could corrupt the integrity of this one.

But we definitely agree that science is not absolute truth, but an evolution of discovery. We have that going for us. :)

Science gets no closer to truth without questioning what we know. I feel there's nothing that flies more into the face of science than shutting down someone willing to question the current status quo.

And I'd like to just quote myself here as it's the one line that no one seems to want to quote from that post:

"Trust science, it's the best we can do right now."

I trust science. I'm just not sure I entirely trust SeaWorld in this instance.


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Friday, August 14, 2015 2:09 PM

Folks who made Blackfish have an agenda. Sea World does as well. People will be less likely to see either as such if they view that agenda instead as gods honest truth (or at least if they support that agenda).

We are amazingly hypocritical when it comes to animals. Entertain us, be cute and cuddly or do work for us and you still be treated well. Not so much of you taste good grilled over an open flame. And what is acceptable varies greatly by culture.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015 2:08 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Science isn't broken.

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/science-isnt-broken/


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Wednesday, August 19, 2015 3:03 PM
Jeff's avatar

I read that earlier today. I think it's spot on, and correctly points out that a few anecdotes do not invalidate centuries of advancement.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015 4:07 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

I don't think anyone suggested that was the case.

I read it more along the lines of science is a game of the long haul - over time it is incredible true, accurate and reliable. At any given moment, it's a guess. It's when those guesses are studied and tested and hold up over time that we see the wonder that science brings.

This one study means nothing in the now. It may be a jumping off point to great discoveries supporting all the SeaWorld does. It may be hilariously incorrect in hindsight.

Let's not drop the mic quite yet. (which was my initial and ultimate point)


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Wednesday, August 19, 2015 6:18 PM
rollergator's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:

Science isn't broken.

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/science-isnt-broken/

You had me at Nate Silver.


You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015 8:01 PM
Jeff's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:

I don't think anyone suggested that was the case.

No, that's the primary claim by people who don't "believe" in science. The climate change deniers, Food Babe, etc.

Last edited by Jeff, Wednesday, August 19, 2015 9:32 PM

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015 8:54 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

I don't think my clients are changing and if they are, it's certainly not caused by humans.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015 9:33 PM
Jeff's avatar

Spell check is killing me lately when it can't read my mind.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Thursday, August 20, 2015 12:16 AM
Vater's avatar

The EPA is the PeTA of the federal government, and those of us who question the level of man's contribution to climate change are "deniers."

Oh...#winkyface

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Thursday, August 20, 2015 8:51 AM

Interesting factoid from page three of the study: whether captive-reared or wild, killer whales taste like chicken.

I did not know that.


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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