Christopher S Tyler,
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The assumption here is that in 1983/84, this 'duck' was isolated and characterized unambigiously.
>If, assuming an equivocal result to the 'does it look like a duck test', the requirements for a diagnosis of 'Duck' in:
> Switzerland required feathers and a bill. According to this criteria, the test could be identifying a goose.
>England required a bill and webbed feet. According to this criteria, the test could be identifying a duck-billed platipus.
>USA required a quacking noise and feathers. Let's remember that there is not one single criterial in the US. According to these criteria, we could have:
Anser anser (Greylag Goose)
Aix galericulata (Mandarin Duck)
Aix sponsa (Wood Duck)
Most importantly, let's not forget it's well documented that our 'duck' test readily cross reacts with other 'ducks': Our test could be identifying:
Anas acuta (Northern Pintail)
Anas americana (American Wigeon)
Anas bahamensis (White-Cheeked Pintail)
Anas clypeata (Northern Shoveler)
Anas crecca (Green-Winged Teal)
Anas crecca carolinensis (Green-Winged Teal)
Anas cyanoptera (Cinnamon Teal)
Callipepla gambelii (Gambel's Quail)
Colinus cristatus (Crested Bobwhite)
Anas laysanensis (Laysan Duck)
Anas platyrhynchos (Mallard)
Anas rubripes (American Black Duck)
Centrocercus urophasianus (Sage Grouse)
Dendragapus obscurus (Blue Grouse)
>Japan required webbed feet and a distinctive waddling gait. According to this criteria, we could have a duck, or we could have a seagul. The problem is that these 'traits' have never been properly defined. These 'duck' tests were released before the characteristics were properly defined and have evolved over time. If the 'duck' had been properly isolated, and thus characterised in the begininng, there would be no need for differing criteria or evolution over time. According to earlier criteria where all that was needed was webbed feet, many people people would be pressured to go onto anti-duckvirals on the assumption they were indeed a duck.
>What difference would it make as long as they all arrived at a logical diagnosis? How can a logical diagnosis be made based on assumptions?
>Do the Swiss 'ducks' for some reason never progress to the same profound immunodeficiency found in England, USA and Japan? No. In fact, the vast majority of 'ducks' don't progress to 'profound immunodeficiency'. If one considers that in the US, where an estimated 1,000,000 individuals have been diagnosed as 'ducks', that only about 2% of those 'progress' each year then one must wonder why so many more of these 'ducks' aren't progressing.
And if one considers that many of the animals are falesely being labeled as 'ducks'; and a few of these falsely labeled ducks get sick, then one must consider that perhaps being a duck doesn't mean one will get sick. Moreover, what artificially groups all these different, sick animals (and many non-sick animals) together is a duck test that proclaims all are ducks when in fact they are not. This group is thus a contrivance.
>Of course Brian Foley will point out that this Duck has had its entire DNA sequenced. All jokes aside maybe (just maybe) it exists and is killing millions of people. The 'entire DNA sequence' has not been taken from a previously characterized animaal that is known to be a duck, separate from everything else, but has been fished out of a mixture of parts from many different birds and other animals. It was then pronounced to be duck DNA.
Competing interests: None declared