Tuesday, May 14, 2013

In Which I'm Tempted to Mis-Fire Lloyd Morgan's Canon

While Diana and I were walking with Fred (dog) yesterday along the river at The Cove, we noticed that the Canada geese were back, and one pair had four goslings.

I'm aware that Canada geese, among other species, form crèches of goslings, kind of a group effort in which they take care of others in addition to their own.  In this case, the mother goose with with the goslings in the center, and five adult geese formed a pentagon-like pattern around the group.

If these were humans, I would have no problem in calling this a defensive perimeter.  fact that they're geese puts me in a bind.

I know, per Lloyd Morgan's Canon, which states that "In no case may we interpret an action as the outcome of the exercise of a higher mental faculty, if it can be interpreted as the exercise of one which stands lower in the psychological scale."   Still, this seems extremely well-organized and almost planned.

Maybe the Canada geese that are crapping on a nearby golf course are doing it purposefully in response to the noisy wind machine there.  While humans can only grit their teeth, the geese have found an alimentary way of expressing their displeasure.


  1. i wish humans tried harder to protect each other.

  2. "... an alimentary way of expressing their displeasure."

    Flush twice - it's a long way to Capitol Hill.