I’ve been stupidly busy of late, but I figured I would take a few moments to pass along this humorous picture which happened across my email inbox. I like to call it the “evolution of gay marriage views” – Enjoy! :)
Posts Tagged ‘human’
Posted by mattusmaximus on May 21, 2013
Posted by mattusmaximus on December 4, 2012
Okay, no doubt by now some of you have heard all about the news that some “scientist” claims to have sequenced the DNA of Bigfoot, concluding that Bigfoot is at least partially human. Specifically, according to the following LiveScience.com article by my skeptical colleague Benjamin Radford…
Genetic testing confirms the legendary Bigfoot is a human relative that arose some 15,000 years ago — at least according to a press release issued by a company called DNA Diagnostics detailing supposed work by a Texas veterinarian.
The release and alleged study by Melba S. Ketchum also suggests such cryptids had sex with modern human females that resulted in hairy hominin hybrids, but the scientific community is dubious about her claim.
“A team of scientists can verify that their five-year long DNA study, currently under peer-review, confirms the existence of a novel hominin hybrid species, commonly called ‘Bigfoot’ or ‘Sasquatch,’ living in North America,” the release reads. “Researchers’ extensive DNA sequencing suggests that the legendary Sasquatch is a human relative that arose approximately 15,000 years ago.”…
Ooh! Bigfoot-human hybrid freaky furry sex! Are you interested yet? ;)
Seriously, this is just beyond stupid, folks. And a little deeper look at the article points out exactly why this whole thing is, at best, viewed with a decidely skeptical eye and, at worst, deserves to be roundly derided in every corner of the Internet for the cryptozoological flummery it most likely is:
… So where’s the evidence? Well, there is none. Not yet, anyway: Ketchum’s research has not appeared in any peer-reviewed scientific journal, and there’s no indication when that might happen. If the data are good and the science is sound, any reputable science journal would jump at the chance to be the first to publish this groundbreaking information. Until then, Ketchum has refused to let anyone else see her evidence. … [emphasis added]
So let me get this straight: she puts together a press-release claiming that she’s made this amazing discovery that could very well change most everything we know about human/hominid anthropology and evolution, yet she is unwilling to allow her scientific peers to see the evidence and examine it for themselves?
That’s kind of the opposite of the way science is supposed to work, Dr. Ketchum. You would think that a supposedly serious researcher would know that – that is, assuming that she’s a serious scientific researcher and not just some kind of glory-seeking pseudoscientific crypto-hack. When making such an extraordinary claim, not allowing your scientific peers to examine your evidence is tantamount to saying “I’m right because *poof* magic!” In other words, it is not convincing at all, and it speaks to your credibility being somewhat minimal.
Last, but certainly not least, there is a very well-worded criticism by Ben Radford about how one is, exactly, to know that the DNA sequenced is actually that of a previously uncataloged Bigfoot-ish creature (a question which I had in mind when first hearing the claim):
… How did the team definitively determine that the samples were from a Bigfoot? Did they take a blood or saliva sample from a living Bigfoot? If so, how did they get that close, and why didn’t they simply capture it or photograph it? If the samples were found in the wild, how do they know it wasn’t left by another animal — or possibly even a hunter, hiker or camper who left human genetic material?
Previous alleged Bigfoot samples subjected to DNA analysis have been deemed “unknown” or “unidentified.” However, “unknown” or “unidentified” results do not mean “Bigfoot.” There are many reasons why a DNA sample might come back unknown, including that it was contaminated or too degraded by environmental conditions. Or it could simply mean that the animal it came from was not among the reference samples that the laboratory used for comparison. There is no reference sample of Bigfoot DNA to compare it with, so by definition, there cannot be a conclusive match. …
Of course, I suppose the answers to these and similar questions will have to go unanswered because we expect Dr. Ketchum to act like a real scientist and share her samples, data, research, and methodology for actual peer review and analysis. Hah – silly us! :)
Posted in cryptozoology | Tagged: Abominable Snowman, animals, anthropology, ape, Ben Radford, Benjamin Radform, Bigfoot, biology, biped, creature, cryptid, crypto, cryptozoology, DNA, DNA Diagnostics, evolution, genes, genetics, genome, human, Ketchum, Melba S. Ketchum, prehistoric, research, Sasquatch, sequence, Yeti, zoology | 1 Comment »
Posted by mattusmaximus on September 28, 2012
I’ve been meaning to post this for awhile, but I keep forgetting to do so. During my summer vacation to the Adirondacks in New York, my wife and I took a break from hiking to get some dinner. As we were getting ready to chow down, lo and behold, I observed the following “miraculous” appearance in my wife’s soup!…
Laugh if you will, unbeliever, but you should tremble in awe at the miraculous appearance of…
… Mr. Bill! Ohhhh Noooooo!!! :(
Of course it isn’t Mr. Bill in my soup, folks. It’s just another classic case of pareidolia, the same phenomenon by which people think they see dogs or cars in the clouds, the so-called Face on Mars, the Virgin Mary on a piece of toast, or visions of Jesus in a window. Essentially, our brains work as pattern-recognition machines, and one of the most familiar patterns which we are evolutionarily programmed to recognize is other human faces. So we tend to see human (or human-like) faces in bits of random data even when there really is no face there to begin with!
I really like how skeptical magicians Penn & Teller put it during their Bullshit! episode on supposed “miracles”, so I’ll let them have the last word :)
Posted in humor, psychology | Tagged: appearance, Bullshit, deception, face, fun, God, human, humor, illusion, James Randi, Jesus, Jesus Christ, miracle, miraculous, Mister Bill, Mr. Bill, pareidolia, pattern recognition, Penn and Teller, psychology, religion, Signs from Heaven, Virgin Mary | Leave a Comment »