Thursday, October 20, 2011

Skeptic takes on sasquatch

Skeptical investigator Ben Raford once offered 10 reasons sasquatch didn't exist, such as lack of fossils, lack of bodies, etc. Most of his points (read them in the title link on Cryptomundo) strike me as valid, but I have to throw the flag on this one:
"“The last large animal to be found was probably the giant panda, and that was 100 years ago,” said Radford. “There has not been a single new creature that doesn’t fit the recognized taxonomy discovered in the last century, there just simply hasn’t.” He lated confined his comment to human-sized or larger land animals.

Ben, I respect you, but on this point you're still wrong.

Start with the 500-kg kouprey in 1937.
Then to what I wrote in the post:
"First, how did the the Vu Quang ox (new genus) get overlooked? You can argue whether the 100-lb giant muntjac qualifies as human-sized, but I think it does. Then you have creatures like the Bili apes, the mainland population of the Javan rhino, and the Bardia elephants did not end up meriting new taxonomic classifications, but they are examples of how populations of very large and distinctive animals went unnoticed by scientific. Add the huge populations – I mean really huge – of recently discovered gorillas and elephants, and the suggestion that there are no big mammals left is as unpersuasive as when Simpson made it in 1984."

The eminent George Gaylord Simpson wrote in 1984 that only a "few small and unimportant mammals" were likely to turn up. He was wrong. Big-time. Discovery of new mammals is going up, not down.

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