Friday, November 23, 2012
Are sasquatch hunters wasting their time?
Well, this article argues that they are. Brian Switek doesn't think much of the whole idea, basically arguing that we would have found the species by now. It's a common argument: I've made it myself. With each passing year, it does become more odd that a sasquatch hasn't crossed a birder's lens at short range or a hunter's gunsights or wandered across a logging road at the same time a truck was trying to occupy the same point in space. Switek pokes fun at Dr. Jeff Meldrum's idea of searching from a blimp. (I understand Meldrum's logic, but I doubt he's going to have much success: still, it will be interesting to see him do some trials on known species, like bears, and find out how useful this approach might be for spotting large mammals in forest cover.) Switek musters some worthwhile arguments from ecology and historical records of species discovery. The no-fossils argument is important but not by itself definitive given the almost nonexistant fossil record of modern chimps and gorillas. On balance, he successfully argues sasquatch is very unlikely, but he doesn't quite reach the finish line of proving it's impossible.