As one would expect, we here at Big Foot Shoes take an interest in all things Bigfoot! So, we thought we would take some time out from the shoe world to delve into the latest studies about the infamous Bigfoot….
The Bigfoot is one of those myths that never dies, no matter how many times the alleged evidence of their existence is successively discredited. Never mind that some alleged corpse of Bigfoot was actually that of a frozen gorilla suit recently.
The most famous of America’s legendary creatures has recently made a couple of appearances in mainstream movies, such as “Willow Creek”, and so this has stoked the interest up once again for this mystical beast.
Even though nearly all evidence is ignored or passed off, there should always be a duty for science to provide a fair trial to these kinds of claims. This is what differentiates scientific thinking from the more popular sensationalist dogma. Here is a shining example:
Everything kicked off in November 24, 2012 when a company based in Texas called DNA Diagnostics announced to the world that they had succeeded in sequencing the genome of Bigfoot made from 5 years of field studies. They even put out a press release for the world to read, stating that it had discovered a new species of hominid hybrid, commonly called Bigfoot or Sasquatch, who lives in the deep American forests.
“Extensive DNA sequencing by the researchers suggests that the legendary Sasquatch is a human relative that arose about 15,000 years ago as a hybrid cross of modern Homo sapiens with an unknown species of primate, “so the press release went.
Now, as mentioned above, such a statement should not be ignored, but should instead be something for scientists to sink their teeth into, even if only to spit it back out afterwards! The DNA Diagnostics team, led by a coroner called Melba Ketchum, refused at the time to facilitate the study, which is otherwise required if a job is in the process of peer review. So, everyone was kept waiting for the dubious study to successfully overcome that stage and emerge through an accredited scientific journal. Eventually it arrived, but not in the way that was expected.
When the study was finally published, it was in an apparently new online magazine that was inaugurated on February 13, 2013 with a single study – that of Bigfoot. The researchers explained that they had collected over 100 samples of blood, tissue, hair, and other sources of the alleged species, some of which were subjected to various methods of reading DNA, including sequencing of the genome completely. The authors concluded that Bigfoot is some kind of between human females and other species of unidentified hominid. In other words, it not only announced the existence of Bigfoot, but also an ancestor of Bigfoot.
Since its publication, the study has been reviewed by many experts, who all agree on the same conclusion: any blind genomic data analysis corresponds to a disastrous and chaotic pastiche of samples of various species, some identifiable and some not so. This was one reason that the study was instantly rejected by a number of established scientific journals.
The fact is that the Ketchum study is a textbook example of a bad science lesson. Scientific method is not an arbitrary ritual, but an essential methodological framework to ensure that any scientific conclusion is objectified and verifiable. A scientist needs to evaluate that the new species is not extinct, on the premise of a type specimen; that the extracted samples are placed under controlled and reproducible conditions; that the sequence of the genomes are compared with already known species and, if necessary, assign a new name that fits into the taxonomy previously backed by thousands of other studies.
From the logical point of view, the study of Ketchum is a tautology, a circular argument: the DNA of Bigfoot exists, therefore Bigfoot exists. Likewise, researchers may have proved the existence of centaurs by just picking and sequencing DNA samples from various stables. Science does not work that way and, despite exhibiting veterinary expertise, a study with such a logical construction will never be accepted by the scientific community, regardless of the quality of genomic data.
The matter has not been finalised, and is expected to continue in the coming months about the Ketchum Bigfoot. So, it seems, the eternal myth of Bigfoot will rumble on and on. With movies being released about this legend of the forests, there are bound to be more expeditions into the wilderness and more grainy and shaky footage uploaded on the internet. The fact remains though, as the Ketchum study tried to reveal, science is merciless when it comes to bold announcements, unless some form of irrefutable evidence is brought forward. Until one of these animals are captured, then the majority of people – especially those in scientific circles – will carry on as hardened skeptics.