Jump to content

What Evidence Convinces You?


georgerm
 Share

Recommended Posts

Scenario:

Saskeptic goes afield and finds a great-looking bigfoot print. It's way off the beaten path where no one knew he'd be, the print shows signs of having been made by a flexible foot, etc. He casts it, takes it back to the lab and considers it the best bigfoot evidence he's ever seen.

Three years later (after he earns his degree), Saskeptic's graduate student reveals that the cast his mentor made was from an impression the student had made. The footprint did not come from a bigfoot, it was intentionally put there by a hoaxer.

Clearly, the cast is not bigfoot evidence, right?

Was it bigfoot evidence for the 3-year period between when it was cast and when the hoax was revealed?

If the hoax had never been revealed, would the cast be bigfoot evidence?

No, the cast was antievidence and probably fooled a few scientist. Others may have been skeptical, and this taught them to study the evidence carefully. A real footprint will have all kinds of signs that faked prints can't possibly duplicate unless one has a BF robot with flexible feet cast from a real BF. The robot's prints will still be different but experts must understand details such as expaded and contracted dermal ridges, depth of little toe compared to the big toes, scars, bone deformities and so on. A real foot will be dynamic while fakes ones lack true movement of real feet that support a huge primate. If the print fails to show dynamics and details then it should be put in the don't know box. Labeling BF prints is about noticing details common with hoaxes as with details common with real prints.

How many casts do we have from prints in fine clay that show fine details? Can someone post a picture. The prints shown are examples that show no real detail which brings up the fake question.

post-447-0-73800900-1329501560_thumb.jpg

Edited by georgerm
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Right - yours is a great example of an account that rules out misidentification. But, and we need to consider this from the perspective of a person who might read it 200 years from now, it does not rule out the possibility that you made it up whole cloth, that you experienced some sort of hallucination, that someone hoaxed you, etc. Those possibilities you can rule out with confidence because you were there and this happened to you, but no matter how vehemently you defend yourself and your story, there's nothing you can provide to absolutely rule out these alternative explanations to a third party. The only thing that can do that is a physical specimen, identified, analyzed, described in a paper, and curated in a museum.

I understand where you are coming from, but even a physical specimen, identified, analyzed, described in a paper and in a museum doesn't absolutely eliminate the alternative explanations to a third party, either. (Granted, having a body is helpful to any story). There has to be a quality vetting. That encounter needs to be vetted to a degree that is pretty much never seen on this forum or anyplace else...and memorialized in a document available for review.

It is my opinion most witnesses are frustrated by their perception that 'science' has not taken them... and many other witnesses...seriously. Unfortunately, the next step to a witnessed encounter is the step usually neglected and has almost nothing to do with science, that being a proper investigation. Evidence is perishable. Science needs evidence.

I believe it is possible to vet to a level 'beyond a reasonable doubt' without a body. It requires a broad variety of evidence, a timeliness to the investigation and, given the nature of these encounters, a certain amount of luck. I say this because it means there is plenty of value to gathering other forms of evidence, that a body is not a predicate for all movement towards the solution of this mystery, and that a return to investigative basics will probably be more productive than focussing on the the investigative equivalent of hitting a home run.

Government policy may need science and science may need absolutes, but that doen't mean the rest of us should be standing around.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

. . . but even a physical specimen, identified, analyzed, described in a paper and in a museum doesn't absolutely eliminate the alternative explanations to a third party, either.

Sure it does, because that third party can personally go and examine the specimen in the museum. This is why the "holotype" or "type specimen" is such a central concept in taxonomy and systematics.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The way I read your comment is to say a witness will be believed because a specimen exists someplace in a museum. Having a specimen someplace may be helpful, but it doen't prove to me that a witness is credible and had an encounter. Hoax, hallucination or fabrication is still a possibility on the part of the witness. Are you are saying the specimen was collected by the witness? If so, there would probably be substantial corroboration of the collection and the credibility of the witness enhanced.

If the Ketchum thing goes well and there is some sort of scientific acknowledgement of the creatures, I suspect we will hear about many, many sightings in the future, most of them unfounded.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the Ketchum paper shows what many hope. Would sightings be as profound? Would there be follow-up investigations?

I'm thinking the bigfoot hunters (those that want to prove it's existance) may finally take a seat and relax, knowing that they have been accepted as real.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alright WTB1 I edited your post #7 to paste your revised version into it. Please remember to be respectful and there will be no issues from now on. Let's end here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The way I read your comment is to say a witness will be believed because a specimen exists someplace in a museum.

Nope, not my intent. If a bigfoot gets hauled in today, that doesn't mean that all the anecdotal accounts are suddenly true. It means that some of them are most likely true, but which ones and how that would be established will be no more clear after a bigfoot discovery than before.

If we somehow determined that bigfoot were really common and it'd be no big deal for someone to encounter one, then we could see an evolution toward acceptance of anecdotal records as legitimate. For example, I can report today that I saw an American Robin (and I'm writing from the U.S.), and no one needs to see corroborating evidence to support my claim. If, however, my claim was that I saw an Ibisbill, no one is going to accept my claim without at least some diagnostic photography, and very likely the relevant records committees would prefer to see a specimen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nope, not my intent. If a bigfoot gets hauled in today, that doesn't mean that all the anecdotal accounts are suddenly true. It means that some of them are most likely true, but which ones and how that would be established will be no more clear after a bigfoot discovery than before.

If documentation of bigfoot occured within a couple hundred yards of a sighting location and where photos of BF were taken then those sightings are most likely true.

Edited by southernyahoo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's to hoping for stereoscopic cameras being brought into the field. If Bigfoot is real, and has evolved to disguise its outline with a functional ghillie suit, then resolving an image in stereo will likely make identification less blobby.

(tenses for beat down)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest exnihilo

What's not funny is how many innocent people may have been executed or have served lengthy prison terms based upon incorrect eyewitness evidence/testimony.

From the link: --Eyewitness misidentification is the single greatest cause of wrongful convictions nationwide, playing a role in more than 75% of convictions overturned through DNA testing.--

RayG

If you are implying that all eyewitness testimony is unreliable, then

Hasty generalization

Else

Carry on

End if

PS At present, the main causes of my ambivalence are:

Pro: PGF (Claims that the film could have been faked have yet to overcome my personal incredulity)

Con: "Dermal ridges" debacle (Makes perfectly clear that *the will to believe* is a larger barrier to legitimate BF research than skeptical obfuscation)

I put myself at probably 65% pro 35% con. But I'm hopeful that something definitive will be forthcoming soon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<replying to opening post>

None of the evidence so far is 100 percent convincing to me. I can't figure out any way that the PGF or the Sierra sounds could have been faked. It is sort of like proving a negative though and just because I can't see something doesn't really prove anything. I could change my mind but I think I have heard all the arguments on those two subjects. There are other examples of evidence that I consider persuasive but they don't rise to level of me not seeing how they could be faked or that they don't have plausible alternative explanations.

Edited by BobZenor
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you are implying that all eyewitness testimony is unreliable, then

Hasty generalization

Else

Carry on

I guess that means I carry on, because no, I'm not implying ALL eyewitness testimony is unreliable, any more than I would say ALL eyewitness testimony is reliable.

Science has helped show that eyewitness testimony is not as reliable as some people think.

RayG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think when we are discussing eyewitness reports, and comparing them to eye witness testimony in a court situation there are often some differences there. Often eyewitness testimony goes astray when identifying specific people. Often the things that make them unreliable are subtle differences,not, "Well I thought Mrs Smith was being attacked by Mrs Smith, turns out it was the neighbors dog,who's hair is the same color as Mr Smiths"

When a few hundred hunters say "that was no bear", it is unreasonable to assume they where all wrong, its even unreasonable to believe 50% of them where wrong.

Do you think if we take the word Bigfoot away,and replace it with the phrase "unknown hairy man like thing, that walked on two feet" that would help? I mean the whole basis of skepticism seems to centered around the fact that people have named this thing.

So ok, I don't know what is producing all the sounds that can't be identified, but seem to be consistently produced by the same animal all the audio guys keep recording. I don't know what is leaving unidentified,bipedal,five toed tracks in area's to remote to reliably discount as hoaxing in all cases. I don't know why even experienced trackers, and some scientist cannot identify these sometimes strikingly clear and genuine looking tracks. I don't know why eyewitness reports have persisted for as long as they have had the ability to record such events in North America,nor can I explain the core consistency of these reports.

I think you get the idea......

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • masterbarber locked this topic
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...