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Misidentification

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JDL

For one thing you're taking two completely separate discussions here and trying to blend them into one. Salubrius based the reliability of our senses on the success of the human race, which is a flawed ideology because we are all different and not all at the same level.

 

Our senses are only as good as each individual person, and not measured by a species. Nowhere did I equate any Bigfoot witnesses to being "least capable" or 'lowest common denominator".

 

 

 

No. My argument has always been that unverifiable testimony is not reliable, because it is susceptible to human error among other things.  It's pretty simple.

 

 

 

It saddens me that you keep jumping to conclusions like this.

 

Speaking of reason, logic, and reality, let's take a look at something that should hold no bias here and then tell me your reasoning. What's behind the thousands of years of eyewitness fairy encounters? Should we treat it as a genuine species because so many people have claimed to have had encounters? If I were to go by the logic being pushed here then we would have to assume that fairies really do exist because all these people know what they saw, even though nothing is verifiable. Where are all the creatures these people have seen? Did they really see fairies or could there be an alternate explanation? Of course we can't label them all as misidentified or hallucinated, so there must be something else to it. How would you logically flesh out these ongoing occurrences?

 

Who's conflating what?  Every time someone talks bigfoot, you bring up fairies.  This is nothing more than an attempt to sidestep the issue.

 

Your argument only holds water if you can convince someone to believe that all witnesses are unreliable all of the time.  As justification for this you proffer that some witnesses are unreliable some of the time.  This is not proof that all witnesses are universally fallible under all circumstances.  How many times do people give an accurate description of a perpetrator that leads to apprehension of someone that then confesses?  I'm sure that the frequency of this happening is also significant.

 

And yes, it is still true that people can be deceived some of the time.  And some on this forum seem to count on this as they promote flawed logic to back up nothing more than their own subjective beliefs.

If one person reports a bear in the same vicinity and time frame another person reports a bigfoot, for me, at least, the default conclusion would be "bear."

 

Completely rational.  I would do the same.

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indiefoot

If one person sees a weather balloon and another reports a ufo in the same vicinity/time frame, logical fallacy or not, I'm defaulting to "weather balloon.."

On a Bigfoot board, jumping to UFO's or Faeries, would be a "Strawman" argument, IMO.

 

If the NWS says they released a wx baloon at than time, then I would agree, or if a video company was shooting a BF commercial in the neighborhood, same thing.

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JDL

Gotta say, if someone offers a bigfoot report that includes UFOs, I rank it lowest in perceived reliability.

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Guest

Being skeptical, however, does not mean being prejudicial, a skeptic remains open to the possibility of existence. If one maintains that bigfoot does not exist at all, no matter what, they are a denialist.There are some very vocal denialists on the site who label themselves as skeptics, and thus damage members' perception of skeptical objectivity.

For me, everything is on the table including both the posibility that a witness saw a Bigfoot and the posibility that they suffered from human fallibility that every human in existance can fall prey to until it can be eliminated. And human fallibility is the easiest posibility to eliminate, if it can't be eliminated then I can't conclude that the witness saw a Bigfoot without compelling evidence.

Gotta say, if someone offers a bigfoot report that includes UFOs, I rank it lowest in perceived reliability.

If someone offered me a report that includes UFOs and Bigfoot in the same claim, I'd conclude they were probably drunk.

Edited by Leftfoot

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Guest

I think there is some judging going on here based on the probability of the event rather than the credibility of the witness.

 

If the bigfoot is seen by the town sheriff and the bear by the town drunk or someone less reliable like a politician ?

 

ROD

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Guest

If an eyewitness see's a bear in a neighborhood at the same time that several eyewitnesses are reporting a Bigfoot roaming the streets, how many skeptics would doubt the report of the bear witness? I wonder if any would ask if there could have been a bear and a Bigfoot in the same neighborhood? I doubt we have many impartial observers on this board..... on either side.

 

If there was a claimed bear sighting in an area with recent Bigfoot sightings, and I was investigating, I would interview the bear witnesses and look around the area the supposed bear had been to see if there's a possibility that it was instead a Bigfoot.

 

But yeah, I would tend to lend credulence towards the bear claims than the Bigfoot clams.  If the recent "Let's do math" thread is any indication, then bears are more populous then Bigfoot.  So it's more likely to see a bear than a Bigfoot, all issues of witness reliability, fallibility, and credibility aside.

 

If the bigfoot is seen by the town sheriff and the bear by the town drunk or someone less reliable like a politician ?

 

 

I would find the town sheriff the most credible witness, I would still try to eliminate missidentification though.

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indiefoot

I'll be the first to admit that a population of large primates that would include 49 states is unlikely, they should have been classified by now. Yet, I am convinced they are out there, so even if there are some misidentifications , others besides myself are seeing these guys.

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Guest

 

 

It saddens me to encounter those who seem to revel in the presumed fallability of others.

Revel? Accepting the fact that all humans are fallible is not revelry. Humility is often lacking in those who do not accept their faults. Recognizing our own faults helps us recognize them in others. I know I hallucinate but I would pit my observational skills against yours any day. You do not know what hallucinations are like if you think you would never have one or if you think they mean you are incompetent.

 

 

As for reports of sightings I'd give more credence to those that were made to Law Enforcement agencies or Park Rangers rather than to such as BFRO where that suggests a previous interest in the subject and maybe more susceptible to hoax or fabrication on part of witness.

 

ROD

In this case, I side with those who think they might get in trouble for reporting a bigfoot to the cops. I know I wouldn't for the same reason most others would. Cops who don't believe in bigfoot might not take kindly to such reports. And indeed, there is a great deal of prejudice against those who report. However, I don't give any report carte blanche at the BFRO but I don't disregard them. I don't believe in invisible bigfoots or psychic anything but I do not disregard the reports. I will disregard the interpretation of the report however. People describe things in terms they understand and "invisible" and "psychic" and "telepathy" are simply shorthand for collections of concepts held by the speaker.

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Guest

I guess looking at the issue of eyewitness identification/misidentification, the issue can be boiled down to its simplest form. From the skeptical side, one must fight each and every eyewitness report, and must fight each and every argument bolstering any such reports, regardless of weakness or soundness of those arguments. Especially the logically sound and convincing points. If just one report is true then that changes everything. All reports must be discredited in some fashion, if it requires painting all people with the same unreliable brush, then that is done it appears. I am sure that everyone on the planet has somneone whom they trust to believe things that they tell them. This issue apparently allows you to believe and trust all different ilks of competent, sane people, from housewives to soldiers to farmers to scientists on everything EXCEPT this one issue.

If just one report is true then everything is changed? Not really. Which one report? Skepticism is good for figuring out which one(s) might be real bigfoot sightings. Figuring out if hallucinations can be ruled out helps but there is usually no attempt to do so. Most witnesses are afraid of being labeled "crazy" or "nut" and will grow angry and resentful in such questioning. I've seen this on this forum and am sure it is even worse in the real world. Assessing someone's ability to accurately relate their account is often seen as hostile as well. When witnesses shut down, there is a temptation to "paint" them the same way as uncooperative, belligerent and possibly crazy but that is not really the fault of the reader. Interviewers might be better able to elicit important information if they consider alternative ways of looking at the situation. Some (if not many) seem intent on only a bigfoot explanation and don't press the necessary buttons with the witnesses. Cultural differences are evident all over the US and Canada and just how well versed are the interviewers at assessing these differences? Those who seek to improve the "legitimacy" of bigfoot research need to address this among other matters. Railing against the skeptics because we don't understand the situation (and hence don't accept as true) is nothing to do with us.

We agree that a significant percentage of reports have little value.

 

 

Being skeptical, however, does not mean being prejudicial, a skeptic remains open to the possibility of existence.  If one maintains that bigfoot does not exist at all, no matter what, they are a denialist.

There are some very vocal denialists on the site who label themselves as skeptics, and thus damage members' perception of skeptical objectivity.

I don't think I know anyone on this site who claims there is no such thing as bigfoot. Many claim there is no actual evidence (I'm one of them) but that is not the same thing. Many of us seem to disagree on what is actual evidence of course.

If an eyewitness see's a bear in a neighborhood at the same time that several eyewitnesses are reporting a Bigfoot roaming the streets, how many skeptics would doubt the report of the bear witness? I wonder if any would ask if there could have been a bear and a Bigfoot in the same neighborhood? I doubt we have many impartial observers on this board..... on either side.

Well bears are well known and indeed even in streets (especially around garbage cans and birdfeeders) but on top of that, even if all of the bigfoot reports were true and valid, there is no reason that a bear couldn't also be in the neighborhood. However there is also no reason a bear couldn't be the inspiration behind the bigfoot reports. How many people are going to call the BFRO or log on here to tell about bear reports? Only the people who thought they saw a bigfoot would make the calls and possibly hoaxers also.

 

There are many possible interpretations of such data and they need to be ruled out one by one with evidence.

If one person reports a bear in the same vicinity and time frame another person reports a bigfoot, for me, at least, the default conclusion would be "bear."

As a probable explanation. Inconclusive would really be the correct position even though bigfoot might be less likely. Now if they found bear hairs then the conclusion almost certainly be accurate.

You got it! neat isn't it? That's why I presume it is such a self-satisfying thing to be participating from the so-called sceptical side: there is no answer that any sasquatch proponent could give that will satisfy someone who flat refuses to accommodate the notion that they may be wrong...it is the perpetual win-win.

There is no answer that a skeptic could give that will satisfy someone who flat out refuses to accommodate the notion that they may be wrong.

 

  There is more human protoplasm on the planet than any other species. Our senses are good for *something*...

   That's called 'bearidolia'.

"Bearidolia" : D

 

Not too sure about your protoplasm notion though. Rats are pretty populous. I seem to recall there are a lot of chickens too but can't recall the numbers. Not that that is all important.

Gotta say, if someone offers a bigfoot report that includes UFOs, I rank it lowest in perceived reliability.

I don't want to derail the thread but why? UFO does not mean aliens or inter-dimensional beings etc. at least not necessarily. The U in UFO means unidentified. It could be a chance coincidental appearance of ball-lightning, some kind of air craft, or possibly (dare I say it?) fairies. Of course my old favorite: hallucination is also possible. Even a real bigfoot sighting could entail unfortunate (?)coincidences.

I think there is some judging going on here based on the probability of the event rather than the credibility of the witness.

 

If the bigfoot is seen by the town sheriff and the bear by the town drunk or someone less reliable like a politician ?

 

ROD

Sometimes the sheriff is drunk (they're not on duty all the time) and sometimes the town drunk runs dry (I hate it when that happens).

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daveedoe

misidentification pertaining to Bigfoot must be common. Quite a few sightings are over a very short time. I know a lot of reports stating that the observer knows what they saw. They saw what they saw and what ever they saw to them was a Bigfoot. No problem here with their perception I was not there to see whatever they saw.

 

But back to misidentification, we all read every year about hunters, some very educated hunters shooting other hunters because they shot at a deer or bear that ended up being a human. Now that is misidentification. So someone seeing something moving quickly through a dark forest could be easily be misidentified. 

Edited by daveedoe

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Guest

  I agree that i am painting skeptics with too broad a brush and that I really mean those who adamantly refuse to consider the existence of a creature like Bigfoot. And I apologize for that and I did not mean too. I applaud open mindedness, which should be the default position of all of us. But I think if one report is true that is does change things, as it takes the in or non credible and makes it credible, and the possibilities of what other reported encounters may also be true goes from zero to some median number truly based on each individual reporters reliability, instead of zero because there can be no such thing.

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Guest

Credible or not a liar can see and report an actual report and still not be believed even if bigfoot is discovered to be true. I was once accused of lying when I said I saw a bear cross the road (my dog [best hallucination detection device ever and cuddly too{ golly I miss her}] saw it too and said so) because I have an history of seeing hallucinations. (I don't know why lying was the word used though since a hallucination is not a lie but a mistake at worst [shaking head])

 

It's a tangled web blah blah blah.

 

Most of the skeptics here BFF (bigfoot forums or best friends forever?) actually want bigfoot to be real. We just won't sacrifice integrity for that belief. Many of us have some scientific interest that informs our skepticism. Our integrity is based on that scientific stance or at least an attempt to stay true to it. I am not a scientist but just an avid fan of science. Most of the lay-public isn't as versed in the scientific approach.

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salubrious
Moderator

Actually I don't see the skeptical side as has been presented on this thread as anything other than fairly reasonable.

 

I've been asked a fair number of questions by those on threads that thought there was a possibility of me having hallucinations or the like.

 

In the last few years I have also told friends of mine that know me fairly well. Now it could be that they are being polite and not questioning me, but they are the one group that really hasn't. Several have told me something to the effect of 'if you say that happened then I have no reason to think that it didn't'.

 

But actually I welcome the skeptical veiwpoint, but so far all that have presented an alternative have actually suggested things that sound (to me) less probable than the actual experience.

 

IOW if I entertain the idea of hallucination, hoax or misidentification, I wind up having to fabricate some pretty complex and unlikely circumstances to support the alternative explanations. IOW they just seem to support that what I saw was real.   

 

To give you an example Drew suggested the possibility of hallucination. Now I have had the experience of very little sleep over the period of a week, such that after several days it was easy to hallucinate in the dark. But on the day this happened, I was well rested (and had gotten plenty of sleep that week as I was on vacation), and unlike the sort of hallucination that occurs from lack of sleep, the creatures I saw were in one place and one place only, and that was the only thing I saw on that night that was even remotely unusual- no floating castles on the sky or that lot. IOW, a hallucination, to the best of my understanding usually has something about it that lets you know that it is different from reality.

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Guest

Hallucinations are not all the same even for the same person. I have had them range from episodes that I can dissect once my brain starts to function properly to incidents that still leave me puzzled. I can only wonder how many I never noticed. Hallucinations can subtle or overt. Depending on the knowledge of the observer, hallucinations can be explicable or inexplicable. I have been lucky. I have a very intense interest in science and its methodology. This makes it much easier for me to notice inconsistencies in my hallucinations and yet even then I still get confused. I have worked very hard all my life to figure out what was real and what wasn't. I don't know if any one else on this site has had to do so. Only in the last few years have I made a methodical practice of checking myself. I'v come to realize I have a reason to do so. Not everyone is going to realize they do as well. Not at first.

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salubrious
Moderator

What sort of thing do you check for?

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