Add Homonym Attacks!

Add Homonym Attacks! #24

Ad Hominem: Appealing to personal considerations rather than to logic or reason.
Ad Hominem Attack: An argument that focuses on a personal attack as opposed to the subject in question.
Add Homonym Attacks!: The process by which one inserts a homophone and it bites you.
(It also serves as the title to Inside Pulse’s representative column in the world of Critical Thinking, Science and Skepticism.)

Bigfoot

Intro (AKA Guzzizah, it’s like a street aloha!)

From Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization

What are the undisputed facts about the bigfoot / sasquatch (sic.) mystery?
It’s a fact that for more than 400 years people have reported seeing large, hair-covered, man-like animals in the wilderness areas of North America.
It is a fact that sightings of these animals continue today. Real or not, these reports are often made by people of unimpeachable character.
It is a fact that, for over seventy years, people have been finding, photographing, and casting sets of very large human-shaped tracks. Most are discovered by chance in remote areas. These tracks continue to be found to this day.
It is a fact that the cultural histories of many Native American and First Nation peoples include stories and beliefs about non-human “peoples” of the wild. Many of these descriptions bear a striking resemblance to the hairy man-like creatures reported today.
These are some of the facts. There is, however, much disagreement as to what these facts mean.
To many, these facts, taken together, suggest the presence of an animal, probably a primate, that exists today in very low population densities. If true, this species, having likely evolved alongside humans, became astonishingly adept at avoiding human contact through a process of natural selection.
To others, these same facts point to a cultural phenomenon kept alive today through a combination of the misidentification of known animals, wishful thinking, and the deliberate fabrication of evidence.
The BFRO, and its members, take the former view.

Guess which position is taken by AHA!?

The “Facts”

It’s a fact that for more than 400 years people have reported seeing large, hair-covered, man-like animals in the wilderness areas of North America.

They’re called “big hairy fat guys.” No mystery there. Bears can stand on two legs. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law once had a discussion as to whether a creature they spotted was a moose or a dog. (It was a doe.) The flannel of old style hunting gear looks brown from a distance.

But hey, there are lots of probable non-crypto-zoological answers. What fun are those?

It is a fact that sightings of these animals continue today. Real or not, these reports are often made by people of unimpeachable character.

And President Carter once mistook Venus for a UFO. Scientists are often fooled by psychica and con-men. Quality of character tells nothing of quality of eyesight or credulity.

It is a fact that, for over seventy years, people have been finding, photographing, and casting sets of very large human-shaped tracks. Most are discovered by chance in remote areas. These tracks continue to be found to this day.

These tracks often differ vastly from one source to the next meaning that either Sasquatch feet are differ more than snowflakes, or multiple hoaxers. We have tracks, but no bones, no blood, no bigfoot poop (scat, as the classy fellas say), no captured Sasquatch, no dead bodies, no fur, no sign of a bigfoot habitat, no food leftovers, no deer with bigfoot attack marks, etc.

It is a fact that the cultural histories of many Native American and First Nation peoples include stories and beliefs about non-human “peoples” of the wild. Many of these descriptions bear a striking resemblance to the hairy man-like creatures reported today.

Many cultures have stories of dragons. So what?

You can’t disprove the evidence…

It is extremely difficult to prove a negative. True.

An absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

But let’s look at the best evidence that exists FOR bigfoot: The Patterson footage. That link sends you to a gif of the footage, which has been steadied by a bigfoot enthusiast.

Looks a lot like a guy in a suit, right? The hair pattern is very simplistic. The posture is human. The “creature” is walking like a guy in a suit. But hey, it could be some sort of yeti right? (John Landis says that the suit made by one of the Planet of the Apes artists.)

Let’s assume the existence of a Sasquatch. The BFRO says that people have been spotting these things for 400 years. The crature is allegedly between 7 and 10 feet tall and about 500 pounds. Let’s assume a lifespan of 50-75 years. We’ll assume that they only have 1-2 offspring at a time. All sounds reasonable right?

Well then, how does the gene pool work? What number of pairs can possibly work, small enough to be a hidden community, yet large enough to avoid disastrous inbreeding? Currently, for instance, cheetahs numbers are such that they are ridiculously inbred. Their gene pool is so shallow that one cheetah is basically clone of another. And we see cheetahs in the wild. Yet no bigfoots (bigfeet?), and they are several times larger.

Does a tribe of Sasquatch seem probable?

What do they eat? A family of 500 pound creatures is sure to eat a substantial amount and leave substantial waste. Just ask Paul Wight what he gets when he goes to McDonald’s.

Where do they live? Are there substantial amounts of unexplored forest to sustain a viable gene pool of Sasquatch? It isn’t like they live at the bottom of the ocean or something. They allegedly live in the Pacific Northwest. If they were real, a bigfoot would have robbed a Starbucks by now. At the very least, Bruce Campbell would have hit one with his Ford.

Several people have admitted to contributing to bigfoot hoaxes, whether these be relatively simple (i.e. strapping on large fake extremities to leave footprints), or somewhat less simple (making plaster casts of that big guy that played Bond villain Jaws to fashion a dead Sasquatch model).

So we have to ask ourselves, what is most probable?
A. A giant creature that doesn’t seem to affect it’s environment is noticeable ways, and has an uncanny ability to stay hidden in a world where cameras are shoved into portable phones, and anybody with an internet connection can look at satellite photos.

B. Bigfoot is imaginary, existing only through pretend, delusion, and the will of pranksters. (You know, like Jesus.)

As always, think for yourself. Don’t take my word for anything.

For more info and links visit :
http://www.skepdic.com/bigfoot.html

For unrelated fun

To see what happens when psychics don’t pick their own props:
click here.