The Clever Badger Older, not necessarily wiser.

29Nov/123

Bigfoot is Part Human. Wait. What?

So I'm checking out various nuggets of weird news today and run across this article at Geeks Are Sexy.

Apparently a genetics researcher in Texas by name of Dr. Melba Ketchum did some tests on "Sasquatch" DNA samples and determined that Bigfoot branched from the human line around 15,000 years ago.

Ketchum's team determined that Sasquatch has mitochondrial DNA (mDNA) that is identical to humans (mDNA is inherited down the maternal line), but has nuclear DNA (nuDNA) that is markedly different.  This leads her to the conclusion that Bigfoot is a hybrid of a male of a heretofore unknown species of hominid and a human female.  Here's the press release.

There are lots of reasons to conclude that Bigfoot is a myth, and very few reasons to conclude otherwise, so one has to wonder exactly where Ketchum's team obtained their samples and how they were handled.  A reasonable conclusion is that the samples were contaminated with human DNA and the results reflect this but are being misinterpreted (indeed, in the press release, the wording suggests that the team assumed the existence of Sasquatch, and interpreted the results through that lens).  Another conclusion is that they were watching an episode of Grimm when they were writing their report.

I'm guessing that the study will get shot down in peer review.

There was a time in my life when I would have glommed onto an article like this like fish on chips, and dismissed any naysayers as close-minded fools.

I got better.

- Jay

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  1. uuhhh . . . science via press release, before peer review; how did that work out for Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann, as well as others? Using my psycho powers . . . uh, I mean “psychic powers” of prediction, I see no Nobel in Ketchum’s future.

  2. It’s looking even worse, according to Doubtful News at randi.org. It appears that Dr. Ketchum, in an effort to get published, bought herself an online journal. On the face of it, most people would be very suspicious of the peer review for her article, especially since it is the only article. I don’t think this is going to turn out well.

    http://doubtfulnews.com/2013/02/ketchum-bigfoot-dna-paper-released-problems-with-questionable-publication/


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