Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dr. Jeff Meldrum Responds to Melba Ketchum's TV Interview

Dr. Jeff Meldrum holding a possible Bigfoot Cast
"Please don't get me wrong. I truly hope she has the brass ring. I want very much for her study to be legitimate and significant." --Dr. Jeff Meldrum on the Dr. Melba Ketchum Bigfoot DNA study

Dr. Jeff Meldrum is the highest profile scientist and academic when it comes to Bigfoot research, he is an Associate Professor of Anatomy and Anthropology and Adjunct Associate Professor of the Department of Anthropology at Idaho State University. His book, a companion to the Documentary of the same name, "Sasquatch Legend meets Science," is a must have in any serious bigfooters library.

Believers and skeptics alike respect Dr. Meldrum's approach to the Bigfoot phenomena. Notable skeptic Brian Dunning has been quoted as saying, "The work of responsible scientists like Dr. Meldrum is exactly what true skeptics should be asking the Bigfoot community for, not criticizing him for it." 

Due to his credentials and popularity Dr. Meldrum has been showcased on maultiple networks including NatGeo, History Channel, and the Discovery Channel, this also includes TV shows including Monster Quest and the recent Finding Bigfoot

He is also involved in a parallel study of Bigfoot DNA. The study headed by Bryan Sykes of Oxford University.

Recently Melba Ketchum has been in the spotlight due to her press release that claims Bigfoot may be part Human. Two days ago (11/27/2012) Dr. Melba Ketchum was interviewed and Dr. Jeff Meldrum commented on the interview on his Facebook Page. You can read his response right after the video below.


And Dr. Meldrum's response.
Dr. Ketchum provides a much more reasonable interview for a Houston news program. She acknowledges the prematurity of the announcement (I believe she could have stopped short of discussing her unpublished results, however). She does conclude by saying the publication is anticipated in a matter of weeks not months (we've heard that before, but I hope this time it is indeed accurate).
Please don't get me wrong. I truly hope she has the brass ring. I want very much for her study to be legitimate and significant. To that end I want to see her navigate the publication process properly and successfully!

My criticisms stem from the lack of available substantiation of her interpretation of the mtDNA results and the difficulty I have envisioning a scenario that accounts from what is proposed -- a hybridization event 15000 years ago in Eastern Europe that resulted in a population dispersed across North America.

Many people don't seem to understand the role of a null hypothesis (a working hypothesis). The aim is to attempt to falsify or refute it. The hypothesis that whatever is out there is likely a relict ape, or a relict early hominin (e.g. Paranthropus) appears the most reasonable in light of the substantive objective data (personal subjective experiences by some, notwithstanding). Melba even acknowledges this fact in her interview. If evidence, properly interpreted, overwhelmingly negates the null hypothesis, then we set it aside -- simple as that. The notion of "camps" as if they were political parties, has no legitimate place in a scientific endeavor.

I am anxious to see the results -- whatever they are! 

12 comments:

  1. Dr. Meldrum, by dint of his post, must adhere to an empirical science path, and at the same time actively promote the existence of an unproven, cryptid humanoid. That's a tough call, but he and Ketchum (and Burtsev, and Krantz before them) are the Galileos of this new branch of the Humane Genome. Tremendously exciting. What is even MORE exciting is when we finally realize that Sasquatch/Bigfoot is even more extra-normal than a simple hybrid, but an entity that possesses paranormal characteristics.

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    1. Odd...I have used the same name, in respect for his efforts and the support of his superiors despite heavy criticism. Thankfully they can't threaten to burn him at the stake. Galileo's boss led the charge against him. It seems very unscientific to say we won't look at your evidence but we will evaluate it

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  2. We'd need a live specimen to test it's 'paranormal characteristics'. Hmmm....

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  3. paranormal characteristics?? its ALL starting to make sense! live specimen will NEVER happen!

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  4. Seems moneymaker should stop appearing so worried about what Melba is doing. If she has the data she has it. If she doesn't, she will have completely ruined reputation. Why si he so intent on looking like even more of an idiot by bashing her prior to the release, if there is one? One more thing that makes me wonder, if all the FB sightings Re in daytime, why does he insist on "night investigation" Stop making so much damn racket at night and get that camera off of his face, maybe they would see something. Moneymaker hurts any chance of appearing as a real issue/ show. Self proclaimed expert. Melba at least has credentials that were not self imposed!

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    1. Agreed. Moneymaker cries hoax because he wants/needs it to be. Certainly not because he has any hard evidence to support his view.

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    2. Seems difficult to ruin a reputation among true believers :-).

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  5. "Camps" may be something that detracts from the science, by sadly, they exist. There is a lot of competition in this arena, particularly now that is is a media fed circus. There may as well be a line of people waiting to proclaim they were the first to prove this species exists, take a number, grab a seat! Until we capture one, and have a 24/7 feed on CNN following its' testing and probably necropsy- there will be a huge population of sskeptics...maybe even after that! For now, defining the species is the key to furthering the science.
    Meldrum is a brilliant man, he is led by science. Moneymaker, is -well Moneymaker, and he is led by passion.
    Ketchum's background is not of the evolutionary or anthropological inclination that Meldrum's is, rather a genetic and animal based.
    Three different people, three different approaches, three different desires to lead the field. None is less qualified than the other, and none does the same thing.
    Meldrum, while highly respected, has definitely spent less time in the field and studying reports than Moneymaker. Ketchum has more hands on experience with animals and a more genetically specialized area of expertize. Neither Ketchum, nor Moneymaker, can boast the ability to scientifically develop hypothoses about how this being adapted and survived that Meldrum can.
    We are comparing the view points of apples, eggs, and corn here. These view points should be studied, and used to facilitate an over all understanding of the past, present and future survival of Big Foot.
    Bashing what has yet to be released is as premature and null as raving about it.
    Once released, I have no dount that every Christian extremist in the USA will be picking it apart. Scientists, by nature, will find every possible way to disprove it, or atleast try to...so why not enjoy the last remaining moments of pre-release quiet? Vicki

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  6. Great comment Vicki. And BFLC,,great article!! The one thing that may never change,,,is the world of Bigfoot. No roller coaster ever built,,could ever match the highs,,the lows,,,fast stretches of craziness,,,and agonizing uphill climbs. No wonder were such a small community!!! Your average person couldn't stand these continuous,,brutal shocks to all the different areas of the mind and soul. Shucks. A lot of them can and may call me crazy,,but they'll never say I was not dedicated,,,,or late for dinner lol.

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  7. P.S Dr Jeff Meldrums ok by me. Rock on !!

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  8. I think the bigger story here is that the Sykes sample that was called horse was really unicorn.

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