November 29, 2012

Bigfoot DNA — Whose?

Various people are having their say about comparisons underway between human DNA and that of alleged Bigfoot hair samples.

Brian Sykes, one of the researchers, is a geneticist who has figured in a lot of high-profile cases, like sorting out the murdered Romanovs.

And the obvious question: how do you know you have a Bigfoot sample? Benjamin Radford of The Skeptical Inquirer notes, 
Previous alleged Bigfoot samples subjected to DNA analysis have been deemed "unknown" or "unidentified." However, "unknown" or "unidentified" results do not mean "Bigfoot." There are many reasons why a DNA sample might come back unknown, including that it was contaminated or too degraded by environmental conditions. Or it could simply mean that the animal it came from was not among the reference samples that the laboratory used for comparison. There is no reference sample of Bigfoot DNA to compare it with, so by definition, there cannot be a conclusive match.
Anthropologist and blogger John Hawks says that he is withholding judgment, adding,
One benefit of the world of genetics as opposed to traditional anthropology: The original sequence data must be made available to the public. No data, no discovery.
Two big hurdles to jump there before you can start talking about "indigenous people."

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