#004 Sciencism: Critical Eye – 10/11/2011

This week in Sciencism: Critical Eye, Ross Balch is joined by Dan Abrahmsen. We discuss a couple of lion sightings, Dr Melba Ketchum’s statement regarding big foot evidence, a psychic accepts an award on behalf of Kurt Cobain, the White House answers UFO petition and sneaky anti-vaccination campaigns.


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Bigfoot scientist Dr Melba Ketchum has made a statement that Sasquatch is real and they have the proof apparently she works on the Big Foot DNA project.(1) She makes a good point that extraordinary proof requires extraordinary evidence, the plausibility of Big Foot existing and us not finding a single body in the entire course of human history is rather remote. Another point to consider is that if we find genuine big foot DNA what are we going to compare it to? The fact is until we find a body no amount of evidence DNA or otherwise is going to convince the skeptics.

MTV had a psychic accept an award on behalf of deceased rock star Kurt Cobain.(2) All this proves to me is that psychics are full of crap and tell their audience whatever they want to hear. In life Kurt Cobain was notorious in his avoidance of the media, should he be alive today he most likely would not have accepted the award, there’s no reason to believe if there is an afterlife his personality would have changed so radically.

Two separate instances of “lion sightings” one in the UK(3) and one in Australia(4) have provided yet another reminder of the fallibility of human cognition. In both cases there was no plausible reason why a lion would be on the loose and no lion or lion body was found. It seems both cases are going to be attributed mistaken identity.

After receiving over 15,000 signatures on a petition to disclose US knowledge of extra terrestrial existence and contact the White House responded by stating that;

 “The U.S. government has no evidence that any life exists outside our planet, or that an extraterrestrial presence has contacted or engaged any member of the human race. In addition, there is no credible information to suggest that any evidence is being hidden from the public’s eye. However, that doesn’t mean the subject of life outside our planet isn’t being discussed or explored. In fact, there are a number of projects working toward the goal of understanding if life can or does exist off Earth.”(5)

Needless to say the main sponsors of the petition, specifically the Paradigm Research Group are not satisfied with the response and still believe that the US government is hiding knowledge of E.T despite the gross improbability of aliens ever having reached the Earth.

The United States based National Vaccination Information Centre has somehow persuaded Delta Airlines to show one of their propaganda video as part of the onboard entertainment(6). Not unlike the name of the organisation the video is quite cleverly disguised as useful information about the flu and quite subtly feeds the viewer doubt about the safety of the flu vaccine. You can watch the video on YouTube(7), I would highly recommend that you flag the video as inappropriate.



1 – Dr. Melba Ketchum: Hang in there, “We have the proof” of Sasquatch Bigfoot Evidence, 04/11/2011, http://bigfootevidence.blogspot.com/2011/11/dr-melba-ketchum-hang-in-there-we-have.html

2 – Kurt Cobain Accepts ‘O Music Award’ Via Psychic (VIDEO) The Huffington Post, 03/11/2011, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/03/kurt-cobain-accepts-o-music-award-via-psychic_n_1074201.html

3 – Train affected by lion ‘sighting’, The Guardian, 06/11/2011, http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/feedarticle/9933575

4 – ‘Lion’ haunts croc territory The Age, 08/11/2011, http://www.theage.com.au/national/lion-haunts-croc-territory-20111107-1n3vw.html

5 – P. Larson, Searching for ET, But No Evidence Yet, The White House, 09/11/2011, https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions#!/response/searching-et-no-evidence-yet

6 – NVIC Vaccine News, National Vaccine Information Centre, http://www.nvic.org/NVIC-Vaccine-News/October-2011-%281%29/THIS-IS-VACCINE-AWARENESS-WEEK!.aspx

7 – IMAvids, NVIC Video, YouTube, 03/11/2011, www.youtube.com/watch?v=WC8jYCk2MvQ




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