February 22, 2012

"Jonathan Whitcomb: Pterodactyl Expert"

How does one label a cryptozoologist who specializes in eyewitness accounts of modern living "pterodactyls?" Am I a "pterodactyl expert?" Since a few vocal critics have blasted this idea, on a forum thread of cryptozoology.com, I will make a few comments, quoting parts of what my critics have said.

Critic #1: "There is masses of reliable evidence that pterosaurs did exist (up to about 65 million years ago), and plenty of people who study their fossils and are experts. Whitcomb just isn't one of them."

Answer: It is true that I do not study fossils directly. I am not a paleontologist. But modern "pterodactyls" need not closely resemble any fossils, whether or not they are descended from older species that left fossils that are now studied by paleontologists. I study eyewitness reports. For some reason, my critics often neglect that point.

Critic #2: "I don't believe Whitcomb is a scientist, either. He is really nothing more than a flag bearing creationist leading a charge against evolution on the back of a flying reptile. . . ."

Answer: I wrote a peer-reviewed scientific paper in a journal of science: "Reports of Living Pterosaurs in the Southwest Pacific." But when somebody has an extreme philosophical disagreement with another person, I am suspicious of a declaration that begins with "He is really nothing more than . . ."

Critic #3: "I'm just letting you know that Johnathon Whitcomb is just a guy making noise about a monster that he wants to exist because it helps support his belief system . . ."

Answer: Each writer operates according to individual beliefs, including the writer who wrote the above and who calls himself (in that online forum) "ape man." My disagreement with standard models of paleontology does not make me "just a guy making noise . . ."

Pterodactyl Expert "Attacked"
The victim was Jonathan Whitcomb, the alleged “pterodactyl expert.” He was accused of “leading a charge against evolution on the back of a flying reptile.” But the original accusations were an attack on Whitcomb’s qualifications as an expert, not on the eyewitnesses who report to him and to other cryptozoologists their sightings of live pterodactyls.

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