Oh my, will the scandal NEVER STOP coming for Dr. Ketchum.
The intrepid observers at the JREF forum have spotted a whopper of a flub by Melba Ketchum in her recent Sasquatch DNA paper.
Here is a snippet from her paper:
The above commonly reported traits, as well as other scientific evidence lending credence to the existence of Sasquatch, have been thoroughly researched and documented in both books and in peer reviewed manuscripts.[4-13]
Reference 5. is as follows:
Milinkovitch, M C, Caccone, A and Amato, G. Molecular phylogenetic analyses indicate extensive morphological convergence between the ‘‘yeti’’ and primates. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 31:1–3. (2004)
Well, this paper is a well known April Fools Joke.
The study reported in this article represents scientifically rigorous assessment of conflict between the published morphological characters and newly obtained molecular characters for species of questionable validity. More significantly, however, this study indicates that evolutionary biologists need to retain sense of humor in their efforts to reconstruct phylogenetic relationships.
Happy April Fool’s Day !
You can see the paper here.
But check out the conclusion:
All our analyses clearly indicate that the yeti is nested several nodes within a speciﬁc ungulate group (i.e., the perissodactyls, cf. Fig. 1) and, more speciﬁcally, forms a subclade with sequences U02581 and X79547 (cf. ﬁgure legend). These results demonstrate that extensive morphological convergences have occurred between the yeti and primates. It is quite remarkable that Haddock already identiﬁed 44 years ago the correct phylogenetic position of the yeti (despite he had seen only footprints in the snow) when he yelled at it ‘‘You odd-toed ungulate!’’ (Herge, 1960, p. 26)
Did you get that? Perissodactyls… odd toed ungulates? HORSES!
Now I’m certain that Melba has CERTAINLY pulled a funny one over on us because she MUST HAVE read this paper and since she is a veterinarian specializing in horses, she ABSOLUTELY knew what this paper said.
hoax questionable papers cited in Ketchum’s references-
6. Coltman, D and Davis, C. Molecular cryptozoology meets the Sasquatch. TRENDS in Ecology and Evolution 21:60–61. (2006)
9. Lozier, J D, Aniello, P and Hickerson, M J. Predicting the distribution of Sasquatch in western North America: anything goes with ecological niche modeling. Journal of Biogeography 36:1623–1627. (2009)
UPDATE (25-Feb-2013): Loren Coleman posts a deeper look into these papers here. He notes that Coltman & Davis is not technically a “hoax” paper but about a hoax. But, it still does not fit with references as the Ketchum paper suggests. I’ve revised my wording in red above.
UPDATE2: Melba responds via Facebook:
Do to the wild rumors out on the internet. I felt it important to address a new rumor about a possible hoax. First we have never hoaxed anything as there is no need to. We have the proof we need in the science. I hope this helps everyone understand.
One of the early reviewers asked for any and all references related to our subject matter. We neither agreed with nor endorsed any of those references used though Bindernagel’s books are a good effort since at the time he didn’t know the human element involved. It was not our choice to use any of them though. That ref was a testament to the idiocy surrounding not only the scientific bias against the existence of these “people” but also the request by reviewers for refs that we had not felt had any place in our manuscript and were not included originally. This same reviewer required the so-called folklore that is in the introduction. That also was not in the original manuscript
The typos above are original. To be clear, I do NOT think the paper is a hoax, nor the study. I think it showed TERRIBLE judgement and lack of professionalism. The placing of these certain papers in the document without reading them is the AUTHOR’s responsibility. Excuses and passing the buck are no good at this point. Look at what she is claiming – Sasquatch DNA! You can hardly get more controversial and you don’t have your ducks in a row? Unacceptable.
Thanks to Eve Siebert for the tip and calwaterbear on JREF Forum, hat tip INDEED.