Dr. Melba Ketchum has registered the name Homo sapiens cognatus to Zoo Bank. But what does that mean?
Homo sapiens cognatus Ketchum in Ketchum, Wojtkiewicz, Watts, Spence, Holzenburg, Tolar, Prychitko, Zhang, Bollinger, Shoulders & Smith, 2013
The request was made November 18, 2012 and was just recently accepted in Nomenclatural Acts on the website that registers official names of organisms for the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature. So, is this the new name of Bigfoot? Not so fast…
Dr. Ari Grossman, Associate Professor of Anatomy at Midwestern University, tells Doubtful News the main problem is that there is no formal differential diagnosis, type specimen, or designated location of a type specimen to verify the organism named. While electronic journals may be cited for ICZN registration, Ketchum’s self-publication in this case leaves the registered name Homo sapiens cognatus open to challenge.
“A case can be presented to the ICZN, and they can investigate and decide to keep or deny the name and publication,” Dr. Grossman explains. In addition to the problems mentioned above, “The sample sources appear to be of dubious origin and cannot be substantiated or recollected (that is, no possible repeatability of the tests)”. Dr. Grossman contends that a challenge to remove the name may succeed based on these weaknesses.
Paolo Viscardi, Curator of Natural History at Horniman Museum in London, agrees saying this is a species description rather than a systematic treatment. “[This registration] does not conform to the basic rules of taxonomy.” No one else can verify the results because there is nothing to examine. Viscardi adds, “It’s not science because it’s not falsifiable – at least until type material is lodged and the specimen that the description is based on can be properly assessed independently and verified in an appropriate publication. At best it is a putative subspecies proposal with flimsy justification.”
So, it certainly looks like self-publishing, the methods and the shaky conclusion is certainly going to bite back. But, the project results are available to the public now at the Sasquatch Genome Project site. Ketchum’s new website, which looks just as unprofessional and awful-looking as her old site, has her new title as “world renowned veterinarian” and “Self-Taught Geneticist”.
She does seems to be aiming to elbow Dr. Sykes out of the spotlight this week with her announcements. And, once again, she looks… unscientific. I’m sorry, this is JUST so awful. The way this whole project has played out is certainly the main reason why even Bigfoot proponents just can’t give this any respect.
For more, see my chronology of the Ketchum project history here.
UPDATE (25-Oct-2013) See comments about hacking and my opinion on that.
Here is a copy of the “Press Room” page [PDF] that I saved when I accessed the site when composing this post. It provides details of the journal rejection. Does this look hacked? I don’t know. I say it looks Robynized.