Friday, November 9, 2007

More Credulous Programming From the History Channel

From the moment I saw the ad for this show, I dreaded what the final product would be like. Monsterquest is produced by The History Channel, and the first episode I witnessed was about a Sasquatch sighting in Canada, north of Ontario. Ottowa. The show consisted of interviews with witnesses, who provided poor testimony at best, and a couple true believers, one with unfortunate authority provided by his position as a professor at University of Idaho.

Their evidence was flimsy, and the conclusions were pretty bad. Of particular note was the tissue that was analyzed. When evaluated by an independent lab, the result was that it was note of animal origin (likely synthetic) and they couldn't find any DNA. But the believers used their own method to extract DNA, by repeatedly adding chemicals and agitating the sample until something appeared. This "sample" tested as somewhere between chimp and human DNA, basically one gene was mutated, and somehow they managed to say it was halfway between humans 23 chromosomes and chimp 24.

MonsterQuest was yet another History Channel production that promotes pseudoscience in the worst way. Please, avoid this like you would avoid a mangy bear.

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