In an op-ed in the New York Times, “Tasmanian Tiger Is Extinct. Why Do People Keep Seeing Them,” the so-called experts strike again. Scientists engage their inner know-it-all, and mass media helps them along.
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
By David Stone
“The Tasmanian tiger is still extinct. Reports of its enduring survival are greatly exaggerated,” writes columnist Asher Elbein.
But as is the privilege afforded “experts,” he is not asked for proof.
Neil Waters, president of group believing otherwise, “promised conclusive photographic proof of a surviving thylacine (Tasmanian tiger). Four photos, he claims, show a family, including a juvenile, moving through dense brush.”
Here’s what he says, along with the photos…
The so-called experts strike again…
In the Time article, the so-called experts struck again, serving up evidence of previously mistaken sightings of other extinct creatures. One, Darren Naish, even tags the sightings as “a social phenomenon, not a zoological one,”
Yet, not once is the Coelacanth, a prehistoric fish thought to have died out with the dinosaurs, mentioned. But 6.5 million years later, a fisherman caught one. Nor were 9 others once declared extinct but later found alive.
This is typical of the Times and other mainstream media, conservative to the core, poisoners of imagination. In lopsided analysis, they’ll show you why you’re a loon.
“We all make mistakes: even the most experienced naturalists make misidentifications, sometimes hilarious ones,” Naish adds, for example.
We don’t know whether Waters is right, and neither does the New York Times,. But that doesn’t stop them from letting the so-called experts strike again, using ridicule as their weapon.
The article implies that researchers like Waters are so invested, they see what’s not there. But the writer does not acknowledged that established experts cling to similar belief systems, capable of equivalent misperceptions.