Religious “Bias” and the Ropen

On April 22, 2016, in philosophy, by Jonathan Whitcomb

A few years ago, I was the guest on a radio or podcast talk show of the Merseyside Skeptics Society. The two hosts were polite and appeared to be fair, even though my declarations about modern pterosaurs surely would have had few believers among the listeners of the broadcast. Ropens would not likely be given much belief from those who would listen to such a radio or podcast broadcast.

One point I remember clearly. I was asked about the possibility of religious bias in the thinking of those who believe the eyewitnesses of apparent living pterosaurs. I replied that bias is not restricted to those who are religious. Why should Christians be singled out for potential bias? Any person of any philosophy may well be biased about particular ideas.

Is it reasonable to assume that someone coming up with a revolutionary idea, not yet proven, must be thinking unclearly? Must a person with a strange-sounding new idea be wrong? Of course not.

Bias Against Albert Einstein

Remember the plight of Albert Einstein soon after the end of World War II. How might we have reacted, if we were citizens of England at that time? Many of our friends and family members could have been dead from the bullets and bombs and poisonous gas from German soldiers. Now some obscure German Jew is telling the world that the great English scientist Isaac Newton was wrong about how the universe behaves? How could Einstein have responded to that bias?

Are Eyewitnesses Biased?

Those who have seen featherless flying creatures that were obviously not bats—those persons live in various countries, come from various backgrounds, believe in various religious or irreligious ideologies, and have grown up in various cultures and family backgrounds. I dare any skeptic to proclaim that all of those eyewitnesses are plagued by bias related to Christian young-earth creation ideas. I have interviewed persons from five continents, and their answers sometimes reveal the obvious: Most of the eyewitnesses did not have any special attraction toward young-earth-creation ideology, when they saw a flying creature that looked like a “dinosaur bird” or “pterodactyl” or “flying dinosaur.”

Yet the descriptions are strikingly similar:

  1. Long tails on the flying creatures (41%=yes and only 2%=no)
  2. Lack of feathers (21%=positive on featherlessness and 25%=probably no feathers)
  3. Tail flange suggesting a Rhamphorhynchoid (28.5% reported a tail flange)
  4. Long neck (shooting down the Frigate bird conjecture)
  5. Head crest (24%=head crest seen and only 3.5%=not seen)
  6. Many sightings are of flying creatures larger than birds

By the way, the great majority of apparent pterosaurs are not the ones commonly portrayed in science fiction movies and television programs. They are not short tailed Pteranodons but long-tailed Rhamphorhynchoids, what my associates and I call ropens.

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YouTube Video Introduces Viewers to the Ropen

This video begins with images of farm animals, and the sound is a combination of those farm animals and an orchestration of the old piano piece by Robert Schumman: “The Happy Farmer.”

Are Religious People More Biased?

How often have I encountered the objections of critics who would dismiss the work of creationist living-pterosaur investigators because of assumed bias! The critics assume that belief in the Bible causes bias. Why not look more carefully?

Ropen on Creation Wiki

An old online page on the modern long-tailed pterosaur:

According to the recent investigators David Woetzel, Garth Guessman, and Jonathan Whitcomb, over 90% of the sightings of the ropen on Umboi Island are of the “ropen light.” Whitcomb’s book (Searching for Ropens) suggests that most of these sightings are of one giant creature that sleeps in the island interior during the day; at night it feeds on reefs (at least on the northern and southern coasts where the three investigators explored). The two expeditions of 2004 independently interviewed eyewitnesses who reported that the bright glow of the ropen lasts for about five to six seconds.

Ropen of Umboi Island

This island appears ideal for the species and large  ropens may claim the interior mountains of some  similar islands. The nocturnal creatures may do better when they can sleep in daylight in secure nesting areas on mountains close to the reefs of the coastlines.

Eyewitnesses of the Ropen

Reasons to believe eyewitnesses who claim  to have seen a giant ropen and describe it in terms suggesting a pterosaur

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