Science and Clear Thinking

On June 15, 2010, in philosophy, Sighting in Papua New Guinea, by Jonathan Whitcomb

“The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.” I believe Nikola Tesla was thinking clearly when he said that. I also believe that we need clear thinking in the scientists of today, at least as much as in the time of Tesla. It appears to me difficult to define, although its opposite appears easy to expose. Perhaps we should be grateful for extremes that help us to distinguish between foggy and clear thinking. I suggest a couple of examples.

A few years ago, a critic of living-pterosaurs investigations appeared offended that I had, on one of my own web pages, included a link to a creationist site; he demanded that I remove that link, insinuating that I should not be taken seriously because of that link. I now suggest that those who can be offended by such a thing should consider this: Bias is not necessarily confined to those who disagree with you.

I later found a site produced by another critic; he used the words “lies” and “stupid” in his URL, with the content of his site ridiculing me and my associates. Not to repeat much of the content, I simply refer to part of it: He declared that “John Whitcomb” had been sponsored by Carl Baugh and led a group of creationists in an expedition in Africa; I have never gone by the name of “John,” have never been sponsored by Carl Baugh for anything, have never led any group of creationists on any expedition anywhere, and have never set foot in Africa.

Regarding his URL, I have told the truth, not lies; I hope that he was simply ignorant of my intentions. I make no comment about “stupid,” although I sometimes admit that my general intelligence may be inferior to that of some of my readers and my education may seem less impressive than that of some of my critics (not, it seems, this one), but let’s return to “clear thinking,” for that is the subject.

I admit this subject cries for me to dig more deeply and learn more about human thinking, but one thing is obvious: We need to listen to each other, regardless of previous disagreements and regardless of differing labels. Truth can be found in the thoughts of those appearing to be most ignorant and foolish. Even my own most vehement critic did reveal some truth about me: My last name is “Whitcomb” and I am active in promoting the concept of modern living pterosaurs; this critic may have actually helped promote awareness of the case for living pterosaurs.

By the way, I did explore a remote island in Papua New Guinea (north of Australia) in 2004. I traveled to P.N.G. alone and found an interpreter on the mainland, before taking a small ship to Umboi Island. I interviewed many eyewitnesses of the ropen. My associates and I are convinced that this nocturnal flying creature is a modern Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur.

My critic may have confused Papua New Guinea with a small country in Western Africa. He may also have confused me with John C. Whitcomb who wrote The Genesis Flood many years ago. He may also have been confused by my assistance from Paul Nation, who was once a close associate of Carl Baugh. He may also have been confused about the two expeditions of 2004, for the second one was led by two American creationists and they followed my expedition by only a few weeks.

After I had replied to this web site, stating the inaccuracies, changes were made, including the correct spelling of my name: “Jonathan Whitcomb.” The newer page mentions nothing about my being in Africa. I appreciate that correction.

But many other inaccuracies were added, related to sightings and the living-pterosaur investigations. For example, the two indava lights videotaped by Paul Nation in 2006 were compared with high-speed UFO’s (the two lights were actually sitting motionless on the top of a nearby ridge). The critic mentioned those videotaped lights “flying in the sky above the peaks of volcanoes located on Umboi Island created by creationists possessing fake credentials.” (I suspect he was trying too hard to cram too many criticisms into one sentence.) At any rate, the videotaped lights were on the mainland of Papua New Guinea, nowhere near Umboi Island. I’m afraid that the critic has a problem with clear thinking, for he still tends to become confused.

I don’t know why this critic uses the words “lies” and “stupid” for me and my associates; I assume that it is also from some kind of confusion.

More: objective evaluation of eyewitness reports and the nonfiction book Live Pterosaurs in America (published by Createspace; written by Jonathan David Whitcomb) This is a cryptozoology book.

Objective interview methods of Guessman & Woetzel (2nd Umboi Island expedition of 2004)

Objective Ministries” is a parody or hoax. The university is nonexistent. There’s no “objectiveministries.”

“Objective Ministries” site is a hoax

On April 27, 2010, in philosophy, by Jonathan Whitcomb

For many years a web site has proclaimed ongoing plans to explore Africa with the hope of capturing living pterosaurs. I tried to communicate with the person who seemed to be in charge of the “Objective Ministries” project but never received any response. It eventually became apparent that no progress was being made. I eventually concluded that the whole site is a hoax. This seems to be confirmed.

There seems to be no professor named “Richard Paley.” Even “Fellowship University” is nonexistent. Although parts of at least some of the pages refer to real persons and at least one real expedition (by the real person Carl Baugh), “Objective Ministries” is a huge joke, with no actual plans for any expedition.

Why would anyone take so much time to write and publish such a hoax? It seems that somebody took great pleasure in ridiculing religious leaders and those labeled “creationists.” How could such an elaborate hoax have been created by someone who believes similarly to creationists? The only explanation that I know of is that the person responsible has no respect for creationism. In other words, this site is not at all creationist, for it mocks rather than promotes the ideals of those it seems to portray.

This is not to be confused with my own site: www.objectiveness.com, which is serious.

See also Objectiveness in the investigations

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Objectiveness in the investigations

On April 15, 2010, in philosophy, by Jonathan Whitcomb

How easy it is to snatch at anything that seems to support ones view! Galileo snatched hold of a tidal hypothesis that he hoped would be evidence for the Copernican model (sun-centered solar system); it was wrong. More recently, one living-pterosaur investigator tried to shore up the story of what I call the “Tunnel Pterodactyl.” It now seems obvious that signs of a hoax outweigh anything that may be said in favor of that story. But tunnel vision can be seen in the investigations and research of scientists and cryptozoologists of all fields and philosophies. Galileo’s mistake about tides does not mean that the sun revolves around the earth.

I recently came to the conclusion that the Naga Fireballs of the Mekong River (Southeast Asia) are probably the bioluminescent glow of large insects. I briefly researched a few reports of these glowing orbs with hope that they may be related to the kor of Northern Papua New Guinea or the ropen of Umboi Island. It now appears to be no close connection except that there is another not-yet-classified bioluminescent creature, a cryptid awaiting to graduate from cryptozoology into zoology.

Maintaining the quality of objectiveness in our investigations requires constant vigilance, regardless of how deeply we believe in the foundation of our work.

See also Objectiveness in Cheesman Sightings

Strange Flying Creatures and Bulverism

Objective Ministries” seems to be a parody, and there is no such organization: “objectiveministries”