Saturday, November 9, 2013

Bigfoot: Do My Genes Make My Butt Look Human?

There's was a lot of hoopla surrounding Dr. Melba Ketchum's results from the Bigfoot Genome Project. Even though the release of the information fell flat in the public eye, it did raise the very real possibility that we will at some point prove Bigfoot and what will we find? What are the implications when Bigfoot is proven to be of the human family?

Let's just look at what her study suggested - that Bigfoot's mama was essentially modern human, but his papa was some as of yet not identified hominin.  If this were accurate, it would mean basically they are half modern human and half some fellow contemporary (about 15,000 or 17,000 years ago) that went extinct? Sounds human to me.  We can all agree, a human can only mate and produce with one of its own genus.  And, we know modern man mated with Neanderthal and Denosovans in the past, the DNA shows up in us. In fact, there is more DNA diversity between two chimps than modern man and Neanderthal and if chimps can mate, well, Neanderthal and modern man could. So, perhaps there was another lineage, other than Denosovan and Neanderthal that were able to mate with us, but according to this "study" showed up on the time line, mated, and left no purebred ancestors and no previous ancestors of record. One that perhaps we have not found the DNA for previously?

The bigger concern is that, if they are found to be human, do we then feel compelled to make levels of human-ness - as in they are primitive (inferior); we are modern (superior)? And didn't the settlers try that with the Natives in America? And in the timeline of humans, tens of thousands of years is nothing at all, so they aren't even evolved differently from how they turned out when they showed up tens of thousands of years ago anymore than we are from modern man of that time.

Let's look at some slight shift in human DNA and the changes that can result. Let's take albinism and Down Syndrome. A little shift in DNA and voila! These variables in our DNA make it possible to have a huge variety of humans, with vastly different looks and capabilities. Of course, all variables of humans are still human.

But what makes us all human?

Does the 100% blood of a human mother lineage make BF a human or does the half that is from more primitive man make him other? If a person has a genetic disorder that creates severe global developmental delay, does that make him not human because he cannot communicate or understand? Does BF, because they communicate differently and live in a primitive existence, become the equivalent of humans with developmental delay? Would raising him amongst us show a level of intelligence that astounds us or could that bit of primitive genes make him only as trainable as a chimp? Remember ape genes are 98% similar to ours, but that 2% makes a huge difference in language, intelligence and walking upright.

If this were true that he's human genetically, it may be a relief to realize that BF is not all beast, but then it also opens a new can of worms that none of us are prepared for. We might have a feral cousin in the woods who has been surviving on his own, but he might be that missing relative that would explain much of our own process of arriving as homo sapiens. This creature, walking erect for quite some time, has had the same free hands we had to fashion tools and be intelligent. Perhaps the very reason he has not been caught as of yet is that he is very cognizant of himself as a thinking, living, breathing, spiritual and physical being and also understand the "others" (man).

If they are 100% human, then BF is purely a feral human. However, even in humans that tiny genetic difference can change appearances drastically. How? Well, let's look at a genetic condition that could create an unusual appearance. 

Hypertrichosis, a condition of overgrowth of hair all over the body is passed down through a family line. What if Bigfoot is a result of inbreeding amongst very rural families or tribes in Early American who have managed to have, generation to generation, hidden their ways like the Amish, inbred to the point of carrying on pituitary growth disorders and hypertrichosis? Could the reason some people see what looks like wild people and others see what looks like apes be different members of isolated families? 

Here's where it gets even hairier (pun intended). How is it that places as isolated geographically as Australia and as vast as China, Russia and the United States have Bigfoot-like sightings with slight differences in appearance that might relate to breeding in isolated regions? This makes the case for an actual genus homo and not a band of wild rednecks.

Around and around this puzzle goes and where it stops--no one knows until we have a BF in the flesh and blood to examine. Unless you pluck a hair from a BF, you're not going to be able to get a true sense of him genetically because everything else could be our own blasted leavings in the woods. And, should a sample of DNA come up with mutations, we can't take those as a baseline for BF because if you were to sample someone with Trisomy 13, they would not represent baseline for typical human genes. In this case, we would have to herd up a helluva lot of BF's to find out what his standard genes look like and given that my entire lifetime they've been looking for the fella and not capturing him, I'm thinking in our lifetimes we won't know just what exactly a BF is genetically or in classification with any certainty.

What makes us human? There is no doubt that when you see a chimp and you see an orangutan, you know they're related. You see a Bigfoot and you see a human and there is no doubt. If we find Bigfoot to be human but not so bright - is he still human? Well if someone with an IQ of 46 is human, then Bigfoot is human with all the rights and responsibilities, honors and privileges. If someone is human because they were raised civilized, then any feral person would not be human. If being human is how you appear, than would someone with microcephaly or gigantism be human? If we accept Bigfoot is human, we must accept that he may have different mental capabilities, different temperament and vastly different appearance, unless, of course, you whittle away his hair and then, well, Bigfoot's genes do make his butt look human. --

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