Pterosaur Sightings and Statistics

Extreme Bias Against Living Pterosaurs

Since the two ropen expeditions of 2004 (on Umboi Island, Papua New Guinea), a few biologists and non-biologists have written about investigations of pterosaur sightings . . . very few. But many of those writings have been dismissive, without any admission that the extinction concept itself should be examined. A few of their writings may have mentioned or implied that religious bias influenced those who searched for living pterosaurs and for eyewitnesses. I don’t recall any critic who mentioned or implied that those who support standard models of extinction may have bias of their own.

Survey of Biology Professors

In a recent survey of biology professors in two universities in the western USA, regarding reports of sightings of apparent pterosaurs in Papua New Guinea, the first two responses were as follows:

  1. “Pterosaurs are extinct and have been for 10s of millions of years. Period.”
  2. “I would say that I’m between 1-5” (on a scale of 0-100 for an extant pterosaur).

The survey is still in an early stage, with many other university biology faculty members needing to be included. As of late Feb 1, 2013, about 5% have responded.

Extinction Concept

Before the twenty-first century, when had anybody done any research on the pterosaur-extinction concept itself? I’ve communicated with several paleontologists, over the past nine years, but not one of them has mentioned or even hinted at the existence of any investigation of the pterosaur-extinction concept. It’s been taken for granted as an axiom for about two hundred years, and has served an apparently useful purpose; indeed, dinosaur and pterosaur extinction has been foundational to Darwin’s writings and modern standard models of biology.

My associates and I have challenged that extinction dogma for years. Those professors who have criticized out conclusions have not addressed extinction itself, preferring to dismiss us without answering that challenge. To be precise, “extinct . . . Period.”

Mathematics and Clear Thinking About Pterosaur Sightings

Let’s apply probability to the two responses of those two biologists who evaluated the possibility of the existence of a living pterosaur. The first professor gave the probability 0%; the second, about 3%. That averages 1.5%. But those two professors appear to have been completely ignorant of the detailed eyewitness sighting reports that have been analyzed over the past nine years, 128 of which have been deemed credible enough to deserve analysis.

I chose those 128 reports because each of them appeared to me to have been probably from an encounter with a living pterosaur. In other words, not one of those 128 sightings was less than 51% in probability of being from an appearance of a living pterosaur. But of course, that is my opinion, and my opinion is not highly regarded among many scientists. So what can be done?

Take the average evaluation of those two biology professors, for a start. Apply mathematically those 128 reports, but use the skeptical 1.5% rather than my own much higher estimates. The probability that none of those 128 sightings was from a living pterosaur is only about 14%. In other words, from a skeptical point of view it is about 86% likely that a living pterosaur was observed. The math is simple, when a scientific calculator is used: 98.5%^128 comes to about 14.4%.

I suggest that the skeptical point of view is based on an extreme bias in favor of the universal-extinction dogma regarding dinosaurs and pterosaurs. When that extreme bias is properly taken into consideration, the 128 sightings make it practically impossible that not one of them was an encounter with a modern living pterosaur.

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Pterosaur Sightings – Not Extinct

In Searching for Ropens, I wrote, “Since no researcher in Europe [when fossils were first being discovered] had any knowledge of living creatures similar to the fossils, it was  assumed that they were all extinct. The key word is ‘assumed.’. . if only 1% of the population of Western Europe, in the late 18th Century, had . . . [seen] living pterosaurs, the universal-pterosaur-extinction notion would never have gotten started.” (second edition, page 237)

Pterosaur Sighting in Hawaii

I looked up and saw the Pterodactyl flying (gliding) from the direction of the Koolaus

Pterosaur Wingspan

Hoaxers could not have had any major influence if they had emphasized giant sizes, for the wingspan estimates show a fairly gradual decline in numbers of sightings as the wingspan increases, beginning with a size similar to that of large birds.

Television Show on Pterosaur Sightings

I wonder what the natives think of that Western idea, what those eyewitnesses in Papua New Guinea think about the universal-pterosaur-extinction assumption.

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2 thoughts on “Pterosaur Sightings and Statistics

  1. Good article, an interesting read. Unfortunately you are battling dogma which deems any sighting ludicrous due to ‘established fact’. It would be wonderful if someone during my lifetime either captured an image/video or one alive (I have high hopes, I know :D) I’m not saying that that would convince a believer of evolution to give up the theory but it would definitely show a major hole in the theory

  2. Pingback: Recent Pterosaur Sightings – Arkansas and Kentucky « Live Pterosaur

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