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Challenge Match: americandingbat vs FSBlueApocalypse: "Mythbusters! Chupacabra Anyone?"

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posted on Oct, 25 2008 @ 01:04 AM
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The topic for this debate is "The Chupacabra is Real"

americandingbat will be arguing the pro position.
FSBlueApocalypse will argue the con position and will open the debate.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

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posted on Oct, 25 2008 @ 03:36 AM
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The chupacabra, Spanish for “goat sucker”, has rocketed up the ladder in cryptozoology fame. In less than twenty years since its first reported attacks on farm animals, it has gone from an unknown to being on the same plateau of fame as such cryptids as Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster. It is perhaps the first cryptid that credits its fame to the internet age and television. It was a favorite topic of early 90’s conspiracy theory show “Sightings” and its status as an unknown in the world of cryptozoology has had many people intrigued ever since. The Chupacabra has been refered to as the “Latin American Bigfoot” as it has attained that level of popularity and brand name. I am here to say it is the “Latin American Bigfoot” in another manner. That it is a nonexistent creature crafted from mythology, hoaxes, and faulty eyewitnesses.

However, what real evidence is there for the chupacabra? Attacks that have been blamed on the chupacabra have been recorded from Puerto Rico to Russia. In addition, samples of “evidence” have been collected, ranging from hair samples to the infamous Cuero,TX chupacabras. However, all of the evidence has pointed to it coming from either a domestic dog or coyotes. In addition, there are the numerous photoshops that have always turn up every few months on the cryptozoology board.

Eyewitness reports of the chupacabra present an even greater mystery. The ones reported in Puerto Rico describe it as like something of a love child between the Greys and Reptilians. It is a small bipedal creature with large glowing eyes, and with reptilian skin and spikes. The more common descripition that has occurred as of recently is that of a creature that resembles a hairless dog. It is a four legged animal with pronounced canines, and a hairless, seemingly distorted skin. The second has been sighted most prevalently in Texas, and is the type that were presented as evidence in Cuero.

The fossil record shows no records for such a creature like the one so often described in the Puerto Rican attacks. In fact, if such a creature were discovered it would represent perhaps an entirely new Class or Family not previously known to science.

The Texas Chupacabra seems like a much more likely candidate as it may simply represent an unknown species or subspecies of canine. However, how likely is it that such a beast would still remain undiscovered? In the over three hundred years since Europeans first colonized the North American continent, the decimation of every apex predator has followed. The cougar has been exterminated east of the Mississippi River, save a small population in south Florida. Wolves as a whole were gone from the lower forty eight states until reintroduction efforts put Gray Wolves in Yellowstone and Red Wolves in North Carolina. The black bear has similarly been reduced to only being found in various national parks. What are the chances that a creature that matches the description of the Texas Chupacabra would escape detection and as well suffer a similar fate as the animals mentioned above?

In addition, the chupacabra’s own feeding method would lead to its potential downfall. If its feeding method is accurate, it lives on a type of hematophagy. Apart from being what would be the second recorded mammal, besides the vampire bat, that uses this as its primary feeding method. However, it would be inconceivable for an animal of this size to use it. It is simply to ineffective to gain the nourishment simply from draining the blood of other animals. It would need to gain nourishment from the meat as well.

In short, the Chupacabra is nothing more than a mismashing of various cultural beliefs and superstitions. At best, the eyewitness reports record of two creatures that would both be finds of the century, and at worst show how unreliable eyewitness reports really are. No real physical evidence has ever turned up. This is no deep sea resident where it can resident in uncounted areas of unexplored territory. Chupacabras would seemingly inhabit various territories that have been occupied by humans for several millennia. Yet no real local legends speak of such a creature, and in addition, it seems to appear out of nowhere. The Puerto Rican variant has no fossil evidence, and the Texas variant should have turned up by now. Simply, the Chupacabra was an overzealous explanation for attacks on stock animals that was taken too far.

My only question, in spite of all of this, outside of holding out hope, how can their be a reasonable belief the Chupacabra exists?

I feel most of the information I have presented would be common knowledge to the members of this message board besides the details of hematophagy so I will post a link to several websites I felt helpful
en.wikipedia.org...
www.darkbanquet.com...



posted on Oct, 26 2008 @ 12:07 AM
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Thank you semperfortis, for setting up this debate; thank you FSBlueApocalypse for accepting the challenge; and thank you judges and readers for giving us your attention.

Opening Statement: The Chupacabra is Real

Over the next several days, I will be arguing that the chupacabra is real. In this opening post, I would like to focus on what that statement might mean.

There are numerous theories as to what the chupacabra could be: some say that it is simply a hitherto unknown species (probably canid) that evolved naturally. Some claim that it is an alien species brought here by extraterrestrials. Still others believe it is the product of a governmental or military experiment accidentally freed on Puerto Rico during a hurricane. Or it could be a demonic being. I will look at these possibilities in the course of this debate, in the context of the different reported sightings.

As FSBlueApocalypse noted in his opening statement, the chupacabra is unique among cryptids in that it owes its fame to television and internet exposure, rather than a long history of folkloric sightings. This complicates discussion of the chupacabra, because the fame associated with media exposure has drawn both unscrupulous and ingenuous false sightings to compete with the original and later genuine reports. There are indeed many obviously altered photographs on the internet claiming to show chupacabras. There are perhaps even more numerous photographs and videos of unfortunate maimed and hairless dogs and coyotes that the overeager present as the Chupacabra. It will be my responsibility to excavate the mass of material and focus attention on the accounts that cannot be easily attributed to hysteria or to exploitation.

No one has been able to produce direct physical evidence of the ‘goatsucker’ for the public view, and this is the greatest stumbling block that I must face. The best evidence for the existence of the chupacabra are the eyewitness accounts of sightings and attacks. My case will rest on these accounts and not on the various images and videos that have spread the fame of the chupacabra across the internet, nor on the purported corpses or hair of chupacabras that have been collected. There are too many hoaxes, and I do not have the expertise or resources to evaluate such material for veracity. I will instead present a selection of the most compelling eyewitness accounts and demonstrate that the events described demand an extraordinary explanation.

A further complicating factor in assessing the existence of the chupacabra is the apparent inconsistency in descriptions and in geographic occurrence of the beast. Descriptions range from, as my opponent aptly states, “something of a love child between the Greys and Reptilians” – a kangaroo-lizard hybrid with giant glowing eyes; to a batwinged demon; to a tree-dwelling sort of squirrel-cat cross; to the rather pitiful-looking hairless canids which seem particularly prevalent in the southwestern United States.

Like the physical descriptions of these creatures, the geographical range of reported incidents is extremely varied. The name ‘chupacabra’ was coined in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Hugo, when there was a rash of livestock killings and sightings of a strange beast. Reports of sightings since then have ranged as far afield as central Russia, where in 2004 numerous animals were killed and exsanguinated, and villagers report seeing a beast remarkably similar in description to that described in Puerto Rico ten years earlier. There are also many reported sightings from Chile, and of course there are the numerous U.S. reports.

In this debate I will not attempt to argue that all these sightings can be attributed to a single species of beast. Rather, I will try to show how improbable it is that all the reported events can be attributed to previously known species or human action.

In the process, I will put forth possible explanations of the sort of unknown creatures that could be responsible; I will attempt to shed some light on what happened on Puerto Rico during Hurricane Hugo; and I will try to differentiate the core events in the chupacabra history from the noise created by the spread of the legend, particular through the medium of the internet.

My opponent asks, “How can there be a reasonable belief that the Chupacabra exists?”

I would counter that, before the chupacabra had even been named, before the hype and the expectations, the earliest known eyewitnesses found the belief in this strange predator so compelling that they organized a search party to try to stop it. To these men, the question more likely is, “how can we not believe what we saw?”



posted on Oct, 26 2008 @ 07:59 PM
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First, I somehow had a mental lapse and forgot to give my proper respects in my opening statement. Thank you to americandingbat for accepting my offer, as well as semperfortis for setting this up. Also, thank you to the judges for taking time to read and consider the arguments being presented.
The arguments with Hurricane Hugo seem as something of a post hoc ergo propter hoc, or “After this, therefore because of this” argument. This is a logical fallacy as there is no hard evidence to cobber ate the two. No evidence has shown up for a secret genetics research facility, whether run by the government or private enterprise.
In addition, eyewitness reports can easily be misinterpreted depending on the current mood and thoughts of the person seeing it. A party searching for a “Chupacabra” after one of the first attacks may come across a monkey or some other animal and be startled by it. Between it being at night and having a preset condition you are going to find a chupacabra would lead to distorting of facts.
Just to give you an idea of how credible eyewitness reports can be. I watched a show and they tested eyewitness testimony under the guise of a nature walk. About 2/3rds of the way, they passed by an area that has been pre-done to look like some kind of military accident. All that was there was yellow guard tape, a guard with a rifle, and some minor pieces of debris. When they gave their testimony a few weeks later, descriptions ranged from fairly accurate reproductions to saying there was a giant crash ship with bodies. In addition, I present to you this test of eyewitness reports. Watch the first video, then wait about 10 minutes to watch the second before making your choice.
www.psychology.iastate.edu...
The very source of the chupacrabra’s fame, the internet and television, also explains its sightings in places such as Russia or Chile. Say someone who reads about it on the web, then hears of a peculiar attack in their community? If accepting what he had just read as fact, they could make the conclusion that it must have been an attack by a chupacabra?

My questions are
1. According to Occam’s Razor, citing the lack of any physical evidence, shouldn’t the eyewitness reports than be dismissed as simply either lies or misinterpretations?
2. How can you explain the Chupacabra’s apparent rapid advancement in less than twenty years? It has gone from a small island nation to having sightings throughout the world?



posted on Oct, 27 2008 @ 07:30 PM
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I have to take my 24-hour extension. My apologies to FSBA for the inconvenience.



posted on Oct, 28 2008 @ 08:28 PM
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In addition, with eyewitness reports, it does not explain the fact that two distinct forms have been reported. As we have previously said, the chupacabra owes its fame to television and the internet. The latter is not known for having the greatest quality control in the world. It is very likely that someone read about the kind of attacks chupacabras were known for, then noticed a strange attack on a neighbors livestock. A coyote or domestic dog with mange comes along and is blamed and then becomes the Texas chupacabra.

Additionally, where were these Chupacabras the entire time before their sudden arrival onto the scene in cryptozoology? There is no evidence of a destroyed genetics lab or animal center in the wake of a hurricane, and the extreme unlikelihood of these creatures being the pets of extraterrestrials would indicate that these are naturally originating animals or figments of our imagination. Are we to believe an animal that matches the description of the Puerto Rican chupacabra would not escape both local legend and a flurry of European explorers seeking the fame of its capture?

As I said before in my opening statement, these animals would have suffered the same fate as any of the other apex predators have since European colonization of the West.

Therefore, this animal is simply contained to the realm of “Sightings” segments, Monsterquest, and the Crytozoology section of ATS.



posted on Oct, 29 2008 @ 08:27 PM
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Second Round: The Chupacabra is Real

Since I missed my last post, I will begin by answering my opponent’s Socratic Questions from Round One:


My questions are
1. According to Occam’s Razor, citing the lack of any physical evidence, shouldn’t the eyewitness reports than be dismissed as simply either lies or misinterpretations?
2. How can you explain the Chupacabra’s apparent rapid advancement in less than twenty years? It has gone from a small island nation to having sightings throughout the world?


Answer to Socratic Question 1.1

I often have difficulty wielding Occam’s Razor, so if this response is insufficiently direct I apologize. My answer is no, based both on my understanding of the philosophical principle and on real world experience.

First, we would have to evaluate each sighting individually to determine what the simplest explanation that accounts both for the observer’s belief that he or she saw something unfamiliar and for the apparent lack of physical evidence. The 1995 sighting in Puerto Rico, for example, left ample physical evidence in the form of exsanginated carcasses of chickens and goats. That they were not preserved for posterity is unfortunate, but does not render them dismissible.

That no further evidence of the beast itself has surfaced is as easily explained by its subsequent death or recapture as by its nonexistence, whereas its nonexistence leaves unexplained the experience of the witnesses.

Answer to Socratic Question 1.2

Indeed, the apparent spread of the Chupacabra throughout the Americas and even to Europe and Asia is impossible to explain – it simply has to have traveled through the airwaves and cables of television and Internet.

I agree with my opponent that it would be unlikely in the extreme for one animal, or even a small pack of animals, released on Puerto Rico in the early 1990s, to have spread to central Russia by 2007. Thus one of two things must be true: it has had human (or alien) help in its spread, or the animals described are not the same.

Questions Posed in Round 2

Although my opponent did not pose formal Socratic Questions in his second round response, I would like to address the questions he raised:


Additionally, where were these Chupacabras the entire time before their sudden arrival onto the scene in cryptozoology? There is no evidence of a destroyed genetics lab or animal center in the wake of a hurricane, and the extreme unlikelihood of these creatures being the pets of extraterrestrials would indicate that these are naturally originating animals or figments of our imagination. Are we to believe an animal that matches the description of the Puerto Rican chupacabra would not escape both local legend and a flurry of European explorers seeking the fame of its capture?


I think there are several possible answers to the question of where the chupacabras were before their fame spread. The first is that they have always been with us, but until the 1990s no connections were made between the sporadic reports of mysterious deaths among yard animals. It was not until the issue was raised on television and the beast given a name by a popular television personality that people could begin to identify their experience as a shared one.

The next possibility is, of course, that the chupacabra is a new species, either arising naturally, genetically engineered, or of extraterrestrial origin. There was more than enough time for the government to clean up and cover up any evidence of a genetics lab between the time of Hurricane Hugo and the first identified sightings of chupacabras, so the lack of evidence of one is not sufficient argument against the possibility. My opponent claims that it is extremely unlikely that extraterrestrials would keep chupacabras as pets – I would ask why not? If the extraterrestrials are at least enough like humans to seek military assistance in screening their presence from the population at large, is it unimaginable that they would keep pets? And why not chupacabras – humans keep much stranger pets indeed.

Also, there is the possibility of a demonic origin for the chupacabras. The sighting of a creature engaged in similar attacks on livestock in Puerto Rico in 1976 was originally described as a demon. Perhaps that early witness was indeed correct and was witness to an extra-dimensional entity that occasionally invades our reality to spread fear and confusion.

Finally, I would like to address an issue raised by my opponent in his opening statement: the diet of the chupacabra. One of the hallmarks of a chupacabra attack is clearly the exsanguination of livestock, notably poultry and goats. He argues that it would be impossible for a creature the size of a chupacabra to derive all its nourishment from blood, therefore it must not exist. I counter: it would be impossible, therefore it must eat something else in addition.

The attacks that are attributed to the chupacabras may be only a small part of its diet; it may more frequently steal an entire chicken, hunt for wild animals, or even supplement its diet with fish or vegetables. Such meals would hardly be reported to the authorities, and if reported would be filed as theft of livestock with no attribution.

I will leave my presentation at that, having answered I believe all the questions raised by my opponent in his opening and first two rounds.

Socratic Questions

1. Is absence of evidence, evidence of absence?
2. Could there be two or more distinct cryptids (hitherto unidentified animals) going under the name chupacabra?
3. If you saw an animal in your yard in clear daylight, would you be able to tell whether it was a species you had seen before?
4. Do you believe the military engages in covering-up secret projects?
5. Have you ever heard of an animal of identified species attacking and exsanguinating yard animals?

Note on sources

Everything I have used in my argument comes from numerous sources; the sources on this topic have overlapping information and often seem to have been cribbed directly from one another. Among others, I have used:

www.tinwiki.org...
www.wikipedia.org...
www.cryptomundo.com...



[edit on 10/29/2008 by semperfortis]



posted on Oct, 30 2008 @ 08:55 PM
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I need my 24 hour extension



posted on Oct, 31 2008 @ 12:03 PM
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An answer to my opponents questions on Occam’s Razor. Occam’s Razor states that an explanation make as few assumptions as possible. For instance, if you go out drinking at a bar and walk home, if you wake up with a bruised and scraped knee, which requires more assumptions, that you fell in your drunken stupor or that you were abducted by aliens? It works the same way with the chupacabra. Either everyone ha s seen a creature totally new to science, which may or may not be an experiment of the government or extraterrestrial pet, or that people are simply lying to get on TV or mistaken. Which makes more assumptions?

In addition, I point to an episode of Monster Quest titled “The Vampire Beast of Bladenboro” in which Chupacabra style attacks were shown to be the work of a cougar. If such attacks have already been shown to be the work of a known animal, it is much more likely all of the attacks have been the work of known animals.

My position on the chupacabra being a pet of ETs has also been misconstructed. I did not say that it is impossible ETs would keep pets. We have no way of knowing the customs and practices of a culture on another planet. What I was saying is that the statistical odds of ETs having chupacabras as pets and letting them roam around Earth, attacking livestock, as if it were they’re personal doggie park is highly unlikely.
Going back to my point on eyewitnesses, even before the idea of the chupacabra became publicized, those early farmers still felt they were going after something unknown. The human mind’s power of suggestion is very powerful. In the same way we look for faces or familiar objects, a eyewitness could believe he has seen an extraordinary creature simply by suggestion.

Answer to the Socratic Questions
1. Is absence of evidence, evidence of absence?
No, but the same could be said for any such argument. I could argue that reasoning supports the fact two elves are tap dancing to polka in my shoes. In addition, every bit of evidence gained from supposed attacks has turned up from some known animal.

2. Could there be two or more distinct cryptids (hitherto unidentified animals) going under the name chupacabra?
While yes, it is possible, what is more likely? Either a large predator has escaped detection in North America for centuries and there is perhaps an entire Class of new animals waiting to be discovered in Puerto Rico, or that these are overhyped killings by known animals?

3. If you saw an animal in your yard in clear daylight, would you be able to tell whether it was a species you had seen before?
Once again, the power of persuasion from the human mind comes into play. A few years back a pair of Bearcats managed to escape from the zoo in my hometown. They were recaptured a week and a half later, but the story was part of the news in the meantime. The news was filled with things like don’t leave your children playing unattended for fear of an attack, or that they would go through trash cans looking for food, etc. Hundreds of calls claiming sightings were phoned in. Know what 95% of those calls turned out to be? People misidentifying common animals such as raccoons for the bearcats. So, if nothing out of the ordinary was happening, and I got a good look at the animal, yes I believe I would be able to identity it without hesitation.

4. Do you believe the military engages in covering-up secret projects?
Yes, but how is this evidence for the chupacaba?. In this day and age, theres always someone with the right info and either the right price or guilty conscious to come forward to spill the beans about a cover up. A coverup like this would require the compliance of all the Scientists and workers at the lab, the overseers in the higher offices of the government, the military personel who would have been assigned to wipe any trace of a lab off the face of the Earth.

5. Have you ever heard of an animal of identified species attacking and exsanguinating yard animals?
See my example of the Monster Quest episode.



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 09:56 AM
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Third Round: The Chupacabra is Real

In this round I will be focusing on two issues which have become important in this debate: the question of how to choose between or among different explanations of phenomena, and the reliability of eyewitness testimony.

I) Occam’s Razor

FSBlueApocalypse wrote in his last round:


An answer to my opponents questions on Occam’s Razor. Occam’s Razor states that an explanation make as few assumptions as possible. For instance, if you go out drinking at a bar and walk home, if you wake up with a bruised and scraped knee, which requires more assumptions, that you fell in your drunken stupor or that you were abducted by aliens? It works the same way with the chupacabra. Either everyone ha s seen a creature totally new to science, which may or may not be an experiment of the government or extraterrestrial pet, or that people are simply lying to get on TV or mistaken. Which makes more assumptions?


My problem with this presentation is that I don’t agree with the either/or paradigm that my opponent has erected. To me the most unlikely assumption is that all the eyewitnesses are acting with the same motivation or have had the same experience.

In other words, I think it is most likely that a few people have seen something that has not been identified, a lot of people have been mistaken, and some people have lied.

Occam’s Razor is usually used to distinguish the more likely of two explanations. Given the two explanations that my opponent has presented, clearly it is more likely that everyone is mistaken that that a brand new beast has mysteriously appeared from central Russia to Michigan to Puerto Rico to Chile, looking different in each place and with no regard for the differences in climate, spent a couple months exsanguinating goats and chickens, and then disappeared for months or years, apparently without further need for nourishment.

But there is no need for this explanation. Real world situations seldom have only two possible explanations, and this is one with many. Occam’s razor must be applied over and over again, with reference to each sighting and each possibility, if we are not to overlook the truth.

By way of illustration, I will return to my opponent’s story about a woman walking home after a night of drinking and waking up the next morning with a bruised knee. He claims that the reasonable explanation is a stumble on the walk home rather than an alien abduction. Indeed if I were in that situation I would assume I had stumbled. But what if I then found that my bag was missing, with my cash inside it? It is still quite possible that I stumbled, and that I dropped the bag in the stumble. Or I could have forgotten the bag earlier, and stumbled on the way home. But another possibility begins to emerge also, and I don’t think it would be too unreasonable of me to wonder if I might have been mugged.


II) Eyewitness Testimony

There are two major types of eyewitness testimony involved in accounts of the chupacabra. The first and more obvious is that of people who believe that they have seen the beast itself. It is this testimony on which my opponent has focused his arguments about the unreliability of eyewitnesses and I will address this first.

Unfortunately for my opponent, studies about the reliability of eyewitnesses tend to be concerned with identification of humans in a court of law, which makes their results very hard to apply to the case of identification of species of animal. There can be really no comparison between trying to identify which of several similarly-featured men one saw on a rooftop, and determining whether the animal in the yard is of a type one is familiar with or not. This was the point that I was trying to get across with my Socratic Question, and my opponent has answered:


So, if nothing out of the ordinary was happening, and I got a good look at the animal, yes I believe I would be able to identity it without hesitation.


He offers as a cautionary tale a story of the escape of bearcats in his hometown:


Hundreds of calls claiming sightings were phoned in. Know what 95% of those calls turned out to be? People misidentifying common animals such as raccoons for the bearcats.


Again, the situation is not really the same. These people were not asked to describe an animal that they had seen clearly – in all likelihood, most of the calls were from people who had done no more than seen some motion in the woods and wanted to make sure the authorities checked it out. I would expect people under those circumstances to be calling in every strange noise or glimpsed stray.

What we have in the matter of the chupacabra is not only people who heard something, or saw something, and called for help. We have people who say they had an unimpeded view of a creature they had never before seen or heard of, in some cases stationary and in daylight. While it is possible that such identifications are mistakes, it is nowhere near as likely as when one has nothing to go on but a tail vanishing into bushes at midnight.

The second sort of eyewitness testimony is the accounts of people who found the victims of the chupacabras. While it would of course be more convincing to have the bodies of the animals killed to test in a laboratory, we cannot simply ignore the fact that hundreds of animals have been reported slaughtered, with the defining characteristics of the attacks being puncture wounds to the neck or head, exsanguination and occasional organ removal, and disinterest in the rest of the meat.


Even though the physical description of the Chupacabra varies among eyewitnesses, what has been dubbed as "the hallmark" of this beast is its style of attack. The carcasses of its victims are left intact, except for one thing--the puncture wound.



The most disturbing fact in these attacks is the purpose of the wound. The wound is the way the beast sucks all the blood out of the animal.


AVParanormal.com

My opponent has complained that the eyewitnesses were predisposed to see something unusual, and that this prejudice caused them to mistake a common animal for a chupacabra. But he is forgetting that they had already become eyewitnesses before they saw the beast – eyewitnesses to the abnormal slaughter of their animals. The reason they knew to look for something unusual was that they already had unusual evidence.


Detail from a screen capture from MonsterQuest: Chupacabra

With this in mind, let us turn to the show that FSBlueApocalypse cites, and look at it as a case study in eyewitness accounts of unusual livestock predation. Bear in mind that this is a case that has apparently been solved to everyone’s satisfaction, the predator in question having been captured in a cell phone photograph and identified as a cougar.

The story begins fifty years ago, with reports of farm animals and domestic dogs being killed by a beast that is never seen, but is capable of “crushing skulls and draining blood.” The beast is never found, and eventually the animal deaths end.

In 2007, over a 200-mile swath of territory in North Carolina, similar killings are reported. Livestock, including goats and sheep, and dogs – even healthy, stocky pit bulls – are killed with ease, their necks gouged or crushed, and sometimes gutted. There no references specifically to exsanguinations – the attention-grabbing name “the Vampire Beast of Bladenboro” is given to the unknown predator because of its resemblance to the 1950s terror.

No one can explain this new rash of killings. Another dog or a wild canine could possibly cause the injuries seen, but not without a struggle, and not without alerting neighboring dogs, and not over such a large area. And there are no other logical possibilities: as my opponent pointed out in his opening, the cougar is known to have been extinct east of the Mississippi River and north of Florida for decades.

Now, the show reports:


Witnesses have described a dark brown beast, four and a half feet long, with a face like a cat, claws like a dog, and teeth like a vampire.


(MonsterQuest: Vampire Beast, at about 2 minutes into the segment)

Experts in wildlife, animal behavior, animal tracks, animal sounds, are all consulted. Trackers are hired and video cameras and traps are set to no avail. It is not until someone happens to catch sight of the predator and take a snapshot with his cell phone camera that the unexpected is accepted: the animal is a cougar.


Image source


An adult cougar can range in length from 42 to 54 inches, with a 3-foot-long tail. Adult males weigh up to 200 pounds, and adult females up to 120 pounds.

Like all members of the cat family, cougars have five digits on the forepaw and four on the hindpaw. Each digit is equipped with a claw, which the cougar sheathes while walking, but which it uses with deadly effectiveness when grasping its prey.


Cougar Fact Sheet

So we have a situation in which there is a rash of frightening and seemingly inexplicable animal killings are followed by eyewitness descriptions of a beast that are more or less ignored as impossible. And in the end, those descriptions are remarkably accurate – a brown animal, cat-faced, with fangs and claws, about four and one-half feet in length.

Perhaps eyewitnesses are not so unreliable in these situations after all?



posted on Nov, 2 2008 @ 01:29 AM
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My closing statement sadly leaves me to once again addressing my opponent’s misconstructions. First, Occam’s Razor can be used to determine any number of possible answers, not just one or another. It does not matter if there are two explanations or one billion, Occam’s Razor applies to every case. The answer that makes the fewest assumptions and highest probability is best. In regards to the eyewitness reports, isn’t in conspicuous that those know have the best views of the beast never manage to get any evidence of the animal?

In addition, my opponent seems to misunderstand the idea of what I was explaining with the killings. The killings maybe unusual, but when people go out looking for something unusual, it is what they will find.
In closing, I wish that you simply review my arguments. The chupacabra is a nonexistent beast of legend that is no closer to being real as the Crocoduck.



posted on Nov, 2 2008 @ 05:00 AM
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The Chupacabra is Real: Closing Statement

It seems my opponent and I will each leave this debate somewhat unsatisfied. For my part, I sincerely regret missing the first round of the debate and having had to narrow my focus on that account.

I also regret that my opponent and I seem to be talking at cross-purposes about both philosophical and psychological principles.

Throughout this debate, FSBlueApocalypse has appealed to the principle of Occam’s Razor, alleging that it directly supports his theory that all the reported sightings of the chupacaba were actually lies or cases of the mistaken identification of a common animal. Now he objects to my assertion that “Occam’s Razor is usually used to distinguish the more likely of two explanations,” saying:


First, Occam’s Razor can be used to determine any number of possible answers, not just one or another. It does not matter if there are two explanations or one billion, Occam’s Razor applies to every case. The answer that makes the fewest assumptions and highest probability is best.


Note that I did not deny that it could be used to determine the best among many, but merely was drawing attention to the fact that, at least as used by my opponent, it requires serial applications, somewhat like an eye exam: “Is this better, or that? Okay, that or this? B or D?” and so on. I do not want to waste too much space in this closing on this question; rather, I would beg the reader’s forgiveness for the abuse the principle has taken in this debate and summarize its application here thusly:

My opponent claims that because in the few cases in which physical evidence has been collected and examined (note that these mainly consist of the Texan mangy-dog/coyote/wolf “chupacabras”) it has not supported the identification of the beast in that instance as a new or unknown creature, it is most reasonable to conclude that this would be the case in all the thousands of other sightings and killings.

All I can really answer is, how do you figure that? Without calling on medieval philosophy, but only on common sense, how can you argue that the lack of evidence in one place has any bearing on the existence or non-existence of a creature described very differently in a geographically distinct area?

The second topic on which we seem to be at cross-purposes in this debate is of course in the matter of the eyewitness testimony. My opponent seems to have missed entirely my point in my last response, which was that we should look at why the eyewitnesses went out in the expectation of finding an unusual creature: they already knew they had an unusual situation on their hands from the unusual circumstances of the animal deaths.

Moreover, I have offered the example of the North Carolina cougar attacks as a gauge on how badly affected eyewitness testimony was in a very similar situation to what occurred in Puerto Rico in 1995. The answer was, hardly at all: witnesses described a cat-like beast about four and one-half feet long, brown, with fangs and claws. The perpetrator was indeed a large cat, about four and one-half feet long, brown, with fangs and claws.

We have really not had a chance to get into the most interesting parts of the chupacabra phenomena, which are the reports of captures of chupacabra by government officials in Puerto Rico and in Chile, and the subsequent denial of such captures; reports of UFO activity over Puerto Rico before the rash of sightings in the mid-1990s; and similar reports of creatures distant in both space and time – from the early years of this century in Russia, to Aztec and Mayan carvings of vampire-like beasts – which raise the question of whether the chupacabra could be the latest appearance of a sort of demon that has been seen for centuries.

In short, my opponent has left us without a credible alternative explanation for the facts: thousands of slaughtered and exsanguinated animals on an island in 1995, and hundreds of sightings of a strange beast – including that of Madeline Tolentino and her neighbors in Campo Rico (recounted in many sources, including www.geocities.com...[/url" target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow">here), who saw the creature in the middle of the street at about 3 P.M. and got a good look at it before it ran away at great speed.

Whether credible evidence has been turned in to reputable modern laboratories or not, no one seems to doubt that thousands of animals died. Yet my opponent, for all his love of reasonable explanations, has not offered a single counter-explanation to the chupacabra.

I finish my closing where I finished my opening: something out of the ordinary occurred that demands an explanation. The only explanation we have seen in this debate is the chupacabra – the strange beast described by many residents of Puerto Rico in that year.

It remains an open question what exactly that beast is – whether it is a recurrence of the monster that plagued the island in the mid-1970s, a new natural species, a genetic mutant, engineered or accidental, a creature of extra-terrestrial origin, or a demon.

To each person reading this, depending on their own experiences, some of those will sound credible and some incredible. But the fact remains that each is at least an explanation.

And even in the least dexterous hands, Occam’s Razor is usually used to decide between or among explanations, not between an explanation and no explanation at all.

As far as we have seen, the only reasonable explanation is, the Chupacabra is real.



posted on Nov, 2 2008 @ 05:34 PM
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Off to the Judges

Semper



posted on Nov, 9 2008 @ 03:20 AM
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The results are in Folks!!!!!


FSBA opened up well, citing the fact that the ‘apex predator’ has been thoroughly imposed upon and driven from its’ natural environment. ADB never really counters this in her opening; though she does give an accurate account of the uphill battle she faces in establishing that there is indeed an existence of the Chupacabra.

ADB makes a relevant mistake in her Second Round answer to FSBA’s Socratic question from round one.



Indeed, the apparent spread of the Chupacabra throughout the Americas and even to Europe and Asia is impossible to explain – it simply has to have traveled through the airwaves and cables of television and Internet.
My Emphasis

It is unclear as to whether or not this comment is slightly sarcastic or a direct admission that worldwide sightings are a result of the impressionable nature of some people who have encountered the topic through a global medium.

ADB finally seems to show up in the Third Round, after undue attention to the Ockham’s Razor principle brought up by FSBA. Her presentation of eyewitness accounts and the cougar incident successfully shows that eyewitness account can be trusted, which went completely unanswered by FSBA. This was the crucial point of the debate for this judge.

Overall, it should be noted that this debate was an almost impossible premise for that of the con position. There was also an undue amount of attention placed on Ockham’s Razor by both Fighters. FSBA was a bit short in several of his posts and while he was concise and to the point, lost many oppurtunities to ‘put this away’. In the end, I was left feeling that ADB did a better job at ‘convincing me’ of a position that I was dead set against at the beginning and am currently still skeptical of.

ADB is the winner by a very slim margin.



This was a good debate; both fighters deserve recognition for their efforts and applause for giving the readers something to really chew on. I have to say it was a close one and was difficult for me to judge this based on the testimony that was presented.

Both fighters presented their cases well. americandingbat lost some points initially for allowing his 24 hour extension to pass without reply.

FSBlueApocalypse did well in this debate to present his side of the argument that Chupacabra does not exist. The plausible reasoning of Ockham’s razor gave this fighter the edge (sorry bout the pun)

In the end though I have to say that FSBlueApocalypse won this debate, but just barely.



Judgement Americandingbat vs. FSBlueApocalypse


If judgement of debates were soley based on the evidence provided FSBlueApocalypse might have taken the lead. But debates are also judged according to references, examples, personal accounts, logic and rhetoric. FSBlue started with a strong and honest post opening but then relied too much on Occams Razor to handle everything. He continued to do so after Americandingbat showed how applying Occams Razor to witness accounts of the Chupacabra will not be enough. FSBlue also continued devaluating eyewitness accounts.

Ameringcandingbat did a thourough job of presenting the many different theories on the origins of the Chupacabra, which made for an interesting read and did indeed force the reader to ask: “What is it about this beast? Is it real?”

As someone who did not have the slightest belief in and much less interest in the topic I will say that this debate managed to spark my interest. Because of that americandingbat is the winner.


And the Winner is...

americandingbat by a Split Decision

Congratulations to both Fighters!!!!

Semper



posted on Nov, 9 2008 @ 06:16 AM
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Thanks to the judges for your attention to this debate.

Thanks to FSBlueApocalypse for a great first debating experience.

And just for the record, I've convinced myself that some of the chupacabra cases deserve investigation, but I still don't believe in the Chupacabra as an actual beast



posted on Nov, 9 2008 @ 04:23 PM
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Congrats to Americandingbat and thanks to the judges





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