Friday, November 11, 2005

Sweden's Storsjon monster and Absence of Evidence

From the Wall Street Journal, making the claim that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
Marylanders have been arguing for weeks about whether hunters should cull an exploding deer population. But it's open season on Sweden's Storsjon monster now that authorities have removed it from an endangered-species list. Like its cousin in Loch Ness, the serpentine inhabitant of Lake Storsjon belongs to the genus of myth. But some Swedes are upset about the loss of the creature's protected status. Just because we have no proof doesn't mean it's not there, Storsjon Monster Association member Christer Berko told the AP. "We're not fanatics."
While the claim has merit, there are obviously limits. Of course, scientists thought the giant squid was mythical until fairly recently. And that the petrel was extinct, until they discovered one.

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