The MonsterTalk interview with Jimmy Chilcutt which was posted to the Internet on February 3, 2010 didn’t contain much of anything I wasn’t already familiar with. Unfortunately, I didn’t have an easy way of “rewinding” or even time stamping his verbal statements, so any transcriptions are rough quotes from notes I took.
For those unfamiliar with MonsterTalk or Jimmy Chilcutt, the interview appears here.
To cut to the chase, Chilcutt has had about 5 years now to formulate a rebuttal to the claim that the textures seen on CA-19 are desiccation ridges, not dermal ridges. In this interview he appears to have done this in two ways. The first is to simply ignore the argument entirely, as he seems to be completely unaware of the contents of my website, posts on JREF, and research on other blogs and forums. The second is a last ditch appeal to deltas.
First off, he mentions that I sent him test casts, which indeed I did. At the time, I believed the desiccation ridge phenomenon was a purely surface effect, and that the mass of plaster slurry was not a factor. At the time, my working metaphor was that of wallpaper; if you are studying wallpaper, it really doesn’t matter how thick the wall behind the wallpaper is. But real science is all about testing assumptions, and determining what variables do and do not affect the result.
Over time, I came to realize that total slurry mass IS a factor in the size and distribution of desiccation ridges. A better metaphor is a potato chip vs. a French fry. Both are sections of potato cooked in hot oil, but their bulk characteristics are different because of their differing masses. The small test casts I sent Chilcutt were most defiantly preliminary tests, and it is either willfully ignorant or dishonest of Chilcutt to fail to acknowledge this.
Other researchers like Brenden Bannon and Sam Rich never had to go through the kind of preliminary testing that I did, and created test casts that contain textures that are virtually identical to the textures seen on CA-19.
Chilcutt seems to suggest that desiccation ridges don’t exhibit deltas. Chilcutt claims to “have never seen artifacts change directions on curved surfaces and change directions 45 degrees.” Really? I take it he has never looked at my website or refuses to acknowledge that he has:
Perhaps the most deeply unusual aspect of his whole interview his how he claims to have spent 3 days in Meldrum’s lab and “took two castings back to his (Chilcutt’s) lab” and yet failed to notice the writing on the back of the cast in question, CA-19:
Chilcutt claims during the MonsterTalk Interview that “this is the first time I’ve heard that designation.”
How is this even possible? The most generous explanation that I can think of is that Meldrum gave Chilcutt a copy of CA-19 to examine, and did not loan out the original. But if Chilcutt spent 3 days in Meldrum’s lab, how could he have missed what Meldrum claims is the original cast?
Conveniently left out of this interview is the fact that Chilcutt by his own admission was unfamiliar with desiccation ridges until I came forth with my findings. Once you know what desiccation ridges look like on a Bigfoot-sized cast, there is really no going back; certain features are just unmistakable.
If you came upon a tree stump that had lots of little cuts on it beside a body of water, it might seem very mysterious until you learn what beavers do to trees. At that point, it becomes obvious, and you can’t go back to seeing such a stump in any other way.
The textures on CA-19 and CA-20 are desiccation ridges, as obvious as a beavered tree stump. Chilcutt’s decision to ignore the overwhelming evidence contrary to his interpretation does not even rise to the level of a coherent rebuttal, and frankly that’s kind of sad.