What is Not a Goat Sucker? - A Logical Conundrum
Last month there was a bit of bruhaha over the discovery of two amazingly ugly dead critters who were breathlessly identified in the media as "chupacabras".
The "cooler heads" then quickly moved in and pooh-poohed the idea that the nasty things were the legendary goat suckers. "You poor benighted rednecks. They are not chupacabras" they declared, "they are in fact hairless mangy coyotes".
Everyone in this, however, seems to be missing a major logical conundrum. They were insisting that these homely and unfortunate dead coyotes were not chupacabras because, being experts, they know what chupacbras are?
To say something is not a particular thing, requires that you have certain criteria: a specific idea in your head of what a chupacabra IS. To say that a mangy coyote is not a chupacabra requires that you define chupacabra as, for one thing, not coyote. This seems like an unwarranted leap. Since none of us can boast having made the acquaintance of a chupacabra, how do we know what it is or is not?
I would suggest that it seems likely that chupacabras have never been anything more than mangy coyotes. People saw these massively ugly varmints skulking around their herds, decided they were a new species (they sure look different) and invented stories worthy of a creature of such surpassing ugliness.
So, I think those folks were right. They did find and kill real chupacabras. Their goats may now safely graze without fear of being sucked.