There’s a well known theory that tests the identification of any given subject by observing its habitual characteristics.
It’s called the duck test.
A form of abductive reasoning, it’s often used to counter abstruse arguments that something is not what it appears to be. In this case there are a number of specific questions you’d ask to determine if your subject is indeed a duck:
Does it look like a duck?
Does it walk like a duck?
Does it swim like a duck?
Does it quack like a duck?
The conclusion to this theory is that if the answers to these questions are yes, then your subject is probably a duck.
Of course, this test isn’t limited purely to testing if a subject is a duck or not, as you can use this theory to test the credentials of just about anything or anyone if you ask the right questions.
I’m not sure what you’ve been eating, but you’re different from the last time I saw you.
It’s tough to tell exactly what is underneath your black garb, and your silver and green mask and armor. Just who, or what are you?
There are times I’ve seen you walk. Other times I see you fly. What type of species has legs and wings? Could you be a duck?
I heard you took a nice swim in a big pool recently. If that’s true… which it appears to be… then perhaps that’s how you’ve transformed yourself from that ugly, bald little duckling to this shiny, beautiful swan I see before me.
Now I’ve never heard you quack when we’ve spoken, Stubbins, but you step into my clinic and proclaim yourself the real doctor between the two of us. Yet based on the methodology of your practice and the fact that you’ve consulted me, an actual certified doctor, for help, I can’t help but question you, doc.
So let’s identify who and what you are with the doc test, shall we?
Do you look like a doc?
I’d say that you look more like a supervillain than a doc, though I do say what you walk around in does appear medical grade.
Do you walk like a doc?
No, your life is that of an inventor, a man whose hands are more at home in machines than in humans.
Do you swim like a doc?
No, your work isn’t to decide who lives or dies. You could never tread water above a deep sea predator like myself and survive in this profession.
Do you speak like a doc?
You mask your true nature behind words that sound sophisticated, but in truth you couldn’t tell the difference between an ulnar and a metacarpal.
So no, you’re not a doc.
You’re a quack.
And probably a duck.
In short you don’t belong in my clinic, but since duck is my favorite food I’ll make an exception just this once because I just got off a long shift as OSW World Champion, so this doctor is hungry…
And it just so happens that duck is just what the doctor ordered.
Doom, the doctor will see you now.