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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cryptozoology meeting

Continuing on last nights theme of aquatic monsters, there was more cryptozoological news today from the Zoological Society of London. On July 12th they hosted a meeting entitled “Cryptozoology: science or pseudoscience?” This meeting apparently had a very large turnout for people who were interested in learning how cryptozoology could and should be considered as a part of biology and / or zoology. Follow the link to read more from one of the speakers that presented at the meeting. 

It has always seemed that Cryptozoology has been in a better position to be taken seriously by 'mainstream' science more so than any other Fortean topic. This is true for a number of reasons. One we have a precedence of finding weird or unusual creatures that were once thought to not exist. The Mountain Gorilla was once the stuff of legends, the Coelacanth was believed to have been extinct until oops it was found by some fishermen in 1944, and more recently evidence has (no pun intended) surfaced to prove the existence of giant squids. 
Looking good for something that's supposed to be extinct, right?
 It's probably for this reason that many cryptozoologists rarely like to delve into the more esoteric or paranormal aspects of mysterious creatures. Stories of Bigfoot vanishing right in front of witnesses eyes crop more often than not, as do sightings of said creatures in the vicinity of UFO flaps or waves. I can't really blame them of course. Everyone wants to be taken seriously and cryptozoology has a better chance than say ufology, assuming of course that what they are searching for is in fact a physical phenomena.

Maybe there is a physical aspect to the phenomena or maybe it's more paranormal in nature, who knows? It is nice to see that some aspects of the Fortean are being taken seriously by someone. I just hope that people don't fall into the same trap that befalls many ufologists. Where the researcher believes that they know the answer (ie that Bigfoot is a flesh and blood creature) instead of just letting the evidence lead to whatever the real answer maybe.


Nopa said...

There is such a fundamental difference between the way the coelocanth was discovered and how cryptozoologists go about their business. The giant squid and coelocanth investigations were fueled by the discovery of bodies. Were they fisherman's tales first, yes. But no amazing scientific claims were made until there was physical evidence. No one was running around screaming with delight or falsifying evidence every time they found a fish scale or had a weird looking calamari on their plate.

Tony Morrill said...

Can't argue with you there, which is why I'm fascinated by the possibility that Bigfoot might have a more paranormal reality to it. Granted I realize that this could be seen as trying to get out of the lack of physical evidence but I don't think that that is necessarily the case. The article definitely took more of the "let's look for the bodies" mentality. Which is of course very valid. Thanks for the response!

Nopa said...

No problem, I agree with you. The mystery and emotion is what makes these cryptids so interesting. No one cares about the coelocanth now that they have found it.

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