My latest post, regarding the rational vs non-rational response to the new cryptozoology book by Loxton and Prothero, Abominable Science, went live on Huffington Post yesterday.
When critical thinkers approach the subject of Bigfoot (or cryptozoology in general) with a focus on the evidence, they are met with reproach. We are challenging much more than the claim; we challenge their belief. They will resort to what Biblical literalists will do to evolutionists – they demonize, call us names, misquote, pick at small mistakes, and take words and ideas out of context. They create an extreme position and shoot it down (called a “straw man” argument) because it’s a power play to make them feel superior. (Note that some aggressive “skeptics” will do that and it’s not fair play in that case either.) All the while, they skirt the MAJOR flaws in their own conclusions.
Bigfoot-themed and other cryptozoology blogs and forums are typically hostile to skeptics, even moderate ones like myself. They can’t understand why we even want to participate since we are going to “deny” everything. Gee, sorry for being interested in the topic and in getting a good answer for peoples’ experiences. Questioning is not denying, it’s thinking.
A while back I challenged cryptozoologists to read the book and make a fair assessment. Some seem to have read it. Three known men gave it ridiculous reviews. They only read the parts that interested them and presumed judgement on the whole book. That is intellectually dishonest and really shallow, not to mention extremely arrogant, behavior. This is why we can’t take self-proclaimed cryptozoological experts seriously. They treat their subject more like a religion, based on faith.
It is quite easy for skeptics to change their mind. All we need is solid DNA studies and evidential arrows that all points to a new animal. Or, obviously, a body or body parts would be pretty definitive.
What would Bill Munns, Daniel Perez, the consistently trollish commentator DWA, and the blogger Glasgow Boy need to convince them to change their views? Nothing will? Then that’s faith, not science. And, wow, does it show with their reaction to this book.
All the naysayers can do is sputter, nitpick and degrade the authors. What they can’t seem to do is be professional or actually address the serious claims made AGAINST the existence of their monsters.
Their reactions reveal so much and it’s actually understandable, as I note in my Huff Post piece. Their behavior is in complete contrast to that of the science magazine reviewers who read the book with few preconceptions. The comparison is night and day. The one-star reviewers sound EXACTLY like Creationists. They will defend their extraordinary beliefs in the face of really damning scientific evidence. Many bigfooters and cryptid hunters can not be objective, therefore, their opinions mean little to me. It’s just proselytizing and I’m not a fan of that stuff.
I’m not surprised by their rabid response. It shows that Loxton and Prothero have hit a home run with this book. I’ll mention once again, if you refuse to seriously consider the problems with your field of research, you can’t consider yourself knowledgeable. Decades of faith in cryptozoology with nothing to show for it? That reeks of desperation.