Friday, November 03, 2006

Bigfoot and academia

Idaho State University anthropologist Jeff Meldrum is one of the leading scientific experts on the alleged unclassified ape of North America, the sasquatch. Unfortunately, that does not make him very popular with the rest of the faculty. Dr. Meldrum, a tenured professor, is considered an embarrassment by some of his colleagues. Thirty of them signed a letter objecting to his hosting a sasquatch symposium on campus. Fortunately, John Kijinski, dean of arts and sciences, is more tolerant, saying, "He's a bona fide scientist. I think he helps this university. He provides a form of open discussion and dissenting viewpoints that may not be popular with the scientific community, but that's what academics all about."

COMMENT: I'm with Kijinski. Yes, the odds are against there being an undiscovered primate wandering the Northwest. However, the scientific method demands freedom of inquiry, including inquiry into subjects that are considered "fringe."

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