Tuesday, June 02, 2009

More on validation of cryptozoology

I'm having a refreshingly scientific and calm dispute with this skeptical author. My latest:

The fields you lump together as pseudoscience are not all comparable:
UFOs: no testable hypotheses
Ghosts: no testable hypotheses
Parapsychology: some testable hypotheses, some disproven, some still unresolved – disputes over what constitutes signficant test results
Astrology: Some testable hypotheses, which have been disproven

Cryptozoology: All hypotheses are testable. Some proven, some disproven, most still unresolved due to inadequate resources to test them.
As to what I’m calling “proven” examples, keep in mind cryptozoology is not simply the monsters, but any theorized new animal whose existence is hypothesized by cryptozoologists – who may nor may not have the same opinion as most “mainstream” scientists on a given possibility.
– Cryptozoologists, like many ornithologists, long theorized the ivory bill was still alive, for example.
– Cryptozoologists have long argued the Eastern cougar survived when very few non-cryptozoologists agreed, and evidence is swinging strongly in the cryptozoologists’ direction.
– Van Roosmalen’s giant peccary (sorry, I typed in “tapir” in an earlier comment when mentioning this species) is a good example of a new species cryptozoologists hypothesized about before it was confirmed.

Thus, the common example of whether there is such a beast as sasquatch – a hypothesis some cryptozoologists argue for and others argue against – does not invalidate cryptozoology no matter which way it is finally determined.

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