Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cryptozoology and learning

Boy, did I set off a kerfluffle on the National Assn. of Science Writers list by suggesting schools take advantage of the public interest in cryptozoology.  My argument was, even if you think lake monsters or sasquatches can't be real, you can turn students loose to analyze the capability of an ecosystem to house such creatures.  Some people felt that school should totally ignore "pseudoscience," while another person joined me in recalling how a teacher used a "fringe" subject to introduce a worthwhile topic. I stand by my argument. Investigating ape food sources in the Northwest or the niche for a large land predator in Australia can be  highly educational.  And cryptozoology, I pointed out, is not always wrong....

3 comments:

Clark said...

"Skeptics" like to find examples of fallacies and poor science in speculative science, when they could as well find examples of exemplary science. It is when we narrow the focus from speculative science to what some define as pseudoscience that we can find nothing good. We should define scientific speculations challenging fundamentals as "alternative science."

Matt Bille said...

Actually, it should all be just "science." It can be exemplary, terrible, or anything in between, but I shy away from terms like alternative or skeptical.

Clark said...

Considering all the tangents involved in the use of those terms I suppose you are correct.