Anthropology - Other

Cryptozoology – Yes

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To say cryptozoology is not a valid science is to say that theology is not a valid science either, nor philosophy or some cultural studies. Cryptozoology is not simply the study of mythical creatures; it is the study of creatures that have not yet been discovered. In that sense, it is less about tracking Bigfoot and more about tracking the possibility of Bigfoot, the possibility of other creatures and life forms. At one point, man had a lonely existence. He lived disconnected from the natural world; he did not understand exactly what else co-existed in his world. At one point, new discoveries occurred daily; new animals and new plants were introduced into scientific knowledge by the hundreds. Then, science advanced to the point where man could discover the existence of animals after they had already become extinct. In this vein, cryptozoology really is a direct component of zoology; once again, we cannot say either way whether or not these creatures exist, but we can study the possibilities. And maybe one day evidence we amount to a definitive case either way.

But cryptozoology is more than physical science. It is cultural science as well. Mythology is always a puzzle, but it is a multi-layered puzzle. It is not only about proving the truth of a myth; it is also about studying how that myth came into being, and why a culture has embraced that myth as history. Bigfoot may be nothing more than the creation of a bad dream, but what does it say about a culture that so readily accepts, and fears, his existence? Cryptozoology studies the evidence, but it also studies the nature of the individuals that present this evidence. These scientists do spend time in the field, but they also spend time analyzing the so-called proof they receive of sea monsters and giant dogs. They are experts in multiple fields, especially in technology; they are able to decipher doctored footage as well as decipher doctored bone samples. Cryptozoology is the study of possibilities, but it is not above disproving its own existence. In other words, these scientists work not only to prove that certain mythical creatures did in fact walk the world, but to prove that certain mythical creatures are solely the product of imagination.

It may seem odd to create a science based on myths and lies. But the truth is, we may never know one way or another if Bigfoot did exist. Myths always come from somewhere, and anthropologists have been connecting the dots for years between ancient stories and ancient civilizations. However, we do not consider anthropology to be invalid, nor do we question the existence of theology as a science. The study of the possibility of God, the study of numerous, contradictory religions accepted by fact in certain cultures and delegated to the realm of fantasy by others, we do not question those scientists. Yet we question cryptozoology. Honestly, I hope one day Bigfoot does appear to steal the limelight; then maybe we will come to terms with the fact that we do not know everything about the world around us, and there is nothing wrong with exploring the furthest boundaries of knowledge.

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