Epistemology, metaphysics, and modern Bigfoot research

Systems of knowledge are creations of the human mind (in metaphysics, constraints, perhaps). Millenniums of philosophy, logic and science have paved a way for man to rise to heights unimaginable centuries ago. Branches of science, such as, zoology, botany, anthropology and so forth are constantly making discoveries and increasing our body of knowledge as humans. They follow a subset of rules that guide their research into a rational outcome of their theories. Unfortunately, in 2010, epistemology, metaphysics and crypto-field research are now blending into a pseudo science or ad hoc science, that has become more entertainment then serious in content. We are losing our scientific grounding.
Man has formed what is called the scientific method. In its most simple form:
SCIENTIFIC METHOD
1. Ask and define the question. 2. Gather information and resources through observation. 3. Form a hypothesis. 4. Perform one or more experiments and collect and sort data. 5. Analyze the data. 6. Interpret the data and make conclusions that point to a hypothesis. 7. Formulate a "final" or "finished" hypothesis
Lets follow this method with the classic case of Santa Clause and his rain deer:
1) If we wanted to know "Can rain deer fly?" we would write down all the reasons we think they can.
2) We would gather all the information we could by going out to where the rain deer were at and seeing if they could fly. Even though we don't see any fly, we could still base our research on the myth and folklore that surrounds Santa and his gang.
3) Our hypothesis would now be "Rain Deer do indeed Fly."
4) Our experiment would be to gather 12 rain deer and throw them off of a very tall building.
5) We now have 12 dead rain deer.
6) Even though all 12 crashed to the ground and died, we could still conclude that "on this particular occasion these rain deer chose not to fly." - (this totally ignores a basic law of logic about not arguing from the general to the specific.)
7) We now conclude that the world is populated by thousands of flying rain deer, and wonder why we and our followers are the only ones that believe it.
AD-HOC SCIENCE
Does any of this sound familiar? The example above is called ad-hoc science and that is a mistake some well intended people do when they are trying to prove something that is more of a belief, or myth, then a fact. They put the conclusion up front as if it were the hypothesis. It is not. It cannot be supported.
This method is what's at the heart of ALL conspiracy theories. They believe what they believe, and will only look for facts that support their conclusion that they presented up front (JFK assassination, Locke Ness Monster, UFO's, Global Warming, Obama is a Communist...and so forth)
This sadly, is what Bigfoot people are doing. They are not alone.
THE RED PLANET
One of the greatest examples of poor methodology is the scientist Percival Lowell in the nineteenth century and his belief in the canals on Mars. Dr. Lowell had mapped out the surface of Mars that showed large metropolitan areas and how they were connected by an intricate array of canals, obviously for drinking water and sewage. He went so far as to submit scientific papers to renowned journals to prove his theory. Some scientist were skeptical, others thought he was on to something. A few decades later better optics on telescopes showed that this was all an illusion. There were no canals. How can that be? He saw them.
What Dr. Lowell saw is what we would call 'blobsquatches.' Simply a way that his mind was matrixing the blurry images he saw on his telescope.
METAPHYSICS
A period of time after getting into bigfoot research, many fall into the 'metaphysics' trap. This is not to different then UFO guys that start dwelling on abductions, implants, UFO's in the Bible and this kind of stuff. Bigfoot guys start focusing on structures, writing books about sasquatch social structures, gong to conventions and talking on radio about things that are way away from being proven.
The researcher soon learns of how difficult field work is. The time, expense and dedication is just to much for most people to maintain consistently. That is why it is easier to go on radio and talk about what your imagination has now convinced your mind that you saw sasquatch six years ago walking across a trail.
There is so much of that kind of stuff going on, I wonder does anybody ever carry a digital camera with them?
MODERN RESEARCH
Today, big money can be made off of something that cannot be presented to a University as a serious research paper. The method would be all backward. That is why the entertainment aspect of it is what is making money.
Look at shows like Monster quest and the major 'Bigfoot' blogs to see who is behind them. Are they scientist? If they are, challenge them on their motives. Where is the University paper that should be in the hands of a anthropology department? It does not exist. There is a reason for that. They are afraid of what could become of knowing something simply is not real.
That is why no serious effort is being made anymore by the community to find bigfoot. Ultimately you would have to conclude at some point that he does not exist. That is what a real scientist would do.
He would not continue to research something that cannot fit into a scientific methodology. How would he even approach the effort? He would conclude it does not exist.
That would indeed kill the goose that lays the golden egg.
THE GUYS ON THE FRONT-LINE
There are people like myself, tcsjrbigfoot, Derek Randles and firstbillyjack are at the forefront. We have no real backing other You-Tube commenter's. None of the 'big guys' will support us even with the amount of intriguing evidence that has been accumulated.
I have found a number of tracks, taken a fantastic photo of the skunk ape and recorded the howl of something that cannot be identified as a known animal. I am on my own, but am moving in.
To put together a real expedition would be costly and who wants to upset the apple cart anyway. The myth is real - Just leave it at that.
Now the weather sucks, and I am at home waiting for better conditions. Not much I can do about any of this stuff.

Comments

  1. I liked this Tim, it was an extremely imtelligent cohert blog. I watched a documentary the other night about the bigfoot phenomenom and there was a guy, i forget his name on it who was operating from a completely ad hoc point of view. He was saying that deforestation would cause either the sasquatches to become discovered or become extinct. Never ever mentioned the possibility it would prove they never existed in the first place. Its nice to see someone in the crypto field operating from a position of lofic rather then belief. BTW Loved finding skunk ape and really look forward to watching it again next monday..

    -Rich, from england :-)

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