Posted by: Loren Coleman on August 28th, 2009
This will be the final comment published by Mr. Whitcomb, as Cryptomundo does not wish to engage in a protracted debate about creationism, but in the spirit of fairness, he can have this last forwarded statement aired here. Needless to say, if he produces proof of a living pterosaur, we’ll cover that.
The creation-versus-evolution topic is far too deep for me to get involved with much here; but the label “creationist” deserves attention.
How much do we know about a person who wears that label? We really are individuals, regardless of labels; we do hold individual beliefs. This topic of labels deserves more thought, but to be concise: Why don’t we try to use the labels “creationist” and “evolutionist” like name-tags: to make it a little easier to start a conversation?
Do I down-play labels too much? I wear the label “creationist,” but how many persons could guess my opinion about the age of the universe? (No, not 6,000 years.) I believe it could be infinitely older than the billions of years that are commonly advocated in Western science. Why? The word “universe” does not have a solid definition; no scientist that I have heard of has come up with any method for demonstrating that there is any end to galaxies beyond what our instruments can now detect. If there is no known limit to universe-size, why pronounce a limit to universe-age? (And why believe that the “beginning” mentioned in Genesis refers to all galaxies in existence?) To the point, could anyone predict my opinion about universe-age from the label I wear? Let’s look beyond the surface, OK?
Getting back to living pterosaurs:
JMonkey said, “to support creationism there are easier ways.”
I don’t expect anyone to deeply understand my motives; I’ve only just touched on some of them in my first book, “Searching for Ropens.” I briefly mention one or two more in my recent book. To be brief: I have little interest in ‘what is an easy way to support creationism;’ But I have much interest in encouraging thoughtful pondering about our core assumptions about who we are and why life exists. I also want to help people recognize our cultural beliefs and how they influence our thoughts. Each person is free to continue to believe in Western traditions (or Western “standard models”) but I will continue to pronounce what I have learned about the influence of traditions on our assumptions.
JMonkey also mentioned “unsupported claims.” Beware of long-waiting for overwhelming support! Once a pterosaur is proven to exist, that cryptid is no longer a cryptid, for it has graduated into biology: It then has broken out of the dark, zoomed through our twilight world of cryptozoology, and entered the sunlight of operation science. It will then be lost to cryptozoology forever (at least for that species).
PhotoExpert said, “It is almost impossible to be totally objective and unbiased.” I agree. And it is also all too easy to perceive or imagine bias in the thinking of those with whom we strongly disagree. But when we concentrate on the topic at hand, rather than the potential weakness of an individual, dialogue is more likely to move forward constructively. Thank you, PhotoExpert; I wish commentators would come to understand that: those who comment on living pterosaurs in cryptozoology.com (I find much better objectivity here on Cryptomundo, at least often).
Subrosa mentioned “He has no evidence.” But has he read either of my two books? Has he seen any of my web pages? The evidence I have is more than pterosaur-eyewitness testimonies and those testimonies themselves are more than what I have included in my two books and in my web pages.
Beware of trying to eliminate eyewitness-observation from any part of the meaning of the word “evidence.” Without a human experiencing something, not only is cryptozoology eliminated, but science is eliminated as well.
Science requires a human who experiences something, often through eyesight. The strength of that evidence, in operational science, depends on how much of the original experience is repeatable (so that someone else can see it). It seems that cryptozoology is not totally outside operational science, for we sometimes travel to a location where a cryptid was observed, not just to interview an eyewitness: Sometimes we watch for a reappearance of the cryptid. And with living-pterosaur investigations, reappearances have occured, both in Papua New Guinea and in the United States.
Some faith is required for science to exist. Without any faith in anyone, why would we try to experience what someone else has experienced? In the extreme case, it’s not just that an astronomer would refuse to travel somewhere to observe an eclipse and test an idea of Einstein’s: An astonomer could doubt that the eclipse would take place, doubt that the required scientific instruments someone else had constructed could do the job, doubt the plane pilot could take him to the destination, and even doubt the value of reading anything (whether about astronomy, Einstein, or anything).
Both reasonable faith in our personal experience and reasonable faith in the experiences of others is critical to human existence. And with that sermon on science and philosophy I will close: Amen! ~ J. D. Whitcomb
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.