Sasquatch Coffee


Is “Scoftic” A Useful Term?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 28th, 2007

“Scoftic” has to be the most ridiculous word in the current lexicon of Bigfoot research.Nightwing, November 2006

“Scoftic” – a Roger Knights neologism.Matt Crowley, September 2005

Sometime before the fall of 2003, Roger Knights, a frequent comment maker on all matters Bigfoot, decided to coin a word that he felt would be a counter to words like “pseudoscience.” According to his own accounting, Knights first used “scoftic” on the Bigfoot Forums on September 13, 2003. No, it was not a Friday, but the date in the old Roman festival calendar is epulum Iovis (“banquet of Jupiter”), on the Ides, during the Ludi Romani. Perhaps Knights should have been beware of the Ides of September, for his term itself has been debated almost as much as what he wished to point out by inventing it.

According to various documents online (e.g. Henry May’s page) and in articles, such as in Fate, September 2005, Knights has developed an exacting meaning for what the term means to him.

My thumbnail definition of “scofticism” is “UNhealthy skepticism.” This is a play on the common phrase, “a healthy (dose of) skepticism.”Roger Knights

Knights has been clear that a “scoftic” is not the investigator who goes out into the field, examines the Bigfoot evidence and finds it was made by, for example, a bear or Ray Wallace. No, Knights appears to be specifically talking about the programmed skeptic who is defined more by a pre-determined mindset than the results of any thoughtful probing of the evidence.

By “scoftic” [I mean] someone who…gives witness testimony no weight whatsoever, on ideological grounds, and who asserts numerous other bits of unreasonable dogma, such as that the quantity of reports is insignificant. Scofticism is thus fanaticism behind a pose of reasonableness. The reasonable pose is “show me the evidence.” The “fine print” is all the qualifiers, and all the hidden assumptions and misdirections.

A nutshell definition of scofticism would be “scientism in disguise,” although that’s not quite accurate….Another thumbnail definition is “a cranky skeptic.”Roger Knights

People seem to wish to talk about this on other threads here at Cryptomundo frequently, roaming off-topic in Bigfoot discussions, instead, to argue about the differences between “skeptic” and “scoftic.” And more. Therefore, here’s a home for an open debate about the existence, as well as the defining uses of “scoftic.”

Do you think the term differs enough from “skeptic” to be useful? Do you think the term has demonstrated evolved development of the discussion? Is it demeaning? Dismissive? Definitely useful? Worthy of deployment throughout hominology and cryptozoology? Defensively debatable? Definitive?

(Thank you all for a successful first week of the 2007 release of MA. The initial and hopefully continued good rankings will make it easier for anyone writing these kinds of books – whether you are a scoftic, skeptic, true believer, academic, field worker, chronicler, or open-minded investigator. Appreciation, everyone.)

Loren Coleman – has written 5491 posts on this site.
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. 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.


80 Responses to “Is “Scoftic” A Useful Term?”

  1. Rick Noll responds:

    God its good to have Roger on our side!

  2. daledrinnon responds:

    If you’re asking my opinion, my opinion is that the word was created simply to make up a new word. It serves no pressing need and is not especially useful. It also becomes merely another obfuscating bit of jargon intended for the exclusively-hip- cryptozoologists’ use only.

  3. things-in-the-woods responds:

    Can’t really argue with the fact that there are such people out there- but I personally don’t think this word helps.

    It can too easily be seen as a personal insult (i.e. aimed at the person, rather than their ideas), and as such only leads to defensiveness and polarization. We need to engage these people in debate and convince them they are wrong (or if we think thats a lost cause i think its better we just ignore them).

    In fact, i think the very sound of the word makes it seem insulting- it has a particularly harsh sound to my ear, and to my mind at least sounds rather like some nasty medical condition (perhaps some kind of skin disease).

    There’s enough name calling already.

  4. Rick Noll responds:

    Name calling can be good and bad. We use language to communicate our thinking, which is hidden from others until we reveal it to them through our actions, words and body/facial positions.

    Coming onto a bear and watching it dance from side to side and huffing a bit tells me how to react and it also tells me what I am doing wrong. It should be much easier to understand all of this if the bear could just say something like… you pesky, puny human! You are too close for my comfort and if you don’t back off soon I don’t know what I am going to do. I don’t know your intentions and I feel trapped. If I turn and run, you could do something while I am not looking.

    A bear’s comfort zone or personal space is different than say our own. Smell plays a much bigger part in their world. Our stink could really be offending at distances where we wouldn’t even notice… ever been snuck up on?

    Of course I don’t really know what that bear was thinking but if it was another human reacting that way I would say my guess would step up in probability. Now if the bear could talk and said those things I would know for sure then. Another bear would have probably correctly interpreted the exchange and acted properly at the right time.

    The impression one person gives to another during informational exchanges demands feedback of some kind. I don’t think Roger meant the word to be derogatory in nature. It is a useful term in describing actions, words and meaning during exchanges with others. It gives feedback to the other person as to how they are being understood. That feedback can be used as a tool or a club. The art of turning a weapon over to meaningful communication defines us humans… we sometimes lose that though. Our brains filter so much.

  5. things-in-the-woods responds:

    I’m not suggesting that thats how Roger intended it- just that that’s how it undoubtedly comes across to (some) people who get called it (pretty much in the same way that it gets some of us angry when people call as ‘pseudo-scientific’ or whatever).

    Of course we use language to communicate what we think and how we feel, and of course we need to give feedback during debates- i’m just saying there are better and more subtle ways of doing it than with labels that people will, and do, find derogatory (if they didn’t this wouldnt be an issue).

    When (unlike bears) we have such a complex and expressive language, we really don’t need to resort to name calling at all.

    Which is more constructive and informative-saying ‘scoftic!’ or explaining the weaknesses in their reasoning?

  6. DWA responds:

    As someone who hates neologisms as much as the next guy, I use “scofftic” for one reason:

    I don’t like to see the good name of skepticism polluted by cynicism or lack of information.

    A skeptic is informed. A skeptic questions assumptions – on all sides of a question. (There are never just two.) A skeptic shows he/she is informed, and can tell you precisely why he/she feels that way, without re-generating the tired dismissals that any ignoramus could come up with.

    I’m a skeptic. When it comes to the sasquatch, I see dueling absurdities:

    1. Something like that got into the 21st century unacknowledged by science.

    2. Every scrap of info that exists on it is the result of lie, hoax or misperception.

    The proponents have given more ammunition for 1. – by far – then the what-do-we-call-them-not-skeptics – there, like that “word”? – for 2.

    I’m a skeptic. That’s how I know.

    Scofftics take the five-foot view, not the 30,000-foot one. They cherrypick 50-year-old cases to debate, without a single thought as to the animal that people continue to see, people who have no reason to lie, who don’t hallucinate and who know what they’re seeing and hearing in the woods. And whose descriptions are as consistent as different people’s experience of, say, a robin, or a white-tailed deer.

    The five-foot view is NOT skeptical. It’s ignorant.

    Skeptics aren’t. The skeptics – the real ones – on this site prove that.

    (And see? I didn’t make it up. Although, unlike the case with most made up words, I wouldn’t mind taking credit. :-D )

  7. DWA responds:

    And Roger Knights is, unequivocally, The Man.

    Here’s to lights in darkness. He says it just right.

  8. DWA responds:

    I should add that I hate neologisms as much as the next guy.

    But I’m a skeptic, and there are a number of others on this board. I don’t like to see the good name of skepticism tarnished by dogma and ignorance. I won’t use the term for people whose position seems to stress those above all.

    So what would you call it?

  9. Bob Michaels responds:

    I despise the narrow minds, the dismissive, the know it alls, the Earth is flat, not round, say Chris you will sail off the earth, I’m glad he didn’t. No such animal exists as the Mountain Gorilla, but by god it does and its population is now rebounding. You can deny, deny all you want but the cryptozoologist has an open mind and will continue to seek the truth, solve the mystery, while the skeptic will just say it’s impossible, how could it be, it’s not relevant, it’s not scientific. It is what it is!

    In the end it is my belief that the truth will triumph in the end and the skeptics will be relegated to the dustbins of history.

  10. Daniel Loxton responds:

    “Scoftic” is used, so far as I can tell, exclusively for the purpose of smearing skeptics whose opinion the speaker happens to dislike. It’s nasty, and frankly childish. I think cryptozoology does itself a great disservice to stoop to anything so mean-spirited.

    Just look at it the other way around. Imagine that skeptics decided we’d reserve the word “cryptozoologist” for only those people of whose opinion we especially approved. Henceforth, everyone else would be, what? “Cryptidiots?”

    That sort of schoolyard language reflects badly on the speaker, and only on the speaker.

  11. mrbf2006 responds:

    Great, thought-provoking article, Loren!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I also like how you referred back to my page, and I do not mind if you use anything from either of my blogs. I have to say, most skeptics are not “scoftics,” but rather reasonable skeptics, such as David Daegling, Benjamin Radford and Dr.David Begun who rightfully ask for proof in a scientific manner. Examples of “scoftics” would be Dr. Nina Jablonski, Dr. Frank Poirier and Dr. John Turtle, who either dismiss all of the evidence out of hand or are woefully uninformed on all things Sasquatch. Again, great article, Loren, and I have MA on order.

  12. joppa responds:

    Seems its just another label we use to be dismissive of someone we dislike or don’t agree with, instead of listening or considering their point of view. I could be very dismissive of the “High Strangness” Bigfoot folks, but who am I to interpret their experiences ?

    I see no need to debate, just investigate. I do want to dismiss a hoax when it pops up, but that’s not being a skeptic or scoftic, that’s part of the investigation of the mystery.

  13. DavidFredSneakers responds:

    I think “scoftic” is a fine counterpoint to phrases like “true-believer.”

    Skepticism has almost become a culture onto itself, and many times it is overly dismissive of anything that contradicts it’s established views. In many ways they are “true-believers” of the negative evidence to whatever subject, and I tend to be skeptical myself of some of their claims.

    I think that “scoftic” is an accurate phrase to describe those who dismiss anything that challenges their preconcieved notions under the guise of the “scientific establishment.”

    Of course, eventually they will embrace the term and somebody will have to think up a new one, so maybe such names are pointless.

  14. Rick Noll responds:

    The root of both sides comes from being either an advocate or an opponent to the subject. Further defining qualifies the view points.

    What could cause someone to be labeled a “scoftic” versus just an opponent? I understand the word to come from combining scoff and critic. As one criticizes another viewpoint, mockery enters.

    Scoftic is not for everyone but I feel it has its place in defining a counter viewpoint that seems to be a little emotional. Some may take offense to it but really look at the reason. It has meaning behind it and isn’t derogatory. I guess someone could use it as a name calling term but then other faults would be self evident as well. Most who stoop to name calling and then use words like this are kind of looked at as a joke. JMHO.

    Who would have thought that “romantic” would become a derogatory term. You see I secretly think that Jane Goodall is a romantic. I think her view point has been ahead of the time. I am not sure if it is all correct but from a weak understanding of her side one could come away feeling that she is anthropomorphizing the animals she studies.

    A romantic advocate or a scoftic opponent.

  15. DWA responds:

    Anyone who notes my three posts above:

    The last one resulted from an anomalous situation in which my first one seemed to take, but then didn’t show up. I presumed I’d left the window without posting, and lost the first one. Guess not.

    I may repeat myself sometimes. But usually it ain’t that blatant. ;-)

  16. fuzzy responds:

    Yes, of course.

  17. rifleman responds:

    Why invent new words for people we already have words for?

  18. DWA responds:

    Maybe it behooves everyone to step back.

    things-in-the-woods makes good points about the use of a label inflaming those with whom one might otherwise find ways to reason. If the other person isn’t going to reason with you (I’ve found out, for sure), calling a name does nothing more than make you feel good for a few minutes – until the name they cook up comes back at you.

    I’ve had a couple of dialogue-cleansing experiences lately that have made me do some thinking. It’s been my experience that cryptos come to the mainstream community sort of hat in hand, get rebuffed for their efforts and mocked for their credulity, and continue to try to make nice to people dancing on top of their heads. It ticks me off, more than a little, and I’ve been a bit of a bad boy here.

    What I’ve learned is that argument trumps all. I’m sticking to that from now on. When whatever-we-call-them show up, I’ll try to reason with them. When I see it doesn’t work (and sometimes they turn out not to be whatever-we-call-them), well, no law says you have to talk to everybody.

  19. Sergio responds:

    Daniel Loxton,

    “Cryptidiot” is a far cry from “scoftic.”

    The equivalent would be “cynicmoron,” or “scofimbecile,” or…well hopefully you get the point by now.

    The term “scoftic” in no way impeaches the intellect of the subject for whom the term is intended; conversely, “cryptidiot” certainly does.

    To me, a “scoftic” is someone who is not a true skeptic. Rather it give us a noun to use when referring to individuals who, in the name of skepticism, scoff, dismiss, or even deride, which is certainly based in emotion. The “scoftic,” in my view, usually displays a generous amount of condescension, for which there is never an appropriate time.

    Mr. Loxton, your admonishment of those who would use the term is a fine example of such condescension.

  20. Daniel Loxton responds:

    Sergio: If it’s condescending to point out that name calling is bad, I’m afraid I’m not able to see how.

    Name calling always lowers the conversation, always burns bridges. It is never helpful. (Whether one name is worse than another is beside the point.)

    Frankly, I’m surprised that anyone on this board would suggest otherwise. If there is one common theme to all cryptozoological discussions, it is that cryptozoology and its claimants should be treated with respect. Granted.

    And that goes both ways.

  21. jayman responds:

    I think “scoftic” is just unnecessary, since it seems to be used in the same sense as “debunker”, which I would define as a person who dismisses certain phenomena “a priori”, without even considering evidence.

  22. Daniel Loxton responds:

    “Debunker” has been given that newer, deliberately insulting meaning (“a person who dismisses certain phenomena a priori”) in relatively recent times. It’s a bit offensive as a label for that reason: it’s usually intentionally used to insult someone by accusing them of lacking intellectual integrity.

    But “debunking” really just means “removing the bunk” (fraud, lies, or misinformation) from something, which is obviously a valuable thing to do. (Think of investigative journalism or the “fraud squad” in a large police force.) So skeptics don’t generally mind being saddled with the label—we just mind when unkind, ad hominem sentiments lead people to fling it in a vitriolic fashion.

    (I’d suggest the best way to describe groups of people is to use the label they themselves prefer, and then move on to the evidence and arguments without further comment.)

  23. Sergio responds:

    “It’s nasty, and frankly childish.”

    “That sort of schoolyard language reflects badly on the speaker, and only on the speaker.”

    Waaaa. Waaa. Waaaa. Blah. Blah. Blah. Make sure when you read those statements, Loxton, that you read them in an aristocratic King Henry VIII’s English accent.

    The statements above can certainly be classified as condescending. It’s obvious that you believe that you’re much more mature, even elite, than the low-browed neanderthal who would use such a “nasty” “childish” term as scoftic. How untterly ridiculous.

    There are a few others who drop in here to Cryptomundo, and like Loxton, proclaim that the high road belongs exclusively to them, and that all others exist in the purgatory far below. You know what? It makes me sick.

    Scoftic is a great term, and it works well. I’ll use it inspite of Loxton and whoever else proclaiming that it’s childish to do so, as if his assessment is equivalent to that of Providence.

    Rattin’ smattin’ scoftics.

  24. Daniel Loxton responds:

    Jayman: incidentally, I don’t mean to imply that you are yourself being deliberately insulting in defining debunker that way; it’s a common (if unfortunate) definition now, and it’s the case that people sometimes do dismiss claims on an a priori basis.

    (If we must have a label for people who do make a priori judgments, we might do better with something like “ideologue,” “cynic,” or in extreme cases, “denier.”)

  25. Daniel Loxton responds:

    Sergio: Look, I’ll just say it again: name-calling and hostility only harm cryptozoology. It makes it harder for Loren and others to present the field in a positive, reasonable light, and it discourages moderate skeptics (like me).

  26. dontmean2prymate responds:

    It was ’71 when I read the word cryptozoologist. Most everything was new and undiscovered to me then. Now we have the great and giant squid. Everything else in that book is still as hidden as the secret word we’re looking for here. Unseen as Groucho these days. Even the term cryptozoologist sounds like someone with something to hide; for instance – they aren’t a zoologist in the first place. I’m a fan of all we don’t know, which is more than we do know, but I know when someone is scoffing at me. I respond with an original series of descriptive words in general usage, so even someone with an old dictionary can understand. Etymozoologists may disagree.

  27. DWA responds:

    Well, Daniel, what we may be talking about here is frustration. And I think proponents of the sasquatch have reason to be frustrated.

    When I first read about the sas, in National Wildlife Magazine in 1968, the spring after the P/G film went public: I thought: wow. I was 11, and knew that even an adult could see (National Wildlife sure could) that the evidence in favor of the film’s authenticity was compelling. Who, I thought, would NOT want to follow this up, and find out?

    In each year since, the evidence has only gotten greater, and more compelling. P/G is being talked about as much as it ever has, and not as a hoax. Maybe the world’s two most prominent names in primate studies have come out in favor – one of the animal’s existence, and of other hairy hominoids as well, and the other of at least a “hard-eyed look.”

    And yet people like Ben Radford continue to come on sites like this (why do they bother?) and say just the opposite of what is plainly true:

    1. There are qualified people in the field looking.

    Almost none, for almost no time, with a four-day weekend being an expedition. (No one who is primarily looking for something else is looking for the sasquatch. And would be fired if they reported a sasquatch.) You would NEVER find me – heck, you’d never find my family – with only four days to look. Patterson spends a couple of weeks, on horseback, and we’re still talking about what he got. He’s still utterly alone in a genre; and every reason that, um, they say why is wrong.

    2. There’s no evidence.

    The continued insistence on the part of, um, them – and most of mainstream science – that visual evidence counts for squat is the most amazing oversight regarding the sasquatch. It’s eye-poppingly incredible, and one of the prime examples of human folly in my lifetime. You wanna know why science ain’t gonna save us? Here’s a textbook case. They can’t see stuff right in front of their noses.

    3. It’s a waste of science’s time to look.

    Read the papers. Nothing is stopping – or even slowing – our headlong rush to eat the planet before our kids have grandkids. Finding hairy hominoids could lead to a critical sea change in how humans view everything around us. And only that – not techno-fixes – will save a world anything like one we want to live in.

    Or, um, not.

    But scouring the disappearing rainforests of the Amazon for a marmoset with pink eyes don’t seem to be cutting it. The argument that scientists go for returns only goes so far. Science is being pennywise, and pound foolish.

    I could go on. But I get Sergio. I understand where he’s coming from.

    I don’t think that the “attention” this field is getting from such as Ben Radford is helping a bit; in fact it chases scientists away from the field. They know they don’t want the hoi polloi writing Congress to pull Smedley’s sas funding (and of course you know vast numbers of people who never write their elected reps are pulling for Smedley).

    It’s plain as the noses on our faces: the likelihood that a giant ape, ferpetesake, is History’s Greatest Hoax is, well, good luck President Nader, because those are the odds.

    We should be looking. Hard. This skeptic says, point blank. That we aren’t – well, lump it in with a host of other sorry referenda on our sad species.

    Some people just like a one-word way to get their anger out, I guess. And I get it.

  28. DWA responds:

    As usual I forgot to put something in.

    Go back a few threads to that great video of the Sumatran rhino on Borneo.

    The time it took to get that video is far more than the total time spent on sas expeditioning in the US in the past ten years, if not the past forty.

    For an animal almost assuredly dumber than the sas, and trapped on an island, ferpetesake.

    You’d think scientists could add two and two. I mean, they’re SCIENTISTS.

  29. DWA responds:

    kitakaze:

    Once again we have proponents disagreeing with each other off the cuff, and I’m not sure they should be.

    Iowa? Sure. NJ? Why not? I think that if the sas exists, he either does or once did (odds on the former) continent-wide.

    I used to think that sightings in all 49 continental states was a disqualifier. I’ve since come away from that view. (As has Bindernagel, who thinks that the “regional monster” pigeonholing of the sas discourages serious research.) Makes sense to me that something this big, this active, needing this many calories, is nomadic in the extreme, because of the twin needs to keep from hunting an area out and to avoid humans. (And the quantity of wild land in any state of this Union is consistently underrated.) So, I think Kathy’s wrong. Count ‘em all. Where people are seeing is where you have to look, if you’re serious about finding out. When people in WA describe the same animal, behaving the same way, with the same nuances of detail in the sighting, and even making the same sounds that people in IA and FL and TX and NJ etc. are hearing, without comparing notes, they’re not, sez here, listening to a quaint cultural social phenomenon. I’d disagree with you; the more sighting reports I read, from more places, the more I’m convinced it’s coast to coast, north to south. If it exists; and anybody got a more logical explanation?

    Devil’s advocate: I’d believe Iowa sightings over California. Quick, contrast Iowans with Californians. Exactly. (Hey, Kathy. Sauce for the goose…. ;-) )

    And the communications the sas has chosen make perfect sense. One does not come across those things often in the woods. I never have; and I’ve spent lots of time in the woods. All the wood knocks: woodpeckers. Sas knocks sound nothing like a woodpecker, from what I understand from those who have heard them and know their woodpeckers, nor a human doing anything logical. And one can presume that, like other animals, the sas can suss his calling cards from ours. When a sas sees/hears (or smells/tastes/pheromonizes) them, it’ll know what they are. What’s more logical?

    And finally: when one goes to places where lots of people work in the woods, one finds the greatest density of encounter reports. On and off the record. Timber and mining companies are to say the least non-sas-friendly. And people like to keep their jobs. Logical.

  30. Sergio responds:

    kitakaze, while I don’t find the particular statement about being overly sensitive condescending, I do find it to be incorrect. The discussion was about others taking issue with the word “scoftic” and how it is “childish” to use such a derogatory term. That, in my opinion, is an excellent example of hypersensitivity. Lighten up.

    By the way, it’s easy to “find the case for bigfoot to be quite strong” when I’ve seen one with my own eyes. Any argument that you can throw at me holds absolutely no water, because I know firsthand that you are wrong, regardless of how much ranting you do or how much patronizing you do.

    It’s really that simple to me. My eyes will trump your argument or the argument of anyone on the planet any day of the week, any week of the month, and any month of the year.

    To answer your question regarding the “default question,” the answer is that the person should be truly skeptical, while remaining inquisitive. Guarded, yet open. Childlike in curiosity, while mature in examining the evidence. Above all, one’s default position should not include scoffing, dismissiveness, or derision regarding others who claim to have seen one of these creatures.

    Look, field biology is sometimes impossibly difficult. Who in their right mind will do the necessary field work to discover such an animal unless they believe there is a modicum of possibility that it actually exists?

    You made mention of field biologists. The field biologists that I know who have had experiences with these animals are extremely reluctant to discuss the issue publicly. Look at how Jeff Meldrum has been treated as he seriously delves into the matter.

  31. Daniel Loxton responds:

    “Above all, one’s default position should not include scoffing, dismissiveness, or derision regarding others…”

    Sergio: That is my point exactly.

  32. Daniel Loxton responds:

    Honestly, I don’t understand how this even could be controversial.

    The word “scoftic” is supposed to protest against mockery and dismissiveness. But the word is (obviously) mocking and dismissive.

    Either bigfoot is a serious discussion deserving civility and respect, or it isn’t. Either mockery and dismissiveness are appropriate, or they aren’t.

  33. Sergio responds:

    True enough, Daniel. I’ll concede your point, but it works both ways. The term was coined to describe the kitakazes of the world.

    The evidence is on this site in another blog, in which kitakaze, for all intents and purposes, told someone that their eyewitness account was nothing more than an interesting story and that he just didn’t believe it. While he certainly has the personal freedom to accept or not accept someone’s personal account of an alleged encounter, there are ways to be much more civil about it (and this example is but one of countless others). kitakaze tried to make it sound nice, but he was really saying: “You’re a liar, Todd.” That is dismissiveness, arrogance, derision and cynicism at its finest (scofticism?).

    Yes, the subject of bigfoot should be a serious discussion deserved of respect and civility, but human nature is such that when someone calls someone else a kook, a liar, unqualified, mistaken, wishful thinker, etc., civility tends to get lost in the resulting scrum. That’s part of why we now have this peculiar word “scoftic” in the cryptozoological vernacular.

  34. DWA responds:

    kitakaze says:

    “Of the many excuses and conveniences that many proponents put forth for a lack of reliable evidence one of the most lamest has to be that of the many professionals who live and work in areas where bigfoot reports come from none will come forward for fear of their careers. Pure fantasy. Show me one field biologist that would not like to be the one to identify a new species such as bigfoot.”

    Actually, of all the skeptical arguments, THAT one is one of the lamest.

    Simple logic dictates this. (I can’t wait ’til a skeptic sees one. Hee hee, I’ll bet hundreds have.) Ask yourself: would you jeopardize your family for this? Thank you, America. I wouldn’t. My sighting would have to stay with me…and maybe the BFRO… . But I understand the web of illogic in which skeptics are trapped. They have to turn the real world on its head. ONE field biologist would not come out of the woods saying he saw Bigf….oh, wait a minute. Jeff Meldrum. Grover Krantz. John Bindernagel. Hmmmmm… Oh the world is beating a path to their doors ain’t it? My point. Illustrated, nay proven. Thrice over. You can shut up…or you can be THEM. I know the choice most will make. PARTICULARLY lowly folk like loggers and miners. Any other take? Pure fantasy. (Ooooh. Daris Swindler. John Napier. FIVE times over. And Napier didn’t even think P/G was real but thought the animal was!)

    And as to this, let’s rock on it:

    “Oh come on. Surely someone can summarize the Bigfoot proponents arguments in a few lines.…it’s smart and elusive.

    [Damn straight. Who gave us the monopoly on brains? Typical skeptic mistake. I actually think bigfoot may be smarter than your average mainstream scientist, anyway. I'm sure he's more open-minded.]

    It specializes in avoiding humans though it often does the opposite.

    [What do skeptics think it is, a paranormal shapeshifter? Obviously. Sheesh. It's an ANIMAL, guys. If we wanted to find it...um, Patterson did. Thousands of everyday Joes have. Where do these arguments COME from?]

    Qualified people aren’t looking for sasquatch, those who are devote hardly the kind of time which is required.

    [Right on the nose. Good one. Chinese proverb: even a blind pig gets the occasional acorn.]

    Those scientists who are searching for something where bigfoot’s at are not searching for bigfoot so they miss it.

    [Tell me how many marmot guys saw the VI wolverine, hmmmm? If they didn't ....maybe it doesn't exist. Hmmmm...and again, who cares how many scientists see it, when it seems everyone but scientists is seeing it? In fact, how do you know? Maybe half of them DID see it...and thought of their kids...and that house...one skeptical fantasy that needs coffee, stat, is the one that the guy/gal who finds bigfoot will be richrichRICH. Most people are smarter than that. That's why the Manitoba guy clammed up. Sure you can say he was lying. Now you know you're stuck with the position that they all were. Maybe YOU need coffee. Guys, guys. this is just an ANIMAL.]

    Sightings should held as evidence of significance by their numbers and consistency, proximity to waterways, and bell shaped curve.

    [Which is how scientists do it. Or you can be illogical about it. But then you might be called a skeptic. ;-) ]

    A team of biologists seeing it together and reporting it? Maybe. Not that I’d bet on it. Not given what most scientists have rammed up their [squatches].

  35. jayman responds:

    Daniel, I don’t necessarily use “debunker” as an insult. I do consider a debunker to be distinct from a skeptic in some ways, however. To me, “skeptics” tend to be tentative about all knowledge and information. As persons, they tend to be mavericks, devil’s advocates, antiauthoritarian, sometimes tending to a touch of contrarianism or even nihilism. Debunkers, on the other hand, take these things very seriously. In many of them a scientific/rationalist worldview is central to their thinking and anything that doesn’t fit it is like heresy is to a religious person. They tend to be conventional people in most ways, often quite conservative socially and politically.

  36. DWA responds:

    And this specific sentence of kitakaze’s deserves a specific rejoinder:

    “Show me one field biologist that would not like to be the one to identify a new species such as bigfoot.”

    I would, but there are too many of them. I think the ones I named above, plus seven or eight more, maybe, are the only exceptions to the rule that no field biologist wants to – or can afford to – touch the sas with a ten-foot pole. Fat lot of good it did the ones that tried.

    So you forgot – or maybe you didn’t – one more proponent point. We have the Teflon Animal here. With everybody looking the other way – on purpose – ten sasquatch could take tea in your house and no one would find out.

    We’re a funny species we are. We could make the red fox disappear from our radar tomorrow, just by saying it had.

  37. kitakaze responds:

    DWA: Did Bindernagel, Krantz, or Meldrum ever report sighting a sasquatch?

  38. Kathy Strain responds:

    Not that I have any desire at all to weigh in on this…but Jeff Meldrum, Grover Krantz, and Daris Swindler are not bioloigsts, they are anthropologists and have never seen a bigfoot. John Bingernagel is a biologist, but also hasn’t claimed a sighting (that I’m aware of). There are biologists who have sightings and have come forward, but I know many haven’t due to the ridicule they fear. One prominent biologist, John Myoncszinski, has discussed his experiences as a researcher in the field nearly year round studying bighorn sheep in the remote areas of Wyoming.

    And yes, I did say that Iowa does not have the resources needed in order to sustain a population of bigfoot, and I stand behind it. Just because a state has reported sightings doesn’t mean it’s true…and until we police ourselves, scoftics are going to continue to point them out and rub them in our faces.

  39. MBFH responds:

    An interesting discussion has evolved from this, thanks all.
    In relation to Loren’s original question I have two opinions:
    name calling, as some have pointed out, isn’t really necessary. It is, however, part of our lives. There are worse things someone can be called based on physical, mental, racial, gender etc. attributes; and
    if someone finds being called a ‘scoftic’ offensive, a name based on how someone perceives their opinions, then they should go away, lie down, and massage their fragile egos until they feel better. Poor luvs.

  40. DWA responds:

    I don’t consider it relevant whether any of those individuals SAW one. Or their specific fields of study. (Anthropology is way more than close enough to biology.)

    They are all mainstream scientists – in, as Kathy points out, relevant fields – and they have all come out strongly, and publicly, in favor of the existence of the animal. That’s as big a step, bigger in fact, than simply seeing one, and definitely on a level with publicly claiming a sighting. No, sorry, bigger than that. They’ve never seen one, and they’re saying it exists. (Of course, they’ve seen the Patterson film, which has convinced a lot of people by itself, and is the only piece of cryptid evidence I’ve ever seen that could.)

    My understanding is that Meldrum experienced a vigorous apparent intimidation display while backpacking in Olympic NP. (This was how he got interested in the topic, as I understand it.) Can’t remember whether he found tracks associated with the display, but I remember reading about it and it sounded pretty hair raising to me.

    As to Iowa – as to most of the United States – I definitely disagree that it lacks sufficient resources to sustain these animals. Iowa has plenty for an animal like this. (Breadbasket of America; significant waterways; loaded with deer.) And who said there’s a permanent population in every state? For a nomadic critter, there doesn’t have to be. (Look at caribou and their seasonal travels, covering what in the lower 48 would be a few Eastern states.) I think that permanent stomping grounds got selected against, for this animal, pretty quickly. In fact, if we’re pigeonholing this animal into tiny pockets of prime habitat, then it ain’t real. Anything this big, with as restricted an individual or population range as most other animals have, would be in the textbooks for a century or more now. Or extinct, from simply hunting out the resources of its range. You only have a big primate in the temperate zone if it moves a LOT. Unless it has the technology to stay put, and bring the food to it. Human history is your proof.

    “Policing ourselves” means not tossing good sighting reports as trash. That’s playing into scoftics’ – hey, the thread’s about that word, right? :-D – hands, in fact. If one trashes everything in IA, boom, like that, then everything in CA becomes highly suspect. (Including some CA sightings in VERY unlikely places – unless you have an animal that moves around a LOT.) You report it where it’s seen (provided there’s nothing fishy about the report). The BFRO has 35 sighting reports for Iowa; and whatever their internal wranglings, I don’t think they’ve destroyed the database. Some of the reports there are as good as most I’ve read for CA, repeating – in the individual vernacular that says they aren’t copycatting – classic behavioral and physical features of the animal.

    I’m not worried about scoftics – hey, Kathy used it! – rubbing good data in our faces. If CA can sustain this animal, IA can. If he’s hiding out in the Pacific NW, then he isn’t hiding – he’s fake. Sez here.

    I’m not a biologist. But I think like one. I must. Bindernagel agrees with me. ;-)

    But I’m also a skeptic, as you can see. NOT a scofftic. (one f or two? :-D )

  41. DWA responds:

    And when I say “Bindernagel agrees with me,” here’s what I mean.

    Sasquatch Geographical Distribution

    The more you think about this, the more IA – and OH, and NE, and NJ, and MD, etc. – makes sense.

    And I thank the trusty folks at the Texas Bigfoot Research Conservancy for the link. I go to them a lot. Because they’re not waiting for somebody else to figure this out.

  42. shumway10973 responds:

    I actually like the word. It is “the” word I have been looking for to describe the leading evolutionary scientists that are scoffing at anybody thinking in a cryptid manner. To them, we are uneducated fools. So, thank you for giving me a specific word to describe a certain group of people. I do promise that as long as anyone keeps an open mind about the possibilities of new and even strange creatures still to be found, I will not use this word to describe them, just those with closed minds (yes, even some of my fellow creationists).

  43. DWA responds:

    shumway 10973:

    Gotta admit that sometimes one longs for a one-word description of what one is up against.

    Also gotta admit that Daniel may have the blueprint for how I’m gonna do it from now on: use “skeptic” and let the people I’m talking to show me whether they are or not.

    Also gotta admit, as an evolutionist myself, thinking it’s kinda funny that people can swallow evolution (which will never – can never – be proven) as The Way Things Are, Period, and say absolutely that it even rules out a God (something I do NOT think, heck, how could you know?) – and then scoff at something living right now, the existence of which is quite susceptible to proof. I’ve been known, combing over the evidence for evolution, to shake my head, more than once. No better explanation has been offered for how life has become what it is, sez me; but it’s, well, it’s more fantastic than the sasquatch.

    My point being: practically every point of view has a scofftic fringe that rules out, ears and mind closed, anything that doesn’t fit that point of view.

    And while we’re on what to say to a scofftic-or-whatever, and coining terms, this:

    ——————-

    Crow being unsavory food, the wise man limits his portion.

    ——————-

    I made that up, so far as I know. But if it isn’t an old Japanese proverb, it should be.

  44. mystery_man responds:

    I am not going to get drawn up in the debate that has apparently sprung up from the original question as to whether “scofftic” is a useful term. I believe it is. For me, it is just a term to represent the very extreme end of skepticism that dismisses potential evidence out of hand without even bothering to investigate further. This to me is unscientific and as another poster said, the opposite end of the spectrum to “true believer”. As much as some here may want to make things black and white, you believe or don’t, I just don’t think it works that way. There are many shades in between and I don’t see anything wrong with labeling some of the recurring ones.
    To me a skeptic may not believe, but they are at least willing to take a look at anything that comes up in a reasonably unbiased way. Yes, a lot of evidence for Bigfoot is flimsy, but it COULD be followed up on and may even lead to more solid evidence without being shot down out of hand. A lot of research in maistream science would not have gotten very far if that approach was taken everytime something out of the ordinary or a bit against the grain was put forward. For me, skeptics do not boldly claim that those who have seen Bigfoot must be liars or that all footage is bogus without any evidence to that effect. To me, that is what scofftics do. They accuse, and they insult, and they cherry pick data just as badly as the true believers they hold with such apparent contempt. Yet a scofftic can sit on high and not have to do a thing or any research at all, merely criticize because the burden of evidence is on the proponents. They will even try to present a visage of an open mind sometimes by saying such redundant things as ” I will believe when a body is presented.” Well, of course they will believe because they will have no other choice! But I highly doubt that these scofftics will have had any hand in providing any help or support in providing that final physical evidence if it is out there to be found.
    To me a skeptic may be taking an opposing side to the proponents but they are still able to think in a rational manner. They are able to look at the evidence presented and refute it based on knowledge of the facts and scientific examination. They back up any debunking with plausible reasons why and are willing to follow up on any circumstantial evidence without dismissing it. When they are skeptical of a proponent’s theory, they can present why in a clear and thoughtful manner, keeping all of the evidence in mind. They are willing to investigate the claims and the footage and the sightings and look at them with an open mind, as potential good evidence, not neccesarily with the intent of picking it apart. If , after examination, this evidence is seen to be lacking the reasons why the evidence doesn’t hold up is reasonable and logical. Although their ideas may cause defensiveness, in many ways I think that real skeptics are more critical of so called evidence and thereby more committed to really getting to the bottom of things than the so called “true believers”.
    Scofftics the way I see them do none of this. They say “Bigfoot isn’t real, show me a body”, and that’s that. They are not interested in any ideas on why there may not be a body. They are not interested in the reason why so many people could be seeing this thing whatever that reason may be. Any video must be a guy in a suit. They have know interest whatsoever in following up on reports or entertaining any plausible theories from proponents. They do not rationally debunk, but rather flat out deny even if that denial may have no rational basis or scientific reasoning behind it.
    In the end, I think that in my view, by that definition, skeptics and scofftics are two different things representing two different approaches. I can say from personal experience that I was once a scofftic, and now I am a skeptic, and there really is a change between those two modes of thinking as far as I’m concerned. Is scofftic a useful term? If you mean so that I can have a word that differentiates what I see as two approaches and signifies the extreme irrational end of skepticism, then yes it is. For me anyway and I can see why some here are hesitant to use it as it sounds demeaning. Personally, I do not mean it as a derogatory term to anyone, merely a way to adequately describe this sort of mindset when discussing things on this board.

  45. Loren Coleman responds:

    I’ve separated out the discussion beginning here on eyewitnesses to this blog:

    Best Eyewitnesses: Biologists or Truck Drivers?

    http://cryptomundo.com/cryptozoo-news/best-witnesses-2/

  46. DWA responds:

    mystery_man: debate over! :-D

    Seriously, I too find nothing demeaning at all, on thinking about it, to the word “scofftic.” It describes, really, a way in which people put down the beliefs of others by simply chanting their own; and it is, indeed, more a label for a way of thinking – that tends to loudly announce itself – than it is a label for a person. People scoffticize the sasquatch who are quite reasonable folks otherwise. It’s the behavior, not the person; the song, not the singer. Hate the sin, love the sinner sort of thing. (And I agree with Sergio: it’s a far cry from “cryptidiot.” “idiot” impugns intelligence, no matter the context.)

    And I find your separation of scofftic and skeptic to work well for me, too. I too see myself as the latter (and can’t help it, regardless of evidence, until either I see a sasquatch myself or science has it in the bag).

    So maybe I’ll keep scofftic in the quiver, a sort of “break glass” when I’m encountering putdownish chanting of skeptical shibboleths. “Hey, man, check what you’re saying. You sound like you’re going scofftic on me. You need to back that up with evidence.”

  47. Sergio responds:

    Something worth mentioning, and I briefly touched upon it above, is that the field work in this field is 100% done by the so-called “proponents.” To the “scoftic,” the definition of “proponent” would really include many skeptics who actually believe that it’s possible for such a species to exist; not that they know or even believe that it really exists, but that there is a possibility, even a small one, that it exists.

    But the irony of this is that no one, no one at all, will expend the required resources, finances, time, and/or effort to investigate something (such as the existence of bigfoot) unless they believe that there is a chance that it actually is out there. Why would someone waste valuable resources, finances and time on something that they believe is a total dead-end?

    I’ve seen that argument made before by individuals who claim to be skeptics, but really fall under the “scoftic” moniker. They argue that the data gathered by the likes of the Meldrums, Bindernagels, TBRCs, AIBRs of the world is somehow tainted because “proponents” gathered the data. That is a ridiculous position.

    Also, regarding the “scoftic” issue, I’ll just say that Thomas Jefferson, our nation’s third president, and the Father of the Declaration of Independence, admonished us to never use three words when we can use one.

  48. DWA responds:

    Here is why I consider myself a skeptic: I cannot say “the sasquatch exists” and respond to the inevitable question “what is your evidence?” with anything that could convince you, or me, to my total satisfaction.

    If I’d seen one, like Sergio, it would be enough for me that I had; I’d have the proof whether you did or not. And (at least on a forum like this where I couldn’t lose my job or my friends for my knowledge) I’d so state.

    I see (and I think true skeptics do, and scofftics don’t seem to) a distinct difference between bigfoot and “paranormal phenomena” like ghosts and UFOs. If I’d discussed earthly affairs a few weeks back with a trio from that recently-discovered earthlke planet out there, on board their spacecraft, and it were as real an experience as typing this, I’d have all the proof I needed. But I hope I’d be able to acknowledge that science really didn’t have a way, just yet, of testing it and proving it. I see the sas quite differently. I see it as a critter; I see most of the encounters described as wildlife encounters, just the way I see people describing sightings of bears and deer, if a weetad more dramatic by their very nature; and I see the data pointing to places where proof could be garnered. Don’t know what to tell you about reports that seem to associate the sas with UFOs and supernatural abilities. But I can tell you that science doesn’t yet have the equipment to go there, and I’d like to see the plain ol’ critter looked into first.

    Scofftics don’t seem to want to admit there is any info, that it can lead to proof, or that the purple robes of science should be soiled with our questions. That’s a heartburn issue with me. Science isn’t a religion. We pay them to find stuff out; we employ them to expand our knowledge of what is around us. This is their job. We have garbagemen to take out our trash; musicians to entertain us with music; restaurants to serve us food; and scientists to enlighten us. They need to do their job. Skeptics like me can get up pretty high dudgeon about this. When patterns exist that could only be created by a biologist – only they aren’t – you’d think that more biologists would want to see what’s behind the patterns. You can say that there are various reasons they can’t get to it right now (funding limits/plate full/world’s a big place). But that this has been hashed over for this long; that the patterns continue to emerge and expand; and that people like Patterson, Krantz and Meldrum continue to be pilloried, by scientists in totally irrelevant fields no less, says something about science’s perception of its role in the world – and certain other people’s perceptions of that role – that should crinkle all our noses.

    “Scofftic” is the nicest word I’d be able to come up with. I shudder to think what words people like Sergio are holding back.

    Sergio: care to share anything about your experience? Maybe this thread isn’t the place. But when I hear anyone here talk about their sightings – and people like MultiipleEncounters and Todd Neiss come forward with theirs – I just wonder, that’s all.

  49. things-in-the-woods responds:

    Ok- seems i’m losing this one.

    My reasoning is this- Sure, it shouldn’t really offend people that much, but it seems it does (e.g., see Dan Loxton’s posts above). As such, it just seems a whole lot more civilized not to use it. We don’t all have to get down in the gutter. Turn the other cheek guys.

    Actually, having said that it shouldn’t offend people i can understand why it does. Clearly these people don’t think they are being unreasonable or irrational, and indeed in some cases probably aren’t (and thats one of the problems with the term, and all such labels- we can use it unjustly because in absolving us from actually explaining what our problem is it can mean that we dont think about what they are saying and in what way we think that is wrong- not saying that anyone here necessarily does, just that its a danger), so being told they are irrational is just gonna rile them- just try it at home folks- Its a surefire way to escalate a row with your girlfriend…

  50. DWA responds:

    things-in-the-woods: don’t mind us, we’re just getting emotional. :-D

    I’m cutting back to a pack a day. But it’s addictive. I can’t quit. :-D

  51. Sergio responds:

    DWA, I’ll get no more specific than I saw one from no more than 50 yards away. I wasn’t able to see its face, but I clearly saw its body, shape, color, size and hair (rusty). It rapidly fled and disappeared into the woods.

    That’s all that I prefer to say about it.

  52. Daniel Loxton responds:

    Sergio notes,

    Something worth mentioning, and I briefly touched upon it above, is that the field work in this field is 100% done by the so-called “proponents.”

    This isn’t as true as you’d suppose. It’s natural that proponents would be more willing to invest time in these efforts, but in fact a great deal of cryptozoological field work and experimental work, (and general hands-on “paranormal” investigation) is done by skeptics. Notable examples on the crypto front include Ben Radford and Joe Nickell. Notable hands-on skeptical investigators of psychic phenomena include Susan Blackmore, Richard Wiseman, and James Randi.

  53. Lu Ann Lewellen responds:

    I don’t see how “scoftic” is any more offensive than “wacko”, “woo” or “credulloid”.

    I rather like the term and use it to describe those who dismiss the phenomenon out-of-hand without bothering to consider the evidence (possibly because they’re unaware of the evidence), but I’ve never applied it to anyone in particular.

  54. Greg(Not that Greg) responds:

    Sergio notes:

    Something worth mentioning, and I briefly touched upon it above, is that the field work in this field is 100% done by the so-called “proponents.” To the “scoftic,” the definition of “proponent” would really include many skeptics who actually believe that it’s possible for such a species to exist; not that they know or even believe that it really exists, but that there is a possibility, even a small one, that it exists. … etc. etc..

    I feel it is worth noting what a scoftic I know, had to say about the qualifications needed to bring Bigfoot into the realm of legitimate investigation.

    ” “Bigfoot field work” done by Bigfoot proponents is not a necessary endeavor to confirm this creature. Nearly anyone who walks through, drives through, or works in Bigfoot country can make a confirmation. It doesn’t matter if they already believe or are a skeptic. We only need a body or part of one. It’s as if Bigfoot never dies or gets killed. Even a five-year old girl on a hike could make the confirmatory discovery – “Hey mom, come over here and look at this dead thing. Is it a gorilla?”

    We have gun kills, roadkill and found carcasses for every other kind of NA megafauna except Bigfoot. That strains logic in a very big way. It really should be unnecessary to launch any highly sophisticated search in order to confirm this creature. The bickering about who is actively looking for Bigfoot is just another red herring. It presupposes that the many thousands of people who are present in BF country on a daily basis (for centuries on end) cannot confirm this creature unless they are already intent on doing so. “

  55. DWA responds:

    G (ntG): When I mention dueling absurdities at the top of this thread, the absence of a carcass is one of them.

    But I find it impossible to dismiss all of the evidence – much of it from apparently reliable eyewitnesses, and including a film that’s never been debunked – out of hand, simply because no one’s found a carcass.

    I’ve remarked here, many times, about how few carcasses I’ve found of animals with which the places I’ve gone outdoors are packed (bear and deer to name two). Never so much as a claw of either a bobcat or a bear, animals that inhabit the land in much greater densities than the sasquatch appears to.

    Does that explain it away? Nope. But proponents and knowledgeable skeptics know the absence of a carcass is not sufficient by itself to explain away the evidence for the sasquatch. It’s simply another apparent absurdity – that might have a completely logical explanation once we know the facts.

    And, of course, all we know is that no one’s REPORTED finding a carcass.

  56. tirademan responds:

    “And, of course, all we know is that no one’s REPORTED finding a carcass.”

    This is a very strong point that I would argue is almost always overlooked. Who knows if anyone has ever has found a body? What is really being stated is that no one has brought one forth for “science” to study.

    I’d bet there has been a hunter or two over the centuries that has found a strange pile of fur and maggots in the woods, said “That’s weird,” and kept on walking.

    The chance of finding one, AND recognizing it for what it is (regardless of scavenging and decomposition), AND having the wherewithal to drag it out of the woods for science to study is probably pretty rare indeed.

  57. DWA responds:

    tirademan:

    You make an EXTREMELY strong point. One I have never heard made before, and one that I didn’t even think of when I made mine. And suddenly makes it possible that dozens of sas carcasses are being found in the woods every YEAR.

    (No, scratch that, there are almost certainly not enough sas to find even ten in a year. Or five. You probably don’t have five sas deaths, all told, in a year. Maybe not in any two, picked at random.)

    Think about it. You’ve found it. It is HUGE. And pretty, well, advanced. Or not. But now YOU, lucky guy, get to drag it out of the woods. Or just pretend (for the rest of your life) that it didn’t even happen. Or, if it’s advanced enough, think, BIG bear. And think it HARD. You aren’t going to touch this thing by yourself, that you know. (If you think a guy who will drag it out by himself and a sas carcass will ever intersect at random, you’ve never been outside.)

    Remember: unless you manage to drag someone back with you who will (a) come and (b) know what it is they’re looking at, you aren’t going to bother. And what will you set in motion via the person or people you bring with you…? You think about that…and…

    And now this scenario becomes VERY plausible.

    (Finding a fresh sas carcass along a trail or road: like hitting Powerball every time it’s peaked, for the past ten years.)

  58. Daniel Loxton responds:

    “I don’t see how ‘scoftic’ is any more offensive than ‘wacko,’ ‘woo’ or ‘credulloid.’”

    Lu Ann Lewellen: You’re quite right: those terms are exactly as offensive as each other, and in exactly the same way. They all mean the same thing: “this person’s arguments are not even worth hearing out, because they as a person belong to a worthless group.”

    I don’t use or approve of any of them, “woo” any more than “scoftic.” Neither should anyone on this board, or on the JREF board, or anywhere else.

    It’s just this simple: if we’re serious about finding things out, neither ad hominem arguments nor ridicule are ever appropriate.

  59. DavidFredSneakers responds:

    Tirademan & DWA-

    There are a few reports of sasquatch carcasses that I can remember.

    One of which is the Manitoba report on Pat Barker’s web page and on the BFRO as well I think, the other is a roadside body two people claimed to have seen near Happy Camp in California, which is included in The Apes Among Us by John Green.

    Alley also notes a couple of reports of odd, large, human like bones in Raincoast Sasquatch, but one of these is second hand. The other records a hiker finding a giant humanoid jawbone.

    I think it’s entirely possible that there is somebody out there with more usable information.

    We always seem to forget that much of the public is under the impression that “bigfoot” is nothing more than an isolated hoax; it should be no surprise that more people are not stepping forward.

    I also tend to agree with Tirademan that presenting large physical remains is easier said than done.

  60. things-in-the-woods responds:

    Just a small thing-

    Greg (Not that Greg) says;

    “We have gun kills, roadkill and found carcasses for every other kind of NA megafauna except Bigfoot. That strains logic in a very big way.”

    In fact, that doesn’t strain LOGIC. It strains PROBABILITY. But probability is a much more stretchy thing than logic. In fact probability is infinitely stretchable. Things can (logically) go on defying the odds for ever.

  61. mystery_man responds:

    The corpse idea is an interesting one. Depending on the state of decay and the amount of scavenging done on it (which is typically pretty high in this environment), a rotting Bigfoot corpse could be indistinguishable from that of a bear, especially if the stink kept anyone from wanting to investigate more closely. I also wonder how accessible the corpses would be. Maybe, like humans, they do not just lay down and die wherever they happen to be (unless by a sudden death) and perhaps like humans others take the corpse away somewhere rather than letting it lie. If they go to die in very remote areas, or are taken away by other Bigfoot, then considering the speed with which a corpse is disposed of in the wild by scavengers and decomposition, it would be a rare occurence to happen across them. I also think, though, that it has not been determined to any great extent whether Bigfoot bury their dead or not.

  62. Greg(Not that Greg) responds:

    things-in-the-woods responds:

    In fact, that doesn’t strain LOGIC. It strains PROBABILITY. But probability is a much more stretchy thing than logic. In fact probability is infinitely stretchable. Things can (logically) go on defying the odds for ever.

    Are you sure you don’t mean that “possibility” is infinitely stretchable?

    An infinite number of things are highly improbable, with very little stretching likely at all. The more improbable an event, the less logical it is to consider such an event to be probable.

    It is highly illogical to suggest, that the millions of visitors ( workers, employees, tourists, etc. ) to the Gifford Pinchot National Forest are overlooking any/all verifiable evidence for a breeding population of a 500 lb. primate.

    Which, of course , doesn’t mean that it is not possible.

    __________________

    mystery_man responds::

    …. I also think, though, that it has not been determined to any great extent whether Bigfoot bury their dead or not.

    Indeed. It has not been determined that Bigfoot exists.

    Which leaves one free to offer up almost any excuse as to why that determination has not been made; while ignoring the obvious conclusion, that they do not exist at all.

  63. DWA responds:

    As somebody who’s done the UFO Eyeroll more than once on the topic of Bigfoot burying its dead, let me just say that I just got another jolt of maybe I hadn’t had before.

    (Twice on one thread is kinda cool.)

    Burying certainly does happen in the animal world. Cats (and bears) cover kills. Some eyewitness testimony indicates the sas might too. Shoot, even species of beetles are known to do it. And obviously it’s not about reverence for the spirit of the departed. It’s about reverence for one’s hunger.

    There’s no rule that a known – or speculated – predator has to limit its burying to kills of other species. Even if it’s a bit much – and still is, for me – to see the sas practicing funerary rites, maybe they aren’t above caching their own for hard times down the road.

    And take into account what has been said, rightly, many times about a bear defending its kill. Wonder how many times a very-ill-advised closer inspection of that kill might have revealed some very interesting information?

    Just cuts the very low probability of finding, much less conclusively documenting, a sas corpse that much more.

  64. Greg(Not that Greg) responds:

    Whether or not a Bigfoot buries it’s dead was not the point of my comments.

    Showing that other animals ( that we know exist ) bury their dead, adds no weight to the notion that Bigfoot buries it’s dead.

    It is possible that we have no Bigfoot bodies because they bury their dead; but that possibility in no way outweighs the overwhelming lack of evidence for it’s very existence.

    Without the animal; you can imagine any behavior you want, and no one can show you are wrong.

    Maybe Bigfoot plays the flute…

  65. DWA responds:

    G(not that G): it’s OK.

    All you need to do is read up a bit, and start thinking the way a scientist would about this. Which you clearly weren’t doing when you posted that.

    It’s standard scientific procedure, when assessing a rather unusual phenomenon relating to an alleged animal, to note how explanations might lie in phenomena that have been clearly observed for other animals. It isn’t a piece of evidence in itself. But I’ve found that people with little or no scientific or natural history background – or (it should be prominently noted here) scientists who are slapdash in relating their discipline to phenomena they’re not familiar or are uncomfortable with – don’t understand that you’re not dealing with standard science when you’re looking for something that isn’t confirmed yet. My point was to show you – and I did, and a scientist would recognize it, which may be the problem here – that “there are no corpses” is not, by itself, a reason to dismiss the evidence for the sas.

    Which comes to where you need to read up. There is copious evidence for the existence of the animal. Yes, the anecdotal evidence counts, and I’ve explained that at extraordinary length so won’t bother just to educate you. It’s part of the reading you need to do, which should include a lot of that evidence, if you care, and if not, um, why are you here? Just asking.

    What there is not is a scrap of support for the fanciful supposition that every single piece of that evidence is falsified or evidence of something else known.

    And it simply makes no sense to introduce flute-playing, which is a skill not noted at all in the anecdotal evidence. ;-)

  66. Greg(Not that Greg) responds:

    DWA responds:

    And it simply makes no sense to introduce flute-playing, which is a skill not noted at all in the anecdotal evidence.

    My, my .. Pot meet kettle ..

    Have you ever heard the saying:

    “ The plural of anecdote is not data .. “

  67. mystery_man responds:

    Well said DWA. Greg not that Greg, my post wasn’t in response to your comments. It was my own thought on the corpse idea that was brought up by others here. Of course Bigfoot may not bury their dead, and I said clearly that it hasn’t been determined yet. I said MAYBE it does and that COULD be why there are no corpses. No assumptions are being made here at all. We are merely putting forward theories and not ones I feel should be easily dismissed. Concerning burial, there is precedence for it, especially if they are related to humans so it is not a totally far fetched theory and deserves to be given some thought. This is speculation in motion which is what needs to be done in order to create a theory that can then be somehow followed up on with research, especially with an unknown animal that we know little about. Only then can anyone say for sure, but that process will not start unless someone puts forth the ideas.

    Are we just to give up speculation on Bigfoot simply because it has not been proven to exist? Perhaps Bigfoot does not exist, but the only way to learn about them more is to speculate and then see if those ideas DO carry weight. We cannot go around throwing out ideas because we don’t like them and saying that we should not put forward ideas about how an unknown animal might act simply because we haven’t documented them. Heck, there are astrobiologists that speculate on life on other WORLDS! Are you going to say they are wasting their time?

    Oh, and by the way, Bigfoot does NOT play the flute. Bigfoot plays guitar. :)

  68. DWA responds:

    G(ntG): it’s good that you’re giving our readers such a good clinic in how a skeptical scientist with an open mind punctures scoffing on the sasquatch. Glad to have you aboard.

    Not sure what you meant by “pot meet kettle.” But when something isn’t confirmed to exist, you sure don’t start presuming things about it that there’s no reason to even consider, as in, no one’s even alleged that these things takes place. Hey, Bigfoot could be the world’s third-biggest flute manufacturer. But no one’s reported that yet, so it sure doesn’t make sense to search on it, do it? Might as well speculate that a seersucker suit in a swamp means a sas. Not too scientific, even for something that could for all we know be importing seersucker suits from Andromeda. Anyone seen one yet?

    And this:

    “Have you ever heard the saying:

    “ The plural of anecdote is not data .. “

    Yes. I hear about constipated scientists all the time. I also hear their “knowledge” getting constantly revised by new data, which, as all new data does, started as anecdote.

    Listen again, class, and detention for the next one who misses this! Anecdotes are NOT PROOF. Not one, not 1,500, not 50 quadrillion. Anecdotes are EVIDENCE, with some of it (appearing to be) GOOD and some of it (appearing to be) BAD evidence. You will never find out a thing about it – barring a sas seeking sanctuary in your sauna in a seersucker suit – unless you note PATTERNS that appear PLAUSIBLE and FOLLOW THEM UP.

    Science 100 is being offered as an elective this summer. Take it. I hear Ben Radford might be there. You can tell us about that tape loop he appears stuck on. ;-)

  69. DWA responds:

    Shill:

    who wrote that?

    I hate to say it’s a scofftical argument. But it’s close. ;-)

    But lets’ talk.

    “This early on, the debaters can’t even decide who is a “scofic”. For example, at first it was used to describe Ben Radford. Then, in later posts, Ben is called a reasoned skeptic, and a considerate one at that. He’s usually welcomed into the debate even if he says things proponents don’t agree with.”

    ####Wait a minute. Some of us think some things about Ben, some think others. I couldn’t disagree more with the “reasoned skeptic” assertion, or the “considerate” one, on Ben, and my read says I am far from alone here. This isn’t “us” shifting as the above makes it sound. It’s some of us expressing one opinion and some another.

    “Here is my definition of ‘scoftic’ – a person who ridicules a hypothesis or idea while showing a lack of consideration for data, evidence or reasoned conclusions.”

    ####Ben does this. As do many who get this label. When something is unrecognized by science, “evidence” means something different from what it does with what science accepts. There is a difference between “scientific evidence” – this is X recognized phenomenon, critter, or otherwise, and this says so – and the kind of evidence we are talking about with the sasquatch, a “reasoned conclusion” about which would be: whether science wants to look or not, a look is warranted, and a rational scientist, paying close attention, would have to agree because his scientific training would tell him so. Ben either fails or refuses to recognize that distinction.

    “Now, there are certainly people who do this. Mostly, these people are ignorant of the topic at hand. ”

    #####Yes, and Ben is one. He has demonstrated no understanding of how someone with a scientific bent would proceed with the evidence at hand for the sasquatch. He preaches about science, but he wields it the way a priest does incense, not the way a scientist does, as a tool. With Ben it’s an incantation. And he continually refuses to provide, in defense of his positions, what you’d think he’d have plenty of – evidence.

    There is more to say here. But I need to run and that ought to get it rolling.

  70. DWA responds:

    OK, back.

    “No, not if you want to have reasoned debate and discussion. You ought to debate evidence and issues, not label people or their positions.”

    ####Scoftic originated out of frustration with people who steadfastly refuse to confront opponents in reasoned argument. As we’ve seen Ben do many times here. He has never come up with an effective counter – or, come to think of it, any counter at all – to a single argument that either I or anyone else on this site has offered. It’s not like the prove-it side of the argument is nothing but scoftics; but there are too many people who simply refuse to even consider the possibility that people seeing the sasquatch are seeing something wholly new to science. (Ben does not consider that possibility, whatever lip service he may offer it.) And the evidence most certainly can lead and has led many in the scientific community to at the very least concede the significant possibility. It’s led some in that group to the conviction that the mainstream needs to look, and others to the conviction that the animal exists. If Ben and others like him refuse to see the possibility of a fire in all this smoke, they must REFUTE THE EVIDENCE. As I have deftly shown, many times, in league with others here, “eyewitness testimony is proven unreliable” is, first, false, and second, not an argument let alone a refutation.

    Let’s see, what else….

    “Dismissive?
    Yes. One is in all likelihood stating that “I will no longer listen to you because you disagree with my personal stance on the issue”.

    #####Um, that’s simply wrong. The very guy who invented the term is about as far from dismissive as humans can get. What it “in all likelihood” means is what everyone I have read using it means:

    —————————

    I can’t make you see, hear, feel or smell the plain fact – right here, in 12-point – that you are not considering a word I say. You are cherrypicking words phrases and sentences, and using them out of context. You can’t even repeat my point verbatim, much less talk about it. You don’t seem to have a position, and seem unable to defend the positions that the things you say seem to logically indicate you would take on this matter. You are constantly asking people who have showered you with buckets of evidence for more evidence. You have offered none for your (apparent) point of view; and since you seem to be arguing that science is on your side, evidence is what you should have the most of.

    Let’s see: what’s a WORD for that?

    ——————————-

    I’m not defending the word. But people who can’t be reasoned with – what, we’re supposed to reason with them?

  71. things-in-the-woods responds:

    Greg(NotthatGreg)-

    No, I really did mean probability.

    You suggested that it ‘stretched logic’ to suppose that bigfoot existed despite the fact that no bigfoot corpse had been found.

    I was trying to point out that there is, in fact, no such thing as stretching logic. Either something is logically possible, or it isn’t (so i don’t really know what you mean by ‘stretching possibility’ either). And that nobody has discovered an example of something that exists is not a logical impossibility.

    In this case, however, it is relatively improbable. The odds on it being the case are long (quite how long we don’t know, for all the various reasons discussed on this site). This is what I mean by probability being stretched. The longer it goes on that we do not find a corpse, the longer the odds are that, if BF does exist, this should be the case. However, at no point does it become a logical impossibility that it should be the case (at least, at no point we are likely ever to reach- i.e., that we have constant simultaneous survellience of every square inch of the north american continent).

    Think of it this way. We put an object randomly in a room. We then put a robot in that room that moves randomly about the room. The longer we leave the robot randomly moving about the room, the longer the odds become that it wont bump into the object. But it might still move around that room for ever without bumping into it. It is not logically impossible, it does not ‘stretch logic’ if it does so. It simply stretches the odds (‘stretches probability’).

    And I never suggested it was ‘probable’ (which, in any case, is an entirely relative term). I only suggested it did not defy logic.

  72. DWA responds:

    G(ntG) says:

    “It is highly illogical to suggest, that the millions of visitors ( workers, employees, tourists, etc. ) to the Gifford Pinchot National Forest are overlooking any/all verifiable evidence for a breeding population of a 500 lb. primate.”

    You’re right. It IS quite, quite illogical to say that “overlooking” it is the only thing they’re doing.

    Many could be overlooking it. Many could just not recognize it when they saw it. They wonder what it is, muse for a bit, and walk on. Many (I’d be one) could see something but not report it because they presumed, probably quite correctly, it wouldn’t be worth the effort. Many could simply not encounter any evidence on their visits. (Most of those millions of visitors could be attached to their cars by 300 feet of chain with no discernable impact on their visits.)

    Many (Gifford Pinchot NF? Would that be, um, WA?) FILE ENCOUNTER REPORTS.

    READ THEM.

    “Which, of course , doesn’t mean that it is not possible.”

    RIGHT.

  73. DWA responds:

    And there’s more to be said about the label “scoftic.”

    If you don’t suffer fools gladly, sooner or later a good one-word dismissive comes in handy.

    Don’t want to be pasted with “scoftic”? Don’t act like one. I’ve given you pointers. Let’s summarize them:

    1. Don’t keep coming back with the same old Urban Arguments Against when we’ve shot them full of holes. Particularly when it’s clear to us you’re cherrypicking, and not confronting our arguments and addressing them.

    2. Show you know something about the sciences involved. (About science in general would sure be nice. We’re not your parents and this isn’t fourth-grade science fair. Evidence means more than one thing, honey.)

    3. Please stop saying there’s no evidence. It marks you an unschooled rube. I wouldn’t pretend to sit at the table discussing today’s most important astronomy topics with the world’s most prominent astronomers. Don’t you sit at this table and show, in post after post, not only your ignorance of data, evidence, and the relevant sciences, but also your unwillingness to listen to any point of view other than your own. OK, we’re nicer than astronomers. But if you’re ignorant, show you can learn.

    4. STOP TALKING DOWN TO PEOPLE WHO KNOW MORE THAN YOU AND CONTINUALLY DEMONSTRATE IT.

    Now, balance a book on your head and show us a compliant gait. Yeah. It’s kinda like finishing school.

    Um, does this sound like a lot to post?

    See where “scoftic” comes from? ;-)

  74. DWA responds:

    And because I can’t resist:

    ———————–

    “If 50 million people say a foolish thing, it’s still a foolish thing.”

    - W. Somerset Maugham

  75. mystery_man responds:

    Well, I know that I for one am going to continue to use the word. The definition for a scoftic has been made pretty clear and sometimes if the shoe fits.. you know the rest. This is one type of skeptic that pops up enough that a word to convey them is for me necessary. I myself am a skeptic of sorts and I feel the distinction needs to be made.

  76. DWA responds:

    Well, mystery_man, at least I tried. :-D

    And I did. For a few exploratory posts there. And things-in-the-woods may keep trying. He may show us all how to do it. And maybe he already has; it’s clear from his responses that he has the ammo for an alternative approach. But maybe we lack his patience. :-D

    I get distinctly uncomfortable every time I type “skeptic” for people whose approach is clearly based on utterly unexamined assumptions. That’s NOT a skeptical approach! Now some of these people may lack my background as an outdoorsman and my layman’s familiarity with animals. But when you shine that light into those unexamined corners, and keep getting responses that go, what light? – well, m_m, I feel your pain. And I was never one to feel pain and not yell, sorry ’bout that.

    You’re not a skeptic “of sorts,” m_m. You’re a skeptic. I’ve never seen you settle for dogma. You question every assumption; which is what skeptics do. It’s not a noble word – and I think it is, or should be – if it’s anything else. There are many assumptions on the negative side of this argument, and as many negative belief-spews and talismans on the Bigfoot-isn’t-real side of this argument as there are on the yes-he-is side. And equal amounts of ignorance and dogma on both sides. You and I and things-etc. :-D come off, sometimes, sounding like proponents. And the reason is that we see lots of dogmatic, rote blather coming over the airwaves here from the not-skeptics-but-something-else-and-some-of-us-think-a-single-word-might-help-to-illustrate-that.

    Um…see? :-D

    It’s like a file on my teeth to read such as Ben Radford talk about how much legitimacy they’ve lent to this topic. (And others agree with him.) Here’s The English Translation: “You guys are regarded by most people as fools. My paying attention to you, at all, lends legitimacy to what you do. I mean, I Have A Psychology Degree and Publish Books. You should be thankful, and you should thank me when I come on here to lead everyone off topic, try my best to make you look silly, which I can’t seem to manage, and disrespect what you do.”

    You and I and things (things: you have one of the best names on the board. I’m just trying to keep my typing momentum going, OK? :-D ) and several other earnest, informed people here lend more legitimacy to this topic in each post than Ben has in his life. We shed light. We encourage the searchers. We add new tidbits of information and informed thought and speculation. Every moment Ben’s on here, people are responding to things that are so stale that even talking about them constitutes a distraction from what should be going on, which is: coming to a consensus on search protocols that will tell us, one way or another, about the cryptid in question. Has Ben ever offered one such? Has he ever said what should be done with the evidence? Has he ever said that a search is legitimate, and offered thoughts on how it might proceed? Anybody? I stand corrected by anyone who can offer me an example. One. What I see is Ben asking us to document – by instance – what everyone who has ever encountered the sasquatch knows is as real as the animal he just saw: ridicule for reporting what your eyes told you as clearly as they ever told you anything.

    That’s just my opinion. But there it is. The biggest help Ben could give the field is ignoring it. Legitimate scientists, with reason to believe there’s something here worth looking at, read Ben, or scan scofftic sites, and go: no way am I exposing myself to that flat-earth crap. My boots get dirty enough as it is.

    You’re right, mystery_man. Sometimes (for most of us, things; maybe that’s why we need you :-D ) that one-word shoe just, well, fits.

    Because we know there’s more important stuff to waste words on than discuss those who don’t help the search, one bit.

  77. mystery_man responds:

    DWA- exactly. I need that one word so that people on here know what I am talking about when I say it. I personally know what that sort of thinking is like. As I have said before here, I was once myself a pretty hard core scoftic. In retrospect, I guess I was a bit arrogant and dismissive and some of my scoftic arguments really seem quite ridiculous to myself when I look back on them. I used to use my degrees as some sort of ammunition in my arguments, as if having degrees immediately makes someone an expert in all aspects of this phenomena and can compensate for a lack of any real knowledge one may have on a given topic. It was like, “Hey, I have degrees in science, so back off!” and you know what, I almost always pulled that out when I felt cornered or thought that maybe my ideas didn’t hold water. How totally absurd. The truth was there was nothing particularly scientific about what I was doing.

    Yeah, I’m a scientist, but that in no way makes me able to talk with authority about all the stuff involved in this field with authority and it certainly doesn’t give me the right to dismiss some of the very good ideas coming out here from you and others. There are aspects involved here that I know very little about. Psychology, archeology, anthropology, heck, even expertise in photographic processes and analysis. These are things I am learning about all the time on this site and in hindsight, I can see that I used to try and dismiss these areas that I didn’t even know about, like my own training somehow excluded me from having to have any knowledge in those areas in order to deny them. But not anymore. Now I am open to this sort of knowledge and willing to take into account compelling things I may never have even thought of. A scoftic just doesn’t do that.

    Man, I was a denialist, big time. Sigh. But I am through with turning off the lights and now wish to shed light instead. Like you said, sometimes I think I come off as a proponent because I entertain the existence of the creature, and will speculate on its behavior at length. Of course I will, because it is fascinating for me and I can see all of the possibilities, and that’s just it, I am not closing any doors on good theories. But at the same time, I am a skeptic. I abhor jumping to conclusions. I indeed do question the dogma (and there certainly is a lot of it on both sides), I will challenge some proponent beliefs, and I will settle for nothing less than the concrete stuff that science needs but which I feel CAN be done in this field if the creature is indeed out there. Likewise, I do not swallow blurry videos very well (as you know) and I can occasionally slip a little towards my old close minded ways, but mostly I try to keep an open mind with all evidence presented both skeptical and otherwise. I will argue equally against needless assumptions towards Bigfoot or far fetched true believerism. (Is that a word? If not, it should be :) )

    But I will not deny that there is good circumstantial evidence and things that could point us to that concrete evidence, where a scoftic will often write this sort of evidence off out of hand. This is an important distinction, I feel. I am just trying to see the truth for what it is, not what we want based on any agenda and regardless of how unlikely I may think Bigfoot is. You and things-in-the-woods are like this too, and you appreciate the beauty of the scientific method.

    I also think another very important aspect is that when good points are proposed by proponents or even scoftics that I may be debating with, I am willing to admit that I’m wrong and do not know everything and that a hypothesis has merit. The difference from the way I was before is that now when I challenge proponent ideas, I challenge these things from a fair appraisal of what is presented, and I think usually rational reasons, not from any close mindedness, reluctance to accept I am wrong or desire to disprove. I can now say “Ok, show me what you’ve got” and I can say it without any ridicule towards the one showing me. That’s a big difference from what I see a scoftic as doing. I could go on and on, but the point is, a scoftic is NOT a skeptic in my eyes.

    And so I need a word to make that distinction. So here, coming from an ex-scoftic, I can say that in my mind, there is a diference between “skeptic” and “scoftic”. Just as I think there is a difference between “proponent” and “true believer”. It is an extreme form of skepticism and it needs a name. “Scoftic” is the name I shall give it.

  78. DWA responds:

    Don’t worry, dear reader: mystery_man and I will continue to question each other’s assumptions. :-D

    I don’t weasel-word – nor does he – what we say about the sasquatch here. It all needs to be taken with the grain of salt called: “evidence seems to indicate that….”. That doesn’t mean we’re bleeding proponents. It means that this is stuff that could well be confirmed with further research – or not. I may sound as if there is no room in my mind for the notion that all of this is concocted – lies, hoaxes, wishful thinking and other fluff. Again, I’m not going to weasel it. But I am certainly open to evidence that this is what’s behind the sasquatch phenomenon.

    It’s just that when most of the evidence I see points to an animal, and the isolated hoaxes don’t seem connected to anything bigger, and sightings continue by people who are not seeing guys in ape suits, and don’t read like they’re lying….well, sometimes one wants evidence to be pursued.

    Until it is, just label me skeptic. I question – strongly – the apparently unexamined assumption that there’s no new ape here.

    But skeptics can be convinced otherwise. Convince me. Evidence only, please.

  79. DWA responds:

    This thread just seems a handy repository for random thoughts.

    Just came across this quote:

    The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie — deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.- John F. Kennedy

    I’m not sure I’ve read anything that describes more succinctly than this does – not even what I’ve written! lol – the scoftic take on the sasquatch.

    The more the evidence mounts, the more I’m persuaded that contrary to the scofftic notion of hoaxers and unbalanced people making us imagine that an animal exists, it’s science’s scoffing and inattention that is making us imagine that it DOESN’T.

    This isn’t UFOs. It isn’t ghosts. It’s dots – that science could connect. IF it wanted to.

  80. CryptoInformant responds:

    I see 4 categories of “cryptozoologists.”

    The “true believer” – This is someone who believes in Bigfoot because they CAN, not because of EVIDENCE.

    The Shyster or “Cryptidiot” – This is someone who pretends to be a Bigfoot researcher in order to get people to waste their money. They are sometimes called Cryptidiots because they’ve earned it.

    The Skeptic or Cryptozoologist – The fence-sitters. They honestly research Bigfoot, with no crippling bias or hidden agenda behind their research.

    The Scoftic – An individual who BELIEVES Bigfoot CAN NOT exist, without doing much field research or actually looking at the evidence. Some Skeptics are Borderline Scoftic, like Ben Radford, who does field research, but may dismiss evidence out of hand, or ridicule others.



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