April 28, 2007

Is “Scoftic” A Useful Term?

“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 About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

Filed under Abominable Snowman, Almas, Artifacts, Bigfoot, Conspiracies, Cryptomundo Exclusive, Cryptotourism, CryptoZoo News, Cryptozoologists, Cryptozoology, Evidence, Eyewitness Accounts, Forensic Science, Hoaxes, Media Appearances, Pop Culture, Public Forum, Reviews, Sasquatch, Windigo, Yeti, Yowie