Sasquatch Coffee

Teach the Controversy?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on February 18th, 2010

Teach the Controversy is [not the*] name of a Discovery Institute campaign to promote intelligent design, a variant of traditional creationism. The TTC teeshirts (created by Jeremy Kalgreen) are dedicated to “challenging ‘Big Science’ in all it’s[sic] forms but especially those pro-evolution atheists trying to suppress our creationism-based science.”

Among many different varieties, TTC sells a teeshirt that is entitled “Cryptozoo,” with an online subtitle explaining, “Because we know that Yetis, Sea Monsters and Jackalopes are lurking.”

Sorry, I just wish they’d leave cryptozoology out of all of this.

*See the clarification sent in from Mr. Kalgreen, in the comments section.

About Loren Coleman
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.


27 Responses to “Teach the Controversy?”

  1. loopstheloop responds:

    Odd country you live in, Loren.

  2. Blue Steel responds:

    Ironically, some kind of “scientific” proof of Yeti/Sas would, I think, cause a greater uproar in that community than they could possibly imagine. Much of their belief is based on a unyielding adherence to inerrancy in the Biblical canon. The basis for their “Earth is only 6000 years old, and man was created by God” stance has an powerful underlying theme that puts humans on a pedestal, alone and separate from all other creatures.

    Imagine what would happen if suddenly Sasquatch was “found.” There would be a lot less room on that pedestal….

    I’m just sayin’

  3. Alton Higgins responds:

    ?? Isn’t this an old topic? Why bring up something that isn’t a current issue?

  4. krootasaurusrex responds:

    Personally, I like the one with David Icke’s lizard-people.

  5. JMonkey responds:

    First off, I want to agree with Lauren that maybe Cryptozoology should not be in all of this choice of teaching, but the Bible does mention dragons, and Unicorns.(now we don’t visit that cryptid often)

    Second, Blue Steel wrote. The basis for their “Earth is only 6000 years old, and man was created by God”. I know that you think we all believe this, it seems to me the greater public does, but I for one, know that the Earth existed before man. I also believe that God created it, I know that is hard for some to swallow, but that’s how I feel. The actual finding of cryptids neither causes a storm in the Christian, nor salms the seas. The truth is that if I believe right, and since we humans all disalussion ourselves so easily I believe I do then even if we started as a one celled critter of some sort and evolved into humnas, which I don’t believe, but acknowledge could be true, then my belief would be that God created that little critter, and set him on the path to becoming me. In all honesty the only history Christians, or any man for that matter has written is the age you wrote above, but does that mean that man did not exist before their was writing. I mean their are some flaws in that alone.
    The simple truth is that if Christians believe as they should then we take God at his word, but we do not question his methods, or his keeping of time. If he says it too a day it could have taken 12 hours or a million years. Either is the same to an undying God who does not know time as we do. So why would the earth only be 6000 years old? Man was the last thing he made, that couold have been billions of years from the creation of the earth itself.
    Anyway, I am not here to write a diatribe on my religous philosophy, and certainly I am not qualified to write one on Cryptids either, though I would like to see a Sasquatch before I die. It’s just that many comments are made here by others and it seems like many here make the assumption that, “all of us here alike cryptids, so all of us here __________.” You can fill in the blank for yourself. Thr truth of the matter is that all of us are unique we have unique beliefs, or a lack there of. Yet, somehow, most of the time we see eye to eye on these strange and illsuive creatures.
    I am not trying to offend anyone here, and I will understand if this post is not considered the most important written here today. it simply makes me feel better to say that, “I am not everyone else, and neither are any of you. We are what makes this place great. Different people, different views, different beliefs, and yet somehow, we all agree that there is something out there that not everyone knows about yet, but we all want them too.”

  6. Cryptidcrazy responds:

    I just don’t get it? Why does everything have to be mutually exclusive? I happen to believe in God and I know evolution to be a fact. I also believe that there is lots of life on this planet and others that have yet to be discovered. I believe evolution is a tool God used to create life on earth and perhaps other planets. Why does it have to be one way or the other? It’s just like Republicans and Democrats. They refuse to come to the middle and compromise. Most things in life, are not black and white. There are shades of gray, everywhere. People need to realize that the answers aren’t always to the left or to the right, sometimes they include a little bit of both and fall right in the middle.

  7. wgibbons responds:

    For what it’s worth, I am on Loren’s side on this one. We should not use possible surviving dinosaurs (Mokele-mbembe) or pterosaurs (Ropen) to try in any way to “validate” creationist beliefs. These animals remain in the shadows of cryptozoology and until they are actually discovered, then we can determine where they fit into the grand scheme of things, rather than use unverified data to make a point.

  8. Stan Cold responds:

    A few people need to learn things about science and religion. Like how they’re not related whatsoever. It’s like saying “If there are squirrels, there are no oceans.” Science requires fact while religion requires belief.

  9. amorphia responds:

    Howdy,

    Jeremy here creator of these tee’s. One quick correction, I’m not in any way affiliated with the Discovery Institute, and in fact this project exists as a (irony based) negative reaction to their policies. The block of text on the main page should make that clear:

    “Let sarcasm be your weapon in the great evolution vs. creationism debate! You don’t have to be an atheist to want to keep science in science class, and sporting one of these graphic tees sarcastically urging schools to teach other pseudosciences, myths and discredited theories is a fine way to show your pro-science stance.”

    Of course I realize that doesn’t really do much to improve my standing around here, since I’m still implying cryptids are myths that don’t belong in our school science classes. I just wanted to correct the implication that I’m pro-ID or affiliated with the ID movement.

    Thanks!

  10. cryptidsrus responds:

    Amorphia: If your intention was to do “irony,” it did not work as planned. Unfortunately, some people are into subtle irony.
    Sometimes you have to be more “blunt” about certain things.
    Still a nice Tee. I’m an IDer but I’m not without a sense of humor. As to the “myths” of Crypto, we’ll see… :)

  11. cryptidsrus responds:

    CryptidCrazy: I agree wholeheartedly with you.

  12. korollocke responds:

    I like jmonkeys god started it all take on one of the Qautermass movies(Quatermass and the pit if I remember rightly). Remeber that one? Professor Qautermass studies a find in london of ancient bug people mummies that turned out to the creators of life on earth. The bug people new they were doomed so set out to attempted seed life else where so that in so way they could continiue on. All the qautermass flicks are great, if you haven’t seen them give them a shot.

  13. korollocke responds:

    my typing stinks on ice.

  14. DWA responds:

    I’d like them to leave crypto out of it too.

    But crypto is too tainted by its fringe to shake this, for the moment. This is the decade that I’m hoping that changes.

    I see a lot of evidence for evolution. I see none for intelligent design (other than its adherents thinking it’s a cool idea).

    Crypto has a big edge over creationism and intelligent design. It’s called evidence.

  15. Blue Steel responds:

    JMonkey and others:

    Please don’t misinterpret what I commented about – I’m not trying to lump everyone (Christians of any flavor or otherwise) into one monolithic group regarding their beliefs. Believe me when I say that I respect a wide variety of beliefs (practiced and unpracticed) – I grew up in a Mennonite family myself, so I’m not at all unfamiliar with questions about beliefs, and would rather not throw stones at my own glass house. There is plenty of people that have a firm belief in a God/Supreme Being/Creator, and still embrace the ideas of evolution.

    But, as Stan Cold so aptly put it, “Science requires fact while religion requires belief.” My point was that in America, and especially here in the South where I now reside, a large group exists that do “believe” both points I mentioned (especially the “Earth is only 6000 years old), and those that do seem (to me at least) most often associated with the Intelligent Design movement. My point is that the recognized, widespread existence of Sasquatch/Yeti would cause reverberations througout that particular community that may be much larger than they imagine.
    The comment that Amorphia made about his Tee’s being an irony based reaction to the Discovery Institute leaves my original comment hanging in the wind… but my point remains.

    Best to all

  16. springheeledjack responds:

    Uh, yeah, cryptozoology has enough problems without getting drawn into that mess…

    I think people take the “World was created in 6 days” way too seriously…and I think there’s room for religion and evolution (looking for lightning bolts coming at me–biblical and the scientific kind).

    JMonkey makes good points and sums it up.

    However, cryptozoology is always getting used and abused by others…not much we can do about it other than plug along and do our thing.

    MEanshile, long live the Flying Spaghetti MOnster…

  17. fmurphy1970 responds:

    I’ll nail my colours to the mast here so no-one misunderstands where I’m coming from. I studied physics and science to post graduate level, worked in industry, left to study theology and I’m now a presbyterian pastor. I don’t see any conflict between faith and science. Where there is conflict, is when faith makes claims for things which only science can tells us, and when science makes claims for things that only faith can tell us.
    I understand where Loren is coming from though; as cryptozoology is a purely scientific pursuit, it doesn’t help it’s cause when it is linked with other subject matter that is considered unscientific. There are plenty of skeptics out there who have a habit of unfairly lumping cryptozoology with psuedoscience, and will use whatever opportunity comes along to reinforce that view.
    Having said that, my understanding of the Intelligent Design ‘movement’ through reading quite a bit on the subject, is that it is more nuanced than it’s often portrayed. The Discovery Institute is only one cog in the wheel of this movement, of which there are many hundreds of scientists at major universities who have some sympathy with it’s aims. It’s important to understand ID as a discussion taking place between scientists, and not anything connected with Appalachian snake handlers. Very few working in this area of work would be young earth creationists (i.e. earth is only 6000 years old). Many more would be old earth creationists, some would be theistic-evolutionists but with doubts about neo-darwinism. Some prominent ID scientist are in fact atheists or agnostics. Most ID scientists if not all, accept natural selection and evolutionary processes are at work in nature. Where there is disagreement with mainstream science is at the molecular level. Michael Behe, a prominent ID biologist, has argued that Darwinian processes do not explain what happens at the molecular level. The premise of ID science is that mathematical analysis can be used to demonstrate that the ‘apparent design’ in nature(in particular at the molecular level), is in fact real design. This kind of analysis is already applied in other areas of science without controversy (e.g. SETI project). The philosophical inference from that is that there must then be a designer with intelligence behind it. But that is a question for religion and philosophy, and is not a question that ID science claims to answer.

    My own personal view is that Darwinian evolution fits much of the evidence we see around us, but there are still quite a few big problems with it. Even the late Prof Stephen Jay Gould at Harvard acknowledged that. I think the jury is still out on ID, but it’s interesting that there seems to be a growing number of scientists with serious doubts about Darwinism. My prediction is that Darwinian evolution will be superseded over the next 100 years, by a much more robust theory of origins. Will Darwin go the same way as Marx and Freud? Who knows? If someone were to discover another hominid species living today, that would really have the scientists arguing among one another for quite some time.

    Hope this has helped, rather than hindered the discussion.

  18. Redrose999 responds:

    Amorphia, I think one of the common misconceptions of folks interested or involved in Cryptozoology is that they “believe” in crypid creatures like the way one would believe in God. This isn’t necessarily the case. At least in my case and to quote Loren, though not directly, belief is for religion. Some people who are interested in Cryptozoology are open to the possibility that such things could possibly exist, and that it is worth investigating, rather than being ignored or, like the current media trend being scoffed at. Think of it as the “spirit” of exploration.

    You can’t lump Cryptozoology into religious issues like intelligent design. One is geared on the usage of the scientific method and the other is about the denial of science and it’s methods.

  19. Redrose999 responds:

    Amorphia, I think one of the common misconceptions of folks interested or involved in Cryptozoology is that they “believe” in crypid creatures like the way one would believe in God. This isn’t necessarily the case. At least in my case and to quote Loren, though not directly, belief is for religion. Some people who are interested in Cryptozoology are open to the possibility that such things could possibly exist, and that it is worth investigating, rather than being ignored or, like the current media trend being scoffed at. Think of it as the “spirit” of exploration.

    You can’t lump Cryptozoology into religious issues like intelligent design. One is geared on the usage of the scientific method and the other is about the denial of science and its methods.

  20. korollocke responds:

    Anybody with any sense knows the earth is well over 6000 years old, intelligent design is the most cornball thing ever, it’s just bad science. Bring on the spaghetti monster, who has great statue by the way in its honor.

  21. Alton Higgins responds:

    Problems arise when we have scientists acting in the role of amateur philosophers clashing with syncretistic theologians insistent on viewing the Bible as a modernistic and scientific document. One year ago, on the anniversary of Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday, I addressed some issues pertaining to teaching about controversies in an article titled “Bird Beaks, Bible Belt Biology, and Bigfoot.”

  22. lukedog responds:

    DWA , how would the discovery of one or all of the big 3 advance Darwins ‘THEORY’ of evolution?
    This is a question , not attack.

  23. DWA responds:

    lukedog asks: “DWA , how would the discovery of one or all of the big 3 advance Darwins ‘THEORY’ of evolution?”

    Um, it wouldn’t?

    How could it, all by itself?

    Darwin’s theory came from his observation of everything around him, and how neatly organisms fill practically every nook and cranny available on the planet. Available information seems to fit that model.

    I’d be curious to know how you think the discovery of one animal would influence ANY theory about how nature as a whole works. No animal discovery – or plant, for that matter – has had much of an influence on Darwin’s theory. Except to provide more information that seems to fit his model well.

    I think that the sasquatch, for example, whatever it is, is spectacularly well adapted to northern temperate-zone environments. Nothing about its existence would seem to cast any aspersions at all on Darwin’s theory.

  24. korollocke responds:

    Darwin himself said that his theory was shakey due vast missing links across the board, a discovery of living things like bigfoot or fossils of unknown intermediated stages of various life forms would fill in the gaps and therefore strengthen darwinism and weaken creationism and intelligent design. There have been several recent fossil discoveries that have filled some gaps already.

  25. jerrywayne responds:

    Once I possessed a treasured cassette audio of a creationism v. evolution debate between Grover Krantz and Duane Gish. Before I listened to it, I wondered if Krantz would succeed because creationist Gish always gives a very practiced, polished and superficially impressive anti-evolution presentation at such events. I did not have to worry: Krantz carried the day for modern science, and even got in a mention of his interest in bigfoot.

    I wondered about the posted tee shirt controversy because the inclusion of a “jackalope”, the fictitious tourist post card creature, did not fit in with the cryptids also pictured. So it seemed odd that creationists would make such an allied appeal, one that would undermine their point of view by seeming overtly spurious. Then we learn the tee was meant as a spoof of the Intelligent Design movement, linking it with another “pseudoscience”, cryptozoology (according to the tee’s designer).

    I must disagree with fmurphy’s post above, or at least some of it. The problem with the ID movement is that it really isn’t just a discussion among scientists. The ID movement really isn’t much of a science movement at all. It is a political movement that has sought to by-pass the scientific establishment altogether and present its case to the public as if it had scientific standing. In this the IDers have not won the scientific debate; they instead are attempting an end around by trying to directly influence school boards (who are sympathetic to the “Put God Back Into The Public Schools” movement), newspaper editorial boards, documentary producers and so forth.

    Also disconcerting, we seem to be living in an era of information anarchy. Fmurphy mentions the anti-Darwinian work of M. Behe as if the biology professor has a case. In fact, Behe’s argument from “irreducible complexity” has been critiqued by many mainstream scientists and has been rejected. Yet, it is still being presented by IDers, such as Fmurphy above, as if it is a persuasive case against Darwinism even if at a molecular level. If this means anything, it means that there is a growing erosion of common, objective understanding and in its stead we are finding more “faith held” propositions presented as if factually known.

    (We need only look no further than our political landscape today to find this “faith held” anarchy. It seems a sizable number of people in our country believe variously that Pres. Obama is not an American citizen, is a secrete Muslim, is THE anti-Christ, and/or is plotting to overthrow our democracy in order to bring forth a fascist dictatorship. Needless to say, there is no real evidence for any of these ideas.)

    As for cryptozoology, it has yet attained status as a scientific discipline. I think it is hurt in this state of affairs by its inclusion of fortean and paranormal elements. If cryptozoology theorists want to hold to fortean and paranormal worldviews, then the only way there will ever be scientific recognition for cryptozoology would be in a total paradigm shift in what is science and what science can ascertain about the universe we live in. In this view, cryptozoology is a would-be bedfellow of creationism because creationism desires a similar shift in order to include the supernatural in scientific discourse.

    I prefer cryptozoology make its case within today’s science, and not seek, like the creationists, to shift to a new paradigm that will probably be, in the end, nothing more than “faith held.”

  26. simianfever responds:

    As the owner of a couple of tees from Amorphia Apparel I’m glad to see the misconception they were in anyway a proponent of ID was quickly corrected.

    As someone who is interested in cryptozoology as an interesting subject but a scientist who demands critical thinking in a field that often lacks a good deal of it I think the shirt is a playful design that shouldn’t offend anyone.

    The AA shirts in general are great… pro science/pro education, well designed and have proven to be thought provoking conversation pieces when I’ve worn them. Keep up the good work, Jeremy! Glad you were able to stop by and clear things up.

  27. JMonkey responds:

    Sorry about going all philosophical on this post. I usually put myself in the whimsical, and sometimes innapropriate comment category, but I felt I had to address something that urked me.

    Blue Steel, I hold no grudges, as far as I am concerned we are all just a few streams of Data here unless we evolve into something more, I will never take anything too personally. I guess that is why we write comments back and forth, so we can better understand each others views.

    JerryWayne, your telling me that none of this is true? Oh man! Thanks for that heads up. Guess I can unload the bomb shelter.

    (We need only look no further than our political landscape today to find this “faith held” anarchy. It seems a sizable number of people in our country believe variously that Pres. Obama is not an American citizen, is a secrete Muslim, is THE anti-Christ, and/or is plotting to overthrow our democracy in order to bring forth a fascist dictatorship. Needless to say, there is no real evidence for any of these ideas.)



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