Posted by: Guy Edwards on September 7th, 2012
Zachary Throckmorton is Serious about Sasquatch
Okay, there is nothing Meldrum needs to “look out” for, as a scientist I’m sure he welcomes other serious academics looking into Bigfoot, and this new guy isn’t anywhere near Meldrum’s town. The problem is we needed to get your attention and the alternative title for this post is, “There’s another serious anthropologist similar to Dr. Jeff Meldrum that specializes in primate locomotion and he thinks we should keep an open mind as to the possibility of Bigfoot and he’s working on a book on the cultural and biological anthropology of Bigfoot .” It is just too long.
Today we stumbled upon an interview with Zach Throckmorton, an anthropologist at UW-Madison, at the website dane101.com. It seems Zach is very serious about his interest in Bigfoot and when he says he uses Bigfoot to teach about pseudoscience, he acknowledges there is pseudoscience regarding Bigfoot, but that does exclude science being applied to Bigfoot.
Here is the part of the interview where he talks about Bigfoot reprinted below.
D101: What’s the most interesting/exciting part of this for you? Why is it your favorite project?
Zach: As I said I like to people watch. I think the ways in which we differ from each other are fascinating, and I like to understand and think about why we’re all different. I’m glad that my abstract search for evolutionary understanding also has real-world applications, like how to find shoes that fit best and avoiding unnecessary surgery. It’s also a treat to be able to use my expertise in foot evolution to talk about Bigfoot, because Bigfoot is such an amazing topic to illustrate what anthropologists do. (Seriously.)
D101: Hold on a second. Bigfoot?
Zach: I use Bigfoot as a context for discussing the nature of science, and the line between science and pseudoscience. If Bigfoot is real, it’s a great ape like chimps, gorillas, and orangutans, it came to the New World over Beringia like Native Americans, and it’s bipedal like humans. Most of the evidence for Bigfoot’s existence is of course footprints, so that’s an opportunity for me to talk about my expertise in human and ape feet. I’m also working with a friend who is a PhD candidate in cultural anthropology here at UW-Madison on a book on the cultural and biological anthropology of Bigfoot, though it’s not the highest priority for either of us.
There other parts to the interview that are not about Bigfoot, you can read it here. But why? You probably want to hear more about Zach take on Bigfoot, right?