The Enemies Of Cryptozoology
There are two main threats to cryptozoology. These are paracryptozoology and creationism. It is through the involvement of these two philosophies that cryptozoology is often unfairly ridiculed.
Paracryptozoology is the study of cryptids as though they are not animals but paranormal entities, a view for which there is no evidence. On the BF 201 Advanced Cyber Bigfoot/Cryptozoology Class & Forum, a mailing list used by Cedric Beckjord to spread paranormal lies, this review of my website was posted. With this annotated version, it is quite easy to see the ridiculous nature of his views that are for cryptozoologists a source of unintentional comedy.
Cryptozoology is the study of unknown animals,
CB: no - of unknown entities....
AEM: Cryptozoology is, by definition, the study of unknown animals.
or cryptids. A group of unknown animals are defined as a population of cryptids when they are not only suspected to exist but to be a seperate population that after discovery would be described as a new species or subspecies,
CB: cart before the horse. Discover one first.
AEM: When the animal is proven to exist, it is possible to tell which if any of the suggested identities was correct. The supposed identities are just theories.
or else are perhaps members of a species considered extinct. Cryptozoology is biology
CB: No, it is not. It is a fako term to allow non-graduates like Al to play "scientific cryptozoologist"....and be important.
AEM: The governing board of the International Society Of Cryptozoology is composed of respected scientists including C. Janis, G. Krantz, and H. Bauer.
and is not associated with animal apparitions.
CB: but it is,and can be. Al is no authority on this.
AEM: By definition, cryptozoology relates to animals, not paranormal lies.
Out of place animals, known species transported to unlikely locations, such as the big cats reported from parts of Britain, are not cryptids even though their existence may be controversial and though a population of out of place animals may in some cases be more likely than a group of genuine cryptids (so the study of out of place animals are still of interest to a cryptozoological researcher for this reason). Many cryptozoologists are qualified scientists,
CB: most, like Al, are not. The qualified ones are called "Zoologists"
AEM: Cryptozoology is a branch of the science of zoology. Therefore, cryptozoologists are zoologists and, unlike paracryptozoologists, scientists. Beckjord claims to be a MBA, but this claim has been opened to question by those who see it as being as dubious as his laughable paranormal beliefs.
though this is not to say that other cryptozoologists are any less scientific.
CB: they have less training, and often less brains.
AEM: This sort of comment reveals the childish and offensive nature of Mr., Beckjord.
Cryptozoology interacts with other sciences, such as palaeontology and archaeology and like these other sciences is based upon data that can be verified and hypotheses that can be discussed, such as those relating to the supposed carcass of a sea serpent disgorged at Naden Harbour.
AEM: If Mr., Beckjord properly looked at my website then he would see that I do not defend the identity of the Naden Harbour carcass as that of a cryptid. Mr., Beckjord does not seem to see cryptids as possibilities any more than he sees them as animals, preferring to unquestioningly treat their existence as a matter of fact.
Cryptozoology relies upon statistics as do many other sciences, and has done so since the 19th century.
CB: stats on things that are not proven.
AEM: Here it is clear that Mr., Beckjord does not realize that science depends on falsifiable hypothesis and that ecological statistics can test wether a cryptid is a possibility or not.
Although the word cryptozoology is a relatively new word, the method has been around for much longer and was once the standard method used in zoology. In the 19th century, Huxley confessed to having no doubts about the existence of the serpent of the sea, and other scientists around the same time also had an open minded approach to what would now be called cryptozoology. The arrogant claim
CB: back in the 1800's.......ho hum.
AEM: Mr., Beckjord does not realize that in biology what was relevant one hundred years ago can still be relevant today.
of later scientists that all large land animals had been discovered has constantly been refuted by discoveries such as the Chacoan peccary, the pygmy hippopotamus and the Vu Quang ox.
CB: Big, I mean, little, deals....non-important cryptids.
AEM: Here it is absolutely aparrent that Mr., Beckjord has a completely contemptuous attitude towards zoology. All animal discoveries are important to zoology.
Such animals were new to western science, but were understandably known to the locals for a long time, which demonstrates the importance of taking seriously reports of what may be unrecognised animals. The discovery of cryptids can take a long time. The giant forest hog was first reported by Dr., Olfert Dapper in 1668 but only described in 1904. Cryptids can be small animals and do not neccessarily need to be vertebrates. Smaller cryptids include the rail sighted by Thor Heyerdahl on a Pacific island and elsewhere in the Pacific the waitoreke of New Zealand, commented upon by Darwin and suspected to be a cynodont. Just as completely new animals can be discovered, so species thought extinct can easily be rediscovered as has repeatedly happened in the 20th century.This is a personal view of the science of cryptozoology, but this definition is generally close to that of other cryptozoologists.
CB: In general, nobody gives a damn about new oxen or rails...
AEM: I for one care immensely about new oxen and rails, and so do most others with an interest in nature.
CB: The MAJOR CRYPTIDS (Nessie,Bigfoot, Big Bird) seem to be paranormal entities. On that note, CZ is a big failure.
AEM: If something seems to be paranormal then it cannot exist. Also, I have seen nothing to suggest that there is anything paranormal about the putative animals above. As to what constitutes a major cryptid is subjective, and there are cryptozoologists who believe that one or more of the above is not a cryptid.
The basis of paracryptozoology is a deliberately non-falsifiable hypothesis. Mr., Beckjord believes that bigfoot is a shape-shifter and takes the form of a bigfoot to avoid frightening humans (although there are things that a shape-shifter could mimic that would be less intimidating). So great is the paranormal power of shape-shifters that they even have flesh and blood like an animal (Mr., Beckjord claims to possess bigfoot blood). Therefore, even if a bigfoot is discovered the paracryptozoological theory is not disproven. Mr., Beckjord claims that paracryptozoological theories can be tested in two hundred year's time, although he is reluctant to tell how he has come to that conclusion. Whilst scientists encourage criticism of their theories, Mr., Beckjord sends abuse to anyone who disagrees with him. He has been kicked off no less than fifty servers because of his behaviour. For a while, he has been sending me nastiness through my e-mail, calling me gay, a moron and adressing me in other terms of abuse. In addition, he has been sending me postings that he has recieved from various mailing lists that I have no wish to see. When I asked him to stop, he responded with "Ignore your mail". This abuse has spread to others, who have set up sites about him. That someone like Mr., Beckjord has been allowed to stand for Mayor of San Francisco is surely proof that the United States of America is full of lunatics. In addition to the bigfoot blood, Mr., Beckjord claims to have a photographs of God (taken by NASA) and of an alien with a penis holding a puppy that is pregnant with a human baby with a dog's head. One amusing story about Mr., Beckjord is about when he tried to join an expedition to the Congo without consulting the leaders of the expedition who he expected to pay for him to go. After being refused permission, he then similarly arrived at the houses of other people who are interested in strange phenomena (so that he didn't have to spend money on a hotel room) without asking, usually overstaying his welcome.
Another enemy of cryptozoology is creationism. Creationists often use reports of cryptids as evidence against evolution, although unless a cryptid has been proven to exist the existence of the animal cannot sensibly be used to test an existing hypothesis. One favourite cryptid is the mokele-mbembe of Africa. The sightings indicate an animal resembling a sauropod and creationists frequently state that this animal is a sauropod, using as evidence that sauropods inhabited swamps like the mokele-mbembe. However, no sauropods are now accepted to have lived in swamps so an extant swamp sauropod would be important evidence for evolution, as this would prove that a sauropod evolved that inhabited swamps. One particularly risible claim that has come to my attention involves the basal pterosaur Scaphognathus crassirostris. Here, John Goertzen has collected what he sees as evidence for the survival into historic times of this animal. These include very vague descriptions and depictions of animals that in no way resemble Scaphognathus. The slightest similarity to Scaphognathus is treated as though an exact likeness whilst evidence against, such as that Scaphognathus had a hair-like covering unlike that of the animals described and depicted, is ignored. There is no reason to suggest that an extant dinosaur or pterosaur would falsify evolution more than the coelocanths or bichirs.
The Loony's Website (http://www.beckjord.com)
Ray Gavel's Experiences With Cedric Beckjord (http://www.cgocable.net/~rgavel/index.html)
John Goertzen's Pterosaur Web Page (http://www.rae.org/egscphrv.html)
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