Wednesday, 6 July 2011
scientists should study sea monsters
From the Loch Ness Monster to the Kraken, sea monsters still capture the imagination centuries Get Kraken: Why Scientists Should Study Sea Monsters
Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writerafter medieval cartographers doodled them in the blank spots of their maps. But to Charles Paxton, a researcher at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, sea monster sightings are more than fish tales.
Paxton is no wild-eyed cryptozoologist who spends his weekends imagining Bigfoot behind every tree. He's a fisheries ecologist and statistician who believes that, with the right methods, anecdotes about mysterious monsters can become scientific data to tell us about human perception and the odd reports that science can't fully explain.
On July 12, Paxton and other bonafide, peer-reviewed researchers like him will discuss ways to bring cryptozoology into the scientific fold at the Zoological Society of London Communicating Science event "Cryptozoology: Science or Pseudoscience?" Ahead of the event, Paxton spoke with LiveScience about sea monster sightings, the likelihood of unknown beasts roaming the sea, and why, before you report a sea serpent, you should always make sure you're not looking at a sexually aroused whale.
LiveScience: What drives you to study sea monster sightings?
Paxton: Several reasons. Actually, probably the first is I'm a big kid and I thought it was an interesting set of questions. A more proper scientific reason is that I'm interested in why people believe the things they believe, especially if their beliefs are non-mainstream. And the third reason I got interested is it's important to understand how science tries to relate to anomalous data, data that doesn’t quite fit into our existing paradigms.
Read rest here: http://www.livescience.com/14928-kraken-study-sea-monsters.html