Thursday 21 May 2009

Cryptozoology, science or not?

Is Cryptozoology a science? There are those who say it is a pseudo science and those who say no it can’t be. So what makes science a science? I asked academics of my acquaintance and they came up with the following:

· It is the difference between a scientific theory that is backed by evidence and accepted by the scientific community and a guess.

· Science is a body of knowledge and a process.

Well I am afraid I don’t agree with the first one. Nearly all science is guesswork . A hypothesis starts with a question, a best guess and then you try to prove it. As for the second one, well isn’t history a body of knowledge and a process?

It’s not that many years ago that sociology and psychology had to prove themselves to be sciences so as to be studied at university.

Science, I feel, is being able to replicate an experiment (I include observation in this), so as to prove it works or exists. That is how it’s normally done. Isn’t that what cryptozoology seeks to do, prove existence of unknown animals? The problem is there isn’t a qualification is cryptozoology to point to and say I am a scientist as in other research. It also means anyone can claim to be a cryptozoologist without any training what so ever. This is great for those who want to undertake this work, but it puts them at a disadvantage. How can you prove what you have found without scientific training? This is where the problem stems from .The scientific community will turn around and say it is fake, as you cannot prove it without scientific rigour.

What is needed is some training to be set in place to teach everyone interested, how to collect samples scientifically, how to record your work in a scientific style and how to then write up said work so it is acceptable by the scientific community. It could be easily done and accredited as a basic course with some specifics for cryptozoology added in. Plus it may weed out some of the hoaxers , as without the training, they would not be accepted as genuine or members of the Crypto -community.

Until there is some way to make cryptozoology more scientifically acceptable it will continue to be fringe pseudo science with little academic credence. I for one think this is a great loss as many sightings of interest and genuine well researched work will be lost

The debate about cryptozoology:

About cryptozoology

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