Bigfoot: Finally A Reasonable Scientific Inquiry?

2224 words - 9 pages

If you ask anyone on the street, they will almost always have an opinion. Does Bigfoot exist? That question has brought much laughter and skepticism in the last fifty years. throughout European history in this country Americans have been presented with eyewitness accounts of hairy wild men, roaming the deepest parts of the forest. Numerous foot and hand print castings have been made, and home movies shot. Unfortunately, the majority of the population chooses to not believe in Bigfoot. In reality, they choose to not look at the evidence.Media has been the real culprit in setting the tone for Bigfoot perceptions. In fact the name Bigfoot was coined by a newspaper. The myth that grew in the 50's went something like this: Bigfoot, a lone monster, roamed the forests of the continental west. This creature was afforded the ability to walk with his feet backwards, throw full 55 gallon drums of grease 150 feet and become invisible, among others. Bigfoot was always written of as something to mock, a jest. Those who stepped forward with sightings were quickly ridiculed, discredited and marginalized. Those witnesses who had ample credibility, such as policemen, biologists or other professionals were simply not brought up by the media. (Napier 79) Fast forward to today. The same "joke at the end of the hour" still pervades most media, and people's perceptions haven't changed much about the subject. The real crime here is that while public sentiment has remained static, the field of Bigfoot research has continued to progress, with some powerful new evidence, analysis and reasoning.To begin, some basic facts and beliefs need to be ironed out. First and foremost, Bigfoot is not an individual. Modern scientists who further this work are looking for a small, endangered breeding population. Bigfoot does not have human emotions and thought processes. Media and human nature have painted Bigfoot with a human-like intelligence. This is most certainly false. The creature is probably is on the order of other contemporary primates in intelligence and reasoning. While often sighted alone, the animal seems to be part of a social framework, and likely belongs to a small band or family. Finally, Bigfoot is not alien, psychic, supernatural, good or evil. It is a rare, highly adapted, reclusive primate.There is much to be said against the belief of Bigfoot. And much of it is right. The evidence even today is circumstantial, and as of this writing; no body, living or dead, has been produced. Neither skeletal remains nor recent fossil record exists. Skeptics say that footprints can be planted. Ape suits can be worn. People fabricate sightings for the excitement of the moment. Even movies can be staged for profit. But the devil is in the details, and the details are the heart of the matter when it comes to Bigfoot. As we progress through new evidence, we will consider the skeptics' arguments and how they fit in with modern science.For the remainder of the text I will refer to the...

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