Is Cryptozoology good or bad for science? Is it a legitimate field of study? Cryptozoology creature sightings in 2023 and conspiracies have a lot in common. Once you understand the connection, many things about our culture make sense.
Whenever conspiracy theories take center stage, we also see strange creatures. Something interesting starts to happen in times of high social stress and paranoia. The increase in stress corresponds to a rise in reports of unusual phenomena. At the same time, reports of UFOs, mysterious creatures, and conspiracies also increase. It may seem like a strange coincidence, but there may be more to it than meets the eye.
We know long-term stress causes perceptual distortions. We also know that propaganda can affect what people think. Put these together, and we have the perfect storm. The increase of cryptozoology creatures in 2023 comes from these two different elements.
We need to start with some definitions to get a handle on this subject. This gives a way to dissect and explain the alternatives. We can better manage the effects if we know what causes it. Let’s look at some definitions to help define our subject.
Is Cryptozoology Pseudoscience?
What is Cryptozoology? Crypto is a Latin word for hidden or secret. Zoology is the study of animals. The goal is to learn how and why animals behave and their unique relationship to the environment.
Scientific inquiry begins with the goal of solving some mystery, just like pseudoscience. However, science uses evidence to provide answers, whereas pseudoscience presents unproven propositions.
The results of pseudoscience are not factual. Pseudoscience presents hypotheses often based on eyewitness accounts. It often uses faulty premises, flawed experimental design, or bad data.
Cryptozoology is the search for the existence of mythological creatures. It starts with the same intent as a science; it simply lacks evidence to support its claims. Is cryptozoology pseudoscience? Some say Cryptozoology is just as valuable as other disciplines based on theory. For example, psychology is based on theories that are not 100% verifiable.
What is a Conspiracy Theory?
A theory is a proposition that explains how or why something works. Theories often involve the connection of principle with cause and effect. For instance, the theory of gravity is a proposition that solves the mystery of why things fall.
Some scientific theories can be hard to understand. Scientific themes often combine sophisticated theories, logic, math, and statistics. Just because you cannot understand the science behind the theory doesn’t mean it is wrong.
You may not understand the science behind nuclear fission, but you know it works. Most people do not understand how wireless technology works. They use GPS and wireless devices without knowing how it works. They don’t question the science behind the technology.
A Conspiracy is a secret agreement with others to engage in unlawful or harmful acts. The insurrection of January 6, 2021, is an example. It was a criminal act committed by a group to overthrow the US government.
Conspiracy Theory has a new modern meaning. It takes the concept of conspiracy one step further. It is the belief that a group of powerful people is behind some unlawful activity. The key here is that the conspiracy is illegal. Otherwise, it would be the same as any business strategy.
Conspiracy Theories are Not Harmless
The modern-day conspiracy theory is a tactic used to cause doubt and confusion. It often contains other fallacies. One of the most famous is the theory spun by the Trump campaign in 2015. The conspiracy made allegations of sex crimes against Hillary Clinton (1).
This assertion was that Hillary was the head of a child porn ring. This operation was running out of a basement under a pizzeria in Washington. (2) This allegation came from an edited email sent to WikiLeaks. The email was an obvious forgery but was touted on right-wing media like Fox News as evidence. The original email came from Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta.
Mr. Podesta routinely receives and sends emails to supporters. One of these emails came from James Alefantis. He is the owner of Comet Ping-pong Pizzeria in Washington. This pizzeria is located on a cement slab without a basement.
From the above thread, supporters of Donald Trump spun the story. They then spread it through Cambridge Analytica (3). They had breached Facebook’s 87 million fan base. Using a variety of fake sources, they magnified the story. This would increase doubt in Hillary Clinton.
Cambridge Analytica developed a reputation for swaying elections in 3rd world countries. They proved they could do the same with larger populations. Using propaganda to sway an election is a Federal Crime.
What is strange about this story is that 4 out of 5 Trump supporters still believe this story. And, 2 out of 10 Republicans not affiliated with Trump believe “the story could be true.”
Pseudoscience and Conspiracies are harmful to the stability of any culture. The gullible are easily influenced and spread doubt within their circles of influence. They claim it is harmless and comforting to believe they are in the group that holds this truth.
“It is no defense of superstition and pseudoscience to say that it brings solace and comfort to people. If solace and comfort are how we judge the worth of something, then consider that tobacco brings solace and comfort to smokers. Alcohol brings it to drinkers; drugs of all kinds bring it to addicts. The fall of cards and the run of horses bring it to gamblers; cruelty and violence bring it to sociopaths. Judge by solace and comfort only, and there is no behavior we ought to interfere with.” — Isaac Asimov
We know why mysterious creature sightings increase and why pseudoscience and conspiracies increase. These are symptoms of a culture that has lost control of rational thought and common sense.
Cryptozoology Creature Sightings in 2023
Since 2015, we have seen an increase in the reports of mysterious phenomena. This increase corresponds to the rise in cultural stress. Two factors caused this distress, COVID-19 and the political-social conflict. The political turmoil in the US affects not only the US but the world.
As a result, we have increased conspiracy theories and pseudoscience medical advice. There is a marked increase in UFO reports. This is why cryptozoology creature sightings in 2023, like big foot and Yeti (4), are also rising.
Gossip spreads quickly today. Talk shows spread gossip to drive ratings. Outrageous and unsubstantiated claims increase their reach. It feeds the advertising industry since these shows can charge more for advertising. So, propaganda, misinformation, and gossip make them a lot of money.
Why do we allow harmful propaganda to be posed as news? This was made possible when President Regan rolled back the Fairness Doctrine. This law required broadcasters to provide contrasting views of political messages. Congress backed this policy from 1954 to the 1970s.
The FCC called the Fairness Doctrine the single most important requirement in broadcasting. The FCC saw how Germany used media in the 1930s and 1940s. Here, media companies promoted right-wing political views. It gave licensed broadcasters to use propaganda, misinformation, and gossip. They could call political propaganda news and get away with it.
This lack of legislation paved the way for pseudoscience and conspiracies to thrive. Right-wing conservatives followed the recipe of the Nazi Party. They rallied around patriotism and cherry-picked the Bible to substantiate racism and homophobia. Then packaged in a slogan from the 1940s, “Make America great again.” They did not hide their plan. They copied it word-for-word from Nazi propaganda because it works.
Cryptozoology creature sightings in 2023 and conspiracies have one thing in common. They spark our curiosity about the unknown. Science, pseudoscience, and cryptozoology are different approaches to solving mysteries. Conspiracy theories create mystery to create controversy, and interest.
“At the extremes, it is difficult to distinguish pseudoscience from rigid, doctrinaire religion.” — Carl Sagan
Recent studies show conspiracy theories and mysterious creature sightings share a common thread. These events arise from a deep-seated human need to understand the unknown. In times of uncertainty and stress, people are particularly susceptible to propaganda. These beliefs offer a sense of understanding in an otherwise chaotic world.
Conspiracy theories and cryptozoology creature sightings in 2023 can be traced to three key factors. First, both are fueled by the internet and social media platforms. Here we find the rapid dissemination of information and sightings.
Social media has given rise to a proliferation of amateur investigators. These enthusiasts are eager to share their findings. This makes them celebrities without fact-checking or verification.
Second, conspiracy theories and cryptozoology creature sightings appeal to our sense of adventure. People are naturally drawn to mysterious and bizarre stories. Discovering a hidden creature or uncovering a government secret is thrilling.
Third, it provides a sense of community for those who feel alienated. Even racist ideologies find a home here. Connecting with others with the same beliefs provides validation. Here they can get the support they can’t find elsewhere.
So, the rise of conspiracy theories and creature sightings is not coincidental. Rather, they are both products of a society in conflict. It is a response to anxiety and uncertainty about the future.
By understanding the commonalities between these phenomena, we gain insight. It helps us understand how people seek understanding in an unpredictable world. So stop next time you see a story about a Bigfoot sighting or a bizarre government conspiracy theory. Think about it. Remember that there may be more to it than meets the eye.
Is Crypto Zoology Good or Bad for Science?
To some, cryptozoology is something out of a sci-fi movie. It isn’t science fiction as it is searching for proof science can accept. This field of study is searching for evidence that mainstream science has yet to find. It is the search for proof of things like Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and the Chupacabra.
The world of cryptozoology is full of mysterious creatures that captivate our imagination. However, the question remains — is cryptozoology good or bad for science? And more importantly, is it just folklore or glimpses of future discovery?
Let’s first look at the argument that cryptozoology is bad for science. Critics argue that the field of cryptozoology lacks scientific rigor. Cryptozoologists are often seen as amateurs. The detractors say Cryptozoologists rely on anecdotal evidence and hearsay, not scientific facts.
People criticize the search for mythical creatures for several reasons. It takes time and resources away from important scientific research. Those involved are more concerned with sensationalizing their findings and becoming celebrities. In other words, they aren’t doing unbiased research. Thus, the detractors of cryptozoology argue that it undermines the credibility of science.
On the other hand, proponents of cryptozoology argue that it is an important field of study. It expands our understanding of the natural world. What’s more, it often leads to the discovery of new species. Cryptozoology combines the scientific method without discounting unproven possibilities. At the same time, some call this effort worthless pseudoscience.
Proponents say searching for creatures not yet acknowledged by science is worthwhile. They align cryptozoology with the scientific concept of falsifiability. This is where a hypothesis can be tested, verified, or disproven.
Moreover, Cryptozoology does use scientific measures. For example, specimen collection and DNA analysis are a part of cryptozoology. This is an important research tool. It helps us understand cross-species genetics and evolution.
So, is cryptozoology pseudoscience just folklore, or is it a valid endeavor? The answer is not straightforward. While some cryptid sightings are hoaxes or misidentifications, some warrant further investigation. Such research could lead to discoveries.
Conclusive scientific evidence remains elusive for many of these creatures. But we have been successful in some cases. We have found proof for some creatures thought to be fictional. The Giant Squid, The Tasmanian Tiger, and the Okapi are among those creatures we know are not just fiction. So, the possibility of finding proof is what keeps people searching.
So is cryptozoology good or bad for science? Whether it is folklore or real is ultimately a matter of perspective. Searching for elusive creatures may not always yield results.
The field of cryptozoology reminds us that science has yet to answer all the questions. It reminds us there is still much to discover and explore. We may find proof for some of these creatures with more technological advancements. In the meantime, the world of cryptozoology will continue to be controversial.
Why are Scientific Discoveries Overlooked?
As natural habits shrink, we are discovering new species. In the last few years, several interesting creatures have been verified. Yet they do not get the attention they deserve. These include The Hero Shrew, Mandolfi’s Four-Eyed Opossum, and The Annamite Striped Rabbit. It also includes the Khasian Leaf-Nosed Bat. The number of new species in the insect world has increased significantly. We have many new butterflies, beetles, and other creepy crawlies.
There are even new primates, such as the Arunachal Macaque and Caqueta Titi Monkeys. They were only discovered because their habits were designated endangered ecosystems. (5)
Cryptozoology creature sightings in 2023 do not get the attention they used to. Many people think the lack of awareness is due to the lack of significant cultural myths. There has not been enough time for the culture to create myths like the Loch Ness Monster or Big Foot. These creatures may have been seen before but were misidentified as known species.
“Anyone who thinks cryptozoology is the study of the impossible has never really taken a very good look at the so-called natural world. Once you get past the mega-mouth sharks, naked mole rats, and spotted hyenas, then the basilisks and dragons don’t seem that unreasonable. Unpleasant, yes, but unreasonable? Not really.” — Mira Grant
There is a line between science and pseudoscience. Pseudoscience starts with the assumption these creatures exist. Then it sets out to find the proof. Science considers the possibility of rare species and how to find them. The difference is not believing something until you have evidence. Because we know belief taints our ability to collect data. It is the same line that separates zoology from cryptozoology.
So, is cryptozoology pseudoscience valuable even though it begins with a skewed assumption? Proponents say You are more likely to find something if you are searching for it.
(1) Pseudoscience and conspiracy theory are not victimless crimes against science: theconversation.com
(2) The saga of Pizzagate, The fake story that shows how conspiracy theories spread: BBC.CO.UK
(3) Cambridge Analytica: Wikipedia
(4) Conspiracy Theories and Their Societal Effects During COVID-19 Pandemic: Journals Sage Publications
(5) The truth is out there: National Library of Medicine