Bigfoot found???

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Scott McGillivray, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Nobody ever called these people crazy. Another strawman argument in a thread that is full of them. We have referred to people who believe in something for which there is no reasonable evidence it exists, listing pseudoscience and pseudoscientists as definitive "proof", as crackpots or frauds. But simply mistaking a bear for a Bigfoot or seeing a track and assuming it's from an unidentified giant hominid doesn't necessarily make one crazy, and no one suggested otherwise.
     
  2. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    So, the Bigfoots (Bigfeet?) can't exist today because they would need large numbers to sustain the species and - they did exist in the recent past when there is no reason to think their numbers were any larger because...?


    Nobody's calling anyone crazy, we're calling them wrong. There is a difference. People make mistakes. And "eyewitness" testimony is - as anyone who had been involved in either criminal or civil court cases can tell you - among the worst "evidence" there is. When the Titanic went down half the survivors said the ship broke in two before it sank, the other half said it went down in one piece. The controversy wasn't settled until the wreck was found Then there's this classic experiment:






    When this test was originally administered to college students in the late 1990s upwards of 80 percent of them asked "What gorilla?" Their perceptions were distorted by the task they were given - count the number of passes.





    This is also why magic tricks and optical illusions work. We see what we're meant to see, or we try to make visual inputs fit familiar patterns. It is why little kids see monsters is the shape of a pile of laundry on a chair or the accidental pattern of shadows on a wall. And why people already inclined to believe in things like Bigfoot tend to interpret distorted footprints and vague shapes spotted in a forest as half-human half-apes.

    To say that a lot of people made the same mistake is not evidence that these people were right. For most of human history most people thought the Earth was unmoving and surrounded by crystalline spheres that carried the Sun, Moon, planets and stars. Based simply on our own normal sense perceptions observations, this seemed to make sense. (Although the observed movement of the planets and some stars were problematic, but only astrologers and astronomers troubled about that.) But then more evidence came in and proved these ideas false. According to Bryan's logic we should believe that the Earth really was the center of the universe at one time because there were lots of people who testified to the fact. Then sometime in the late 15th or early 16th century the Earth and Sun switched places.

    I'm not trying to be a wiseguy here, I'm following the actual thread of the argument to its logical conclusion. By this reasoning we are all bound to believe in ghosts, werewolves, vampires, zombies, that UFOs are spacecraft from alien planets, and all the rest of the stuff on the Ghostbusters aptitude test. Because every one of these phenomenon has passionate believers and tons of anecdotal evidence. (Most, indeed, have considerably more "evidence" collected over more time and from more credible witnesses than Bigfoot does.)

    There are useful comparisons to be made in the kind of evidence considered between these and Bigfoot, too. Many of the older "sightings" that we're supposed to accept as describing the "modern" conception of Bigfoot actually diverge from it consiiderably. That's because we tend to describe the unknown in terms familiar to us. Thus North American native "Bigfoot" sightings tend to be more "bear-man", Aisan Yeti and Bigfoot sightings describe crosses between Asian monkeys or apes and men. More recent sightings by European descended witnesses, familar with African apes and Darwin's theories, tend toward "gorilla-men." Similarly truly ancient "UFO" sighting describe "chariots of fire", open flames, torches and the like. An electric light does not look like a flame. But instead of describing mysterious circles or squares of light, ancient "witnesses" are very specific about seeing open flames. Similarly Victorian "UFO" sightings are replete with details about armor plate, gears, steam vents and other "airship" accountrements. If all these people were actually seeing the same animals and objects, their descriptions should be a lot more similar. If they are all seeing a vague "something" and then filling in the details from their memories or imaginations, then I'd expect the wild variation that we, in fact, see.


    People make mistakes. They lie. They exaggerate. They boast. They try to get laid. Absent other serious evidence, we take their word for stuff at our own risk.

    Regards,


    Joe
     
  3. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Good points, Joe. The phenomenon of "period specific" sightings was mentioned in another thread where "nocturnal alien visitation" was being debated against the Occam's explanation of sleep paralysis induced hallucinations. It was noted that before modern science fiction, specifically War of the Worlds, every "nocturnal visitation" was described as a demon or devil sitting on the victim's chest. After H.G. created the modern alien invasion plot, demon soul stealing turned into extraterrestrial anal probes.
     
  4. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    The video Joe posted is really eye-opening. I actually just received the researchers' book on the subject, The Invisible Gorilla, as a gift. I haven't had the chance to read it yet, but I am familiar with the experiment. It's instructive to learn just how easily our brain can be fooled, even when we think we're paying close attention to a scene. It's especially frightening to consider how much weight we place on eyewitness testimony, in contrast to its actual reliability.
     
  5. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp
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    The 40 second mark of this video explains every bigfoot sighting.


     
  6. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Producer

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    Russell, everyone knows bears don't walk on two legs like that. That's obviously a Bigfoot in a bear costume!
     
  7. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Well, that's because people lacked the volcabulary to descibe the actual aliens they encountered, and fell back on familiar terms.


    Regards,


    Joe
     
  8. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    That video rocks. No more calls, please. We have a winner.

    Joe
     
  9. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    Classic example of Occam's Razor.
     
  10. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Well, at least we have a rational explanation for those low numbers, now:





    Caught on Cam. Bigfoot in Colorado?


    (Um, that would be, "No.")


    I love how the Bigfoot hunter knows they are from another galaxy, as opposed to, say, another planet in our own galaxy, or even a parallel universe. Also how his cameras have caputred images that "cannot be explained", inlcuding this one, which he says is an alien.





    I agree it is hard to explain this picture - the big mystery being how someone who can afford this kind of gear can be so inept in setting it up.


    Regards,


    Joe
     
  11. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    To me, this is one of the most puzzling aspects of so many paranormal claims. Once you invoke a phenomenon like this, how can you claim to know anything about it? When someone claims to have a video or photograph that "must" be a ghost, for example, because (they claim) it's otherwise unexplainable, I want to ask: what are the characteristics of a ghost that allow you to identifiy it as such? How do you know it's a ghost, and not an angel, a demon, or an alien? What properties does a ghost have that distinguishes it from any of those other paranormal entities?


    As you suggest, the same applies here. Once someone claims that bigfoot is coming via wormhole from another galaxy, he might just as well be saying literally anything. What led him to that specific conclusion, I wonder?
     
  12. Steve_Tk

    Steve_Tk Cinematographer

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    This is my favorite thread.
     
  13. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    There's also the version showing a photograph (or a testimony by 'a reliable person') of something that clearly defies all laws of nature as we know them.


    All such a photograph or testimony could probably "prove" was that, well, the natural laws weren't possibly obeyed there and then.


    But what it certainly does NOT prove is that a specified phenomenon really tool place in front of the camera or the observer's eye, because that would need the laws of nature as we know them (the optical laws for instance) to be assumed intact. Why would they? And what proof is there they were?



    Cees
     
  14. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    And we're off and running...again!
     
  15. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    Bless you google, bless you.
     

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