terça-feira, 15 de dezembro de 2009

Mysterious Creatures - A Guide to Cryptozoology


(“Why are so few students interested in science?”
This commonly posed question reflects a continuing worry among educators and cultural pundits. Here is a slight paraphrase: “Why do so few youngsters want to become biologists, when so many are interested in cryptozoology?”

The purpose of my paraphrase is to suggest that such matters as Loch Ness monsters—or unidentified flying objects (UFOs) or psychic phenomena—offer a way of getting students interested in science. These topics are mysteries, and human beings are naturally curious about mysteries. In trying to get to the bottom of them, we find ourselves learning about science along the way. Moreover, we learn about it in a way that shows science not to be a boring, cutand-dried subject as it is sometimes portrayed in popular culture.

One doesn’t need to be a formal student, of course. I was already a teacher when I became curious about whether Loch Ness monsters could be real, and my curiosity led me to learn about—among other things—biology and geology and the history, philosophy, and sociology of science. The latter interests eventually led to fruitful changes of career and intellectual activity, for which I have long been grateful. So one value of cryptozoology lies in its ability to stimulate curiosity and the good things that tend to follow on that.

Cryptozoology also has value for science itself. Though most cryptozoological claims may never be validated, the few that are vindicated are likely to be of exceptional interest, as is the case with the now accepted Giant squid (Architeuthis) that was long regarded as a purely mythical creature (the KRAKEN) or the almost certainly existing GIGANTIC OCTOPUS for which we have only historical evidence and a few bits
of preserved tissue...)

Preface, Henry Bauer 
How to Use This Book 
Introduction: If We Don’t Search, We Shall Never Discover, Loren Coleman 
Native and Western Eyewitness Testimony in Cryptozoology, Jack Rabbit 
Geologic Timescale 
Defining the Field 

Mysterious Creatures - A Guide to Cryptozoology - George M.Eberhart [ Download ]