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What constitues evidence?

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In a way you're right and I should have said facts instead of proof. For a creature to be proven biologically, you must have a part of the creature. Some sciences are more about hard evidence than others. Biology has a very high standard. There's little supposition and they simply study what is.

In the case of a cryptid creature, I might have to disagree, take our old friend Bigfoot as an example. There are countless blobsquatch photos, footprint casts, pictures of footprints, eyewitness accounts......some from people with more to loose by reporting a sighting than to gain from it and the occasional loud scream at a distance that doesn't sound like anything I've ever heard. If you take all this together it really doesn't mean a great deal, in spite of what some will say, until you actually have concrete evidence that there really is a large bipedal creature roaming around in North America. In short, you really have to have proof of life or proof of existence for any of the other stuff to have any significance. Why? Because until you have proof that Bigfoots are real then it's just so much water under the proverbial bridge really. We know people fake footprints, we know people go out in fake suits......which is the craziest thing I've ever heard of in my life since that's a good way to get yourself shot........and sadly if I'm on a jury and a guy shot a guy in a monkey suit, thinking he was a Bigfoot, I'd be very reluctant to convict him on anything greater than a misdemeanor charge.

Edited by keninsc
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The platypus was proven to exist long before you were born.

Yes I was using that scenario as an example for how I view evidence vs proof for any cryptid in answer to the OP.

I view anything unusual in that manner.

If you read history on that animal it was considered to be an impossible animal, just like some of the cryptids we hear about today.

When the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) was a myth and

IF

I saw one before it's proof of existence, I'd say yes they EXIST and call it the duck with a beaver tail that laid eggs, not necessarily a mammal since I really wouldn't know that it wasn't a fowl or a lizzard like creature laying the eggs!

You don't really know what it is except for your perception of the evidence, but you know it exists. It doesn't matter if you can prove it to others that it exists because you know. You just feel kind of lucky that you observed it before it became a proven animal.

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Actually no, in science that is evidence. It is something that can be verified and tested.

HMM ....I said What you are looking for is DNA, a BODY as a scientific verification which would be PROOF of the cryptid's existence.

But you don't count witnesses or videos of living animals or their DNA or their living or dead bodies as PROOF that it would just be evidence???

What exists as proof to you that a platypus even exists or a do do bird ever existed before becoming extinct? A mathematical formula?

Edited by White Unicorn

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In the case of a cryptid creature, I might have to disagree, take our old friend Bigfoot as an example. There are countless blobsquatch photos, footprint casts, pictures of footprints, eyewitness accounts......some from people with more to loose by reporting a sighting than to gain from it and the occasional loud scream at a distance that doesn't sound like anything I've ever heard.

That's why cryptozoology isn't a science. There's no qualifications and no degrees involved. Call yourself an expert and go out into the woods and howl for a while and you're as much of a cryptozoologist as anyone else. IF smoking gun evidence for Biff shows up (a body or part of one), then the species will graduate into the realm of science and be dealt with and studied by biologists. 'Til then all the stuff mentioned is like I said before - just a bunch of stuff you can interpret depending on your own beliefs.

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True enough, which is the main reason I seriously doubt any of the so called "Bigfoot hunters" on TV or the web will ever actually find one. Once they are determined to be real then you'll need to have a bunch of letters behind your name in order to be taken seriously.

The best any of us can hope for is to find the "Holy Grail" which would be the irrefutable proof that they exist and I dare say once you do then you'll be either loved for finding the real Bigfoot or treated like a total pariah. Shoot one and I dare say you might need to hire security for a while. I mentioned taking a Bigfoot once on a board and was banned for even talking about it, I also got a number of nasty emails from other posters, can you imagine how much that might well escalate if you really did shoot one? Oye!

I once tried to explain to a fellow on line that he couldn't get a degree in Cryptozoology because it wasn't a real science, I even told him to check it out on Wikipedia. Honestly, it was like telling a child there was no Santa. I actually felt sorry for him and for having destroyed his dreams, but he was totally convinced he could get a degree in Cryptozoology from most any university which offered various biology degrees.

Edited by keninsc

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That's why cryptozoology isn't a science. There's no qualifications and no degrees involved. Call yourself an expert and go out into the woods and howl for a while and you're as much of a cryptozoologist as anyone else. IF smoking gun evidence for Biff shows up (a body or part of one), then the species will graduate into the realm of science and be dealt with and studied by biologists. 'Til then all the stuff mentioned is like I said before - just a bunch of stuff you can interpret depending on your own beliefs.

I agree with you totally. As in the case of big foot which everyone one seems to be interested and discussing.

I was in the mountains on a hike video in hand and a fellow hiker said look and we started filming what looked to me like what people call big foot. I thought, could be a stupid man in monkey suit although it looked real and was interesting to watch. I didn't think, oh I can post on Utube or something...didn't have that back then anyway...well I didn't become a believer because to me the evidence of video was not enough to even prove it to me.

Years later, a co worker went camping with family in another state. The son got photos of one running from their tent after it was stealing food from the tent during the night. They all saw him and are hard core believers of the big foot now and said it wasn't human and will never go back because it was so scary.

I think some things out there exist that are getting grouped together as big foot. They said the campground called it "grassman" because it built little huts from twigs and grass in the area. I've seen the huts before and thought, weird hunters, since I didn't hear the local legend until after that story. It was real whatever was building the huts and stealing food. I now know why the little campground is popular for more than the stables LOL. But it could just have been a mental case of a "wild man" since it was in the same region as a closed mental hospital in my opinion. After all, there are some really big hairy naked guys and they could go crazy. Photos were good but not enough to say he wasn't a big ugly hairy human with a Mick Jagger like mouth! They didn't go public.

I try to be open minded and say there's a possibility they exist but I don't have any evidence to rule out other explanations to myself.

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I think for us to be able to say without a doubt "Bigfoot is an actual creature that exists.", we need body or DNA or something of that sort. A picture, video, and/or report is just not going to cut it. Videos and photos can always be faked and there's no way to prove a person is telling the truth or lying. There will always be a little needle of doubt with those kinds of things. You need something that cannot be denied, cannot be faked, and is physical.

My two cents.

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I agree with you totally. As in the case of big foot which everyone one seems to be interested and discussing.

I was in the mountains on a hike video in hand and a fellow hiker said look and we started filming what looked to me like what people call big foot. I thought, could be a stupid man in monkey suit although it looked real and was interesting to watch. I didn't think, oh I can post on Utube or something...didn't have that back then anyway...well I didn't become a believer because to me the evidence of video was not enough to even prove it to me.

Years later, a co worker went camping with family in another state. The son got photos of one running from their tent after it was stealing food from the tent during the night. They all saw him and are hard core believers of the big foot now and said it wasn't human and will never go back because it was so scary.

I think some things out there exist that are getting grouped together as big foot. They said the campground called it "grassman" because it built little huts from twigs and grass in the area. I've seen the huts before and thought, weird hunters, since I didn't hear the local legend until after that story. It was real whatever was building the huts and stealing food. I now know why the little campground is popular for more than the stables LOL. But it could just have been a mental case of a "wild man" since it was in the same region as a closed mental hospital in my opinion. After all, there are some really big hairy naked guys and they could go crazy. Photos were good but not enough to say he wasn't a big ugly hairy human with a Mick Jagger like mouth! They didn't go public.

I try to be open minded and say there's a possibility they exist but I don't have any evidence to rule out other explanations to myself.

Interesting, do you still have the footage you took of whatever it was? I know I'd love to see it.

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Interesting, do you still have the footage you took of whatever it was? I know I'd love to see it.

Looked just like that original one near the lake that was proved a hoax decades ago. Same area but on a mountain beyond the lake. It's just a hairy figure and you can't tell much even on zoom to determine. Sorry, I've been moving a lot lately and everything is storage. I'm thinking of putting it all together in a photographic travel expose when I retire and get some free time. Business trip down time for recreational sightseeing, RVing adventures, museums, digs, and the accident weird stuff as a spice.

Edited by White Unicorn

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HMM ....I said What you are looking for is DNA, a BODY as a scientific verification which would be PROOF of the cryptid's existence.

But you don't count witnesses or videos of living animals or their DNA or their living or dead bodies as PROOF that it would just be evidence???

And I said scientific evidence is testable, DNA would be evidence. Now how are witnesses or videos testable by the scientific method? Anecdotes are not evidence, not in this instance. Edited by Rlyeh

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And I said scientific evidence is testable, DNA would be evidence. Now how are witnesses or videos testable by the scientific method? Anecdotes are not evidence, not in this instance.

I wouldn't believe in the witnesses or videos alone and proof would be in DNA or body etc that could be studied. But the witnesses and videos should be taken into account with the study to know more about the animal.

You said "Science doesn't deal in proof. Proof exists in mathematics and logic."

Appeared to mean there would never be scientific proof of a cryptid's existence even with a body living or dead.

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I wouldn't believe in the witnesses or videos alone and proof would be in DNA or body etc that could be studied. But the witnesses and videos should be taken into account with the study to know more about the animal.

Maybe you would... but when you brought up scientific research, you weren't just talking about your standard anymore. Witnesses maybe taken into account, still that isn't enough to be considered evidence.
You said "Science doesn't deal in proof. Proof exists in mathematics and logic."

Appeared to mean there would never be scientific proof of a cryptid's existence even with a body living or dead.

Correct. Even a living or dead body can be further studied and researched. Edited by Rlyeh

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Since this theme seems to be mainly about evidence for Bigfoot and other such things, let me bring up the things that bother me about all this.

While I think it is possible (and anyone who has wandered around northern Canada will know what I mean -- that's very large territory) that a small community of some sort of human variant or pre-human is hiding out there (it would have to be pretty smart and determinedly hiding), it seems wildly unlikely for two reasons, and neither of these seem (to my knowledge) to ever be addressed.

First, how did it evolve? The age of great apes is long passed, and they were entirely tropical creatures. If it is some sort of homo erectus, it doesn't fit and would have tools and fire. Something earlier in human ancestry? Not in North America surely -- and way too big.

Second, how does it evolve extinction from the consequences of generational in-breeding? You need a breeding population numbering in the thousands to avoid such extinction over a span of even a few hundred years. Surely no one thinks a population that large is undiscovered out there?

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Common speech uses the words "evidence" and "proof" almost interchangeably, with "proof" implying stronger evidence than just evidence.

Logically, a "proof" as in mathematics is nothing more than a demonstration that two statements are tautological -- that is, if one is true, then the other necessarily is true as well, even though it may not be immediately obvious. As such a proof tells us nothing about the real world, since the first statement could be false, in which case the second remains undetermined. Therefore such proofs are useful only when we have high confidence in the truth of the first statement.

The word "evidence" is more often used to describe observations we make in the real world that lead us to infer (rather than "deduce" in a proof) that something is true or false. (I have seen the word "evidence" used to describe the results of a logical proof, so this is hardly rigid).

I think it unwise to ever say, "There is no evidence that . . .." For example, there is no evidence that there is a God." Oh, but the universe exists, things are in harmony, sunrises are beautiful, my cat purrs. Well, it is certainly a non sequitur that any of these statements demonstrate God, but to me at least (a pretty hard atheist), they are evidence -- just not evidence that I find convincing.

It's like poetry -- if it rhymes or uses figures of speech or sound patterns or linguistic stress (in Vietnamese linguistic tone), it is poetry. It may be bad poetry, but it's still poetry. The evidence may be poor or bad evidence, but still it is evidence if someone thinks it is.

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Second, how does it evolve extinction from the consequences of generational in-breeding? You need a breeding population numbering in the thousands to avoid such extinction over a span of even a few hundred years. Surely no one thinks a population that large is undiscovered out there?

Depends on whom you ask really. If you go to the BFRO they estimate between 2000 - 6000. Some sites are significantly higher, for instance Crytomundo has a guy who's claiming or I should say pulling out a number of 100,000. I will give the BFRO some credit for explaining to a degree how they managed to S.W.A.G. out their number. The guy at Cryptomungo just sort of came up with it out of some warm, dark, moist place........of course, he might have mentioned it elsewhere and I simply didn't see it.

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Sounds like hand-waving.

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Might be, but I think everyone sort of has a number in mind.....assuming of course there really are Bigfoot. However, you have to keep in mind that not every sighting reported is an actual Bigfoot. The BFRO assumes that for every sighting they consider to be viable and true there are at least an "X" number of unseen Bigfoots. How they came up with their "X" number is a bit of a mystery to me, but then I'm just a guy.

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~ * waves * * * ~

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Typically I prefer DNA over videos or photos. Although in the cases of cryptids which are simply larger or smaller members of a classified species (like that episode of Monster Quest where they found out that the squids of one species get really freaking huge) a comparison photo or video can be counted.

On a case-by-case basis other evidence can be counted if it makes sense for the area or if something happens which doesn't make sense for the known fauna. This isn't proof of a cryptid, necessarily, but it is proof of something which needs further investigating.

Edited by Nathan DiYorio
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