Abominable Science: Origins of the Yeti, Nessie, and other Famous Cryptids

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Columbia University Press, Sep 10, 2013 - Science - 432 pages
Large numbers of people believe in demonstrably false phenomena, from UFOs and ESP to Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster. Even though these fictions have been repeatedly debunked and discredited, they persist in the human imagination and influence our beliefs and our society. Spinning tales of fantastical creatures may seem like a harmless pastime, but when pseudoscientists make “revolutionary” claims about the world and its history, evidence-based science, public policy, and human progress suffer.

Daniel Loxton and Donald R. Prothero complete an entertaining, educational, and definitive text on a variety of cryptids, presenting both the arguments for and against their existence and systematically challenging the pseudoscience perpetuating their myths. After opening chapters examining the nature and practitioners of pseudoscientific thought and marking its divergence from proper science, Loxton and Prothero take on Bigfoot; the Yeti, or the Abominable Snowman, and its cross-cultural incarnations; the Loch Ness monster and its many, highly publicized sightings; Champ, Ogopogo, and other lake monsters; the legend of the Sea Serpent; Mokele Mbembe, or the Congo dinosaur; and the Goat Sucker, otherwise know as the Chupucabra. They conclude with an analysis of the psychology behind persistent paranormal and extraordinary belief, identifying cryptozoology’s major players, the character of its subculture, and its pernicious perversion of critical thinking in our society.
 

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User Review  - AndreasJ - LibraryThing

A skeptical look at famous cryptids - Bigfoot, the Yeti, Nessie, the Great Sea Serpent, and Mokele Mbembe (the alleged modern dinosaur from the Congo) - rounded off with a look at cryptozoology and ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - hillmeredith - LibraryThing

Abominable Science! is a series of essays written in turn by Daniel Loxton, editor of Junior Skeptic Magazine and Donald Prothero a professor of Geology and Geobiology. In turn they examine various ... Read full review

Contents

REAL SCIENCE OR PSEUDOSCIENCE?
11
The Evolution of the Sea Serpent
176
Mokele Mbembe
262
Why Do People Believe in Monsters?
296
Notes
337
THE SASQUATCH 29
343
The Yeti
350
Nessie
357
Index
395
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About the author (2013)

Daniel Loxton is the editor of Junior Skeptic and a staff writer for Skeptic, for which he specializes in critical scholarship regarding claims of legendary animals. Known for his even-handed approach -- and for his lifelong personal love of monster mysteries -- Loxton is one of the most widely respected skeptical critics of cryptozoology. He is the author and primary illustrator of Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be (winner of the 2010 Lane Anderson Award as Canada's best science book for young readers) and of the photorealistic paleofiction storybooks Pterosaur Trouble and Ankylosaur Attack, the first two books in the series Tales of Prehistoric Life.



Donald R. Prothero is one of the leading scientists and authors working in paleontology and evolution. He is a former professor of geology at Occidental College and lecturer in geobiology at Caltech. He is presently a research associate in the Department of Vertebrate Paleontology at the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum and is the author of more than 30 books and 250 scientific papers published in leading scholarly journals. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University and is a fellow of the Geological Society of America, the Paleontological Society, and the Linnean Society of London. In 1991, he received the award for "Outstanding Paleontologist Under the Age of 40," and was awarded the 2013 James Shea Award by the National Association of Geoscience Teachers for outstanding writing and editing in the geosciences.

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