Posted by: Loren Coleman on May 31st, 2007
A site calling itself “Action Skeptics” shares, well, let’s say, a hostile view of cryptozoology within Akusai’s blog of May 31, 2007.
Clearly, this blogger does not mince words.
The subtitle for the site is, “Annoying stupid people, one woo at a time.”
I don’t feel too stupid too often, although giving this Akusai a second read and posting his “insights” on Cryptomundo may be my stupidest act for today.
Anyway, I know a good deal of Bigfoot and cryptozoology skeptics and researchers are readers of Cryptomundo. I was wondering if the general consensus of skeptics out there falls in the direction of Akusai’s rant, or merely is his the ravings of someone trying to get a little screen time?
As I began reading, I thought, okay, I’ll give this person a break. Akusai seemed to be having one of those guilt-ridden, fallen youthful-cryptozoologist-in-training moments; he seems shocked that he would have had some passionate moments about Sasquath. Therefore, I told myself, now he is writing about having spasms of regrets for being interested in such thing. That’s understandable. We have take personal journeys of doubt about what involves us, one way or the other.
“As a kid,” Akusai reveals, his “flights of fancy seriously entertained ideas of Bigfeets [sic], aliens, ghosties, Jersey Devils, and world-spanning conspiracies of silence.”
Of course, one could question how deeply and seriously he was interested in these topics, for his choices in reading about these subjects were weak and without depth. The guy tells us that he looks over to his present “bottom shelf of” his “living room bookcase” to find they are “accordingly full of titles like The Mammoth Encyclopedia of the Unsolved, Mysteries of the Unknown, and The X-Files Guide to the Unexplained volumes one and two.”
First of all, I’d be embarrassed to even admit those were the sources of my readings, even youthful ones, about the unexplained. Then secondly, I would question why those books hadn’t been sold in a yard sale by now. But I become sidetracked by his awful collection of books.
Akusai saves his most hostile assaults, it seems, not for himself, but for the authors of such books and their readers, to wit:
Certainly the subject matter of books like these is both a result of and a contributor to scientific illiteracy. The people who “research” and write the books are ignorant of proper scientific methodology and so have ridiculously low standards when evaluating evidence for their pet claims. They often assume what they wish to prove and will simply never be convinced that their stance is incorrect. Like the best of pseudoscientists, though, they can mix it up with enough scientific-sounding parlance that the casual reader, himself ignorant of real science, becomes even more ignorant. Books like Mysteries of the Unexplained stand in the center of a really nasty setup involving people who don’t know about science and people who spread their ignorance of it like plague rats. – Akusai
But, come on, Akusai, how do you really feel?
Titles such as that seem to be a shameless attempt to exploit scientific illiteracy, and indeed a basic lack of reasoning skills. Most people, owing perhaps to Sherlock Holmes and/or CSI, think that anytime there is a claim that lacks evidence for its veracity, a mystery is afoot.
Combine this with a complete ignorance of the many magestic [sic] enigmas that comprise most every field of modern science and you have a mind ready to purchase a book on giant ape-men who don’t hunt, die, defecate, or otherwise have any noticeable effect on their ecosystem. Marketing empty, unsupported nonsense as “mysterious” is a shrewd move in a culture filled with folks who have never even heard the phrases “null hypothesis” or “burden of proof.” – Akusai
Here’s how the blog ends – talking about the majority of you here, apparently:
There’s nothing mysterious or unexplained about cryptozoology. There’s just a bunch of amateurs tromping about the woods looking for a creature that they assume exists based on some of the worst proof imaginable….They see mysteries where there are none and sell that ignorance to others at fifteen bucks a pop.
Just because Bill says something and lacks evidence for it doesn’t mean that Bill’s claim is mysterious. Most of the time, I think you’ll find that it just means that Bill is full of sh*t. – Akusai, “Questioning the Unknown,” Action Skeptics, May 31, 2007.
I have no idea of the real person behind the name “Akusai,” but he describes himself, in the usual hidden fashion you find on the internet, as “Gender: Male; Occupation: Professional Layabout: Location: Indiana: United States.”
Also, he says this about himself: “Possessor of a worthless philosophy degree, among other things. Tireless warrior for right against stupid. Prankster extraordinaire. Giant geek. Ninja. And Pirate. Strange, huh?”
His other blog is about video games.
Any reactions to Akusai’s “cryptozoology” statements?
(*Please moderate your comments for profanity, as this is a kid-friendly site.)