Why the Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot Film Should Concern Scholars of Human Origins
…a hominid with a skull like Paranthropus Boiseiand and a skeletal composition similar to the robust Neanderthals. ( Bill Munns )
Has science become so polarized and politicized that the classical agnostic position (“I will investigate this with an open and undecided mind, basing any conclusion on the evidence”) is considered naive and laughable because scholars are expected to immediately and superficially assume one conclusion with absolute confidence and once declared, be unwavering in their determination to maintain that conclusion against all real evidence to the contrary? Sadly, that exact situation may be occurring, when scholars refuse to even explore this topic and evaluate the work thus far done by researchers, and fairly weigh the pros and cons of the evidence and record analysis. Is confirmation bias sadly still ruling the roost, and a denialism of any prospect this film could actually depict a new member of the hominid family, regardless of the merits of the evidence?
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- The Australian Yowie: Mysterious Legends of a Tribe of Hairy People
If this film proves to be a truthful event depicting a new and as of yet unidentified hominid co-existing with contemporary humans, the scholar who validates that truth will have accomplished an astonishing victory for science. One would think, given the magnitude of the potential reward, some scholars would feel that an investment in time and effort to evaluate the matter would be justified. And beginning some dialogues on that option, that the film may be authentic, would be a resounding demonstration that the scholarly community values truth above the mere perception of winning an argument, especially one derived from a mere wishful thinking to not shake the family tree.
As long as this film defies any proof of a hoax, the option it might be real should be responsibly considered, rather than shunned, by the anthropology community of scholars.
Top Image: Bigfoot in the Patterson-Gimlin Film. Source: YouTube Screenshot
Munns, B. & Meldrum, J. (2013) “Analysis Integrity of the Patterson-Gimlin Film Image.” The Relict Hominoid Inquiry. http://www2.isu.edu/rhi/pdf/ANALYSIS%20INTEGRITY%20OF%20THE%20PATTERSON-GIMLIN%20FILM%20IMAGE_final.pdf
Munns, B. & Meldrum, J. (2013) “Surface Anatomy and Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue Features in the Analysis of the Patterson-Gimlin Film Hominid.” The Relict Hominoid Inquiry. http://www2.isu.edu/rhi/pdf/Munns-%20Meldrum%20Final%20draft.pdf
The Guardian (2000) “Is it a bird? Is it a dinosaur? No, it’s a fake.” The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/2000/feb/07/features11.g22