Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Abominable Science! The Origins of the Yeti, Nessie, and other famous Cryptids

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Today’s nonfiction post is on Abominable Science! The Origins of the Yeti, Nessie, and other famous Cryptids by Daniel Loxton and Donald R. Prothero. It is 411 pages long including notes and an index. The cover has a yeti on it looking very fierce. The intended reader is someone who wants to know more about cryptids or about cryptozoology. There is no language, no sex, and no violence in this book. The information about the cryptids is given in interviews and papers by both believers and skeptics. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the dust jacket- Throughout our history, humans have been captivated by mythic beasts and legendary creatures. Tales of Bigfoot, the Yeti, and the Loch Ness monster are part of our collective experience. Now comes a book from two dedicated investigators that explores and elucidates the fascinating world of cryptozoology.
Daniel Loxton and Donald R. Prothero have written an entertaining, educational, and definitive text on cryptids, presenting the arguments both for and against their existence and systematically challenging the pseudoscience that perpetuates their myths. After examining the nature of science and pseudoscience and their relation to cryptozoology, Loxton and Prothero take on Bigfoot; the Yeti, or Abominable Snowman, and its cross-cultural incarnations; the Loch Ness monster and its highly publicized sightings; the evolution of the Great Sea Serpent; and Mokele Mbembe, or the Congo dinosaur. They conclude with an analysis of the psychology behind the persistent belief in paranormal phenomena, identifying the major players in cryptozoology, discussing the character of its subculture and considering the challenge it poses to clear and critical thinking in our increasingly complex world.

Review- If you are a skeptic but still like crytids and cryptozoology then you should read this. Loxton loves cryptozoology and started out as a believer who now is a skeptic. Prothero is a hard-core skeptic but he does not let that stop him from hearing people in cryptozoology culture. The book overall is about the most famous crytids. The book discusses the evidence from videos to pictures and makes them stand up to true scientific study. Now that I have this book I can watch some of the Bigfoot shows and I can see where the flaws are. The writing can get a little stale at time but considering that this is a hard core science book that is not surprising. If you are having trouble with it this is what I did- I would one section then do or read something else. However if you are a believer then read this book with knowledge that the authors are not. They take every piece of evidence of crytids and they work with it to the end of disproving the crytid.

I give this book a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library.