Bay Area Skeptics

The San Francisco Bay Area's skeptical organization since 1982

Thinking About Bigfoot

Bigfoot Foot Cast

Bigfoot Foot Cast

I was recently invited to give a presentation at “Ask a Scientist”, which I am looking forward to. As a physical anthropologist, I have long been fascinated by Bigfoot, Yeti, and other alleged relic primates living in remote locations.

I would absolutely LOVE it if someone actually found a Yeti, or a Bigfoot. What could possibly be more exciting to a scientist than the discovery that indeed, populations of large-bodied primates, unknown to science, actually existed somewhere? What would be the relationship of these creatures to other primates, or humans? What physical anthropologist wouldn’t be itching to look at the morphology, the genetics, the DNA?

Alas, one does science with the head, not the heart. As much as I’d love to believe the existence of “wild men of the forest” as these creatures collectively are called, I won’t believe it without evidence.

As my former professor, Neil Tappen, once remarked, he’d “love to go on the SECOND Bigfoot expedition” — the one held after the first successful one.

So I’d like to talk about how one would go about thinking scientifically about Bigfoot/Yeti. What would constitute evidence that such wild men exist?

What do YOU think?

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