Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Primate Bones No One Can Find

Daegling's level-headed dissection of the (surprisingly) enduring legend of Bigfoot is more thoughtful and bemused than derisively dismissive. But there's no question that the biological anthropologist—a specialist in primate anatomy and biomechanics, useful disciplines for a study of primate bones no one can find and for analyzing a creature's distinctive gait—both starts and ends his examination of evidence for the big beast's existence as a confirmed skeptic. He's a scientist, and scientists depend on verifiable data; his thorough examination—more a reasoned debunking—of the existing data brings refreshing clarity to a muddled mystery. By book's end, Daegling has convincingly refuted the few seconds of film allegedly capturing Bigfoot on the loose, effectively questioned the eyewitness sightings that blossomed after the most celebrated manifestation of Bigfoot, back in 1958, and skillfully undercut the "proof" of oversized footprints by reporting on men who constructed fake feet. And he has, almost sorrowfully, assessed the arguments of the truly obsessed, which link Bigfoot's essential invisibility to the intervention of UFOs. It's not likely to change minds, however: as Daegling himself notes, myths don't depend on facts to fuel their persistence.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. [Reviewed at]

No comments: