Cryptozoology as a Pseudoscience: Beasts in Transition

Elise Schembri
2011 Studies by undergraduate researchers at Guelph  
Cryptozoology, the pursuit of wildlife ignored or discounted by mainstream zoology, emerged as a separate discipline from zoology in 1955 with the publication of Bernard Heuvalmans' book On the Track of Unknown Animals. Although it is typically associated with pseudoscience, many of the discipline's advocates assert that cryptozoology should be recognized as a legitimate science. This has proven difficult because of the nature of the discipline and its inability to provide falsifiable evidence.
more » ... This paper examines crytozoology's dichotomous separation from zoology; its search for hard evidence to support the existence of obscure creatures including hominids, sea serpents and lake monsters; and its efforts to document in a clear and objective way the existence of such creatures so as to distance itself from paracryptozoology as well as both the media and public's distorted understanding of the field. This paper argues that by its nature cryptozoology is bound to remain, at worst, a pseudoscience and, at best, a transitional field of research. The example of the discovery of creatures like the giant squid, which left the realm of mythology and became a recognised species of zoology in 2004, provides evidence of both the promises and the inherent problems of the field of cryptozoology.
doi:10.21083/surg.v5i1.1341 fatcat:s5om4clvpjeh5kgv3ycxeui3la