Salon.com has published an essay on cryptozoology, UFOs and other Fortean pursuits by Busy Monsters author William Geraldi. It’s as dismissive as you’d expect it to be (and undoubtedly rightfully so, as some readers might think), and downright smug at moments.
Take Geraldi’s swipe at cryptozoologists in this paragraph on the Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot film:
It didn’t occur to me as a kid that the name of the creek in which the footage was shot, Bluff Creek, was a clue to Roger Patterson’s shaky relationship with veracity. Still, educated experts with the best software ever devised haven’t been able to prove conclusively that the footage is a hoax, and so grown men with a child’s inextinguishable wonder — they call themselves cryptozoologists — continue to pursue a North American apeman. Half of me wants to help these unemployable man-boys study for the high school equivalency test, but the other half quietly applauds their dopey dedication and yearns to join their rowdy jaunt.
In all, it’s a cushy little poke at the easiest of targets and another example of how the caustic attitudes of some skeptics do far more harm than good when it comes to educating the supposedly ignorant. Why would the “unenlightened” reconsider what they believe when they’re being ridiculed and scorned by those who claim to know better? Can skeptics and believers ever have a civil, constructive dialogue?