Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Bigfoot research makes professor a campus outcast

  1. Nov 5, 2006 #1

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    http://www.cnn.com/2006/EDUCATION/11/03/professor.bigfoot.ap/index.html
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 5, 2006 #2

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I can't help but wonder what the response would be if someone in the anatomical sciences tried to dictate what physicists should or should not study.
     
  4. Nov 5, 2006 #3
    It only seems to go one way. A physicist can comment on or tell any other scientist what he or she should research. But any other scientist can never tell a physicist what to research. Physicists are treated like gods for some reason.

    I don't see what could really be wrong with what Meldrum is doing as long as he doesn't base his desires on so called video tape evidence and fake foot prints.
     
  5. Nov 10, 2006 #4

    Gokul43201

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    From the CNN report:
    I think this is why the physicists have gotten involved.
     
  6. Nov 10, 2006 #5

    NateTG

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Perhaps the people who are working on a GUT should also be isolated? Hey, at least we have an idea of what bigfoot is supposed to look like ;)
     
  7. Nov 10, 2006 #6

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The application of biomechanics is pretty standard stuff. Also, the comments pertained to Meldrums choice of study and not his application of physics.

    Perhaps he would prefer that Meldrum use crystal balls and panther bones. :biggrin:
     
  8. Nov 10, 2006 #7
    This, I think, demonstrates the problem: he believes bigfoot exists without having sufficient proof to convince the other scientists. It's probably not the fact he's studying it per se, but that he is already convinced. He's looking to prove something he already believes instead of reserving belief untill it's been proven.
     
  9. Nov 11, 2006 #8

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    That is actually fairly common. Scientists are not bound to live without opinions.

    Don't you think that many string theorists personally believe in string theory? In fact the same can be said for nearly any discipline and unproven theory. Apparently he has seen enough to convince him that bigfoot is real. It may even come down to an interpretation of evidence. The distiction is that the belief of one scientist is not scientific proof. As long as he doesn't cross that line, he has committed no sin beyond holding an unpopular opinion.

    The real point of contention is whether he should be allowed to study this.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2006
  10. Nov 11, 2006 #9
    Agreed, but his conviction is presented as a belief, not an opinion:" I place legend under scrutiny and my conclusion is, absolutely, Bigfoot exists.""

    I think he has pretty much crossed that line. Instead of "I am personally completely persuaded by the evidence I've seen," he says "Absolutely, Bigfoot exists." That's quite a bit bolder than offering your opinion as an opinion.

    I don't think that's the point of contention at all. The article makes it clear he's being allowed:

    He's being allowed. His real problem is that he's not respected, and is regarded as a source of embarrassment.

    I'm sure your right about the string theorists, and it probably shouldn't be this way; that they're respected while this guy isn't. But there I have to stop because I know zilch about string theory and couldn't begin to offer a reason why it might be different.
     
  11. Dec 3, 2006 #10
    What is a Bigfoot?
    Couldn't that be just a Shaq O'Neil among gorillas/orangutans?
     
  12. Dec 29, 2006 #11

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    http://earthfiles.com/news/news.cfm?ID=1184&category=Environment

    [not my favorite source, but since he is quoted...]
     
  13. Dec 29, 2006 #12
    I don't know if anyone participating in this thread is familiar with NPR's "Talk of the Nation, Science Friday" show but Meldrum was a guest in this show. The episode was aired on November 10th and you can listen to the show on your computer here for free:
    http://www.npr.org/templates/dmg/dm...=10-Nov-2006&segNum=4&NPRMediaPref=WM&getAd=1
    He talks about his perceptions of what others think of him and his "unpopular" topic of research. Pretty interesting...

    Meldrum has a book out called 'Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science' which I have read the first few pages of excerpt at Amazon and it is getting good reviews other there.

    Personally, I don't know why some of the other professors are treating Meldrum in such a disrespectful manner. As long as his application of science is not in question, I say... let the man do some research!
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Bigfoot research makes professor a campus outcast
Loading...