The Science of Bigfoot

Ah, Bigfoot. Where to begin? He's really a bear, or a giant ground sloth, or a moonshine hallucination. Last August, two enterprising idiots, Rick Dyer and Matthew Whitton, persuaded leading cable news outfits that they had a dead one in their freezer. Subsequent defrosting revealed a hollow head, rubber feet, and a receipt for a “Deluxe Sasquatch Costume” from TheHorrorDome.com ($449.99). Of course, Bigfoot could really be Gigantopithecus, a species of giant ape, but there’s one drawback: It’s extinct. For its part, mainstream science has largely ignored the folk hero, given the dearth of evidence, the glut of idiots like Dyer and Whitton, and the fact that there are plenty of real things in the world to investigate. But not every scientist is so quick to dismiss a terribly shy 10-foot ape out of hand: People like famed biologist Dr. George Beals Schaller and even Jane Goodall have wondered about all those eyewitness accounts. Tonight, the Ask a Scientist lecture series and wild science party provide a forum for other smart maybe-believers, with Eugenie Scott, physical anthropologist and executive director of the National Center for Science Education, giving a talk titled “Bigfoot and Other Wild Men of the Forest.” Bring an open mind — the organization Bay Area Skeptics, which co-presents the program, won’t abide any closed ones.
Second Wednesday of every month, 7 p.m., 2008

 
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