Journal of Scientific Exploration (Jun 2013)

The Discovery of the Sasquatch: Reconciling Culture, History, and Science in the Discovery Process by John A. Bindernagel

  • Henry Bauer

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 27, no. 2


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This book’s subtitle acknowledges the complexity of the task that anomalistics faces. Important aspects of the evidence come from times past, which makes it necessary to consider the reliability of the sources and how to interpret them in light of the cultural environment in the pertinent eras. The present and past states of science are obviously important, including why science has chosen not to look into what seems to us worth looking into; and that again calls for an understanding of how science affects and is affected by culture, in the present and in the past. All these things are discussed in relation to Sasquatch, in the body of the book and also in the substantial and insightful Foreword by Leila Hadj-Chikh. The general phenomenon of resistance to genuine novelty is often remarked, but this book goes much further than the generality by rooting out quite specific reasons for mainstream science’s resistance to the existence of Sasquatch; and by pointing to the unspoken assumptions that underlie those reasons. Perhaps the central issue is that popular culture takes Sasquatch to be a primitive relative of humans, Homo, whereas Bindernagel identifies Sasquatch as one of the great apes.