Desperately Repackaging Failed Theories to Justify Bigfoot and Gods

hot air balloon

In the context of politics and the news media, you are undoubtedly familiar with the concept of a "trial balloon." The politician releases a statement to test public reactions to an idea. If the reactions are sufficiently negative, we never hear about the idea again (at least not until the politician is elected). If the reactions are sufficiently positive, the idea likely comes back as something the politician actively promotes. Something similar happens among bloggers. In fact, my own use of Twitter sometimes reminds me of this. I might tweet a partly formed idea to see how others react. If it is received favorably, I might write a post about it. If it falls flat, I might be less inclined to do so.

While flipping channels recently, I came across a bizarre example of something I really hope was a trial balloon but probably wasn't. Here's the short version:

Bigfoot creatures are living all over the U.S., and our government has known about this for some time. Since we haven't been able to obtain conclusive proof of their existence in the way that would satisfy the skeptics, this may be because they are supernatural creatures or extra-terrestrial beings. But since we realize many people may not be ready to consider these possibilities, we will promote an equally absurd theory masked in the sort of pseudoscience that would make Deepak Chopra proud: Bigfoot creatures are so good at hiding because they have mastered quantum mechanics to gain the power of invisibility.

Sigh. Again, I hope this is a trial balloon and that it quickly pops. I fear that is not the case, though. I suspect that many people will accept this in the context of Bigfoot apologetics. And sure, I recognize that it is still considerably less bizarre than much of what many Christians claim to believe about their gods.

When the trial balloon falls flat, the idea is supposed to go away. This doesn't always happen. The idea is sometimes just repackaged. I think that is what is going on here. When desperate to protect a belief that is without merit, the believers come up with as many wild theories as they can in the hope that at least a few will be sufficiently palatable to persuade their audience. They don't throw away the bad ones, but they may tweak them or dress them up in additional pseudoscience. Bigfoot gives us many great contemporary examples of this, and I think that's one of the main reasons I find myself so fascinated with the subject. Still, Bigfoot pales in comparison to what the world religions have been pushing for far longer.

We need far more skeptical voices. We also need them to express what most of us are thinking when we encounter this drivel: Have you considered the possibility that the reason you have been unable to obtain the evidence you seek is that Bigfoot creatures (or gods) simply don't exist? Doesn't that seem far more likely than the latest crazy theory they have concocted to justify their lack of evidence? I think so.