I’ve spent a lot of time sharing the scientific and logical applications of the veterinary profession. On a day to day basis, we’re in the thick of problem-solving. We have to gather information, make a hypothesis, test it with diagnostics, and then establish a treatment plan. Accuracy, logic, deduction, confidence. Truthfully, by the end of a hard day with a lot of mental challenge, I’m ready to let the scientist take a break. (Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do and my brain is truly wired for this kind of thinking. Every tank has an empty gauge at some point, though.)
How do I unwind? I’ll tell you the truth. I embrace the exact opposite of my professional responsibilities. Television provides some stunning opportunities to get a huge, huge laugh out of life and “science.” My favorite day? Friday afternoons. Why? Ancient Aliens. I’m a huge fan of cryptozoology, too. Bigfoot, Nessie, El Chupacabra. I love ‘em all.
Yeah, yeah, I know. This is pseudoscience at its worst. It’s the antithesis of logic and science. Nevertheless, the question remains: are we alone in the universe? We just don’t know. So, with even the remote possibility of life elsewhere, I can suspend my inner scientist and kick back over a grilled NY Strip and giggle at the UFOs. Or Nessie. Or Bigfoot sightings. Or the goatsucker. (You did know that that’s what ‘chupacabra’ badly translates to, right?)
My friends don’t get it. They can’t stand these shows. They’re an affront to modern science. I don’t care, though. It’s a guilty pleasure. It’s like eating potato chips, or a second piece of cake, or a day at the spa. “Oh my gawd, how can you WATCH this crap?” I laugh and say, “Can you prove they’re wrong!?” The joke there is subtle and has to do with the burden of proof. Don’t sweat it.
This whole bizarre concept relates in two ways. Recently, a veterinarian claimed to have incontrovertible genetic proof that Bigfoot exists. It was a story that died after the first articles. I still don’t know if they proved a thing or not. Secondly, I got a news story in my daily bulletin that discussed the debunking of a chupacabra specimen. Turns out it was mostly a coyote with mange, but hey, at least they figured out the truth! You can read more about it here.
If there’s a legitimate take-home message here, it’s this: No matter what you’re investigating, following the scientific method does NOT mean you can’t have wonder, curiosity, and inquisitiveness. It means you can make a leap of faith…and then evaluate objectively where that leap landed you. If you missed the mark, adjust and test again. Again, again, again.
In the interim, my favorite character from Ancient Aliens. Enjoy your holiday weekend!