In my book The Great Paradox of Science: Why its conclusions can be relied upon even though they cannot be proven (that I hope all readers of this blog have bought!) I discuss in some detail the nature of scientific logic that enables us to arrive at very firm conclusions about so many things despite never having absolute certainty. This is particularly important in the case of assertions about the non-existence of any entity. Believers in things for which there is no positive evidence (such as gods and ghosts) point to this lack of proof to suggest that it is reasonable to believe in their existence.
My book argues that that argument is invalid and that in science we can quite confidently assert in the non-existence of some things (and have done so in the case of the aether and phlogiston for example) and that same logic can be extended to assert the non-existence of other things.
I used the example of the Loch Ness monster to show why we can be confident that it does not exist even though we cannot prove it to be so. So I am always curious when reports come along, as they regularly do, that someone has seen it and even provided photographic evidence, contradicting my claim. Last week, I came across such a claim.
A tourist has captured an incredible series of photographs that have sparked online claims that he has snapped a picture of the Loch Ness Monster.
Adding that at first he spotted what he assumed at the time was some sort of fish, he said: “I started taking a couple of shots and then this big fish came to the surface and then went back down again.
“It only appeared in one shot and to be honest that was something of a fluke. I watched for a while as you can see from the last picture but didn’t see it again.”
He estimated that it was 30 feet away and about 8 feet long.
He stated that it was only during lockdown that he has had time to look through the photos he had taken from his two week trip, stating that he had “hundreds” to go through as he’s a keen photographer.
But as always happens with good old Nessie, it turns out to be yet another hoax that was uncovered by internet sleuths who found the original photo that had been used to Photoshop the fake monster.
So my book’s claim that we can be confident the monster does not exist is safe.