Dec 012009

*originally posted in Red Shtick Magazine – December, 2009

I believe in ghosts. I have never seen them, heard them, or been convinced in any way that ghosts exist, but I believe in them. I also believe in sasquatch, though I have never met one of them, either.

Based on these two unsubstantiated beliefs, I am scientifically certain of the existence of the ghost of sasquatch, or “ghostquatch.” Through extensive mathematical analysis, I have determined that the probability of actually seeing a ghostquatch is the inverse of the product of the probabilities of seeing a ghost and a sasquatch, and that’s pretty darn improbable.

However improbable a ghostquatch sighting may be, it is at least as improbable that someone would write a series of articles proving the existence of ghostquatch, yet here we are.

To provide incontrovertible proof of the existence of ghostquatch, I must first prove the existence of the components of ghostquatch. First up: ghosts.

Ghosts are dead people who have decided that acting dead is not their bag, or they have not been properly informed that they are supposed to act dead, or they are simply very bad actors. These uncooperative, uninformed, or untalented dead people continue to do things that only the living are supposed to do, long after the biological processes of being alive have ceased.

Since being alive is widely considered to be a biological process, the act of remaining nonbiologicially alive presents somewhat of a conundrum, especially to those who study life. Due to the lack of reproducible evidence, the phenomenon of nonbiological life has not been sufficiently explored by biologists or any other reputable scientific discipline.

Fortunately for the nonscientific community, television has stepped in to fill the void. Ghost hunting and other rigorously scientific forms of paranormal investigation have become a popular pastime for filmmakers and storytellers who have abandoned the arts of making films and telling stories.

The imaginatively titled Ghost Hunters television series is currently the most popular example. The show’s creators, Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, began investigating paranormal phenomena in their spare time while working as plumbers for Roto-Rooter. Hawes and Wilson felt that their day jobs did not provide their lives with sufficient crap content, so they endeavored to inject more crap into a well-primed crap pipeline: cable television.

Hawes and Wilson employ advanced scientific instruments such as video and infrared imaging, EMF detectors, and Geiger counters to detect paranormal phenomena. This equipment is extremely useful in paranormal research as it provides unequivocal evidence of the existence of thermal as well as electromagnetic radiation.

Mainstream science has proven that thermal and electromagnetic radiation are things that exist. If ghosts are things that exist, then detecting things that have been proven to exist in the same area where ghosts are believed to exist represents concrete scientific evidence that ghosts could probably exist in the same area.

Even as Hawes and Wilson provide mounting substantive evidence of the existence of things that they say prove the existence of ghosts, less-televised scientists continue to doubt. The life sciences in particular have long taken issue with the existence of ghosts because the act of being a ghost is, or would be, a violation of our current scientific understanding of life.

Biologists define life as a characteristic that distinguishes objects that have self-sustaining biological processes from those that do not. Objects in which these functions have ceased are considered to be in a state of not being alive, best known as dead.

Objects that have never demonstrated biological processes are classified asinanimate, a confusing state in which an object is not alive but is also not considered dead. In practice, the best way to tell if something is living or inanimate is to try to eat it and see what happens.

The problem with the definition of life is that it is circular. Living organisms are defined as objects with the characteristic of biological processes, but the definition of a biological process is simply the process of a living organism.

The dirty secret of the life sciences is that science cannot strictly define what life is, let alone how it works. Despite this uncertainty, many scientists have the audacity to dictate what is alive, what is inanimate, and what shouldn’t be floating around acting like it’s alive because it has already died and should know better.

Even with the circular definition of life, science arrogantly claims that life exists. Such blind faith in the existence of life could be considered highly irresponsible. There is no real proof that life exists except the empirical observations of life made by those that are clearly biased – in that the observers themselves are admittedly alive.

Inanimate objects have never conceded that life exists. Until there is consensus on the existence of life, I maintain that a state of being that falls outside the classification of living or inanimate is still quite plausible.

Ghosts have never made any attempt to refute the existence of living beings. Ghosts are confident enough to go about their business without wasting time qualifying their existence. In truth, it is the existence of life that should be in question, not ghosts.

Through the evidence provided by paranormal investigators and my own exhaustive logical analysis, I have clearly proven that ghosts not only exist but are probably a lot more easygoing than the people who deny the existence of ghosts.

Having proved thusly that ghosts exist, in the next issue I will prove that sasquatch also exist, and I will explain why math scores and literacy rates in the sasquatch community are higher than in most American high schools.

At this point, many savvy readers may be asking why an article focusing on paranormal research makes no mention of the most popular paranormal research group of all time: the Ghostbusters. Well, I just did, so there.

Also, Ghostbusters was a movie, which is clearly fiction, while Ghost Hunters is a “reality show,” which means it’s really, really real and not fictional at all.