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Creature Controversy

Posted by: Nick Redfern on June 24th, 2012

There’s a new article at the Scottish Sunday Herald newspaper that is bound to stir up controversy in cryptozoological circles. It begins as follows:

“It sounds like a plot dreamed up by the creators of Southpark, but it’s all true: schoolchildren in Louisiana are to be taught that the Loch Ness monster is real in a bid by religious educators to disprove Darwin’s theory of evolution.”

If that has caught your attention (and I’m pretty sure it has!), read on…

Over at the Loch Ness Mystery blog, Glasgow Boy weighs in on this news story.

He says, in part: “What the creationist Christians need to find is not a live plesiosaur but a fossilised plesiosaur with a fossilised human in or near it. That would upset the scientific apple cart no end, but to date no such thing has been found.”

And here’s his full post.

Nick Redfern About Nick Redfern
Punk music fan, Tennents Super and Carlsberg Special Brew beer fan, horror film fan, chocolate fan, like to wear black clothes, like to stay up late. Work as a writer.


9 Responses to “Creature Controversy”

  1. Taylor Reints responds:

    It disgusts me how creationists use cryptozoology as supposed evidence against scientific fact. It slanders Darwin and cryptozoology alike.

  2. OmahaBigfoot responds:

    I find this to be a very interesting article. I guess I am one of those fundamentalist, as I use the ACE program to homeschool my kids. I find it very interesting how the program is compared to education in the Dark Ages. I wonder if the writers actually read what was in the program and taught? While at this point my oldest is only in the 1st grade and we have not come across the specific course that they are talking about, I know the quality of the courses as compared to those of the public school system. I myself has been subject to many different educational methods, including homeschool, public school, private school and boarding school. I will sit and let someone bash homeschooling all day. I can say from experience that when done right, it can be the best method for education.

  3. bgibbons responds:

    Not all creationists use cryptozoology as “supposed evidence against scientific fact.” Indeed, many of us are using science and the scientific methodology to solve some of the world’s most enduring cryptozoological mysteries. The fact is, we STILL do not know what Nessie is. To date, the idea of living plesiosaurs in Loch Ness is no less credible than Heuvelmans Megalotaria Longicollis, or Mackal’s theory of a surviving Basilosaurus population in many of the world’s deep freshwater lakes. Although a surviving ancient mammal is more likely than a marine reptile from the Jurassic age.

    When Dave Woetzel and I (including our family members) observed 3-4 humps break the surface of Lake Okanagan in July 2011, we did not automatically think “plesiosaur!” It was a large, animate object that briefly appeared before moving rapidly away from our boat and throwing up an impressive wave formation. was it a Basilosaurus? I do not know, but Roy Mackal thinks it was.

    Links:

    New Ogopogo Sighting
    New Ogopogo Sighting: A Photographic Update

    Is Mokele-mbembe a living dinosaur? In truth, we have to say “no,” because we have no definitive proof to back up that theory. Roy Mackal, on the other hand, was sufficiently impressed with the eye-witness accounts of the Congolese eye-witnesses to stick his neck out and propagate the living dinosaur theory, believing that the Congo would be the best place to find one.

    I agree that some of my fellow creationists do tend to make wild claims and put forward ideas that are embarrassingly short on scientific integrity. However, there have been some very puzzling finds in the fossil record (artifacts, etc) that bring the Geological timeline, thus the dating methods into question, but that is another debate!

    The problem is, reports of (presumed) surviving dinosaurs, whether they are Mokele-mbembes (Congo Basin), the Burrunjor (Northern Australia), or even giant pterosaurs (Papua New Guinea), they all emanate from areas that are remote, primitive, difficult to penetrate and challenging to explore. Loch Ness itself is deep, dark and huge, making underwater exploration a nightmare. Perhaps they will all remain cryptozoological mysteries forever. Perhaps (hopefully) we will find one or two of them and advance cryptozoology into a new level.

    Either way, I for one have no intention of giving up.

  4. ossk responds:

    And the rest of the world sits in stunned silence…

    And the US wonders why the rest of the world is catching up so quickly in technology and the hard sciences. Hint: It has to do with this….

  5. DWA responds:

    Nobody understands evolution less than creationists. Here’s only the latest evidence.

    Name one animal the discovery of which hasn’t subsequently yielded, at the very least, plausible speculation as to how it evolved.

    Sheesh.

  6. Kris responds:

    A couple of thoughts…

    1) Can someone explain to me why the existence of dinosaurs would discredit evolution? Even if the Loch Ness Monster is real and even if there are living plesiosaurs this in NO way disproves or discredits evolution. There are many animals which are still around today that are ancient and have been around since the time of the dinosaurs. For example, crocodiles have been around since the age of dinosaurs and their descendants are still alive today. Evolution says nothing about the fact that old animals species have to become extinct in order for new ones to evolve, it just says that animals genetically adapt and change to fit their environment. If an environment changes those who adapt are able to continue living in their environment and reproduce passing on their genetic material. Those who cannot adapt to their changing environment die out. Which brings me to my next point….

    2) Dinosaurs themselves are not even technically extinct! Birds are dinosaurs that developed the ability of flight… they are avian dinosaurs. Dinosaurs adapted to a changing environment and are still alive today as avian dinosaurs.

    3) Plesiosaurs are not even dinosaurs! They are aquatic reptiles. If you are going to teach something at least get your taxonomy correct!

    4) Not only do we have extensive proof evolution is true through the fossil record but we can see evolution in action. Why do you think we need new flu shots each year? The flu virus is alive and it changes fast. Every year and we have to update our vaccines in order to keep up with the changing virus. Antibiotic resistance? Same thing. As we use more antibiotic soap and hand gel those microorganisms adapt to the changing environments we are creating and become immune to our antibiotics.

    5) Evolution should not be the “bad guy”. Evolution itself does not argue against God or a divine creator it could merely be a process set forth by a higher being. Or, it could be an amazing natural process that has created amazing diversity on Earth! Either way there is so much evidence for evolution I wish people would understand what evolution is without making biased judgements that are not founded in reality. Much of the ideas I hear “disprove” evolution are just because that person does not understand the process of evolution. Many times people have just not been taught about evolution, as this program is trying to do, and people just need to be exposed to these ideas in order to understand the process.

  7. Taylor Reints responds:

    @bgibbons

    I never said “all creationists”.

    But the truth is, many young earth creationists argue that if dinosaurs were found to exist, evolution would be disproved–like the creationist-founded ACE program.

    Look at this site. It is just one of many.

    Some creationists think that footprints of a dinosaur and a man together disproves evolution, even though the so called “man tracks” were eroded dinosaur footprints.

    @Kris

    Good points. And just like the coelacanth, a relict creature doesn’t affect human evolution. However, it is believed that the entire reason humans evolved is, because, 65 million years ago, non-avian dinosaurs went extinct, which allowed mammals to diversify. However, if a living non-avian dinosaur was found in a remote area that would have nothing to do with our evolution, that wouldn’t disprove Darwin.

  8. bgibbons responds:

    Kris, I am not sure who your comments are aimed at, but not all creationists are “ignorant” of evolution. After all, we were all taught this in high school.

    1. To answer some of your points and speaking for myself, I never said that a living dinosaur would trump evolution. Yes, we know that there are many living creatures today that were around during the heyday of the dinosaurs, including the Tuatara of New Zealand, which was apparently around before and after the dinosaurs. Many evolutionists have argued that if dinosaurs had survived today (birds not withstanding), their body plans would have changed considerably. However, the fossil, Protoavis (‘first bird’) is allegedly 225 million years old. It is 75 million years older than Archaeopteryx, yet had quill knobs on its forearm, avian brain shape, avian eye sockets, and a bird-like jaw. This creature was alive at a time when there were very few dinosaurs of any kind around, including the alleged ancestors of modern birds. Did birds evolve from the ground up or the trees down? Perhaps the best book on this subject is ‘The Rise of Birds, 225 Million Years of Evolution’ by paleontologist Sankar Chatterjee, who disputes the ‘dinosaur-into-birds’ theory, speculating that birds evolved from a distinctive lineage of their own. But the controversy goes on.

    2. “Plesiosaurs are not dinosaurs.” Personally, I never believed they were. So no argument there.

    3. Evolution in action? Sorry, I’ll debate that anytime. However, this in not a creation-evolution website, so you can email me at africanmysteries@yahoo.ca.

    4. Again, I won’t debate this one here.

    Best Wishes,

    Bill

  9. Kris responds:

    @bgibbons

    Thanks for your response. My comments are not aimed at anyone in particular just in response to the above article about schools in Louisiana teaching that the Loch Ness Monster disproves the theory of evolution. I never called creationists ignorant I am only commenting on the ACE program in Louisiana teaching students based on false information. The ACE program called plesiosaurs dinosaurs and that is why I said they are not even teaching the correct taxonomy to support their ideas. If they are going to teach something they at least need to back it up correctly. You say that all students are taught evolution in high school, but my whole point at the end of my post was that not all students are taught about evolution. Look at Louisiana, those students are not being exposed to evolution. The students are not being taught based off science because the schools are lying to them by saying that not only does the Loch Ness Monster exist but the fact it does exist disproves evolution.

    I in no way believe all creationists are ignorant, but there have been examples of proof presented by some creationists that exhibits the fact those people do not understand the process of evolution. This is shown in how Louisiana is teaching. They are stating evolution is not true but they are not disproving it with real evidence. All I mean to say is that my previous comment was referring to some creationists who try to dispel evolution when they do not understand evolution itself. But, how can some people understand evolution when they are not taught it?

    I am also not commenting on what specific evolutionists say. I do not know about the evolutionists you are referring to that say that if dinosaurs existed today their body plans would have changed. There is nothing inherit in the theory of evolution that says animals must change through time. There are many animals, such as the coelacanth mentioned above, who are ancient creatures with body plans have remained mostly unchanged. Because we do not have the body of the Loch Ness Monster we cannot see whether or not it is a plesiosaur or if it’s body has changed over the years. Even if the body of the plesiosaur has remained unchanged this would not disprove evolution. It would just mean that their population did not have significant environmental impacts which would have forced them to adapt or die out. Though, I would suspect if the Loch Ness Monster really was a plesiosaur and really did live in the Loch it would have changed significantly because plesiosaurs were marine reptiles while the Loch is freshwater. It would have had to adapt to this new environmental pressure.

    Finally, just another comment on the Louisiana schools. It also angers me that this is a publicly funded program. Separation of church and state??? If we are going to publicly fund one religion’s idea to be taught to students then shouldn’t we also fund every other religion’s idea?



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