Saturday, September 01, 2007
Naturalists from the Kentucky Department of Parks are setting off on an expedition to try to discover an often reported but, some say, mythical creature: Cretin scientificus or "creation scientist."
Alleged sightings have become so frequent in the area of the Ohio Kentucky border that people trying to recount such encounters are beginning to impact on the educational mission of the state parks.
[Carey] Tichenor, chief naturalist in the Kentucky Department of Parks, is planning a trip to the Creation Museum in northern Kentucky. The trip became something of a necessity after three months of people who visited the museum challenging Tichenor and other naturalists when they tried to teach visitors about the ancient natural history of Kentucky's parks, Tichenor said.As Tichenor notes "Visitors are asking, 'Well, it said this at the Creation Museum, but you all are saying something different." That, of course is what happens when people meet scientists interpreting the scientific evidence produced at the various parks, after having visited a religious theme park celebrating a particular -- one might say peculiar -- reading of one of the many available "sacred texts." But these visitors are reporting that creation scientists are really responsible for the theme park and are often seen there.
Wisely, given the potential dangers, Tichenor is mounting a full expedition:
Plans call for as many as 18 park naturalists to visit the museum on Nov. 1. Tichenor said group-rate tickets will cost taxpayers about $338. The goal of the trip is so naturalists can directly address concerns from people who have visited the Creation Museum, not dissuade anyone from their religious beliefs, Tichenor said.There is some considerable risk involved in the expedition, in that the people who give the most credence to these sightings have invariably experienced a lowered intelligence quotient, leading to speculation that the creature, if it exists at all, may be dangerous.
Let's hope that the park naturalists all keep a fully loaded brain near to hand.