Sadly, some people still get duped by the fantastic claims espoused by “professional monster hunters.” Last week on Salem-News.com, reporter Terrence Aym posted an article proclaiming: “Dinosaur Found Alive: Two Species Recorded in Papua New Guinea.” (The piece is a shortened version of an article Aym posted to Helium.com.) Citing eyewitness accounts collected by “serious researchers” Jim Blume and David Woetzel, Aym reports that at least two types of pterosaur—flying archosaurs which were not dinosaurs—still soar over Papua New Guinea, and he even provides some video to prove it.
The trouble is that the video provides a pretty clear look at what is definitely a frigatebird, probably a female great frigatebird (Fregata minor) based upon the dark feathers and white patch on the chest.
[snip]Then there is the problem of Aym’s sources. Both Blume and Woetzel are creationist explorers who have tried to promote the existence of living pterosaurs and dinosaurs. In fact, Woetzel has gone as far to propose these living pterosaurs as the “fiery flying serpent” of Isaiah 30:6 in the Bible, claiming that the pterosaurs also give off a kind of bioluminescent glow they use to catch fish. For Woetzel, such anecdotes are enough to prove that humans and pterosaurs have always coexisted, and in a Creation Research Society Quarterly paper he asserts that “evolutionists have appropriated the natural fascination with the terrible reptiles to propound their belief in naturalistic origins and billions of years of evolution. By God’s grace we should strive to tear down this high place and point people instead to the great Creator.”
Apparently Mr. Aym never learned in Journalism 101 that one should actually, y'know, verify your sources.
This rather glaringly points up the incredible inanity of creationists, as well as the piss-poor quality of reporters. It's pretty pathetic when you have to turn to cryptozoology and ridiculous postulations about surviving pterosaurs to shore up your faith. They're not even trying to shoehorn facts to fit the Bible - they're just making shit up. If they weren't so faith-blind, they'd have a pretty good shot at a lucrative career writing fantasy. Alas, people this god-deluded don't make good novelists. Too preachy. Fantasy fans want fun, not fundamentalism.
Brian, darling, thank you for giving me a good sendoff! Now I must away to say my goodbyes to the cat (hopefully without getting maimed in the process) and brave Seattle morning traffic so I can bring you all some awesome geology, plus flowers.
If you're needing amusement whilst I'm away, call up your local creationist, tell him you've got living proof the descendants of the dinosaurs still walk among us, and give him a budgie.