As you already know, I sat through several days of the History Channels pseudo-documentary MonsterQuest (the joy) and much to my surprise, in two of the episodes we find creationists. Now, I knew the History Channel had gone off the deep end by having this show in the first place, but I did not think it would stoop down to allowing creationists on their channel. Than again, one must ask themselves, what is the major different between an average creationist and an average crypto-zoologist?
Nevertheless, I digress. The first episode I noticed that allowed a creationist on was entitled “Flying Monsters” (episode 15, season 3). This episode deals with a group of creationists from Genesis Park, which mounts annual expeditions to Papa New Guinea in search of pterosaurs (or Ropen). Now, the History Channel did do a wonderful job editing out (what I can only suspect to be) the vast majority of the crazy coming from the creationists on this program, but they let a few things slip. At ~10 minutes in, Garth Guessman (the head creationist), while holding a copy of an old map says; “This is an old sea chart from 1595 depicting Papa New Guinea, and it has animals depicted on here that are similar to pterosaurs that could very well be distant memories of legends of possible pterosaurs.” I kid you not! That was what set the alarm bells off in my head, but it was not until around the end of the program at ~40 minutes in when he said, “Every culture in the world has stories of dragons. And if you think about it, they also have stories of people killing dragons. And when you ask the question what happened to dinosaurs, people never want to put that together.” This statement made me look into this person. Sure enough, he is a Young Earth Creationist (YEC) hoping that if he finds evidence of pterosaurs in Papua New Guinea that will somehow disprove evolution.
However, in this episode, not only do they have a YEC, but they also have an actual paleontologist (Dr. David Martill) whose specialty is pterosaurs. I truly wish I could get my hands on some of the unedited material for this episode. I would love to see the reaction from Dr. Martill when dealing with the inanity of the YECs.
However, this was not the only episode to feature creationists in it. While researching the above episode, I thought back to one of the first episodes I watched entitled “The Last Dinosaur” (episode 18, season 3) which was about Mokele Mbembe, thought to be a sauropod. This episode was not as bad as the first one I talked about (in terms of creationism, it is a terrible show after all), but the narrator was the worse part of this show. At ~13 minutes in, they talk to a creationist who went to Africa to take a picture of a living dinosaur (no doubt, because he thought that would somehow disprove evolution); instead, he took pictures of what were three toed tracks of something large (most likely a rhinoceros). The creationist claims they are most likely from a sauropod, yet gives no evidence as to why. This mistake can be forgiven, because he is nothing more then a creationist, however the narrator starts talking about how sauropod tracks have three toes and starts showing pictures of fossil dinosaur track ways (the tracks are from theropod dinosaurs). I cannot really get mad at the narrator because he is only reading a script, but whoever wrote that script is a moron. Sauropods had five toe tracks, and the pictures that they showed were of theropod dinosaurs, a very different animal. Did I mention how terrible this show is?
I feel very upset that this show ever aired on the History Channel. I think it is bad enough that the History Channel allowed crypto-zoologists to run amuck on their channel, but to allow creationists…
I do not have anything else to say because words cannot describe how disappointed I am with the History Channel. This is a channel that I feel, when I was in high school, did a far superior job teaching me history than my actual high school. It is just upsetting to see it slip this far.