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There are few things more amusing than prehistoric views about prehistory.
I have been woken several times over the last couple of days with rumblings and tremblings about a group that has publicly questioned the very existence of dinosaurs and railed against the bestialization of our children by teaching them dinosaur lore in schools.
The group in question is called Christians Against Dinosaurs. Those of a coarsely waggish nature might suggest that Christians ought not be against dinosaurs, given some of the archaic beings that run certain of the Christian branches.
I cannot begin to debate that, as I'm too busy giggling at some of this group's postings on the popular parenting site Mumsnet.
A classic was headlined: "I'm getting sick and tired of dinosaurs being forced on our children." Its author, claiming to represent the Christians Against Dinosaurs Ministry, exclaimed: "I for one do not want my children being taught lies. Did you know that nobody had even heard of dinosaurs before the 1800s, when they were invented by curio-hungry Victorians?"
The poster goes on to explain that Darwin's Theory of Evolution "entirely disproved dinosaurs." Worse that that, though: "Dinosaurs are a very bad example for children. At my children's school, several children were left in tears after one of their classmates (who had evidently been exposed to dinosaurs), became bestially-minded and ran around the classroom roaring and pretending to be a dinosaur. Then he bit three children on the face."
This caused a furor. The Huffington Post revealed that the poster had been thrown off Mumsnet for this scientific heresy.
Being of sanguine mind and chilly heart, I tried to investigate this group further. It has a Facebook page, where more than 8,000 claim to be members. It has a Twitter feed, with a mere 194 followers.
And then there are the YouTube videos. The most pulsating is one in which a presenter attempts to convince the world that the first fossil ever found was much later than when the first "idea" of a dinosaur was conceived. She insisted that paleontologists were just tools of a system.
To many ears, this may seem like bilge, but bilge designed to entertain. To my eyes, the woman presenting her argument could barely keep a straight face.
So I contacted the Christians Against Dinosaurs Twitter feed and asked who was its leader and was this all a joke. I received this reply: "We do not have a leader, we are a collective." I was told this is most definitely not a joke.
Unlike many Christian groups, this one doesn't seem to talk about God very much. At least not in its video.
I was informed by the group, however, that its aim to "respect Jesus and see through the various dinosaur deceptions." The woman presenting the video is Kristen Auclair, whose Facebook page claims that she lived in Southbridge, Mass.
A LinkedIn profile for the same name, city and similar profile picture says she's a commercial insurance account executive. It makes no mention of her antipathy toward dinosaurs. So she'll insure any old CEO, then.
I was encouraged to join the group to see what it was all about. I made a request, which was approved by someone called Kate (she asked me to withhold her last name.) She told me she is an actor in the UK.
I could not find her among Auclair's list of Facebook friends. I did, however, find Brontosaurus Rex (seriously).
Having joined the group (please, I did it for you), what was revealed was this message: "We all know God never created dinosaurs, and its great to have a place we can all celebrate this."
We all know this? How do we all know this? I wasn't aware that all of us knew anything at all. That's just one of the amusements of life.
Still, the group's welcome message concludes that it's "a nice group to celebrate Gods wisdom in denying the existing of dinosaurs!"
This nice group says it plans a protest at Ken Ham's Creation Museum in Kentucky. The date is as yet undetermined. The announcement of the protest was made by Amy Pavlovich, whose Facebook page claims that "hearts are for sissies." And Happy Valentine's Day to you, madam.
I contacted both Kate and Auclair to ask for further details of their involvement in what to some might seem a joke (of one kind) and to others a joke (of another kind).
"I assure you we are serious about our beliefs," Kate explained. "The core members all follow Jesus' teachings but, as I'm sure you've seen, since the recent publicity we have been swamped by a larger than usual number of 'trolling, and people who seem to have joined just to mock."
How, though, did she get involved in all this? She told me: "I got involved through a family member who worked in the palaeontological field and, as they rose up the ranks and more and more dodgy goings on were revealed their suspicions were aroused and further research ensued."
She claimed she is still learning. However, one thing she has learned is that "the Museum Industry Complex are ruthless." But can she change minds? "We already have," she said.
Auclair confirmed that she had a child and was in insurance sales. She told me that not too many people in Massachusetts share her beliefs.
About the group, she said: "I only hope that it serves as an outlet for others too afraid to speak out about their doubts in the field of paleontology. It is healthy to question the world around us and not just take the word of science as gospel."
She added: "I personally think that the reaction thus far has been a little crazy. Lol. An influx of Reddit people has made the group a little tougher to handle. I know I'm just trying to get my bearings together to handle the onslaught of berating messages and absolute vitriol flying from these people."
Welcome to the Web, Kristen.
So remember, kids, fossils are just fossils. They're not bits of old dinosaurs. Unless, oh, they are. Either way children, please don't be beastly.