THE TOUR GUIDES SUCCESSFULLY DEBUNKED THEORIES OF FOSSIL FORMATION AND EVOLUTION. THEY HAD NO EXPLANATION, HOWEVER, FOR THE DINOSAUR-SHAPED CHICKEN NUGGETS IN THE MUSEUM CAFETERIA

Worthwhile and timely article here about creationists who lead families on "biblically correct" tours of Denver's natural-history museum. Especially notable are the reasoned responses of museum staff and paleontologists who welcome the tour groups because they assume, we believe correctly, that as the tours expose young people to the museum's exhibits, the kids' curiosities will be sparked, and they'll come back on their own to find out more about the actual science. "I think it's great that a lot of these students are exposed to evidence from the fossil record," says Richard Stucky of the museum. But in the meantime, kids learn from their tours that dinosaurs did not become extinct millions of years ago (in part because the Earth isn't nearly that old) but in fact once must have lived side-by-side with humans, and even made it onto Noah's ark:

"They're fossilized from the flood!" Cameron exclaimed. "So maybe the dinosaurs became extinct because of the flood?"

The biblical flood fossilized dinosaurs, Thorne said, but dinosaurs made it onto the ark - all the animals did. He suspects Noah brought baby dinosaurs (because who would want an adult tyrannosaur around?), and the creatures succumbed to overhunting or climate change.

What's we love is that this guide can glibly proffer this theory - about Noah taking baby dinos on the ark and their species later succumbing to overhunting or to the divine hand of climate change - and yet the creationists' gripe with evolution is that it can't be proven?

VISITORS ARE ALSO ASKED NOT TO MAKE "BUNNY EARS" BEHIND THE HEADS OF NEWBORNS WHEN THEY POSE FOR PICTURES WITH THEM

In an ambitious attempt to regulate and restrict human nature, a British hospital has banned visitors from touching or cooing at babies, talking to new mothers, or otherwise looking at anyone in the maternity ward the wrong way.

Debbie Lawson, neo-natal manager at the hospital's special care baby unit, said: "Cooing should be a thing of the past because these are little people with the same rights as you or me."

Note to hospital management: It may be time to rotate Debbie to a different unit for a little while.

THIS JUST IN: KIDS PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO COMPUTER GAMES!

IN OTHER NEWS: THEY LIKE PRETZELS!

Oregon scientists have used special computer games to train young children to develop their attenti0n spans. The focus of the research was in boosting "executive attention," which is "the ability to tune out distractions and pay attention only to useful information," with the ultimate goal of formulating new approaches to helping kids with attention-deficit disorders.

We might note that our personal experience has been that computer games by their nature do a tremendous job capturing the executive attentions of all small children, and that the real advance for science would be to find a method of training kids to pay attention to something else - anything else - while a video game was being played in the background.

AND NOW IT'S TIME FOR RECIPE CORNER WITH SMALL FELLOW

After a few weeks of experimentation with peanut butter, hummus, and tuna sandwiches, Small Fellow has found the sandwich he wants to take to school every day: Cold chicken with "tomato sauce." The other day, we packed lunches for a trip to the New York Aquarium; Fellow's mother made herself a sandwich of slices cut from a roast chicken, with a few tomato slices. Later, Fellow tried her sandwich, but asked her to remove the tomato slices first. Lo and behold, he loved it, because of the "tomato sauce" left by the tomatoes.

Here, then, is the recipe we and Fellow followed together in making his lunch yesterday:

Spread mustard on one - only one - slice of bread
Add chicken slices cut from a roast
Insert several tomato slices
Place second, mustard-free slice of bread on top
Flip sandwich, so the weight of the chicken presses down on the tomato
Let sit 5 minutes
Remove tomato slices
Wrap in tinfoil

How delicious was it? Let's let Fellow tell you: "It's so good, I want to have it THREE days in a row. Daddy? Whenever you have chicken? I want you to not eat the leftovers, but leave them for me so I can have SANDWICHES with TOMATO sauce. OK? So whenever we have chicken, you have to save the leftovers, because I want a chicken sandwich with tomato sauce EVERY DAY! It's SO delicious!"

September 28, 2005 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS

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