Yesterday's posts about dragons, plesiosaurs and Knights of the Temple were "tongue in cheek", however the notion that there may have been Patagonian rivers that simply vanished in "recent" times is interesting.
The Patagonian hideout of the Knights Templar surprised me. It showed how some poorly researched "pseudo-historic" events can be taken as factual by many (I googled the phrase 'Patagonia Knights Templar' and found 5959 pages! and the Spanish language equivalent: 'Patagonia Templarios' brought forth 78.000 pages).
Disbelief and science.
That reminded me of an article that I read in the March 23, 2010 issue of Time magazine (page 47), that stated that "only 57% of Americans think there's evidence of [global] warming (down from 71% last year), and just 36% think it's because of human activity (down from 47%)".
So it seems people are gullible and swallow the paranormal (i.e. UFOs, abductions, ESP, astrology, Kabbalah, and Knights Templar in Patagonia) but don't believe in real hard science such as climate change!
Note that I don't include "serious" cryptozoology as bogus science. I googled 'cryptozoology' and came up with 3.47 million pages.
Creationism vs. Evolution
However my view is not shared by all: "Nearly all scientists (97%) say humans and other living things have evolved over time," while only 61% of the public agrees...".
Furthermore, on the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth, a Gallup Poll revealed that only 39% of Americans 'believe in the theory of evolution', and 25% don't believe in the theory. The remaining 36% are undecided.
Fortunately the younger and the better educated have a stronger belief than those who are older or did not have the benefit of going to University (see the poll clicking below reference  for all the juicy details).
Googling gave me 1.68 million pages on "Creationism". So it seems that cryptozoology is roughly twice as popular on the web than creationism.
Maybe on his 300th birthday science may prevail over superstition. And creationism be a topic for historians.
 Views on evolution among the public and scientists. National Center For Science Education. July 9th, 2009
 Newport, F., On Darwin’s Birthday, Only 4 in 10 Believe in Evolution. February 11, 2009.
Patagonian Monsters - Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia2010 International Year of Biodiversity Copyright 2009-2010 by Austin Whittall ©