Florida has quite the cadre of current, prominent, proactive creationists; more than I had originally thought! Turns out that I could have expanded Going Ape by a few pages.
I chapter 7 I wrote about Kent “Dr. Dino” Hovind and his now defunct Dinosaur Adventure Land. His son, Eric, opened The Creation Store in Pensacola after his dad went to jail for tax fraud. There’s the Creation Studies Institute with its accompanying Creation Discovery Museum founded by Tom DeRosa in Ft. Lauderdale. You can take “creation education vacations” hosted by Gary Parker and his Arcadia-based Creation Adventures Museum. And there’s Creation Worldview Ministries in Orlando headed by Grady McMurtry. There are several others featured in my book but these are some of the highlights.
I still like to research Florida’s ties to creationism in it many forms, which is fortunate, because I never fail to turn up something new. For instance, I’d like to introduce you to Bill Clifton and his Science Partners business. He offers quite a few science classes for homeschoolers and private schools, he offers several workshops and field trips, and he’s available for speaking engagements. The credentials listed on his website are actually impressive with a few apparently legitimate degrees and several certifications. I’m envious.
He also states that “he was head of SeaWorld Orlando’s Education Department.” I did a quick check on that statement and while I don’t have official confirmation I found some documents that might back him up. Additionally, he does a significant amount of his current teaching at SeaWorld, leading study groups there such as the “Creationist Guide to SeaWorld” and the “High School Marine Science at SeaWorld” that “is taught from a creationist, Christian, Biblical worldview while making students aware of other worldviews. The objective is to teach students to see the Hand of the Creator in all of nature.”
He says he is “‘The Science Rebel’ because he challenges traditional scientific thought and explores our natural world from a creationist, biblical worldview.” So far, the only sample of his teaching style that I could find is in this video about ocean waves.
Perhaps his typical lesson is more scientifically based than this video. I hope so.
I’m interested in knowing more about Mr. Clifton but I’m not willing to shell out the money to attend any of his programs, despite the fact that some of his presentations are done right here in my home county, Volusia. His website notes that he’s been in several news articles. However, I haven’t found any yet, and I’m very good at finding material in the news archives. He’s mentioned on many different Christian and homeschooling websites but so far I’ve only found the same promotional hype that’s on his own website. If anyone happens across interesting information about him, let me know!
In posts I’ll tell you about some more new-to-me Florida creationists. My research never ends!