Sunbeam Hot Springs is a geothermally influenced spring located near Stanley, Idaho. Water emerges at the main vent at 72 degrees C (162 F) as it runs downhill before crossing under a highway and entering the Salmon River. Because I was working periodically in the area between October 2000 and April 2002, I had five seasonal opportunities to sample the aquatic organisms. In total, I found seven taxa of invertebrates, including five kinds of insects, one kind of water mite, and one kind of seed shrimp. Total density estimates ranged from 86-186 organisms/m2.
I started sampling before I had read anything on hot springs in the scientific literature. After the first collecting trip, I did some research and discovered that I should not have found any invertebrates. To my surprise, a scientific article stated flatly that, in hot springs, “(N)o insect lives above 50 degrees C. (122 F)” (1)
On subsequent visits I rechecked my work, took more thorough temperature measurements to rule out possible explanations, and decided that I had, indeed, found an entire community of insects living at temperatures ranging from 52-58 degrees C.
I presented my findings at a scientific meeting in June 2004. After the presentation the comments of the audience were enlightening – not because they shed more light on my studies in the hot springs, but because they showed an interesting aspect of human behavior.
Several scientists, including a university professor, told me that they had previously read Dr. Pritchard’s article and had since neglected collecting organisms in any hot springs where temperatures exceeded 50 degrees C. They presumed those springs would be lifeless. Because I had not read Dr. Pritchard’s article, I didn’t know that my collecting should be futile.
This observation is parallel to the evolutionary indoctrination going on in our mainstream education system. Thanks to evolutionary propaganda, many students who might naturally conclude there is a Creator-God, have foregone belief in Creation only because its honest teaching is excluded from the curriculum.
(1) Pritchard, 1991, “Insects in Thermal Springs.” Memoirs of the Entomological Society of Canada
Originally published in the May/June 2005 issue of Think and Believe.