Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dinosaurs and Evolution

(Originally posted March 30, 2011)

When I was little I remember wanting nothing more than to be a paleontologist when I grew up. I wanted to travel the world always on the verge of my next big discovery. I gathered all the dinosaur books I could find and filled my little head with as much knowledge as I could gather as fast as I could read. I was probably the only nine-year old not only able to repeatedly pronounce correctly Styracosaurus, Ornithomimus, and Deinonychus but also tell you the differences between each. Remember that annoying kid in the first Jurassic Park movie? That was ME!

Life is funny though and takes us on a variety of unexpected turns. I was soon introduced to Indiana Jones and I fell in love with another “ology;” Archeology. Well to make a long story short I went to school and got a degree in Religious Studies and have often felt more part Indiana Jones than Alan Grant. What never went away was that affection for those big ancient lizards.

Recently I was watching a Bill Hicks routine and he was questioning a fundamentalist Christian with a one-word question: Dinosaurs. If you haven’t seen this clip, scroll down, watch, and then come back. See wasn’t that great? So after watching the genius man at work I began to get curious. How developed are these Creationist explanations for Dinosaurs specifically and Evolution in general? Wouldn’t you know it; there are indeed people like that! Wow.

(I’ll post links at the end of this post.)

This is one of my main problems with the Bible or any other sacred text older than yesterday’s newspaper.  It doesn’t lend itself well to a literal reading. If a literal account is taken then the world was created thousands of years ago according to the creation stories in Genesis (yes Virginia there is more than one).  However that doesn’t seem to jive very well with the mountains of data (pun intended) and scientific literature that has come in the last few centuries not to mention common sense. So what do these literalists do in the face of such seemingly incontrovertible evidence of time’s passage like the sun, rocks, trees, and their very own genetics? Well it’s just put there to test our faith they say!


Really people?  Seriously?  

Dinosaurs and Man existed side by side.  The reason their fossils aren’t found together is because God erased all of mankind during the Flood. He destroyed people and all evidence of them, duh! And even if he didn’t the Flood was enough to mix things up and keep humans from being found with dinosaurs I mean with all the sediment deposited that is just clear as day right? We crazy evolutionists are just a bunch of silly misguided heathens. No one was ALIVE back then, so no one can concretely say that Dino and Man didn’t hang out in a Flintstonesque world.

Umm…except science can.

But let’s set that aside for now because the point is not in being wrong or right, but rather in choosing to be wrong or right, in light of all the evidence. Now to be fair a Creationist may say the exact same thing about us. If we lived in a world where there were no rules but those written down by a small sect of desert nomads millennia ago where magic and mystery reigned then yes I would be the first to say we Evolutionists are fucked. However fairy tales are what our writers and artists dabble in, not our scientists. At least not when trying to figure out how things work. The sun is a big ball of gas (fine, plasma) and not a chariot on fire after all.  Or is it?

Regardless of the answer I propose then in the spirit of conciliatory dialogue the following image of the world’s first Dinosaur identified and the first man according to Genesis. I lovingly call them Adam and Steve.

(Oh yeah those links I promised: Silliness here and here.)

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