Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Dinosaur Hunt

Happy birthday, Justin! I am glad to have you for my brother.

Changing gears, one of the questions I was asked most often at Dallas Valley by my campers was, "Well, if all this stuff is true, what about dinosaurs?" Please note that hardly anyone asked about Evolution. They just wanted to know about dinosaurs. Anyway, I would answer that there are various popular views on this:

1. Dinosaurs are a hoax (generally not a good stand to take).
2. Dinosaurs and people coexisted. People survived the Great Flood, dinosaurs did not.
3. The days of creation weren't actually 24 hours days, but long eras. The dinosaurs lived in the "day" they were created and were dead by the time people were created.

In all these cases, dinosaurs are now dead, because textbooks tell us that they went extinct. I wish to propound to you now a different idea. Maybe dinosaurs AREN'T DEAD. And no, this is not a round-about way of insinuating that my brother is a monster.

My cousin brought up an interesting point on the loooong drive from Regina to Sylvan Lake. If iguanas were extinct today, we'd call them dinosaurs. Little herbivorous dinosaurs, maybe, but that's not the problem. The problem is that iguanas are still alive. Dinosaurs are bones in rock strata. Ergo, iguanas cannot be dinosaurs - at least, not until we kill them all. But if a dinosaur is just a "terrible lizard", dead OR alive, then an iguana pretty much qualifies as a dinosaur. Look at them:

And let's not forget about our friends the Komodo Dragons - given the way they devour their still-conscious prey, if anyone qualifies as a "terrible lizard", wouldn't it be them?

Well, maybe that wasn't the most terrifying picture. But you get the idea.

But let's shift gears again. If we assume that dinosaurs are not dead by definition, then do we have any evidence of living 70-million-years-ago-style dinosaurs, like the t-rex or triceratops? Brontosaurus, stegosaurus, plesiosaur, pterodactyl?

Well, yes. Granted, there's nothing undeniable. There have been claims of "dragon" sightings all throughout human history, well before the term "dinosaur" was coined and paleontologists told the world that giant lizard things ever existed. The Bible talks about the leviathan and the behemoth. Chinese history claims that their land had to be cleansed of "dragons" so that they could live there without fear of being eaten. Though apparently the inhabitants drank dragon fluids and such from time to time themselves. Fantastic myth or actual history? Their neighbours the Japanese caught what appeared to be a plesiosaur carcass about thirty years ago. However, there's supposedly a lot of evidence that it was just a decomposing shark. And nobody has proven the existence of either Nessie or the Ogopogo, or the many other purported lake monsters all over the world.

Dinosaur sightings and footprints in Africa don't seem to be exceedingly rare, but photographs of them are. Plus it just seems a little odd that animals the size of Mokele-mbembe could live without leaving more of a trail. And how long could a lake monster survive by itself? Wouldn't there have to be a whole family in there to keep themselves from dying out? Could a single lake really house that many without giving up any proof of them?

Or maybe there is proof, and it's just hidden away by the scientific community. When the line has been that dinosaurs all went extinct millions of years ago, it would be a blow to the ego to have to say "we were wrong". Not to mention, since dinosaurs are already extinct, no one tries to hunt them illegally, so cryptozoologists have motivation for keeping it all a myth.

Clearly, dinosaurs do not exist today in the numbers they once did, if they exist at all. But it does seem possible. The grandfather of a friend of mine was a trapper (or was it a hunter?) in BC. One can assume that he probably has quite a bit of knowledge regarding animal skeletons and carcasses. Yet, when, as a young man, he found a fresh but headless skeleton deep in the bush, he had no idea what it was. He did, however, find himself spooked enough that he told a ranger and tells people about it even now. Apparently it had plates all along its spine. And he's certainly not the only one in the BC/Alaska area to report unfossilized skeletons of what appear to be dinosaurs. Wouldn't that count as evidence?

While I myself have not seen a living dinosaur, I have found what I am convinced would be a wonderful dragon cave. I love dragons.

As a final aside, though some believe it would, I do NOT believe that the existence of dinosaurs today would in any way disprove or be evidence against modern scientific dating techniques. Finding living dinosaurs would not cast doubt on an old earth, only on the honesty of the scientific community in reporting all dinosaur finds. A few living dinosaurs now does not mean that a whole lot of them didn't die around the time scientists say they did.

"It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him." J. R. R. Tolkien

1 comment:

art said...

It is possible versions of the early dinosaurs are still alive. They are not plentiful but I also suspect if a scientist/researcher found a live large one, he would go all out to promote it as he would become uber famous. Unless the USA declared it a national security issue, I would image the news would get out.

I do think there are people who believe the whole dinosaur thing is a huge conspiracy to supposedly undermine the Bible.