Howdy. Calling your attention to an excellent Darren Naish article in Scientific American.
Let it be noted that this is how one throws shade in the scientific community. This is the exact way, letter for letter. Enjoy.
Howdy. Calling your attention to an excellent Darren Naish article in Scientific American.
Let it be noted that this is how one throws shade in the scientific community. This is the exact way, letter for letter. Enjoy.
Conservative Dinosaur Readiness advocates, I present you with:
Alright, this goofy post took me (seriously, no joke) three weeks to put together due to technical challenges, artistic challenges, and constant paranoia of IMMINENT DINOSAUR DESTRUCTION. So you better enjoy it and tweet about it or facebook it or whatever.
Much thanks to Ryan Martin for his work on this post.
Hello. Editor here. I am looking for experts to add input on articles on the subjects of Whale Biology and Professional Wrestling. Are you the person I need to be talking to? Hit me up! Let me know your specialty and credentials. THESE ARE PRO-MAMMAL ARTICLES. NO DINOSAUR LOVERS.
<3 <3 Thanks!
Did you forget about dinosaurs and all that? I suppose that can happen when I don’t stoke the fires of anti-dinosaur fear rhetoric for a month. Well, my ability to survive the snow with my fur and warm blood and social intelligence spurred me back to action, and I come tolling the bell of remembrance for those mammals that survived to beget our great, dinosaur-free society.
Recently a discovery has been made by science-types that really illustrates the struggle of mammals during the tyranny of dinosaur rule. Scientists discovered a muddy imprint fossil that shows three footprint tracks: a dinosaur, a reptile, and a mammal. The footprints lead to a riverbank where the three likely went to drink.
The discovery fills in a bit of the mammal narrative that has been forgotten all these long years. You might interpret these prints as three creatures going about their business but I see something far harsher. This fossil tells the story of a mammal sneaking a drink of life sustaining water in a world dominated by terrifying dinosaurs that outweighed it by hundreds of times, and reptiles that were diverse enough to glide around the skies and hunt through the ocean depths. This was an ancestor of ours. A ferret of freedom. A weasel of the future. It lived in a world of tyranny and fear.
You see, people like to forget about the fact that mammals came up on the wrong side of the Cretaceous extinction event. We didn’t have it easy. Mammals had no safety on the surface of the earth. We had to burrow and hide for millions of years. We had to survive on what the dinosaurs left to be scavenged. We had to wait until, by a stroke of luck, those tyrants died of something that didn’t happen to kill us.
There are some people who would tell you that mammal survival is a bootstrap narrative. That we worked hard, and gained dominance of this planet through long hours and thankless labor. That is not true. One day, a rock literally fell from the sky and killed those ancient selfish tyrant lizards, and then we got a chance to grow among the ashes. The tyrannical monsters who controlled all of the safety and resources on the surface of the Earth died because they couldn’t adapt to living with nothing, like they had forced us to do.
It’s easy these days to think about dinosaurs as a has-been threat, a boogie monster from long ago. But we must never forget the valiant struggles of the mammalian race. You’ll find the story is very familiar.
Take heart as you remember the struggle for resources in a land ruled by ancient, seemingly invincible tyrants; remember that you are still capable of burrowing and waiting. It is your mammal heritage, to burrow and wait. Sometimes burrowing and waiting is all you will have. When tyrants hold all the lush green wealth of the Earth, it is impossible to distribute it in any way that makes sense, while they still live. And those tyrants will try to draw you out of your burrow, they will try to claim they represent evolutionary progress. They will tell you there is plenty of room in the world, but you have to remember that they want to eat you. They want to gobble you up whole and forget you ever existed. That’s what tyrants do.
Dig and wait. You may never be granted your karmic retribution space rock, but at least they won’t eat you and you can develop social intelligence and creativity and all the other shit those resource hoarding tyrants miss out on. I mean, when you get down to it, they’re just a bunch of dinosaurs, anyway.
Subscribe! Who knows, maybe I’ll post again.
Rhinorex. Dreadnoughtus. Kryptodrakon. Are these the awesome XBOX Live handles of your teenaged cousin? No. They are names of newly discovered prehistoric monsters.
Listen up, scientists. You need to stop naming dinosaurs such cool things. I know you feel underappreciated and you want your work to be recognized, but think of the children. Children are already exposed to enough pro-dinosaur rhetoric as it is. Why do you insist on naming dinosaurs such cool things? Are you trying to make children idolize dinosaurs? Are you cigarette salesmen? Is the next sauropod discovery going to be Joecamelsaurus?
“But Editor,” I bet you’re saying out loud to the screen, “We have to name dinosaurs something. If you’re so smart, why don’t you name them for us.”
GLAD YOU ASKED, SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY!
What follows is a list of suggested uncool names for future dinosaur discoveries.
Humilisaurus “Low Self-Esteem Lizard”
Bromolentus “The Stinking Lazy One”
Oscularisordidosaurus “The Sloppy Kissing Lizard”
Deinohalitus “Terrible Breath”
Donald Rumsfeld “Donald Rumsfeld”
Redditophaganax “Internet Shit Eating Master”
Praetereoceratops “Totally Skippable Horned Face”
Hoobastankomimus “Emo Mimic”
Molestanasaurus “Boring Duck Lizard”
Weepydontis “Weepy Toothed”
I want to impress upon you, scientists, your responsibility to the people in making sure these names are used. No more Harry Potter references. No more “super best most awesome lizard king” bullshit Latin names, just because they sound cool. Name dinosaurs responsibly.
Triceratops is one of the most recognizable dinosaurs. It is frequently cited by misguided children as their “favorite dinosaur” (ugh). But Triceratops really doesn’t need any more ego boosting. Its head is already huge. And what does it do with all of its success and popularity? It mocks you. Triceratops is mocking you because it thinks it is better than you. Let’s consider all the ways it is flaunting its good fortune over humanity.
Are you walking around with a label on your shirt that says something about your clothes company or brewery being established some time in the last millennia? Jeez, no wonder Triceratops is so smug. While you walk around acting like the survival of a college since 1809 is some great accomplishment, Triceratops is gloating over a reign of 2 million years. Closing out the age of dinosaurs, on top of that.
So yeah, don’t go around posting that your bar was established in 2010 and expecting Triceratops to be impressed. For one, its tiny brain couldn’t understand the concept of things being established for calendar years that are labeled with written language. But more importantly, your accomplishment is stupidly insignificant compared to ceratopsian longevity.
Triceratops is also laughing at you because of your useless wuss friends. Your friends would suggest that they ‘have your back for real, bro’, but they are puny worthless cowards compared to Triceratops friends.
If you got in trouble with the drug cartels, would your buddies fight the gangsters with you? No. No, they would not. They would sit there chewing on kale chips and watching netflix and casually feigning concern.
Now imagine that the gangsters were Tyrannosaurs. Triceratops friends were all over that shit. They would travel and feed in groups and take on Tyrannosaurs like it was routine. That’s why Triceratops is so friggin’ self righteous about everything, and why it laughs at you every time you have trouble finding a friend willing to drive you home from dental surgery.
There is nothing more easily mocked by Triceratops than a human gun rights protester.
Human gun rights protesters go to Tim Horton’s in awkward groups of fourteen or so, trying to hold homemade signs about “Pry This From My Cold Dead Hands, ‘Bama” while brandishing squirrel poppin’ guns. Or maybe they stand out on the town hall lawn of a town that barely requires a hall to govern, and wave around vaguely legal assault weaponry while chanting about snakes that are unhappy about being stepped on. Does that behavior suggest confidence to you?
Because Triceratops did not require a Tim Horton’s as a stage for its weapons displays. Triceratops was so IN-YOUR-FACE with its weaponry, that it literally wore them on its face. Constantly. Triceratops was so confident with weapons that scientists argue whether the gun rack on its head actually mattered for self defense at all, or if it was just there for sex appeal and the cool factor.
The literal cool factor, I mean. It might have functioned to regulate body temperature. But anyway, the point is Triceratops did not give a fuck on such a scale that makes Charlton Heston seem like he was basically ambivalent on the gun question.
Okay, well maybe you figure that people don’t need to be tough survivor-fighter types. Maybe you figure that humans can take the moral high ground, with our advanced simian social support systems.
Wrong again, stupid monkey.
Here in the United States, human beings can’t even agree that maternity leave from full-time employment is a thing that should exist. Ceratopsians not only protected their young, they may have done so communally. Triceratops females may have even worked together to protect juveniles.
Now, remember, a juvenile Triceratops also had giant horns and was far from defenseless. Compare this to the way humans send unarmed, squishy youths to violent drug-ridden public schools, and then try them as adults in court when they end up assaulting people. And you wonder why Triceratops has a chip on its shoulder.
Triceratops spent its time roving the plains, eating whatever looked good, fighting crazy monsters, and competing for sexual attention. Just roamin’, chillaxin’, ballin’. Living the dream.
Look at you. You have nothing but restrictions on your time. When was the last time you had any freedom whatsoever? You have to decide whether or not you can afford to spend $3 to put chicken on your salad at T.G.I. Fridays, because you are not sure you’ll be able to make your $335 student loan payment if you do.
Do you think Triceratops ever worried about that? No. It did whatever the hell it wanted. It didn’t order salad off of menus, the whole world was its salad. And if Sallie Mae had been around to try and restrict the disbursement of that salad, it would have ended up trampled and gored.
There’s really no question why Triceratops is mocking you, humanity. #sorrynotsorrytops
Thanks for reading. Subscribe here, or don’t. Triceratops didn’t subscribe. You could send me a note, but Triceratops never writes. When are you going to stop measuring your accomplishments by those of a 65 million years dead ceratopsian?
It’s like a cheesy clip show on a variety hour, except paranoid.
Happy 1st Anniversary, Conservative Dinosaur Readiness Movement. Dinosaurs! WTF? turned one year old this summer. And with all the dinosaur hatred it has spread, all the paranoia it has exacerbated, and all of the hilariously classy woodcuts it has spawned, I cannot say I have any regrets. Except that I don’t have a book deal yet.
This post is a post of celebration. I will be celebrating the great collaborations sent in by the Conservative Dinosaur Readiness Movement and its supporters by naming my favorite community contributions. There will also be a delightful photo section of all of the disturbing, godless tributes to dinosaurs I have found in my year long expedition to route out all of the dinosaur sympathizers in our society.
But let’s not forget this blog’s humble beginnings as a phony newsletter I sent to my friend Cheryl. Here is a photo for those of you who have never stopped by my office.
Wow, what a piece of crap. How far we have come.
Now, on to the Movement supporters who need to be recognized and possibly incarcerated.
Anyone who wins a Comment of the Year is entitled to a free home raptor proofing evaluation. Send me an email to collect your prize.
Most Ethically Correct Comment of the Year
HAWK of Madscience
“The important question is: “Does [Therizinosaurus] still taste like chicken?” I’ll agree that he is coming to kill us all, but I’m building a barbecue for the 6′ chicken legs.”
Thanks, Hawk, collect your prize. Check out Hawk’s blog for some equally WTF science commentary.
Most Openly Insane Comment of the Year
Hitsu123 from parts unknown
I just wanted to say that your defense teachings recently saved my life, as well as my friend’s. A few hours ago after reading this manual, I was attacked by three Coral-Striped Utah Raptors whilst walking to my University’s Library. We were surrounded and shocked at their sheer speed and, as you said, they got the high ground on us before we knew we were being attacked…”
Full comment here.
Thanks, Hitsu. This comment was really weird. Collect your prize.
Most Inappropriately Analytical Comment of the Year
Matthew Hecht from Outsurvive
“4) [The Land Before Time migration] is a metaphor for seeking religion (going towards the sun), and they are feuding with other species is a metaphor for fighting like Baptist vs. Methodist fighting and Catholic vs. Protestant. Sharptooth is Satanic attacks. Bluth actually uses deep morals designed to change his audience.”
Full comment here. It’s a doozy.
Thanks, Matt. Read more of Matthew Hechts’s weird analysis of kid’s movies here, on his blog. Collect your prize.
There are also some regular contributors who need to be recognized.
Will Moore contributed a great deal to this site through his motivation and excellent cartoons. This is my favorite of his works. Thanks Will.
Ryan Martin has contributed to the promotion of this blog as well as the collection of classy woodcuts that define this site’s look. This is one of my favorites of his designs. Thanks Ryan.
Rachel Baker has contributed to the marketing and cafepress work on this site. She designed this site’s layout and helped me learn how to code for wordpress. Thanks Rachel.
Marten Dollinger has written a few articles for this site, including the last one about crows being idiots. He’s also recommended articles and helped me edit in the past. Thanks, Marten.
Finally, thanks to all of you who have shown your support by reading, subscribing, and sharing.
Here’s to another year of telling dinosaurs they can’t have our planet back yet. Now, play this song in the background while you scan through these pictures.
Caledonian Crows are all the talk of avian studies, lately; they’ve been observed to use tools and make inferences. However, a team of psychologists recently discovered an important flaw in crows’, and consequently dinosaurs’, thought process: they cannot come up with a novel behavior after watching some simple cause and effect reactions. This particular leg-up on the birds is fantastic news for the movement, since 70 percent of even the smallest and squishiest of humans can do that. Also, when the dinosaur apocalypse comes, that figure will likely rise to 100 percent due to natural selection.
What the heck does that even mean, you ask? Well, the experiment was pretty simple. The scientist set up a chain reaction in which dominos knock over a rock, which falls on a see-saw, which gives the subject a treat. The crows are pretty bright, they could easily figure out to start knocking over dominos. The next part was to give the birds and humans a version of the chain reaction that doesn’t have the dominos after observing the chain-reaction one several times. Toddlers worked out they could just drop the rock straight in and not have any need for all those dominos. The birds were lost without the domino effect, one just picked up the rock, put it down, and then flew away and cried tiny bird tears, longing for the simple observed dominos that made it feel so smart.
Now, to turn this meaningful study into some actionable advice: incorporate Rube Goldberg contraptions into the raptor-proofing methods you already apply to your own home. We have covered the basics of raptor-proofing before, but these can be greatly improved upon by adding a layer of complexity that dastardly theropods may think they can navigate. They’ll watch the springs and wires and counterweights interact that allow you safe passage into your fortified structure, and think they can get the drop on you like they did poor Muldoon. Meanwhile, you’ll remove an integral piece of the system, and they’ll get dropped into one of your many spike pits instead. Clever girl, indeed.
Update: do NOT incorporate a moat into your defenses. It might take them a while, but it’s only a matter of time before the raptors figure out how to roll boulders into it, flood your entire bunker, and devour you like so many Goldfish brand cheddar crackers.
Yeah okay I know this post is late, I’ve been working on my Master’s thesis. Cut me some slack. Anyway.
Today, in a follow up to our last article, we’ll be tackling the history of Young Earth Creationism. As you’ve seen from our constant analysis of dinosaurs, it is often useful to understand the history of the adversaries of humankind. And these folks are DEFINITELY adversaries of humanity. So let us examine Young Earth Creationism and how this movement has been completely wrong through history.
Young Earth Creationists generally believe in an estimate of the Earth’s age based on the chronology works of a nice Irish Archbishop named Ussher. In the 1600’s, Ussher guesstimated that the Earth was created on October 23, 4004 BC based on the Bible and what was known about ancient history at the time. His calculation was based on a nice even thousand years between the Temple of Solomon and the birth of Jesus Christ, that led to a nice even three thousand between Creation and the Temple. He basically used the Bible as a crossword puzzle to determine the age of the Earth. The numbers were sort of elegant, so they sort of made sense.
The problem wasn’t that Ussher was a bad scholar or something, he was just using the wrong source material. Instead of studying the Earth to learn about the Earth, he studied historical accounts and the Bible. You need to study the source material in order to learn about something. You wouldn’t use a TV Guide from 1995 to learn the age of the Earth, either. You read the 1995 TV guide for what was on TV in 1995. And you read the Bible for poetry, violence, and astoundingly bad advice.
The YEC movement is not new. While the Earth’s age was anyone’s guess for a long time, the modern debate (and thus the modern YEC movement) got going in the 19th century, when a new scientific field, Geology (at the time called ‘Undergroundology’… yeah, I know) began seriously contradicting literal “interpretations” of the Biblical book of Genesis. Geology’s findings suggested that the Earth was incredibly ancient, magnitudes older than the accepted estimates of the time. Some people disagreed, and thus the YEC movement was born.
Young Earth Creationists did not understand that they weren’t just wrong, like you might be wrong about predicting a World Cup, but that they were painfully mistaken based on even the most casual observation of a large hole in the ground. Looking at a deep hole in the ground, one can find evidence of the past, and it is generally arranged in chronological order. And stuff from the time of Solomon is nowhere near the middle. It is very near the top. There are layers and layers of dirt and rock and evidence beneath that time’s artifacts. Thus, the Ussher estimate is wrong. Very simple.
But gosh, what if you don’t want to dig the hole? Well thankfully, erosion will dig it for you! Just go to a gorge or a canyon! And then look at the dirt. With your eyes.
The “looking at dirt with eyes” method convinced most people of the age of the Earth (at least as far as ‘really old’ verses ‘grandpa might remember’) within about two generations. Oh, but there were still hold outs. And the dead-cat-bounce of these hold out factions are what we are witnessing today.
The modern YEC movement is still directly tied to Ussher’s work, except they are no longer Irish Catholic for the most part (6000 years isn’t enough time to store up that much lingering guilt, right guys?). They have added new beliefs, mostly to try and argue against the overwhelming scientific and immediately observable evidence against their claims.
For example, for a long time, the YEC was trying to suggest that fossils were placed in the Earth by Satan, as a hilarious trick to fool humanity. And that’s why they suggest the process of evolution. Satan is really clever, I wouldn’t put that past him. But now, the YEC suggests things like “fossilization is actually really fast” and “micro-evolution exists, but not macro-evolution”. That’s probably because the modern human mind, when presented with the solutions to the natural world’s questions by science, grasps the logic of basic science very quickly. And that basic understanding is all a person needs to disprove Creationism.
Similar to the “look at ground with eyes” method, basic understanding of the science anywhere is just as good at coming to the conclusion that YEC is wrong. For example, plate tectonics are easy to understand, easy to measure, and if you live in California, you can go and see it in action on a long weekend. Comparison of what’s found on the land of either side of the Earth shows that the continents were once linked, and if you combine that knowledge with the speed at which continents move, bingo. You know YEC must be wrong.
I was taught that lesson in 2nd grade with play-dough and a jigsaw puzzle. By a nun. Simple stuff.
So when you see an Australian Evangelical arguing with Bill Nye on TV, remember that you are watching a guy who denies the basic observable reality in which he lives for an outdated slipshod history written by a bored monk in the 1600’s. And that his arguments can be disproven by children and nuns and anyone with the most basic understanding of modern logic.
In this installment of “We Need to Have a Talk”, we will be discussing Young Earth Creationism. And it will not be nice.
Continuing the trend of interesting comments this site has received lately (many of which will be honored in the awards later this month), I have finally gotten a comment that I have long been anticipating.
“We YEC’ers are slightly harder to the right wing than you you you right-evo-whatever people. We like you though you’re wrong. Which means that not only are we as pro-dinosaur as you or more, we are also far more inclined to actually take the threat you pose of re-emerging dinosaurs more seriously, BECAUSE!! … well, because those doggone dinosaurs (A.K.A. Dragons) are still out there, lurking in the boondocks of the earth, in places like the Congo and New Guinea and Northern Australia, terrorizing natives, killing cattle, and studying creationism too (I guess … I mean, why not?). So not only are they out there, but they must also be coming here – to kill – and they won’t be killed. So amen and watch your backs for the Rapts. Yeah.”
Some readers have mentioned that this comment seems like a joke. Sure, it could be. Seeing as this is a totally legitimate political blog, I find that highly unlikely. But more convincingly, the rhetoric of this comment matches the actual beliefs of Young Earth Creationism. And I would like to share some thoughts on those.
So to start, for all of the honest-to-God, actually hardcore Conservative Young Earth Creationists out there: The dinosaurs that I describe in this blog, this totally serious and non-satirical blog that is in no way a blatant parody of conservative paranoia, ARE EXTINCT.
I am not talking about Coelacanths. I am not talking about Emus. I am talking about Animalia– Chordata– Dinosauramorpha– Dinosauriforms– Dinosaurs. They went extinct nearly 65 million years ago, nearly 11 thousand times the Young Earth Creationist’s ENTIRE PERCEPTION OF TIME ITSELF ago.
Dinosaurs are extinct, and in Young Earth Creationism’s consciousness of the Earth, if it can even be described as such, extinction barely exists. Young Earth Creationism’s historical perspective cannot grasp the causality of things on a level that allows for numbers beyond the ten thousands. Young Earth Creationism cannot allow for history beyond 400 generations, much less natural history. Dinosaurs are not dragons, which also do not exist. Perhaps this was confusion of reality with the 2002 film Reign of Fire.
And it is in this rigid, infantile world consciousness that Young Earth Creationism is mired and will remain.
Modern Young Earth Creationism denies the plainly observable world in favor of a make-believe history in which the racist Bible cartoons from Catholic school parade around with graphics stolen from Jurassic Park. Young Earth Creationism claims that their views on the origins of the planet are eyewitness accounts from God, that the King James Bible is the word of the Lord (dictated not read).
There are no primary sources in the Bible, unless you dismiss the fact that it has been translated dozens of times before reaching an English readership. Saving that, the only primary sources in the Bible are some reasonably sexy poems and a number of highly dubious letters. Suggesting that Genesis holds an eyewitness account of anything, particularly the backwards carnival ride suggested by YEC authorities, is either deception or ignorance.
Young Earth Creationism would have you believe that the Earth is younger than the domestication of cats. Young Earth Creationism would have you believe that the 12,800 pound bite of a Tyrannosaurus Rex was used for eating salad. Young Earth Creationism would like to use a book that explains with excruciating detail the correct process of branding slaves and selling daughters into bondage as the standard text for scientific education.
So no, Young Earth Creationism. Young Earth Creationists are not pro-dinosaur. They do not comprehend what a dinosaur is. Young Earth Creationists are not conservative. They live an ignorant and harmful fantasy that they are trying to force on the public. This is highlighted by the possibility that a person with Young Earth Creationist views would attempt to engage this website in factual debate. The Young Earth Creationist concept of the world is garbage. Thanks for writing in.
Join me next week for “Young Earth Creationism: A Brief History of Wrong.”