The Air at the Top of the Bottle

The Ullage Group header image 1

Moses Battles the Pterodactyls (9)

May 1st, 2009 · No Comments

[The flurry of activity that went into our event, “Medi-Vaudeville,” delayed the last installment of this talk on Darwinism.  Please do read the earlier parts; it’s all connected.]

If “BC” could introduce the Bible into the caveman cartoon, then, obviously, the next step is to introduce the caveman cartoon into the Bible.

So, busy theologians have been combing their scriptures for evidence that men and dinosaurs co-existed, thus reconciling the Bible, the fossil record, and “Alley Oop.”

To be specific: the Behemoth in Job (chapter 40) is now identified as a brachiosaurus.  The “fiery flying serpent” of Isaiah 30:6 is now a bioluminescent pterosaur.  And Biblical illustrations and dioramas now show the tyrannosaurus lumbering about the Garden of Eden, and Mr. and Mrs. Triceratops lining up for the ark.

According to a rather wonderful talk by John Goertzen, presented at the Midwestern Evangelical Theological Society Conference in 1998, Moses and the Israelites had to fight off pterodactyls as they fled Egypt.  Furthermore, pterodactyls survived on the ark, and only became extinct a few centuries ago.

Of course, Goertzen’s thesis is controversial, since some creationists insist pterodactyls are not extinct.  They call them “ropens,”and are now mounting expeditions to comb remote jungles for them.  And so the most dogmatic fundamentalism winds up yoked to the unorthodox speculations of cryptozoology.  What would Heuvelmans do?

I don’t know if Peter Piltdown will appear in the new 25 million dollar creationist museum in Kentucky, right outside Cincinnati.  I do know that the curator, Kenneth Ham, plans to, in his words, “take back the dinosaurs,” and to correct the poor scholarship of secular natural history museums, that place dinosaurs living millions of years before man, and don’t even address the issue of what the tyrannosaurus ate in the Garden of Eden.  The latest evidence is that he was vegetarian before the Fall.  I don’t know how this jibes with the doctrine equating vegetarianism with Satanism.  Obviously, scientists have work to do.

And now, evolution is simply not taught in many schools.  In some areas, it’s not officially prohibited, but teachers don’t want to take on angry parents by mentioning such a controversial subject.

Our politicians often don’t accept Darwinism — as they sometimes put it, “the jury is still out.”  Or at least that’s what they say.  I don’t think they’re real politicians, any more than Fred Flintstone was a real caveman.  They’re just mascots for the oil companies — like the bright green brontosaurus Sinclair used to post at its gas stations.  They’re here to reassure the faithful that God created them to rule the Earth; and that Jesus will soon fly down on his bioluminescent pterodactyl, riding his ropen, and turn all dead dinosaurs into gasoline, to bring our lumbering gas guzzlers back to life.

In 1989, the Post Office released a set of dinosaur stamps, including a lovely brontosaurus.  When scientists objected that this wasn’t accurate, the Post Office explained that most of their customers weren’t scientists.  As Edwin G. Conklin, a Princeton biology professor, observed at the height of the Scopes Trial, the popular idea, especially in politics, is “that one man’s opinion is as good as another’s on any subject whatever.”

In a democracy, ideas are accepted or rejected not necessarily according to evidence, or to verification, but to popularity.  And in a mercantile society, ideas are judged on profitability.

(Posted by Doug Skinner.  Happy bicentennial, Mr. Darwin…) 


Tags: Animals · Belief Systems · Eccentrics · Education · Forteana · Politics

0 responses so far ↓

  • There are no comments yet...penny for your thoughts.

Leave a Comment