Democracy Has Prevailed.

July 27, 2014

Walking With Dinosaurs - And Its Implications

I saw this on the TV a day or so ago:
There’s a fascination with what life was like when dinosaurs, not humans, ruled the land.

And for a short time, you can get a better idea of what that was like, when the arena is transported 10 million years back in time.
And then:
In “Walking with Dinosaurs’” live show, 20 dinosaurs interact with each other on the arena floor in a theatrical production that cost $20 million to create.

“We take you through the three periods dinosaurs ruled the Earth in their massiveness, the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous period,” said Walking with Dinosaurs spokesperson Terey Summers, “And it’s hosted by a character that is a paleontologist, Huxley.”
We need to fill in a few blanks.  From the "Walking With Dinosaurs" website:
IN 1999 the Walking with Dinosaurs TV series changed the way we saw dinosaurs forever. This revolutionary show took viewers right into the dinosaurs' world, showing them as if they were alive and filmed in the wild. It covered an amazing 155 million years of prehistory with the most cutting-edge technology ever seen on television.

Since then, the series has been seen by over 700 million people around the world. The Live Show was created in 2007 and has sold over 7m tickets in over 200 cities worldwide.
So that would be this BBC series from 1999:
Note: When the series was broadcast in the US, it was narrated by Avery Brooks.

The Triassic (252 to 201 million years ago), Jurassic (201 to 145 million years ago) and Cretaceous (145 to 60 million years ago) periods make up, as far as I know, the Mesozoic Era in Earth history.  The Mesozoic is the middle of the three eras of the Phanerozoic Eon; The Paleozoic (541 to 252 million years ago), The Mesozoic (252 to 60 million years ago) and The Cenozoic (60 million to the present).

Note to Kristine Sorensen: If "Walking With Dinosaurs" is a recreation, of sorts, of the Mesozoic, then you're off by between 242 and 50 million years when you used "10 million" years as a time frame.  You might wanna check something like that the next time you report a scientific fact.

But let's get back to the science.  The Phanerozoic is one of four eons;
  • Hadean (4.5 billion to 4 billion years ago)
  • Archaen (4 to 2.5 billion years ago)
  • Proterozoic (2.5 billion to 541 million years ago)
  • Phanerozoic (541 million years ago to the present time)
According to science, the Earth was formed about 4.5 billion years ago and, again according to science, human beings have been present on the Earth for only about 200,000 thousand of those years.

And how do we know the ages of things?  From the data accumulated via radiometric dating.  And that in itself is based on the science of radioactive decay discovered in the very late 19th century.  The general notion is that:
A chemical element consists of atoms with a specific number of protons in their nuclei but different atomic weights owing to variations in the number of neutrons. Atoms of the same element with differing atomic weights are called isotopes. Radioactive decay is a spontaneous process in which an isotope (the parent) loses particles from its nucleus to form an isotope of a new element (the daughter). The rate of decay is conveniently expressed in terms of an isotope's half-life, or the time it takes for one-half of a particular radioactive isotope in a sample to decay.
So if you know the ratio of the parent stuff and the daughter stuff you can work out the mathematics to determine how long it took one to turn into the other.

Of course back then our friends in the evolution science denier crowd had a problem with all the science found in the BBC series.  But then again they have a problem with all that non-biblical sciency stuff.

And that's a problem for all of us.  Consider how wrong Americans are on evolution.  From a recent Gallop Poll, when asked this question:
Which of the following statements comes closest to your views on the origin and development of human beings -- 1) Human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided this process, 2) Human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process, 3) God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so?
42% of those polled said 3) that God created human beings within the last 10,000 years ago, that we did not in any way evolve - despite all the science to the contrary.

In 2010 the National Center for Science Education issued a report that has some similarly frightening numbers.  For example, when asked whether this statement was true or fales:
Dinosaurs lived at the same time as people.
40% said it was true - despite all the science to the contrary.  I'll put it this way, if all those dinosaurs died out about 60 million years ago and human beings came into being only about 200 thousand years ago, then the time between now and the former is 300 times longer than all the time humans were on Earth.

300 times.  That's the same ratio as one foot is to an entire NFL football field (endzones not included, of course.)

And yet, 4 out of 10 Americans believe otherwise.  That's bad.  Very very bad.

Why is all this the case?  Perhaps this question gives us a clue.  According to the NCSE, when asked whether this statement is true:
The Bible describes the creation of life exactly as it occurred in six days.
Half said yes, it was.

I've written this before but I have to say it again: If we are a nation or a culture in decline, this has to be one of the reasons for it - our stubborn faith-based rejection of reason and science.


EdHeath said...

So are the Dinosaurs gonna have saddles? Are they? Are they?

Dayvoe said...

From what I saw on my TV, the answer would be NO. The "Walking With Dinosaurs" show looks to be in line with science.

I would guess that the literalists would WANT them to have saddles.

Maria Lupinacci said...

Why would the dinosaurs have saddles when they rode in the family car? See proof here.

Zeus0209 said...

Can we just get on with it and expedite them becoming oil please?