What have we missed about the time of the dinosaurs? How did it start and end?

18 Apr

God said, “Let there be light.”  He proceeded to create the Earth, the land and seas, plants, trees, and some damn beautiful scenery.  (Of course He had a few naps in between.)
And then God said, “Let there be dinosaurs.  One week is a harsh schedule and I deserve a break to play with them before Lucifer’s sudden yet inevitable betrayal.  Besides, it’ll really screw with the Young Earth Creationists.”
So God was a few billion years late with Adam and Eve, but He thought it was totally worth it.
The dinosaurs lived in a rich and prosperous land, they had everything going for them.  Near-unlimited space, untouched resources, unspoilt landscapes.  We often paint pictures of the Jurassic era as a harsh and cruel time with a bunch of stupid monsters lurching about and fighting, but nothing could be further from the truth.
The reality is, dinosaurs were a lot more intelligent than we give them credit for.  Many lacked opposable thumbs but this didn’t hamper their mental faculties, which had no shortage of stimulation in that fresh environment.  Dinosaurs were the first to use tools, mainly wooden so they did not fossilise.  (The very few petrified wood objects that survive are incorrectly attributed to Neanderthal man, who was far too busy farting around with rocks to do anything useful for several millennia.)
The T-Rex set himself apart as the top of the food chain, using his short little arms with amazing precision and fine-motor skill.  Together with their smaller velociraptor cousins they did what any intelligent carnivorous species does; create meat farms from smaller and stupider species for breeding foodstuffs.  It is likely that iguanodon were used as the cattle of choice, being fleshy herbivores.
We have always been told that a society which eliminates the day-to-day struggle for survival earns free time to think and develop.  The Egyptians made time for pyramids and deities, the Greeks for medicine, and the Romans for war.  As for the dinosaurs?  They found philosophy.
At first everything seemed so simple for them.  I think, therefore I am.  It seemed so obvious that the world they lived in was free and easy, it must have been designed for them.  Yet as that thought dawned, they began to wonder… Why?  Are we just toys for some cruel creator to play with?  What is there to wait for in life?  What more lies in store other than an empty day of munching on trees, or munching an iguanadon and putting the wind up the Neanderthals for a laugh?
Jesus wasn’t due for billions of years.  Religion hadn’t been invented yet, so there was no light at the end of the tunnel, no hope.  The dinosaurs spiralled into nihilism.
Eventually all of the civilised species got together to form a pact.  They saw no point in living, so collected all the poisonous plants they could find and organised a mass suicide.  Over the course of just a few weeks, all of the highly intelligent life on Earth wiped itself out.
On the bright side, it left the Neanderthals to move up the food chain.
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Posted by on April 18, 2010 in How?, What?, When?


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