Color me confused by this article on a talk that was given at Utah Valley University.
The “Surviving Dinosaurs in Africa” lecture held on November 12, featured paleontologist Dr. Paul Bybee and folklorist Danny Stewart, both UVU professors, going head-to-head in a debate of the likelihood of dinosaurs still roaming the earth.
Stewart started the discussion with the folklore side of surviving dinosaurs. The stories he told are mostly out a region in Congo, where there are over 20,000 dinosaur-like creature sightings recorded.
Stewart defined folklore as specific to the area, although he does address several variations on different fantastic beasts all coming from the same South African region.
“The scientific method has a hypothesis,” said Stewart. “I see folklore, fantasy and mythology as synonyms of hypothesis.”
What? No, folklore, fantasy and mythology are in no way synonyms of hypothesis. I have no idea why he would say that. I can’t tell if this is taken seriously or not. The Mokele-mbembe has no basis in reality, is unsupported by several branches of science and is not even great folklore since there is a history of natives being coerced into telling such stories to entertain visiting tourists and explorers. The myth of still living dinosaurs has been propagated by Creationists as if the finding of such animals would irreparably damage Evolution (it wouldn’t). I can’t tell if THAT was mentioned in the talk but it didn’t come to the attention of the reviewer.
Stewart admits it’s just as story with nothing to back it up so why is this a “debate”? There is no debate. To me this is a case of elevating a ridiculous idea to an equal platform with actual science and I disagree that is a good idea. If it had been a folklore talk, that might be different but this article frames it as a debate which may make students think there is something to it.
Besides that giant error, there is a misrepresentation of the Sirrush of the Ishtar gate of Babylon in this piece as it is stated that this depicts a dinosaur.
The idea of dinosaurs still roaming the earth was left up for debate, whether they are hiding in the Congo or swimming in Loch Ness.
UGH! Completely awful stuff. It’s annoying that this kind of talk even happened – it just spreads nonsense ideas that don’t deserve a platform.
Check out the comments on Cryptomundo agreeing with how ridiculous these professors sound:
As the resident Mokele-mbembe investigator on this forum I have to ask where the heck did this guy get the 20,000 witnesses from? I am flabbergasted that he would hypothesize that the Sirrush of the Ishtar Gate in Babylon and Mokele-mbmbe are one and the same. Dream on. They look nothing like each other. – John Kirk
The professor responds that they were misquoted. Still, what a mess.
Tip: Jeb Card
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