Nonsense debate on living dinosaurs at Utah college

Color me confused by this article on a talk that was given at Utah Valley University.

A debate 65 million years in the making – UVU Review.

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.

sirrush
The piece ends with this:

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

For more on Creationism, cryptozoology and the Mokele-Mbembe, buy this book. Now. Do it! Click the cover to buy through DN Amazon affiliates program. You won’t be sorry.

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  8 comments for “Nonsense debate on living dinosaurs at Utah college

  1. Graham
    November 20, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    I’d blame postmodernism and it’s claim that there are no facts and that any empirical truth is simply a matter of personal opinion. In this quote from Coast to Coast one Mark Hazlewood uses terms that mean completely different things to describe the same object as if they were synonymous terms

    “So instead of orbiting around one sun or the other, this-this rogue planet, failed star, uh brown dwarf if you will…”

    (Source: http://podcast.sjrdesign.net/shownotes_080.php)

    In an earlier episode of the Exposing PseudoAstronomy podcast another new ager is quoted as referring to the Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy as a ‘solar system’ and as the ‘Sagittarius Dwarf Universe’ again the implication is that the person quoted thought that all three terms, Galaxy, Solar System and Universe were synonymous.

    See: (http://podcast.sjrdesign.net/shownotes_042.php), the clip only appears in the actual episode.

  2. November 20, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    Here is my take on the ‘debate’ about living dinosaurs;

    Faux Scientist: “Dinosaurs still exist today!”

    Real Scientist: “No they don’t. Every piece of evidence we have says they died out 65 million years ago.”

    Faux Scientist: “Okay, maybe they don’t exist. But Bigfoot is still real, right?”

    Real Scientist: “(Sigh and/or Facepalm)”

  3. November 20, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    “…history of natives being coerced into telling such stories to entertain visiting tourists and explorers.” Financial incentives (not to mention pranking and attention seeking) have always been a source of misleading stories told to outsiders, (not to mention mistranslations) and still are, even in the US. Willow Creek, CA, home of Bigfoot, comes to mind, as do the various tribal persons who claim to have knowledge of Sasquatches.

  4. Harold Renshaw
    November 20, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    I think they offer a major in Phlogiston Theory, too. Utah is very progressive – if you are moving backwards.

  5. November 20, 2013 at 9:11 PM

    Being a resident of Utah, I must disagree with you Harold. You may, of course, offer some personal knowledge to prove me wrong. Until then, I’d have to say you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Should you point at Mr. Stewart, well, there are always exceptions: http://www.uvu.edu/profpages/profiles/show/user_id/9691

  6. Harold Renshaw
    November 21, 2013 at 6:19 AM

    You are correct, Karl, I condemned a whole based on a part. Unfortunately, it’s Fox News logic and I thought I was immune.

  7. Brian
    November 21, 2013 at 8:37 AM

    I think it’s more akin to “I have no idea what the hell I am talking about, so fill in with crayon like it’s an edition of mad libs”. You then can ascribe any truth you want to whatever gobbledey gook coming out of someone’ smooth.

    It’s why there are so many stupid experts, and not much any real intelligence any more.

  8. December 19, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    There are lots of living dinosaurs. We call them birds.

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