And her name was…Karen?


Way to lean in hard into the stereotypes, Karen from Texas. She has written a two-part column for the Orange Leader, a newspaper in Texas, and the editor accepted it, which tells you the paper has no standards.

It’s interesting because I’m sure that if you asked her, she would tell you that she worked hard on this essay, doing lots of “research”, or rather, her idea of research. I can tell how she approached it: she started with an a priori commitment to the idea that dinosaurs and humans coexisted, fired up Google, and searched for stories that affirmed her belief, and then packaged up a list of anecdotes and sent it in. This is not research. That’s not how any of this works.

Every semester I get assigned a group of students to shepherd through a senior thesis assignment. I always tell them the first thing to do is ask a question, and that the purpose of their research is to explore the world of potential answers that have been discussed in the scientific literature, and compose a synthesis of the information from quality sources to suggest the most likely answer. Along the way, they are supposed to discuss how those answers were reached and assess the methods used.

For instance, if Karen were to phrase this as “Did dinosaurs and humans live at the same time?”, well, it’s a silly question because that’s been definitively answered with a strong “no”, but if it were asked sincerely and she reviewed the breadth of the good literature honestly, she might learn something. She did not. All of her “research” was focused on gleaning the minority response of “yes”, and she never cared that she only got that answer from low quality sources at the bottom of the barrel, and she doesn’t even try to analyze how they reached their conclusions.

I include the whole thing so you can see what I mean — it’s a litany of assertions that she has compiled, all of which support her beliefs, not one contrary perspective among them.

I believe that Dinosaurs walked this earth but not 140 million years ago like scientist claim.

Nearly a third of Texans believe humans and dinosaurs roamed the earth at the same time, according to the 2010 University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

The question was asked “Did humans live at the same time as the dinosaurs?” Three in ten Texas voters agree that they did live at the same time; 41 percent disagree, and 30 percent don’t know.

Evangelical Christians make up approximately 25% of the U.S. population. A majority of them think the Bible should be read literally and that evolution is false.

In Kentucky there is a Creation Museum, which promotes a very specific version of this belief, which holds that God made the universe in six 24-hour days about 6,000 years ago. (A lot of Christians say 6,000 to 10,000 years). And yes, they have dinosaurs in this creation museum.

[An appeal to popularity only tells me that the Texas educational system is bad.]

According to the Hindustan Times on March 2, 2021, “Scientists have unearthed in Argentina’s Patagonian wilderness; fossils of what may be the oldest-known member of the dinosaur group known as titanosaurs, that includes the largest land animals in Earth’s history”.

They say it is a group of long-necked plant-eating dinosaurs, and is supposed to be 115 feet. They do state the skeletal was incomplete, but they haven’t finished digging it up since it was just recently found.

Many Scientist have poured cast of missing bones and constructed an animal, only to put it in a museum and call it factual.

Most people are not refuting the fact that there were dinosaurs, but they refute the fact that they didn’t live with humans.

[Inconsistent. She says she believes dinosaurs existed, but then she casts doubt on the one story about finding a dinosaur fossil that she cites. Why don’t you accept the reality of this fossil, Karen?]

I recently watched a video on dinosaurs, and a school teacher of Science was the one sharing the facts. But this Science teacher got it right. He stated that dinosaurs waked the earth with man. How else would they know what pictures to draw on cave walls that look exactly like dinosaurs? They have found drawings of Woolly Mammoths, Triceratops and men, drawn together fighting.

This is a classic hunter, posing with a 10-point deer these days, showing off his trophy, except they didn’t have cameras then.

[She watched a video. By whom? This sounds like a Kent Hovind story, and no, he is not a credible source. This is all vague and poorly sourced, but I’ll quote the Smithosonian’s assessment of one set of supposed dinosaur pictograms:

While certainly the most prominent, the supposed sauropod was not the only dinosaur carving creationists thought they saw on the bridge. Three other dinosaur depictions have been said to exist, but Senter and Cole easily debunked these, as well. One of the “dinosaurs” was nothing but a mud stain; a proposed Triceratops was just a composite of petroglyphs that do not represent animals, and what has been described as a carving of Monoclonius was nothing more than an enigmatic squiggle. There are no dinosaur carvings on Kachina Bridge.

Or you can read this analysis of a supposed pterosaur painting published in Science. Sorry, Karen, these don’t hold up.]

In 600 BC, under the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar, a Babylonian artist was commissioned to shape reliefs of animals on the structures associated with the Ishtar Gate. Many centuries later, German archaeologist Robert Koldewey stumbled upon the gate, and was rediscovered in 1899.

The animals appear in alternating rows with lions, fierce bulls, and curious long-necked dragons (Sirrush). The lions and bulls would have been present at that time in the Middle East, but on what creature did the ancient Babylonians model the dragon? Koldewey believed that the Sirrush was a portrayal of a real animal and in 1918, he proposed that the dinosaur Iguanodon was the closest known match to the Sirrush.

Both the description there, and the image on these walls, which are now displayed in a Berlin Museum, appear to fit a sauropod dinosaur.

[I’ve seen paintings of the Balrog. Does that make it real? Ancient art illustrates all kinds of chimeras, centaurs, mermaids, dog-people, etc. Is this evidence that they actually exist, or that humans have an imagination?]

In Glen Rose, Texas there are huge dinosaur tracks in the limestone. I’ve been there, and have walked in those tracks. There are man-tracks in the limestone as well. The historical plaque states the tracks were formed 100 million years ago which is incorrect, but they do recognize them as dinosaur tracks.

What they don’t recognize is the man tracks in the same limestone? As a matter of fact, there are three different types of dinosaur tracks located there.

[The man-tracks are fakes.]

Next week we will look at Job, and how God tells Job to behold these mighty creatures. How could Job behold these mighty creatures if Job had not seen them? We will also talk about why this is important in the Christian realm.

[Behold! The starship USS Enterprise! How can you behold that if it does not have material, physical reality?]

Yeah, I don’t think she made a reasonable case there, but it is a fairly representative example of creationist “research”.

Comments

  1. marcoli says

    I have called this variety of human “ignorant”, and they get upset about being called that. But it is an accurate description of them and everybody is ignorant of a lot of things. But here we have ignorance along with Titanosaur level Dunning-Kruger special effects.

  2. stroppy says

    For the culture buff who has everything; Instant Blethers, the pop-babble verbiage generator for all occasions. Now you too can put yourself in the spotlight and be very important, because reality is too hard and you know you’re special anyway.

    As seen on every talkshow and commercial you ever watched.

    (Free and worth every penny. Special discount for creationists.)

  3. brucegee1962 says

    Two points about ancient pictures of dragons as evidence of dinosaurs. For one, dragons as they’re usually depicted don’t look a whole lot like dinosaurs. Two, It’s likely that dinosaur bones were dug up and remarked upon in periods prior to our own, and it would have been reasonable for people to speculate on the creatures they came from (and whether or not they were still around).

  4. wzrd1 says

    The question was asked “Did humans live at the same time as the dinosaurs?” Three in ten Texas voters agree that they did live at the same time; 41 percent disagree, and 30 percent don’t know.

    OK, I’ve never been accused of being a math major, but 3 in 10 is 30%, which is 30 out of 100 an 41 out of 100 disagreeing an 30 out of 100 not knowing, So, 101 people out of a group of 100 people expressed their opinion.
    Obviously, a politician was interviewed…

    Still, I think I’ll defrost some frozen dinosaur remnant to cook for dinner. Duck billed duck is tasty, just on’t ask for the white meat. ;)
    That’ll allow me to make some soup from the feet, neck, head and leftovers, which will help alleviate the cold snap of late. :P

  5. birgerjohansson says

    Marcoli @ 2
    “I have called this variety of human ‘ignorant’ and they get upset”
    .
    I used to think Sweden had good education, but we had a bunch of COVID deniers rioting in Stockholm….
    It is very hard to reach people who reject information they do not like. This is why we still have a few neo-nazis (and they participated in the riot).

  6. birgerjohansson says

    BTW Tavelsjö, a lake outside Umeå, north Sweden is claimed to have a “monster”. I have researched this by reading newspapers and social media sites; I am now ready to proclaim myself an expert of this branch of cryptozoology.
    We do not have a local bigfoot; these cryptids were assimilated into the local population who now spend their time on social media. (See “right-wing nutjobs”)

  7. Ridana says

    Does she think mammoths were dinosaurs and/or that any scientists dispute that they lived alongside humans?

  8. says

    I guess the good news is that this is on the opinion page of a small town semi-weekly newspaper that has a circulation of about 3000. The only people who are going to notice this are the author’s Sunday School classmates.

  9. raven says

    Nearly a third of Texans believe humans and dinosaurs roamed the earth at the same time, according to the 2010 University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

    Around 20% of Texans also believe the sun orbits the earth, Geocentrism. This means they can’t even diagram the solar system, a task I learned in the first grade.

    This also holds true for the US population as a whole.
    A smaller percentage of Texans also believe the earth is flat.

  10. Artor says

    Damn, if I was that stupid, I wouldn’t want to advertise it to the world. But then if I were that stupid, I might not realize just how abysmally dumb I was, so…

  11. says

    #5 brucegee1962:

    Two points about ancient pictures of dragons as evidence of dinosaurs.

    The even more obvious point would be that they are pictures.

    Just take a tour at DeviantArt to see how imaginative humans can be.

  12. ajbjasus says

    Pure, ignorant bullshit.

    But please, don’t jump on the Karen bandwagon, it’s lazy, play the ball, not the person, we’ll get much further that way.

  13. says

    @ajbjasus 15
    I would agree that names connected to behavior is not ideal, but this is the society that we have and the social momentum with respect to racism is more important at the moment.

    Focus on racism more at a useful time, or police someone’s established political language that is useful, with Ken to go with Karen? It’s not a simple choice, and frankly that is a very bipartisan problem. I don’t agree with your priorities.

  14. says

    I think white people don’t realize they are all likely to be Karens.at one time or another. It seems to be a way for too many of them to say “I’m not like that.”

  15. nomdeplume says

    This woman has been living on a solid diet of what Paulogia calls “Ham and AiG News” – I recognise many of the fake fossils and arguments. But what does it say about the Texas and US education system that this woman has no solid grounding in biology, has no ability to think critically or logically, and is unable to use a library or other academic resources? And what does it say about US media in general that the findings of biology and paleontology (and other sciences) are not reaching people like this, but creationist nonsense is?

  16. ajbjasus says

    I absolutely see that there’s a whole raft of people for whom you can predict,sadly, what there prejudices and attitudes will be. It’s quite soul destroying.

    But I still,think we’re better than just labelling them.

  17. birgerjohansson says

    Zetopan @22 : sapient creatures hundreds of millions of years ago?
    Lovecraft was right! (But he was still a racist wanker)

  18. birgerjohansson says

    Addendum to @ 8; I was making fun of her “research”. But now I understand it is tragic- they literally think research means reading….whatever it is that gives you affirmation. If It is graffiti scrawled on a bathroom wall and you agree with it, it counts as evidence.

  19. unclefrogy says

    it is more she believes by far then that she thinks. The only thinking she does is that she thinks she believes what she is told by preachers.
    uncle frogy

  20. ajbjasus says

    Sadly, and increasingly, research is what you can find on the internet. Not things you work out in a lab, or by diligent study, just whoever’s opinions you latch on to.

  21. says

    I didn’t even bother reading… if she had used “The Flinstones” as her primary source material, at least my 5-year old self would have had a few minutes of entertainment.

  22. billyum says

    First they came for Dr. Seuss and I said nothing. Then they came for the Flintstones.

  23. publicola says

    OOPS! The post wasn’t showing up, so I kept on trying, bless my pointed little head.

  24. John Harshman says

    “Did dinosaurs and humans live at the same time?”, well, it’s a silly question because that’s been definitively answered with a strong “no”

    Well, if polled, I would have answered “yes” because they didn’t specify non-avian dinosaurs. This is why you should never ask a cladist anything.

    [The man-tracks are fakes.]

    The good ones are. But there are some real tracks interpreted as human too. However, they’re all really ornithopod tracks in which the side toes made no impression, just the middle toe, which if you squint can look kinda sorta like a human foot.

  25. bcw bcw says

    I refuse to believe humans and muppets coexisted because we’ve never found any muppet footprints no matter what Sesame Street claims.

  26. bcw bcw says

    @33, I’m sorry but your repeated posts threaten to be self-referential….

    jes kidding, we’ve all done it.

  27. johnniefurious says

    Would have thought a paper called “The Orange Leader” would have been exclusively about Trump.

  28. davidc1 says

    I have said it before ,and i am going to say it now ,if you stuck all the wackaloons ,gunnuts god botherers in one big empty state like Texas and let them suck seeds ,or whatever it is called from the union ,the rest of America would be a happier place .

  29. PaulBC says

    davidc1@40 They already live in the big empty part. It just encompasses more than Texas and they get Senate representation.

  30. grika says

    To be fair to the publication (and its editor), it’s very likely that they publish everything community members send in. We are lucky enough to have a very vocal atheist here in Kingwood, TX that prompted one reader to submit, “I am writing this email to express my disappointment, and disgust, with what has become the weekly personal column of Mr. Bill Bailey and his liberal and opinionated tirades against the President of the United States – Mr. Trump and Christians….” The editor responded, “We print every letter we get and Mr. Bailey sends a letter for almost every issue. I welcome all letters, even those I do not personally agree with.”
    https://ourtribune.com/editorial-2/letters-to/24455-your-turn-week-of-november-4-2020.html

  31. davidc1 says

    @41 I meant that Texas should go it’s own way as a god fearing ,gun fondling wackaloon filled country .
    England ,when NI has joined up with the rest of Ireland ,and Scotland and Wales have left ,could replace Texas as the 50th state
    of the union ,it would save a bundle on printing new flags and stuff .

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