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Desc:Did dinosaurs exist? No they did not.
Category:Pets & Animals, Science & Technology
Tags:dinosaurs, creationism, hoax, SCIENCE!
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Comment count is 21
Oscar Wildcat
Five stars for sounding like a long EvilHomer argument.
It's a pretty good one, too! It's based on a lot of circumstantial evidence, and at least two claims (the ancients' lack of knowledge about fossils, and the non-existence of amateur dinosaur-hunters) are demonstrably false. It is not a conclusive refutation of the dinosaur hypothesis by any stretch of the imagination - but it IS enough to make one wonder.

I live close by the Peabody (which is referenced in this clip). I wonder if I could take this video to them, get the museum director's response?

Oscar Wildcat
I didn't get far into the clip. I did love the opener, basically saying that we only started finding dinosaur skeletons after the dinosaurs were hypothesized. That's brilliant! Because technically, it is correct. Before the hypothesis, we didn't know what the hell they were, so we threw them away.

You can't imagine how often that happens, even today.

If I was the museum director, I'd point you at the skeletons and say "Well EH if they aren't ancient extinct animals, then what the hell are these things we keep digging out of the virgin earth?".

If you were the museum director, I would say that the skeletons to which you were pointing are plaster models - because that is what they are! Most (all?) of the original bones have by this point been retired from display, and of course, even the original bones beg the question of whether they were (a) taken from the same species (they were admittedly rarely ever from the same *animal*, so forget even debating on that point) and (b) even arranged in a historically-accurate fashion at all. Not to mention the matter of Chinese knock-off fossils, which are a real problem, though I'm sure Yale would deny ever being duped by one.

I've seen some of the "real" fossils, of course! The Peabody have them - or had them - in one of those little sterile rooms overlooking the main display hall from time to time. BUT- I only have their word that these lumps of rock were fossils, and not merely mislabeled crocodile bones, Chinese forgeries, or even plain-old naturally-forming stones. The word of Freemasons, who live just up the street from Skull N' Bones...!

Oscar Wildcat
Well, I'm not showing you plaster models, I'm showing you real fossilized bones.

Here. I have a trilobyte fossil in my hand right at this moment. Complete animal. I pulled it from the earth myself. It's been sitting on my desk(s) since that time, when our old scout master took us on a fossil hunting trip. He was the spitting image of Buck Henry, BTW. He took us to a cliff face, and as we climbed around, it became apparent there were scores of layers of sediment. I couldn't even count them. And after some looking, I found this. Plenty of lesser things too.

At the end of the day, all meaningful arguments have to terminate with the physical evidence. He can deny that, but it just makes him look foolish you know? He can claim he's being lied to, but that's not an argument, that's an assertion.

But that's the problem! It is not merely an assertion that people are being lied to, it is a trail of at-least-sometimes documented facts. The argument goes that all of the actual "physical evidence" that biologists have on hand was, in fact, either the product of conjecture, fabrication, or outright fraud. It is beyond dispute that a significant minority of the early dinosaur "finds" fell into the third category (the Bone Wars between the Peabody and the Academy were the Victorian era's version of the medieval Catholic relic industry), and it is also beyond dispute that the majority of finds fell into one of the two prior categories. One might even go so far as to say that ALL quote-unquote "physical evidence" favouring the dinosaur hypothesis falls into the first category - albeit with the caveat that, in the opinion of establishment biologists, the guesswork is well-considered and convincing. Of course, that caveat is "only an assertion"; it is not an argument, nor is it evidence.

Also, I doubt very much that the esteemed Dr Skelly would go to the trouble (and risk!) of handling an authentic trilobyte fossil just to not-prove a non-point to a mohawked man wearing a Rainbow Dash t-shirt. Furthermore, I do not know whether Dr Skelly has ever gone on an actual trilobyte fossil hunt - his area of expertise seems to be on modern-day amphibians, as evidenced by his latest project, a study on "Sex and the Suburban Frog" - and even if he had, it wouldn't matter because trilobytes are not dinosaurs. Full trilobyte "skeletons" may have been found, but full dinosaur skeletons, never. (in other words: I can't produce a cat skeleton in order to prove that unicorns once existed)

Oscar Wildcat
That's the beating heart of the EvilHomer argument: combining and confusing actual falsifiable statements with unfalsifiable assertions. All the actual statements he makes are easily disproved though.

For example, the notion that without 100% of the bones of a single specimen, you don't know what something is, is rubbish of course. Single skeletons with up to 85% of the bones have been found. Plenty enough to prove the animal existed. Also, we have many skeletons of the same species, so missing bones from one specimen are easily drawn from another to complete the picture. Asserting otherwise is not an argument.

Trilobites are millions of years older than the dinosaurs. That's strong proof that a) animals existed far into the past and b) animals existed that are now extinct. This is powerful circumstantial evidence for the specific claim of dinosaur existence, for obvious reasons. It covers a lot of his other actual arguments.

Anyway, you can certainly find these sacred holy relics that you have only seen in the sterile Peabody. The east coast has plenty of sites you can hike to. Highway cuts are usually good places to start. My trilobite is quite large, about 1 inch long. The fossil is very good, even without careful cleaning I can clearly see details in the eye structure ( it looks like the surface of a golf ball ). It's a complete animal, partly curled up. The only parts I can't see are the stomach, I'm afraid to take more rock away for fear of breaking the fossil.

I do wonder what this guy would think if you took him out there and showed him things like this. I rather suspect he'd flee to his safe space when the preponderance of physical evidence overwhelmed him. That would make for a great clip.

An "85% intact dinosaur skeleton" may be strong evidence for the existence of a given type of alleged dinosaur, but what about a 5% intact skeleton? A 2% intact skeleton? Largely-intact skeletons are exceedingly rare, and tiny fragmentary skeletons are the overwhelming norm. At most, assuming for the sake of argument that no hoaxery was involved and the unearthed bones were properly identified, then dinosaur skeletons found largely intact can only provide evidence for a scant handful of species. Everything else in the grand menagerie of dinosauria is based on pure guesswork and "missing bones" drawn from other sites.

Of course, that raises another problem, because "missing bones" are actually "mixed-and-matched" bones - even when we can confirm that multiple bones came from within the same species, the sizes and shapes of bones vary wildly depending both on the age of an individual animal when it died, and pure genetic variation! Even the Peabody admits this: their displays are pastiches of differently-sized bone-casts, none of which, if we're going to be strictly honest here, match any of the others. This is a problem. For example, let us imagine that I had a small pit of human bones in my basement. I could go down there and patch together a rough approximation of a human being - the skull of Samantha, a femur from Gontran, part of the pelvic bone of little Chloe from down the street, plus a whole bunch of Crayola model magic for crafting fake bones to fill in the gaps. Of course, my finished skeleton would be horribly distorted and look very little like an actual human being - and this is the important bit, I am only really able to reconstruct the skeleton, because I have seen mostly-intact human beings before! I can confirm that human beings exist, and I know, already, that Samantha, Gontran, and little Chloe were all members of this same species. Otherwise (if I were an alien, let's say), I'd be just as likely to mix Samantha's skull with the bones of a chimpanzee, or stick little Chloe's pelvis on the mostly-intact remains of her cat. (which is, by the dinosaur-industrial complex's *own admission*, precisely the kind of thing that normally happened with dinosaur reconstructions)

As for the trilobites, we've just been over them. Evidence for trilobites is not evidence for dinosaurs. It's not even circumstantial evidence (contrary to your assertion). All it is, is evidence for trilobites. Here, look, I've got a mostly-intact cat skeleton with a little girl's pelvic bone glued on its head. Evidence for unicorns...?
Don't be absurd!


I'm from Appalachia, a mountain range where you can climb to the top and find seashell fossils.

Noah's flood was real!

Oscar Wildcat
You (EH) seem to be under the mistaken impression that it is impossible to prove anything about anything. This is the unfortunate result of your expensive education. I can assure you, that is not the case.

No, Mr Wildcat, of course it is possible to prove things about things! I can, for example, prove that trilobites exist. Easy: { http://tinyurl.com/ktseoho } QED. The trouble is, *you* have yet to prove anything relevant to this debate.

Now there IS a sense in which things cannot be proven - namely, one cannot prove a negative. I can never "prove" that dinosaurs don't exist, for the same reason that I can never "prove" unicorns don't exist! No matter how many times I lift up a rock and say, "look Oscar, no unicorn under here!" you can simply reply, "well OK Homie, but there'll be a complete unicorn under the NEXT rock, I'm sure of it." In this case, yes, you're right, I will say that proof is impossible. I certainly cannot "prove" the non-existence of dinosaurs and unicorns - and fortunately, I don't have to!

Remember, the burden of proof here lies on you and your fellow believers in the dinosaur-industrial complex. You are the ones making the positive claim ("dinosaurs exist"), and you are the ones who must establish the truth of that claim to a satisfactory degree. You have not done that yet, as there are still far too many questions about the authenticity of bones, and about the validity of early-scientific guesswork and interpretation. Until these issues are directly addressed and resolved, I'm afraid we MUST conclude that the case for dinosaurs is a weak one.

As for the effects of my "expensive education", I think you're over-estimating the power of yuppies and money to create deep thinkers. In case you've ever been curious, the following is a pretty accurate depiction of my former school-life: https://youtu.be/NwIwPnp4MFQ

It's strange how, more than a decade later, everything - from the grounds to the bouncy-house festivals to the look and feel of the student body - is exactly the same.

This is what they want people to think it's like: https://youtu.be/8ekZJXOrKxE ...but I can assure you, it's a load of marketing baloney, meant to entice wealthy families to enroll their kids there.

Oscar Wildcat
To be more specific, you've internalized the notion promulgated by the Post-Modernists that all points of view are equal. This is fine when applied to social and psychological analysis, but completely useless when applied to the physical world. Yes, an 85% intact skeleton pretty much proves the dinosaur hypothesis, full stop. You can throw up dust, complain about your ulcers, or blame Obama for lying to you. All of these things are great rhetoric, but again quite useless for evaluating scientific claims. I mean, do I really need to point out the logical fallacies in this passage?

"An "85% intact dinosaur skeleton" may be strong evidence for the existence of a given type of alleged dinosaur, but what about a 5% intact skeleton?"

Right there, you pretty much concede the whole argument, then thanks to Post Modernism you just roll right along with a lot of irrelevant arguments already proven false. Because all points of view are equal, and nothing can be proved.

Oscar Wildcat
Specifically, your actual arguments boil down to the fact that you think all paleontologists are lying to you and making this stuff up. It may come as a surprise, but there is a powerful answer to that claim. Go out and dig one up yourself. I can't stress how important that is, and how little actual play that line of thinking gets in academia. The claim may well be true about the lying ( god knows I've heard some corkers from the academic set ), but unless you get out there and see for yourself you're stuck in a morass of ignorance. That's the genius of science, what attracted me to it from the beginning. It is possible to know things to be true about the physical world by direct experience. The philosophy department will object strenuously, and the best thing to do is to hit them over the head with a ball peen hammer. Then argue that they can't actually prove you hit them over the head with a ball peen hammer, so what's their problem?

Two Jar Slave
Worth reading this whole dumb thing just for 'corkers'.

"Masonic media"? Oof.

BTW this is a trailer for a book written by the narrator. The profoundly disturbed narrator.
Maggot Brain
Like I'm good ng to let some virgin tell me about something called the "Bone Wars."
That guy

Oh, I expected this to be about how God(or Satan) put dinosaur bones in the ground as a test of faith (or to trick people). I've heard that old chestnut before. But this video is really something special.
The New Meat
Speculated by a "knighted" museum head? Well, I'm sold; can't trust those knight!
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