Dinosaur

1842 Dinosaur

The book of science

Tom Sharp

Richard Owen evolution paleontology Dinosaur

Dinosaur

Richard Owen was said to be ambitious, envious, “arrogant,” “untruthful and dishonest” and yet as a great publicist, he knew how to promote his anti-evolutionary views— —by accepting the known facts and making them his own. To distinguish the fossilized relics of Iguanodon and Megolasaurus from surviving reptiles Owens coined the term “dinosaur.” Owens worked with artist Benjamin Hawkins to construct a Dinosauria theme park featuring huge dinosaur models of iron and concrete. The inside of the Iguanodon was big enough to host a dinner for leading scientists on the day of the grand opening by Queen Victoria.

Pet dinosaurs

Small plastic Tyrannosaurus Rexes terrorize Kens and Barbies delighting small boys everywhere. Rexy stomps up the halls to munch on sisters’ ankles leaving an imaginary trail of blood and gore.

The perspective of time

History mocks fools and great minds convinced of their own greatnesses. Things larger than life grow smaller as they slip through the narrow neck of the hourglass of time in which each tiny grain of sand is convinced of its own greatness and the modernity of its own.

We should be more fascinated by the fascinations of our children. Our cultural obsession with dinasaurs began with commercial and philosophical motives.

Owens was a widely respected comparative anatomist and palaeontologist and greatly opposed to the idea that one species could be transmuted into another, as claimed by Lamarck, and to evolution by natural selection as claimed by Charles Darwin.

See also in The book of science:

Readings on wikipedia: