So Jesus WAS on a Dinosaur…?

We just don’t know what we’re talking about.

Could've happened...?

Could’ve happened…?

A new poll inspired by the hit movie Jurassic World suggests that Americans don’t know much about much. Thanks to the ever-watchful folks at the National Center for Science Education, we see some startling responses to a simple question: Did humans and dinosaurs live at the same time?

As YouGov explained,

YouGov’s latest research shows that 41% of Americans think that dinosaurs and humans either ‘definitely’ (14%) or ‘probably’ (27%) once lived on the planet at the same time. 43% think that this is either ‘definitely’ (25%) or ‘probably’ (18%) not true while 16% aren’t sure. In reality the earliest ancestors of humans have only been on the planet for 6 million years, while the last dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago.


For evangelicals, the numbers are even more skewed. A clear majority (56%) of evangelical Protestants think humans and dinosaurs co-existed. Only 22% of evangelicals thought that dinosaurs and humans did not.



As the National Center for Science Education points out, there are a couple of possible wrinkles in this poll. Most scientists these days consider birds to be dinosaurs. Is that what the respondents meant? The NCSE charitably suspends judgment, but it seems obvious to your humble editor that most of us just don’t know what we’re talking about.

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  1. Schools do not teach history much, well or sensibly. They do not frame their subjects and curricula historically either. They do not approach art, literature or science historically as a matter of development and tradition. Kids get to college and read some anthologized classics with no idea what period, location, or events make sense of it. This has been normal for a long time. They are not stupid, they are uninformed.

    Educated people in the ancient world had histories that went back a few hundred years, and they assumed everything began not much before that. Jewish history went much farther but not that much. They were not stupid, they were uninformed and without access to information.

    Classical and humanist models of education that were framed historically from the earliest grades onward have long been eliminated. Why we should expect anyone to know where they fit into a national, global, or cosmic timeline? Especially if the biggest authorities in their lives teach history through a rather fundamentalist approach to the Bible that sees it as providing its own context for all that it says and any external sources of information?

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