Science vs. Fiction: You Mean It’s NOT Real?
by Amy Lignor
Three days ago (University of Alberta: source) announced a discovery that seems almost odd considering what was just released in the movie theaters three days ago. Yet…it’s absolutely true. A fossil footprint site has been documented, found in central China. This site actually contains tracks made by a variety of dinosaurs, including the famous raptors. From these tracks, science has gotten a brand new boost in the paleontology arena, gaining brand new insights and facts as to how the raptors and others actually moved when they roamed the Earth.
Some of the most amazing news, however, coming from the paleontology arena of late is something that may shock you, so be careful as you continue reading. Paleontologists are a bit angry because they state that the “science” used in “Jurassic World” is not…true. What? Are you saying that Spielberg and company did not do their documentary correctly? Does this mean a giant shark named Bruce is not roaming the oceans? Is there really no extraterrestrial living in a young boy’s closet and sitting atop his bicycle as they fly across the moon? This is like finding out there’s no Santa Claus!
Yes, believe it or not there is a difference between fantasy movies and real life. Science loves the fact (they say) that “Jurassic World” sparks that imagination in the children out there, bringing about a whole new generation of paleontologists that will be so thrilled with this “fantasy” that they will be adamant about finding out what was real so long ago. Science should look forward to children falling in love with dinosaurs, because in years to come, one of those children may just have their names placed in encyclopedias for discovering the find of a century. The downside for science, many are complaining, is the fact that these “Jurassic” moneymakers are spreading factual errors regarding the age of the dinosaurs.
Really…? Who knew? Paleontologists have their noses out of joint, it seems, saying that truths like the T-Rex having an awful sense of smell and the inability to see you if you didn’t move, are dead wrong. Not to mention the fact that raptors communicated with each other and could open doors. I’ll give you the doors, but any hunter – no matter wolf or raptor – definitely had to communicate in some manner with their hunting pals. After all, that is actually part of the evolution of animal instinct. But…I digress. That’s not the point, really.
CBS News came out with paleontologist interviews, people who were truly upset that the movies could not have been scientifically-sound while still offering enjoyment to the fans. Well…considering the book written. Yes, there was a book by a very amazing author that started this whole thing. (Oh, by the way, it was a work of fiction.) The dinosaur anatomy, movements, behaviors, hunting skills, and more, were written to inspire that creative imagination – not to make people believe that this was what life was really like. Spielberg did have paleontologists as consultants on the movie so…hmm…
Perhaps this hullabaloo is like “The DaVinci Code.” Remember that fiasco? It was a book. Yet, millions stood up in anger that a writer had the nerve to debunk, alter, or bring out information they most certainly did not believe to be true. Again…it was a book. A work of fiction.
Therefore, just remember as you go into that movie theater and are completely awed and scream from the thrills of the chase, that the ‘real’ story of the dinosaurs is a different one. If you didn’t know that already, you are a child with wide eyes and you don’t need to know it. Become amazed, awed, and enjoy the popcorn and the show. You have plenty of years ahead where you can honor science and become the best paleontologist you can possibly be.
Chill out scientific community. “The DaVinci Code” did not alter religion or change Jesus and his story, it simply engaged the mind and made people think. Which is exactly what the wonders of “Jurassic Park” and its relatives continue to do for your own realm.