5/8/09

That's Evolutionary!

Look, Dr. Malcolm is so happy. He approves this hot science-based post.

This morning the girls were almost late to school because we got into a discussion about evolution. Ilsa has been under the impression that "dinosaurs changed into birds" kind of like caterpillars turn into butterflies--one generation, boom! New species! So I had to nip that in the bud.

We'd been talking about characteristics of Gallimimus, one of the ornithomimids featured in Jurassic Park, and how scientists now believe they had feathers. Their resemblance to ostriches is just astounding. Considering that Coelophysis means "hollow form" and was first discovered in 1898, you have to wonder what those early scientists were smoking for them to assume dinosaurs were reptilian. They probably got high one day and said, "You know, they look a lot like crocodiles. Good enough."Anyway, we brought it back to human beings and how Juliette would probably be best able, in our family, to survive an extensive rainy period because she's very fair and therefore able to go without Vitamin D. I then used Ilsa, who recently tried to give me a heart attack by standing on a table out on our balcony, as an example of what happens when animals make dumb decisions and die before they're able to reproduce.

"Then there would be no more Ilsas!" she said. True enough, and that would be a tragedy.

Another thing about Jurassic Park is that the Dilophosaurus is portrayed fictitiously in the film. I know, hard to imagine filmmakers taking artistic license with the facts, but to the girls, this is tantamount to treason. Dilophosaurus is the nasty-ass who sprayed paralyzing ink on Wayne Knight, opened its frill, and ate him in the cab of a Jeep. The annoying shit deserved it. The real animal had no frill, no paralyzing ink, and was about 19 feet long--so maybe it could've fit into an RV, but not a Jeep. The girls were quite devastated. So not only has this recent dino madness resulted in many scientific discoveries, they've also learned that Hollywood can be deceptive.

Tangential story short, our 5- and 6-year-old daughters now have a better working comprehension of evolution than about 90% of Congress. I just know we're setting them up for a life of frustration, misery, and too much knowledge.

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