Alas! Poor Trachodon! I Knew Him, Horatio…

Marx Trachodon Second Type | The revised Trachodon from 1959… | Flickr

Marx Toys’ classic Trachodon

I’m in a retrospective mood today–maybe because 2020 is racing by so fast, even with the Great Quarantine to paralyze it.

Behold the mighty Trachodon, the pre-eminent “duckbill dinosaur,” as faithfully rendered into plastic by the Marx Toy Co. I still have a troop of these in my animal and dinosaur box. Nor was there, when I was acquiring those toys, a dinosaur book that didn’t mention Trachodon.

I don’t wanna hear it, that there never was a Trachodon! I don’t care if all they ever had was a few teeth somebody dug up in 1850–Trachodon was in all the books, I had the toys, I’d even seen the straight-up-standing skeleton in the American Museum of Natural History–and now you want to tell me there was no such thing? Away wi’ ye!

We will never be able to see live dinosaurs, so we will never know just how wrong we were about them. Which icons of today’s Settled Science will follow Trachodon into oblivion?

“I knew him, Horatio: he was a dinosaur of infinite jest. How his broad duck bill would gape with laughter!”

I’d like to know what we’ll be laughing at twenty years from now.

5 comments on “Alas! Poor Trachodon! I Knew Him, Horatio…

  1. So much of what is presented as scientific conclusion comes down to scant evidence and a lot of surmising. A unique bone or tooth and suddenly they have conjured up a new critter, complete with a behavioral profile and all sorts of fanciful stories about how it lived. But, in many cases, that’s really all there is; a story. It’s astounding that they’ve gotten away with this, but no one wanted to risk being accused of being anti-science, so “science” operated without much in a way of accountability.

    The problem is, scientific process is centered upon testing hypothesis. Collect data, build theories based upon analysis of that data, then see if the theories hold up. But science has to be observable, repeatable and testable. We see news stories about another “earth”, a supposed earthlike exoplanet that is supposedly capable of supporting life. If you entire article, the planet may have a climate that makes liquid water feasible, but the planet will invariably be much too massive and any living thing would have to be structured quite differently, because the force of gravity would be considerably greater.

    But the press is obsequious towards science and dutifully reports theory as fact. I’ve spent more than a little time studying Intelligent Design and Creation Science. There are some serious scientists involved in both movements. These aren’t the opinions of some fringe kooks that base their conclusions on ignorance. There are more than a few PHD scientists in both movements; which is to say that people with a strong foundation in math, physics, genetics, astronomy or many other scientific backgrounds have come to conclusions which are far different from the mainstream.

    Simply stated, “settled science” is not absolutely settled. Even Hubble’s observations of red-shifted light as evidence of an expanding Universe is subject to other interpretations, especially when the scriptures tell us that God is stretching out the heavens. Isaiah 40:22. The world of God outweighs the opinions of men any day of the week.

    1. Some dinosaur fossils have been found that seem to have some kind of feathers on them, so settled science is established that birds came from dinosaurs – isn’t science fiction grand.

    2. Poor Dr. Leidy, who invented and named the Trachodon, soon realized he’d made a mistake. His efforts to get it corrected met with no success.

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