This week we continue on with the first chapter of my “Remnants of Eden: Evolution, Deep-Time, & the Antediluvian World.” God bless, and stay with me as the story unfolds with the next post…
After my epiphany concerning hoatzins, those strange birds of South America, I came to believe that, despite the broad entertainment value of dinosaurs, most average people were ignorant of the finer points of their biology, only recognizing the general form of notable species when they saw them. Any large theropod¹ dinosaur, for instance, was almost immediately identified as Tyrannosaurus rex, even if that was not the case. I realized that I could use that mass ignorance to my advantage, as most people would be just as happy, and just as willing to pay, to see a tyrannosaur analogue as they would a true tyrannosaur, especially if they didn’t know the difference. This was the key to my quest, I realized, elegantly merging two separate notions into the answer I so long sought.
What were those two notions?
First, there was the popular notion concerning the perceived relationship between birds and dinosaurs, which at the time was beginning to get much attention, not only in the scholarly fields, but also the mainstream. Publishers such as National Geographic and entertainment outlets like the Discovery Channel regularly promoted pieces about the connection between the two, claiming that birds are actually the modern-day descendants of theropod dinosaurs, having evolved from their reptilian forebears.
Secondly, there was the notion that as organisms evolved they went through a series of genetic alterations that accumulate into physical changes. Though these changes may be dramatic, the original genes which controlled the early physical aspects of the organism may not have been completely lost, but rather only made inactive, replaced instead by the newer, active genes. The implication was that modern organisms may in fact retain a great deal of the genes of their ancestors, hidden and inactive, yet still viable, within their modern genomes.
Somehow, that night, I made the connection in my mind that, by starting with modern birds, we could engineer pseudo-dinosaurs, and if we were clever, these new animals could potentially be made close enough to what the public expects to make them viable for commercialization. Though I had a long way to go in regard to the necessary steps between modern birds and marketable dinosaur-analogues, I had, as far as I was concerned, plotted the course to see my dream come true.
- Theropods are typically bipedal, carnivorous dinosaurs of the Saurischia class of dinosaurs
The Story Continues with the Next Post…
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