Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Science

Ask Slashdot: How Do I Explain That Humans Didn't Ride Dinosaurs? 278

Posted by samzenpus
from the but-they-probably-did dept.
p00kiethebear writes "I have a wonderful and beautiful girlfriend who treats me right in every way. We've been together for almost a year now and everything seemed to be going perfectly until this morning. Over breakfast we were discussing dinosaurs and she told me a story about how her grandfather, fifty years ago, dated footprints of a dinosaurs and a man that were right next to each other to be within the same epoch of history. I laughed when she said this and then realized that she wasn't joking. She believes dinosaurs and humans walked at the same time together. The odd thing is that she's not religious, it's just what her archaeologist grandfather taught her. More important than just backing up evidence to the contrary, how do I explain this to her without crushing her childhood dreams? Is it even worth discussing it further with her?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Ask Slashdot: How Do I Explain That Humans Didn't Ride Dinosaurs?

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 01, 2013 @01:01PM (#43331595)

    Yes, I'm serious. Really this is one of the fundamental flaws in geeks. Do not fuck up a relationship making your girlfriend feel bad over something that happened 165 million years ago. I know the geek think is: "This is a gateway problem that leads to the entirety of all mystical belief and ruins the world." Shitcan that garbage, now!

    A person's religion is rarely entirely from the church, it's a blend things they've heard and want to believe and things their parents believed in addition to church input. Don't treat this any differently than arguing against any other "invisible man in the sky who rights all wrongs and gives us eternal life for being nice people and giving money to the church" belief system.

    Let it go. If (and only if) she asks for your help, take her to some museums and do research *with* her and let the overwhelming body of scientific evidence change her mind, not the guy who wants to take her shirt off. If science is not at risk of losing that capability.

    You have been warned!

    • by Hatta (162192) on Monday April 01, 2013 @01:22PM (#43331787) Journal

      I heard they discovered a lesbian dinosaur. They named it Lickalotopus.

    • by fermion (181285)
      Anything you say to a person such as this sounds exactly like if you the ROT13 text of this site. Such people do not have the basis to understand the logic. I am not saying anything bad against such people. A friend of mine believes that going to church makes you rich and happy. It is not up to me to change that. We all have things other people disagree with, some of it is what we might consider factually proven, so it is hard for us to keep out mouths such. It is a trade off. Enjoy the company and t
    • by TheDarkMaster (1292526) on Monday April 01, 2013 @01:49PM (#43332005)
      I have a wonderful and beautiful girlfriend who treats me right in every way

      This part is a April's Fool day prank.
    • by Picass0 (147474) on Monday April 01, 2013 @02:04PM (#43332119) Homepage Journal

      1) Jesus was a carpenter.
      2) Carpenters build ladders.
      3) You need a ladder to get into the saddle of a dinosaur.

      It's scientrific!

    • This is the essentially the right answer. Your girlfriend is going to be wrong about a lot of things, because each of us is wrong about a lot of things. Many of them will are so incredibly inconsequential and irrelevant that it's not worth wasting your breath, and I'd suggest this is one of them. Because really, in the entire scope of things, facts about dinosaurs hardly matter. They won't change your day to day behavior.

      Pick your battles. Over the span of your relationship, your girlfriend will be wrong about a lot of things, and so will you. Instead of thinking it's your job to make sure your girlfriend is correct in all her beliefs, you should decide that there are some times when you'll let it go. I'm sure there will be times when she's convinced that you're wrong, and you wish she'd just let it go. And believe it or not, sometimes it might be worth backing her up even when she's wrong, just because you have her back.

      (I don't mean "you have her back" in a dirty way, though there's that too.)

      • by cayenne8 (626475)
        Geez, it is simple

        1. He's a guy

        2. She's a girl, that is actually speaking to him.

        3. The objective here, is to get laid.

        So, like any self respecting male you tell her whatever she wants to hear so you can get in her pants. It isn't like most relationships are about anything but getting laid. You do this as often as you can with as many women as you can...and along the way, you find one that keeps your interests over and above fucking her, and you pause to decide if you want to stay with her as a mate an

    • by epyT-R (613989)

      relationships where one partner cannot tell the truth for fear of offending the others ego are doomed. in fact, propping up willful ignorance is a compounding stress that will destroy any relationship, not just the personal variety.

  • Sorry. (Score:4, Informative)

    by tverbeek (457094) on Monday April 01, 2013 @01:01PM (#43331597) Homepage
    "Is it even worth discussing it further with her?"

    No.
    • Re:Sorry. (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 01, 2013 @01:07PM (#43331641)
      OH HO HO! You almost had me, Slashdot... you would have succeeded, until I realized that nobody on Slashdot has a girlfriend!
      • Re:Sorry. (Score:4, Funny)

        by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Monday April 01, 2013 @04:57PM (#43333247)

        OH HO HO! You almost had me, Slashdot... you would have succeeded, until I realized that nobody on Slashdot has a girlfriend!

        Actually, to add insult to injury, I believe that there is one category of readers that *do* have girlfriends, and that's all the Slashdot-frequenting girls.

    • by Bigby (659157)

      It is a decent, but non scientific, philosophical question. We can prove dinosaurs wandered the earth millions of years ago and we can prove the current chain of hominids wandered the earth 2 million years ago through now. However, you can't prove or disprove that similar hominids wandered the earth at the time of the dinosaurs. It is like proving ghosts don't exist. One could ask, "where are the bones?". Maybe they we just haven't found them or maybe they dissolve/erode easily or maybe aliens took the

      • Re:Sorry. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by hackula (2596247) on Monday April 01, 2013 @01:38PM (#43331935)
        To rational humans "unsubstantiated" means "I don't believe it". The alternative is "I just believe in things that make me happy".
        • In the U.S. right, factual means it goes along with my beliefs. It has nothing to do with facts.

          (This isn't an outside observation... I live in the U.S. and see this every day.)

      • Nitpick, you cant PROVE anything historical, because history isnt something you can test in a lab.

      • by dkleinsc (563838)

        It is a decent, but non scientific, philosophical question.

        No, it's not a decent question. Hominids are in no way adapted to out-fighting, out-running, or out-hiding dinosaurs, and no group of hominids would last long enough among dinosaurs to out-smart them. That's why they didn't coexist.

        • It is a decent, but non scientific, philosophical question.

          No, it's not a decent question. Hominids are in no way adapted to out-fighting, out-running, or out-hiding dinosaurs, and no group of hominids would last long enough among dinosaurs to out-smart them. That's why they didn't coexist.

          Jurassic Park was NOT an 'instructional video'.

      • Yep, can't disprove the Silurians.

    • Are you going to marry her? Have kids? If so, yeah, it's worth discussing. If not, just let it go.

  • by mtrachtenberg (67780) on Monday April 01, 2013 @01:02PM (#43331603) Homepage

    Fvzcyr. Rkcynva gb ure gung qvabfnhef unq fcvxl fxva, naq gung fnqqyrf jrera'g vairagrq hagvy 1942.

  • Sigh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gravis777 (123605) on Monday April 01, 2013 @01:03PM (#43331609)

    Why do I even bother to come to Slashdot on April first?

  • Sad (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hondo77 (324058) on Monday April 01, 2013 @01:05PM (#43331627) Homepage
    It's sad that things are so stupid in the US right now [creationmuseum.org] that I can't tell if this story is fake or not.
    • Re:Sad (Score:5, Funny)

      by misanthropic.mofo (1891554) on Monday April 01, 2013 @01:12PM (#43331687) Homepage
      I'm actually planning a trip with several friends to visit that horrible place and troll the fuck out of those fools. It's going to be hilarious.
      • Re:Sad (Score:4, Interesting)

        by CdBee (742846) on Monday April 01, 2013 @01:41PM (#43331947)
        Some reporters did that when it first opened, found that almost all of the museum staff were quite willing to admit that it was all nonsense and that none of them were qualified in any related field, and weren't expected to offer any sort of analysis or insight...
      • by mattack2 (1165421)

        If you're paying the admission fee, then you're supporting the place.

        If you go and give them hell just for the sake of that, you may legally be harassing them.

      • bring your dinosaurs

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by war4peace (1628283)

      I tried to donate them a flying fuck but their site errored out.

    • by whoever57 (658626)

      It's sad that things are so stupid in the US right now that I can't tell if this story is fake or not.

      That's easy, the first sentence gives it away:

      " .... I have a wonderful and beautiful girlfriend who treats me right in every way."

      This is /., so that sentence is clearly a fake.

    • by hackula (2596247)
      It really baffles me how young earthers can still exist in an age of (mostly) free information. I guess its pretty much the same reason people drank the kool aid with jim jones.
      • Filtering. People have access to all that information, but they mostly seek out information that agrees with what they already believe. Even if they do find contradictory information, it is still stopped by the confirmation bias: A subconscious process by which people filter out information which conflicts with what they already believe, without even realising it. It's just the nature of the human mind. For all people like to pretend they are part of a rational species, it isn't really true.

      • by mattack2 (1165421)

        I guess its pretty much the same reason people drank the kool aid with jim jones.

        It really baffles me how anybody can believe that Jim Jones' followers drank Kool Aid, in an age of (mostly) free information.

        It was poisoned Flavor Aid, not Kool Aid.

  • by conner_bw (120497) on Monday April 01, 2013 @01:12PM (#43331689) Homepage Journal

    Build a time machine that transports you and your girlfriend to the spot that her grandfather discovered the footprints.

    Look around. "See? Just dinosaurs. No humans here except us. Sorry dear."

    Thus proving that her grandfather was right and saving your relationship.

    • by hackula (2596247)

      Build a time machine that transports you and your girlfriend to the spot that her grandfather discovered the footprints.

      ... then give the guy a nice hard kick to the jewels and do humanity a favor. Two birds with one stone: one less moron, one less moron who happens to be your girlfriend.

  • by JoeMirando (594743) <joe@joemirand o . n et> on Monday April 01, 2013 @01:13PM (#43331697)
    Can we PLEASE dispense with the silly encryption bullshit? If I wanted something that was impossible to read, I'd go to FOXNEWS
  • by Ken_g6 (775014)

    Because humans have ridden dinosaurs [thezooom.com].

  • by Medievalist (16032) on Monday April 01, 2013 @01:23PM (#43331795)

    She's got to be talking about Paluxy.

    http://paleo.cc/paluxy/tsite.htm [paleo.cc]

    You need to recognize that your own knowledge of the past is at least as bad as hers (if you didn't already know about Paluxy) so that you won't come across to her as some kind of paternally condescending authority figure. That's bad for your love life!

    And you know, if her grandfather was involved in the discovery or documentation of Paluxy, that's awesome and you should celebrate that. Take her to the site! The two of you can look at the actual real life data personally and come to some sort of conclusion together. That would be a lot less stupid than fostering discord because "my authority figures contradict your authority figures" which is what you are looking at doing right now. Have you seen the tracks? I think not, so her opinion (which was possibly passed from a person who actually saw them) is at least as valid as your hearsay beliefs.

    Most likely, when you both visit the site, you will find that one or the other explanation is more likely, and you'll both benefit regardless of who is right. Real Science is Fun.

  • Enough said. And I think he read the Bible while at the gym.
  • Your story will make a great no 1 on the "Signs you watched too much Fred Flintstone as a child" list

  • I'm sorry to break it to you, but I was just watching a documentary about prehistoric times. The story centered around a couple named Fred and Wilma. Not only did they have a pet dinosaur, but they interacted with dinosaurs on a regular basis -- public transportation, household appliances, heavy machinery.

  • by Cro Magnon (467622) on Monday April 01, 2013 @02:07PM (#43332137) Homepage Journal

    He might have first-hand knowledge.

  • “To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact.” — Charles Darwin

    Of course you need to decide which is the greater error: Your girlfriend's mistaken belief or your decision to point it out.

  • It really *is* April fools day.
  • easy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by milkmage (795746) on Monday April 01, 2013 @02:23PM (#43332269)

    "The odd thing is that she's not religious, it's just what her archaeologist grandfather taught her." ...so it sounds like she's just repeating what she was told as a child.. not the church or religion. I don't see a problem correcting someone who was misinformed.

    "crushing her childhood dreams" ...just tell her she mis-remembered (she was a kid afterall). It wasn't dinosaurs.. it was another (now-extinct) animal that actually did exist the at the same time as ancient humans (we hunted them, so of course there were footprints)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woolly_mammoth [wikipedia.org]

    The woolly mammoth coexisted with early humans, who used its bones and tusks for making art, tools, and dwellings. It is thought much of this material was scavenged, but the species was also hunted for food. It disappeared from its mainland range at the end of the Pleistocene 10,000 years ago, most likely through a combination of climate change, consequent disappearance of its habitat, and hunting by humans, though the significance of these factors is disputed.

    or just point her at this: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/paluxy.html [talkorigins.org] (beware: it does mention creationism... you don't want to accuse her of being that)... basically it says the "mantracks" are actually those of a 3-toed dino, but the toe part eroded leaving what looks like feet.

    whatever you, make sure you block this at your proxy http://creationmuseum.org/ [creationmuseum.org]

  • Depending on what definition of dinosaur you use.
    "Under phylogenetic taxonomy, dinosaurs are usually defined as the group consisting of Triceratops, Neornithes [modern birds], their most recent common ancestor (MRCA), and all descendants" - wikipedia
    Which would make Ostriches dinosaurs.

    Though more common definitions like: "A fossil reptile of the Mesozoic era" would make this impossible even if Humans were around 2 billion years ago, since a dianour is defined as something in a fossil.

  • ... of course. Because if you have to explain it at all to anyone over the age of five, nothing less than a clearing blow to the head will work. One hard enough to clear that head of most of the superstitious brain matter that resides within it.

    I say this with a rather enormous amount of experience on the subject. Absolutely no scientific or rational or empirical argument will convince someone that their religious beliefs are wrong. The entire sub-field of cognitive dissonance in behavioral psychology i

  • Whfg rkcynva gung Whenffvp Cnex jnfa'g n jbex bs svpgvba - vg jnf n uvfgbel obbx, znqr vagb n qbphzragnel.

  • Best thing you can do is simply stuff something in her mouth to shut her up. If you don't have any items of suitable size necessary, just use a portion of your anatomy...
  • I have a wonderful and beautiful girlfriend

    Can we at least get some kind of effort to make these fake stories believable?

  • Instead, offer her a ride on your triceratops.
  • by Assmasher (456699) on Monday April 01, 2013 @04:46PM (#43333163) Journal

    ...you dirty old man.

  • Seriously, if there are no more pressing differences between you and your girlfriend that actually affect your lives, why bother? The best you may expect to happen is that she accepts that you're right, that her grandfather (who she possibly admired) was wrong and that she feels a little bit stupid. What's won? At worst, it may lead to a veritable shitstorm that gets her whole family involved and gets them pissed at you, not to mention your girlfriend.

    Just accept it, shrug, and go on with your life. You MIG

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." -- Will Rogers

Working...