By Tom Myers
One of the things I like about the state of Texas is they often claim that they are not a part of the United States. It is interesting to note that a good portion of what is now Texas was part of Mexico until we annexed it on February 2, 1848 in a treaty following the end of the Mexican War. Apparently, there are a few of our neighbors to the South who, to put it delicately, have yet to read the treaty and subsequently, cross the post-1848 border and give Delegate Pat McDonough a migraine.
There are native Texans who take a positive view on the Lone Star State wanting to be the Lone Star in their own little country. Comedian Bill Hicks, who spent a good portion of his childhood in Houston, said once in an interview, “I’m not from the States, I’m from Texas.” Make fun of them if you must, but it’s people like Hicks and even Governor Rick Perry, who last year suggested that it would be in the best interest of his state to succeed from the United States of America, that portray the residents of Texas with that rugged individualism that makes me proud to be an American and also makes me mad that I still can’t grow a decent moustache.
And it makes the sentiment surrounding the solitary nature of the State of Texas all the more comforting when you look at the results of a University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll. According to this poll, seven out of ten people either believe human beings and dinosaurs lived on Earth at the same time or they are not sure if that is the case. In addition, more than half of the Texans surveyed say they disagree with the statement that human beings developed from earlier species. If these people believe God made man in His own image and if He made them as is, then God must either have low self-esteem issues or a twisted sense of humor. Remember, this is the same God that brought us the flood and Job.
It is interesting to note that there is a split in these beliefs is equal among Democrats and Republicans. Who says there’s no bipartisanship anymore?
This poll also shows that roughly two out of every five Texans believe that human beings have only been around for 10,000 years. If there’s any overlap with the crowd that believes dinosaurs roamed the earth at the same time as Man, then I’d like to hear these people explain why dinosaurs weren’t even hinted at in the Bible. At the very least, there should at least be a theory among Christians that Noah could have fit his family as well as two of every kind of animal on top of a Brontosaurus and saved himself the pain of building a giant wooden boat.
It may interest you to know that since Texans would love to think they are separate from the United States, I was always taught in school that dinosaurs lived on earth millions of years before man ever made his first steps. I also learned that it may have been a catastrophic event that wiped out the dinosaurs once and for all. This would be an event so catastrophic that, to put it into the words of Harford County Councilman Jim McMahon, it would be the equivalent a prehistoric Katrina.
It’s almost as if the Texans who believe that dinosaurs and man lived together are pining for the days when they would watch “The Flintstones” and believe that Fred and Wilma and Wilma and family keeping a pet dinosaur named Dino is evidence that human beings and dinosaurs roamed the Earth at the same time. However, we can’t jump to any conclusions on that statement since the poll did not mention whether the respondents regularly ate Fruity (or Cocoa) Pebbles for breakfast, let alone if they even bothered to ask this important scientific question.
Another animated cartoon that aired in the early nineties, which supports a majority of Texans in this poll is “Denver the Last Dinosaur.” The series focuses on a group of schoolchildren who happen to stumble upon a giant dinosaur egg that hatches and creates an assortment of adventures for the youngsters and their new prehistoric playmate. Judging by the imagery in the opening theme, he was not only cited as “my friend and a whole lot more,” but Denver knew how to play a guitar, ride a skateboard and apparently had bad taste in eyewear. Nevertheless, Denver was there to make sure that those who don’t want to believe in evolution have an ally on their side. Now, that’s what I call a friend!
The most popular example of humans and dinosaurs coexisting is the blockbuster Steven Spielberg film “Jurassic Park.” Based on the novel by Michael Crichton, “Jurassic Park” focuses on a tinker-happy genetic engineer who creates an amusement park filled with (cloned) dinosaurs. In what seems to be a clerical error of epic proportions, the dinosaurs are accidentally set loose on society and create not only havoc and mayhem for those involved in the experiment, but also a film that surpassed “E.T.” as the most successful, grossing $914 million during the course of its release.
If you are now absolutely convinced that you want to join the majority of those surveyed in the Texas poll, then you would be interested to know there is evidence that supports their counterparts on the other side of the debate. The live-action sitcom “Dinosaurs,” which aired on ABC-TV in the early nineties portrayed the lives of dinosaurs with no human beings around whatsoever. However, their claims may be supported by the fact that the dinosaurs in this sitcom spoke English, just like you and I! Maybe it is possible, then, that dinosaurs taught man to speak just before they retired to a life of losing their skin and standing around in museums all over the world for our amusement.
So, I say let’s embrace Texas and their stand alone philosophy. I am all in favor of letting them think they are a separate entity from the United States. And as for Governor Perry’s idea of Texas succeeding from the Union, I say it may not be such a bad idea. Let the land of George W. Bush’s political history and “No Child Left Behind” stay where it belongs, in the museum with the dinosaurs, never to come to active fruition again. On second thought, I wonder if Mexico would be glad to take it back. It’s been 162 years. That’s long enough.