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My Father Believes Marco Polo Encountered Dinosaurs.

Lord Carlisle

He Who Shall Not be Named
Joined
Sep 9, 2012
Location
Florida
Now, this isn't a religion hate topic, I realize many religious people are more intelligent and sophisticated than this, but unfortunately there are some ignoramuses such as those in my family which I shall describe.

I just had a discussion with my father. I walked up to him and asked him if men and women had the same number of ribs. He said no, because the bible said so. I told him that wasn't the case. So we looked it up, I was proven right. Then the subject when to people living for hundreds of years. I said it was false. He looks it up, goes to some site akin to Answers in Genesis, and it starts saying things like Marco Polo and Alexander the Great witnessed dinosaurs. My father seemed to accept that, while I was in agony across from him, dumbfounded by how somebody could be so idiotic as to accept that just from reading it. I argued that there was no evidence for it, all dinosaur fossils date back to long before humans, but he said, "There's evidence of dinosaurs living in recent times if you read between the lines and not accept everything science tells you."

I just can't deal with this. I'm so frustrated my skin is tingling. This is ridiculous. How can my father be so ignorant?
 
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Ventus

Mad haters lmao
Joined
May 26, 2010
Location
Akkala
Gender
Hylian Champion
"omg i'm not hating on religion but"
"goes on to describe an event that has nearly nothing to do with religion"

Where's the issue here?
 

Lord Carlisle

He Who Shall Not be Named
Joined
Sep 9, 2012
Location
Florida
Religion is exactly why my father thinks like this. It's why he thought men and women had the same amount of ribs, it's why he's so willing to believe man and dinosaur co-existed via young-earth creationism, etc.
 

Ganondork

you touch her butt and she moves away
Joined
Nov 12, 2010
I don't think you understand the context of this. Marco Polo wrote in his book, The Travels of Marco Polo, when visiting a province known as Karajan:

[QUOTE="The Travels of Marco Polo" pp. 158-159]Here are found snakes and huge serpents, ten paces in length and ten spans in girth [that is, 50 feet long and 100 inches in girth]. At the fore part, near the head, they have two short legs, each with three claws, as well as eyes larger than a loaf and very glaring. The jaws are wide enough to swallow a man, the teeth are large and sharp, and their whole appearance is so formidable that neither man, nor any kind of animal can approach them without terror. Others are of smaller size, being eight, six, or five paces long[/QUOTE]

This may seem like a huge serpent, but bear in mind that he said they had two legs. This sounds very similar to the description of the Wyvern. I'll go ahead and c/p what Wikipedia's etymology page for Wyvern says:

[QUOTE="Etymology" Section for Wyvern]The usual spelling wyvern is not attested before the 17th century as "winged two-footed dragon". It is an alteration of Middle English (attested 13th century) wyver, from Old French wivre (cf. French guivre and vouivre), itself from Latin vīpera, meaning 'viper', 'adder', 'asp'[/QUOTE]

You certainly can't discount this correlation.

Now, you're probably saying to yourself, "But wait, dragons and dinosaurs are not the same thing!" In contemporary English, you'd be very much correct. However, the term, "Dinosaur," was not coined until 1841, and wasn't in the dictionary until 1891. The term, "Dragon," however is mentioned in the King James Version of the Bible (which was translated in 1611) a whopping 34 times.

Check out this definition for, "Dragon," in 1946.



Notice two things:

One, it is said to be, "Now rare," which implies that there were still some around. This particular tidbit is of great interest to me, and I've been looking for more information on this since I found it last year, but to no avail. Secondly, the first definition of dragon calls it a serpent. This is consistent with Marco Polo's account.

Unfortunately a lot of my sources, outside of Wikipedia, and Marco Polo's book, are very sketchy and have a Christian slant. While I personally think that Marco Polo was mistaken, or simply made this up (a similar claim has been made about Herodotus, the father of history), I can certainly see where your father comes from.
 

Lord Carlisle

He Who Shall Not be Named
Joined
Sep 9, 2012
Location
Florida
I don't think you understand the context of this. Marco Polo wrote in his book, The Travels of Marco Polo, when visiting a province known as Karajan:



This may seem like a huge serpent, but bear in mind that he said they had two legs. This sounds very similar to the description of the Wyvern. I'll go ahead and c/p what Wikipedia's etymology page for Wyvern says:



You certainly can't discount this correlation.

Now, you're probably saying to yourself, "But wait, dragons and dinosaurs are not the same thing!" In contemporary English, you'd be very much correct. However, the term, "Dinosaur," was not coined until 1841, and wasn't in the dictionary until 1891. The term, "Dragon," however is mentioned in the King James Version of the Bible (which was translated in 1611) a whopping 34 times.

Check out this definition for, "Dragon," in 1946.



Notice two things:

One, it is said to be, "Now rare," which implies that there were still some around. This particular tidbit is of great interest to me, and I've been looking for more information on this since I found it last year, but to no avail. Secondly, the first definition of dragon calls it a serpent. This is consistent with Marco Polo's account.

Unfortunately a lot of my sources, outside of Wikipedia, and Marco Polo's book, are very sketchy and have a Christian slant. While I personally think that Marco Polo was mistaken, or simply made this up (a similar claim has been made about Herodotus, the father of history), I can certainly see where your father comes from.
You are massively overestimating my father's knowledge on the subject. He had no idea what the difference was between the two, he did not go into that kind of detail, he simply saw "Marco Polo encountered dinosaurs" and believed it. And it wasn't the viper sort, he actually believed Polo encountered full-scale dinosaurs.
 
Joined
Jul 1, 2013
Eh. If that's what he wants to believe, then so be it. I do think your dad is wrong, and I think the process by which he reached his conclusion is flawed, but I'd presume you aren't going to be able to change your dad's entire way of thinking at this point in his life. I'd advise you to just be thankful that you were able to develop a more rational mind and, rather than putting your energy into being frustrated by your dad (or anyone else who holds beliefs in spite of the existence of contradictory evidence), put your energy into teaching future generations to think rationally as well.
 

Ganondork

you touch her butt and she moves away
Joined
Nov 12, 2010
You are massively overestimating my father's knowledge on the subject. He had no idea what the difference was between the two, he did not go into that kind of detail, he simply saw "Marco Polo encountered dinosaurs" and believed it. And it wasn't the viper sort, he actually believed Polo encountered full-scale dinosaurs.
You mentioned that he went onto a website. I managed to track down a website that mentions Alexander the Great, Josephus, Herodotus, and Marco Polo all encountering dragons (Dinosaurs) both living and dead. The link can be found here. Do be wary of the Christian slant, but it is surprisingly well cited. I think that this is the website your father mentioned.

I think he was simply regurgitating what the website said, but I've looked over a few of the sources (namely Marco Polo's and Alexander the Great's) and they appear to be as legitimate as their historical accounts can be. There are also a handful of accounts for Alexander's encounters with these supposed dinosaurs - both that of Alexander's, and that of an Egyptian historian. I question the validity of these sources, but your father isn't simply making baseless claims.

As for the last bit about him believing he encountered, "Full-scale dinosaurs," did he explicitly say something to the effect of, "He saw a tyrannosaurus rex!" or anything similar, or did he say, "He saw dinosaurs," and left it at that? What he said can be an enormous difference.

I'd like to emphasize that I don't believe Marco Polo, Alexander the Great, Josephus, Herodotus, or any other human during recorded history encountered a dinosaur, but these are sources of data that can't be ignored. What's important here is finding what led your father to this conclusion. I don't think he is as stupid as you are making him out to be, and I honestly see where he's coming from. I honestly implore that you don't look down on your father for holding these views. I think he's taking historical accounts at face value without thinking that perhaps these historians were not being completely truthful. The same can be said of the website I linked earlier.
 

Lord Carlisle

He Who Shall Not be Named
Joined
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Location
Florida
You mentioned that he went onto a website. I managed to track down a website that mentions Alexander the Great, Josephus, Herodotus, and Marco Polo all encountering dragons (Dinosaurs) both living and dead. The link can be found here. Do be wary of the Christian slant, but it is surprisingly well cited. I think that this is the website your father mentioned.

I think he was simply regurgitating what the website said, but I've looked over a few of the sources (namely Marco Polo's and Alexander the Great's) and they appear to be as legitimate as their historical accounts can be. There are also a handful of accounts for Alexander's encounters with these supposed dinosaurs - both that of Alexander's, and that of an Egyptian historian. I question the validity of these sources, but your father isn't simply making baseless claims.

As for the last bit about him believing he encountered, "Full-scale dinosaurs," did he explicitly say something to the effect of, "He saw a tyrannosaurus rex!" or anything similar, or did he say, "He saw dinosaurs," and left it at that? What he said can be an enormous difference.

I'd like to emphasize that I don't believe Marco Polo, Alexander the Great, Josephus, Herodotus, or any other human during recorded history encountered a dinosaur, but these are sources of data that can't be ignored. What's important here is finding what led your father to this conclusion. I don't think he is as stupid as you are making him out to be, and I honestly see where he's coming from. I honestly implore that you don't look down on your father for holding these views. I think he's taking historical accounts at face value without thinking that perhaps these historians were not being completely truthful. The same can be said of the website I linked earlier.
That is not the website my father stumbled upon. And he wasn't presented with any of the evidence you have presented before reaching the conclusion. We were discussing ancient dinosaurs, not just vipers... the general perception of dinosaurs people would have. He encountered a text that mentioned that Marco Polo and Alexander the Great wrote about finding dinosaurs, and accepted it at that. He did not accept that information after having read any of the details you have provided me with... he simply read that "Marco Polo encountered dinosaurs" and used that as part of his argument for creationism.
 

TatlTails

WANTS HER VMS BACK
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Ente Isla
OK, we get it, your father believed something stupid. Even I agree it's pretty stupid-sounding without Mr. Cain's evidence, and I actually believe in creationism! But you can't control what other people believe, so chill out. It's his decision to believe those things. As long as he isn't forcing you to believe everything he does, then there's really no harm done to you.

With that said, I'm pretty sure Christians say that women DO have one more rib than men, because God took one of Adam's ribs and made Eve with it. So, yeah. Just correcting that one little bit.
 

Lord Carlisle

He Who Shall Not be Named
Joined
Sep 9, 2012
Location
Florida
OK, we get it, your father believed something stupid. Even I agree it's pretty stupid-sounding without Mr. Cain's evidence, and I actually believe in creationism! But you can't control what other people believe, so chill out. It's his decision to believe those things. As long as he isn't forcing you to believe everything he does, then there's really no harm done to you.

With that said, I'm pretty sure Christians say that women DO have one more rib than men, because God took one of Adam's ribs and made Eve with it. So, yeah. Just correcting that one little bit.
That's what I said. Did I write something different?

Okay, yes, hold on, let me edit that, my error.
 

Batman

Not all those who wander are lost...
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I understand that skin-tingling sensation of furious flabbergastation (I just made that word up). My advice to you is to calmly, nicely, and respectfully discuss these things further with your father and try to plant some seeds of doubt in his mind. As long as you argue with evidence and sound logic you will always have a superior position in the discussion, even if your father doesn't see it. If it turns out that your father cannot be persuaded, then just leave him along about it. It's unfortunate that your father has such an incorrect worldview, but you have your own life to live and your own worldviews to construct. Life is too short to worry about the unalterable ignorance of others.
 

MW7

Joined
Jun 22, 2011
Location
Ohio
With that said, I'm pretty sure Christians say that women DO have one more rib than men, because God took one of Adam's ribs and made Eve with it. So, yeah. Just correcting that one little bit.
I'm 99% sure that even the most literal interpretation of the Bible wouldn't support the idea that women have one more rib than men. If God took a rib from Adam to create Eve, why would that mean that his sons would have less ribs than his daughters? That's like saying if I cut off my left hand, then all my sons are born with just a right hand and my daughters are born with both hands. Acquired traits such as lost body parts don't pass on genetically. Also even if you add in the assumption that Adam's sacrifice somehow only affects all males (which is not in the Bible), nothing in the Bible would have prevented God from simply making women with the same number of ribs as Adam after he gave one up. So to Lord Carlisle, my advice is to "out-Bible" your father. I couldn't glean from your post if he totally accepted that men and women have the same number of ribs or just shut up his resistance when you proved him wrong with facts. What he said has no basis in anything biblical (or biological but you've already proven that he won't entertain science). The only way I see for you to get him to admit that he is wrong is to argue against his view from a biblical perspective.

As for the dinosaur thing I would also try to shove the Bible down his throat. First of all the word dinosaur isn't in the Bible so anything a die-hard creationist says about them is complete speculation (even if you grant them that the Bible is accurate). Then I would point out that why is Marco Polo worth believing when he was an adventurer who died centuries ago but scientists who are alive today can be dismissed immediately. I don't think you'll make him see reason on this topic, but I do find examining young-earth creationism fascinating. I live relatively close to the Creation Museum, and I've never gone but I listened to Marc Maron very critically describe his visit for 15 minutes which does a pretty humorous overview of the place (p.s. it contains offensive language http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EQHdu-rS6E). What struck me about creationism is how little some of the associated beliefs are actually based on the Bible. I mean the creators of the Creation Museum are literally pulling things out of nowhere and presenting them as fact. I think this makes your job a little easier because I think the way to break through the logic of young-earth creationism is to get down to their level. If the Bible is their ultimate source of authority, then use it because it's still incredibly easy to poke holes all over common creationist beliefs just citing the Bible itself. For example the Creation Museum bizarrely presents a random collection of ideas as facts that have no basis in anything such as that all animals were vegetarian before the fall of man or that venom didn't exist. Good luck!
 
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Aewon

Emperor of the Flesh-Eating Replicators
Joined
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With that said, I'm pretty sure Christians say that women DO have one more rib than men, because God took one of Adam's ribs and made Eve with it. So, yeah. Just correcting that one little bit.
How do you know Adam didn't have one more rib originally than Eve ended up having?
 

Beauts

Rock and roll will never die
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Jun 15, 2012
Location
London, United Kingdom
I was going to say try slapping him in the face with facts but evidently this isn't going to work. I would just say, you know your own mind. You're not going to change his.

I think it's pretty safe to say that a huge portion of the Bible is just impossible. It doesn't say these things out of spite, it says it because there was no technology to investigate scientific explanations for the world around people at the time, so they had to invoke an external, greater power to make sense of things. I don't doubt that some of the people in there were real, and there is probably some basis of truth in the stories. But we know now, in the modern age, that dinosaurs and man never cohabited, evolution is the reason for the vast majority of our physical and genetic make up, and the universe is a whole lot older than 4000-6000 years. Religious people have no problem accepting that the earth revolves around the sun and not the other way round, something that was proved back in the 1700s. One explanation that can't be given scientifically is why people stopped listening to fact when more of it became apparent, switched off their brains and reverted back to taking the random words of a book written thousands of years ago. I think the answer might be fear.
 

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