I just got back from Dr. Sharp’s Truth About Dinosaurs seminar at the Theibaud, and I’m here to report my experience.
For those not in the know: Dr. Sharp is probably the most shameless and malicious liar I’ve had the misfortune to see in person. I credit him for my eventually conversion into a pinko atheist activist, way back in middle school. He is a little league young earth creationist, and while he’s in cahoots with Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis fame, his piddly museum and presentations get nowhere near the fame and infamy Ken enjoys. Which is a shame, in a way, because he’s got his own style and quirks that could really propel him to the top of creationism’s elite. Yet for some reason, he languishes in obscurity.
Anyhoo, he’s back in town for four days. The presentations started yesterday, but I was too busy to go. There was no way, however, that I was going to miss the Truth About Dinosaurs seminar. So I loaded up my camera, my iPhone, and my sketchbook and hauled.
This was “Family Night,” the most hyped presentation of the whole event, but I was still floored by the size of the crowd. It was standing room only. I have never seen the Thiebaud so crowded, ever. I ate my free hotdog, and went inside.
The stage was filled with replica fossils. They were mostly dinosaurs and Mesozoic reptiles, with a few trilobites, a Bison latifrons, and inaccurate old hominid skulls such as Piltdown Man (chosen to show how science GETS THINGS WRONG!!!!111!!!) Unfortunately, my camera battery went from two bars to one, and it stopped working. Damn! Luckily I still had my iPhone…which takes crap pictures and was also low on juice. (I know what you’re thinking, but Sharp had technical difficulties too—God hates both of us!)
I snagged a seat not far from the front. Musicians from the church were set up amongst the fossils. The show started off with a prayer, and then…Christian rock.
Christian rock…why did it have to be Christian rock? I imagine it serves as a filter, driving away those souls who have already been irredeemably tainted by the Satanic force of good taste in music. Time became meaningless in this unprovoked assault on the ears. At least back in 2000, Dr. Sharp just stuck with good ole “Amazing Grace.”
Finally, nearly an hour after the doors were opened, Dr. Sharp got on stage, and 40 some minutes worth of bullhockey started spewing from his lips. I started taking notes.
His central theses are as follows:
- If science is to be believed, and death was in the world before humans (Adam) existed, then humans were not responsible for the Fall, and thus Christ’s sacrifice is meaningless and the whole thing is kind of stupid.
- “Liberal social engineers” and “the uncircumcised philistines of Hollywood” (his words exactly) deliberately use dinosaurs as candy to lead children away from Christ into the windowless van of secular humanism.
- Do not trust scientists. He explicitly said this. “Never, ever take a scientist’s word, no matter how many degrees or studies he has, over the word of God.” People wonder why scientists don’t give creationists equal time or waste time arguing with them. Gee, maybe it’s because you’re arguing in bad faith?
Apparently, what got Sharp into dinosaurs was the same thing that got me into dinosaurs: Jurassic Park. Big Hollywood, by the way, counts as “science” in Sharp’s world. The way he spits out the name “Spielberg” makes me suspect that he’s one of those guys who thought “the Passion” was an important movie, if you know what I mean. Unfounded assumption on my part, moving on. He ragged on how the dinosaurs were portrayed in the film, with such laughable concepts as a fast T-Rex and super smart Velociraptors.
Keep in mind, this guy thinks T-Rex ate coconuts.
He moved on to the T-Rex skull on the stage, and went into the scavenger/hunter debate. The implication, of course, is that those dumb scientists can’t get their story straight! He said its brain was the size of a walnut; it’s actually bigger than a human’s, but whatever. Also, since T-Rex was constantly loosing teeth, it couldn’t tear out chunks of flesh; unlike the teeth of a shark, which are WAIT A MINUTE…
The biggest facepalm of the entire event, however, was when he said that T-rex couldn’t see well because its eyes were on the side of its head. No. T-rex is renowned for having forward pointing eyes. Every single children’s book in the world will tell you that T-Rex’s eyes faced forward, providing stereoscopic vision. Most importantly, he says this WHILE STANDING NEXT TO A T-REX SKULL, WHERE YOU CAN CLEARLY SEE THE EYES FACE FORWARD. I let slip an audible note of frustration. Inside my brain, I was screaming. But hey, when you have the Bible, who needs A T-REX SKULL IN FRONT OF YOUR VERY EYES AAAAAAAAAUGH
He goes into misinformation about fossilization, and misinformation about gigantism, and then claims that Noah fit everything on the Ark, including the 99.9% of extinct “kinds”, by taking babies instead of adults. You’d think the Bible would have mentioned that. It’s a nice flourish for sure. I have my suspicions that you couldn’t fit those animals even if they were all in Shrinky-Dink form. But what do I know?
Another good facepalm moment was when he assured us that yes, Virginia, dinosaurs really existed. He told of an encounter with a man who believed Satan planted fossils to trick us, along with the moon landing being hoaxed and the earth being flat. “If he’s that far gone to believe stuff like that, what can you do?”
Just a reminder, this guy thinks T-Rex ate coconuts.
Now, the important thing about creationism is faith, but a little evidence doesn’t hurt. Sharp has evidence, and some of it isn’t even from the Bible for all you doubting Thomases out there. How about Mary Schweitzer’s soft tissue? The actual scientists working on it may object, but whatever, scientists are dumb. How about a single piece of Cambodian temple art that depicts something that looks like a Stegosaurus but looks more like a chameleon? How about lake monsters like Nessie and Mokele-mbembe? And who can forget the coelacanth? It’s a living fossil, man.
He discussed dinosaurs appearing in the Bible. Behemoth was mentioned, which you can read about here. Unfortunately, he didn’t mention his “theory” that duckbill dinosaurs spat acid out of their head crests. I hope he didn’t pitch it, because that was my favorite from my middle school days. He also claimed dragons in the Bible were dinosaurs. What followed was an even weirder Hollywood bashing moment, where he blamed “Walt Disney and his ilk” for portraying the dragon as a silly mythical creature. Riiiiight. I have no idea where the hell that came from.
It was time to wrap things up, so he asked for three questions from the audience. Two kids asked their questions, and a suspiciously enthusiastic gentleman asked “Where can I get a good resource to train my kids properly?” You’d think the Bible would suffice, but Sharp’s got a book that’s even better, and wouldn’t you know it? It’s freshly printed and ready to be ordered! The night was weird enough, I wouldn’t be surprised if the guy in the audience was a paid shill. You had to have listened to both of them, it sounded way too fake.
I shuffled out. I’ve got two more days of this guy to last through.
This guy who thinks T-Rex ate coconuts.