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Tuesday, 19 June 2012

The Year of the Dragon

We are currently in “the Year of the Dragon,” according to the Chinese calendar.   Have you ever noticed that all of the other creatures in this twelve-year cycle (the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, snake, horse, goat, monkey, chicken, dog and pig) are animals we are all familiar with by direct experience?  Isn’t it curious that in the midst of these ordinary animals there is one mythological creature?  Does it at least suggest that what we consider mythical today may at one time in human history have been very real?
   In addition to the Chinese calendar, there are accounts of Australian Aboriginees never taught about dinosaurs in an academic setting recognizing them as entities that their ancestors feared and faced.[1]  An ancient carving from the ruins of the temple at Angkor Wat resembles a stegosaur[2].  Why do cave paintings of woolly mammoths have credibility and not those of dinosaurs except that they fit in with what science has declared to be true?[3]
   Both dragons and dinosaurs have a modern fascination appearing in films like Jurassic Park and more recent young adult fiction series such as “The Last Dragon Chronicles” by Chris D’Lacey and the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini.  These fantasies place humans and dragon/dinosaurs together despite the timelines taught to children from Kindergarten that dinosaurs died out long before humans appeared on planet earth.
   It is striking that the theme park “Canada’s Wonderland” chose to name its newest ride after a mysterious creature named in the Bible, namely Leviathan.  It joins the already popular ride Behemoth.  Their descriptions in the oldest book of the Bible, Job 41 and Job 40: 15 ff respectively are intriguing to the open-minded.

[1] Geelong Advertiser, July 1845, reprinted in the same newspaper in 1991. 

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