One of the advantages of living in a remote area is the freedom from distraction which allows us to percieve things that are missed by our urban cousins. Raw nature, although it flaunts no advanced degrees from prestigious institutions, is the best source of strictly objective truth unsullied by any trace of anthropocentric bias. This resident of Grant County puts his undistracted and unsullied familiarity with rawly natural strictly objective truth in the service of humanity to warn the world about a potentially dire catastrophe. Here is one strictly objective irrefutable truth. I live less than twenty miles from one of the richest and most varied deposits of fossilized animal remains on this planet. It is a record of animal and plant life of this region covering a span from 40 million years ago up to about 5 million years ago. Here is the important point: it does not contain a single dinosaur. Doesn't that seem a little strange? For 135 million years, about twice as long as the age of mammals, dinosaurs were abundant in every part of this planet. And then, every single dinosaur vanished forever. Yes there have been several great extinctions in the earth's history, but there are always a few survivors. Whole species may be wiped out, but for an entire clade without any exception to vanish seems inexplicable. Whatever the cause of the dinosaur's extinction, it affected all other clades too. But in the case of all the others a few examples survived and now we mammals share the planet with reptiles and fish and molluscs and arthropods. But in the whole wide world, not a single dinosaur remains. It is popular to say that birds are dinosaurs but this is not really true. Birds are the closest living relative of dinosaurs but they clearly belong to a different order. There are a number of significant differences but the big one is dinosaur's bigness. True dinosaurs grew larger than any existing land animals and the very smallest were cat-sized, which is medium sized for a bird or mammal. The few exceptions are clearly proto-birds, more avian than saurian. And yet this vast assemblage of creatures completely failed when others recovered and now flourish in their place. What happened? Strictly objective examination of the evidence permits only one conclusion: Whatever killed the dinosaurs was built specifically to kill dinosaurs and dinosaurs only. I don't want to go beyond the evidence here, but I see only one answer: the dinosaurs did it. This is not so surprising. Less than a generation ago the soberest and least imaginative members of the human race were devoting their energies to things called \"mutually assured destruction\" and \"spasm warfare\". We never actually tried it out (so far) but all the destruction our species is capable of would have been directed entirely at human populations. Most wildernesses and jungles would have received a light dusting at most. Dinosaurs must have achieved sentience and technology for a brief spell at the very end of their reign on this planet. Of course there is no trace of this civilization today. The Atlantic Ocean and the Rocky Mountains have both come into existence since the passing of the dinosaurs. Any saurian metropolises have probably been subducted back into the bowels of the earth. And if the site remained undisturbed after 65 million years, all that would be left would be unusual concentrations of certain minerals. The high noon of saurian civilization could have been much longer than the span from Uridu to today. And then what could have happened. Internecine war? Some super technology run amok? Most likely biological warfare. Pathogens targeted specifically at certain groups of saurians. And then it metastasized into a cycle of ever more virulent strike and counter-strike until every saurian down to the most remote cousin was dead. Too bad for the dinosaurs, hooray for mammals. Is it possible that a handful escaped to another planet? Egomania (being as ever, strictly objective) is the defining human characteristic. We think that our way is necessarily the best way and if we can't do it, then it can't be done. We assume that if we don't hear anything on the bit of the electromagnetic spectrum that we use, there must not be anybody there. Our technology is still new and raw. Three hundred years ago we had muscles for power and animal fat for light. Do you think we'll still be using today's technologies 300 years from now? Or three thousand years from now? We have nothing go on but the roughest estimates but the age of the dinosaurs was about twice as long as the age of mammals to date. If the duration of the age of saurian technology is in the same ratio, what could they achieve with another 4000 years of study and invention? We see about 2000 stars within 50 light years of earth. If 15% of those stars have habitable planets that equals 300 planets for them to escape to. Could saurian science have discovered some quantum-mechanical fluctuations of orgone energy which would make the journey possible? Four thousand years is a lot of time. We state is a spirit of completely objective veracity that we do not know. But we all do know that there is no place like home. This is their homeland and very likely they want it back. We have another bit of objective fact here. During the age of the dinosaurs, the earth was a planet of tropical swamps and shallow seas. Then, perhaps as a result of the perturbations of their death throes, perhaps for some completely unrelated cause, the ice rose the seas shrank and the planet became permanently colder and drier. If the saurians wish to resume their presence here, they will need to suitably adjust the climate. All the wisest mammalian minds agree that this process is now in progress. Coincidence? I think not. Are they coming soon? Or in 1000 years? Will we have any warning? Do we have a chance? Don't forget we have been messing with technology for maybe 200,000 years if you count when we first started deliberately setting fire to things. They have had at least 65 million years to advance beyond where they were when they left. Would we have any chance? I hate to engage in speculation that is not supported by a solid grounding in observable fact. But this threat is so overwhelming that I am going to make this single exception and share my unverifiable suspicion with you. I believe the first wave has already arrived. Birds may not be true dinosaurs but they are the closest thing available. This makes it highly likely that domestic chickens are spies for the dinosaurs. Think about it, all around the world, wherever you have people there are chickens. Snooping, prying, peeping into our homes. What have we been subtly brain-washed into thinking it's the perfect health food? Chicken soup. I think I can see it all clearly: first they use their mastery of biology to soften us up with a tailored rhinovirus. Then the attack vector coded into chicken protein paralyzes our will and makes us slave to the saurian overlords forever. We have just one advantage: chickens can't stay awake after the sun goes down. If we have enough coffee, perhaps we can scramble this plot before it hatches.
This Week:
The Horror in the Henhouse
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