Jan. 17, 2009 12:00 AM
My husband and daughter say there used to be such things as dragons. I say there was never any such thing. They make fun of me for not believing them. Were there ever dragons?
Your husband and daughter are loonies. You probably already knew that, but you have to put up with them anyway because they are family.
There is, of course, the Komodo dragon, the world's largest living lizard. It lives on some islands in Indonesia or some place like that, and I guess it looks sort of dragonish, although it can't fly or spout fire.
Did you ever hear Bob and Ray's Komodo dragon skit? It's a classic.
And it is true that there is a dragon in the Book of Revelation: "He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years."
It is true that dragons often turn up in myths of Western and Chinese culture. The Welsh flag has a dragon on it.
However, all that doesn't necessarily make it so.
Are our ancient memories of dragons left over from the days when people coexisted with dinosaurs?
Considering that there is a gap of about 60 million years between the age of dinosaurs and the appearance of anything even vaguely peopleish, that seems unlikely. Sixty million years is a long time to go around holding a grudge.
Some people think our dragon thing might be some memory in the depths of our brains of a time when our ancestors were threatened by giant birds of some sort. That's interesting, I guess, but so far there is no sign of such a thing anywhere in the fossil record.
My guess is our ancestors dreamed up dragons for the same reason we watch Jaws - just to scare themselves.
Reach Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 602-444-8612.