The Great Mumsnet Dino Debate

"I'm getting sick and tired of dinosaurs being forced on our children."

It started, as things on Mumsnet often do, on a Friday evening...


"I'm really concerned about dinosaurs," wrote CADministry, "and I think something needs to be done. The science behind them is pretty flimsy, and I for one do not want my children being taught lies. Did you know that nobody had even heard of dinosaurs before the 1800s, when they were invented by curio-hungry Victorians?"


"Aside from the educational aspect, dinosaurs are a very bad example for children. At my children's school, several children were left in tears after one of their classmates (who had evidently been exposed to dinosaurs), became bestially-minded and ran around the classroom roaring and pretending to be a dinosaur. Then he bit three children on the face. One poor girl has been left with a severely dented nose and the whole class was left traumatised by this horrible display."

Go on...

"Nothing about dinosaurs is suitable for children, from their total lack of family values through to their non-existence from any serious scientific point of view.

"Recently my sister foolishly gave my two youngest some dinosaur toys for Christmas. After telling her to get out of my house, I burnt the dinosaurs. My children were delighted because they know dinosaurs are evil. I am fortunate my family have been very supportive, and have disowned my children's former aunt."


"Please, do what you can to get dinosaurs taken off the curriculum. Our school has been recently presented with a 214-signature petition, and following that and our recent protest, the headmaster has said he will take it the governors. We are lucky he is so sympathetic to our cause, but I fear that others may not be."


Mumsnetters had some thoughts:

"Ha ha ha!" said BreacaBoudica, speaking for many.



"This is amazing," said BlondieBonce. "Won't someone please think of the children?"

"What about Barney?" worried FeckTheMagicDragon. "Won't someone think of Barney?"

"Totally agree," said NickAngel, in support of the OP - adding, after some thought: "and the mermaids can feck off too."

dino mermaid


"Yes, yes, very funny." CADministry was back. "I used to believe in dinosaurs. We all did. We were all raised on the dinosaur lie, and so we don't question it. I'm used to getting amused reactions at first, and then I'm equally used to people learning a bit about the facts themselves and coming to the obvious realisation that they've been fed a fraud."


A FRAUD, you say?


"Just for one moment," CADministry continued, "step outside what you think you know, and consider what we're actually telling our children with these tall tales. Stomping about the place, making loads of noise and mess is great and cool - who hasn't had a teenager that has taken this to heart? Being aggressive, shouting and biting people is to be applauded. Being cold-hearted will win you the world for millions of years."

"No dinosaur ever bit a person," corrected MrsCakesPrecognition. "Fact." 

dino attack


Hypotenuse was all ears, though: "I heard they're all into drugs too. The T Rex is the only dinosaur who is not a pothead, and that's only because he can't reach his mouth with the spliff."

dino image


"It's time we took a step back," pleaded CADministry, "and really looked at what we're doing. Often the most damaging things are the hardest to see, because they're so accepted. Look at lead paint, or slavery."

"Yes. Dinosaurs are just like slavery," nodded EnjoyingScience. "Exactly the same. Actually, there is evidence that dinosaurs had quite good family values, and nurtured their young in groups. One's even been named for this - Maiasaura (good mother lizard)."

dino mum

BrassicaBabe had a question: "Let's say you're right OP - no dinosaurs. Does that mean I also have to remove the kids' Ben and Holly toys (ha - no scientific evidence of elves OR fairies!) And let's not even start on the talking pig..."
Said CADministry, quick off the mark: "It's not that dinosaurs aren't real that makes me think they are bad for children. It's important to stimulate an active imagination, and for children to explore the difference between fantasy and reality."
"But the examples you give are very different to dinosaurs. Elves and fairies are good-hearted and magical; they help children to develop a sense of wonder and love for the world. 
"If you mean Peppa Pig, well, I have a bit of an issue with the eyes on the side of the face; seems a bit creepy. But from what I've seen, it promotes happy family life, so I don't have a problem with it overall."

And on the debate raged... for another 900-odd posts. The OP felt Mumsnet would eventually thank her for her efforts:

"It's certainly a bit more wholesome than 'penis beakers', so it might do your site some good to be associated with something a bit less offensive."



If you have doubts about science or dinos - or are in need of a mid-week pick-me-up - may we commend you to the full thread?

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Last updated: over 3 years ago