After the crazy cookie decorating session last week I started to wonder about dragons. Like, is it okay for a Christian to like dragons? Is there a possibility for our typical idea of dragons to be realistic in terms of anatomy? What would evolutionists have to say about dragons?
Well. Dragons seem to be some reptiles. Reptiles are nice, they exist. So if one thinks of dragons as a hypothetical species of lizards or such, then yes, it is totally okay to like them. I like chameleons and geckos, even some snakes with pretty colours, so why should it be bad to like dragons if they are just big, fancy lizards?
But then there is the problem with the anatomy of dragons. They are commonly portrayed with four legs and two wings. Birds and bats have two legs and two wings which – if you ask an evolutionist – used to be legs/arms as well. These creatures are called Chiroptera. I think that the good old Pteranodon falls into this category as well. But dragons can’t be such as they still have all four legs. What else has wings? Insects. Insects have six legs. Some have six legs plus wings. Or four legs, two arms, and wings (like the praying mantis).
So if you look at it on an evolutionary base, dragons could be
a) originally six-legged, wingless insects which developed into four-legged insects, because one of their leg pair became wings. Oh, and they became very, very reptilian along their evolution. Basically insects which became Chiroptera and got themselves some leathery skin.
b) Something like winged cats. A species of lizards with weird mutations which eventually became fully functional. Wow, Darwin and his disciples would love this one. Sadly there is no proof for functional wings on cats. Though winged and flying cats would be fun.
c) something that just does not fit into the current mainstream view of phylogenetics.
d) purely fictive.
If you don’t want to accept that dragons are fictive, and if you happen to be an atheist, well, you might have to resort to believing that dragons are freaky insects . Yuck.
Okay, or they might be of extraterrestrial origin. As in Lizards from outer space. This might be explain why they breathe fire. They are not used to eating chilli peppers from earth.
If you want to go even further, there might have been some mad scientists who created saurian-bat-chimeras. Well, this would open a whole new set of questions. Is it possible to cross-breed them? (I guess the answer is “no”, as one is reptilian and the other one a cute, furry mammal.) Did they inject cells from a bat’s wing into a lizards back? Did someone cut off the wings of Pteranodons and create some Franken-saurians with an enormous lifespan?
And why does my spellcheck not know the word “Pteranodon”?