Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A Lot of Fuss Over Feathers

It’s not unusual for a new science fiction movie to stir up a lot of discussion and debate on the internet, but in my experience, the science tends to take a back seat to the fiction. But Jurassic World has the internet all a-buzz over the science, arguing whether or not the dinosaurs should have feathers.

It shouldn’t be a big surprise that I fall on the “yes they should” side of this debate. My main reason is simple: that’s how dinosaurs were. Leopards come with spots, moose come with antlers, and velociraptors came with feathers. One of the best things about the first Jurassic Park movie was that it focused on depicting the dinosaurs as amazing animals, and those animals became firmly established in the minds of the public. Even the things the movie got wrong have endured so well that they are now common misconceptions about dinosaurs. If you want a movie to do justice to dinosaurs as incredible, real creatures, and not just movie monsters, you take everything that comes with them, even the parts that are unfamiliar to you.

Of course, people on the other side of the debate have made several points in favor of leaving the dinosaurs featherless. Here, I’ll respond to some of the most common anti-feather arguments: