crest-fallen dinosaur – and the fear of mistakes


Funnily enough, crest-fallen is probably exactly, what a depressed dinosaur would have been. Advancing scientific research and paleontological findings prove that the ‘terrible lizards’ more likely than not weren’t so much scaly but…fluffy!

Here is a link to a National Geographic article that shows a feathered dinosaur tail preserved in amber. It turns a lot of perceived “knowledge” on its wise and learned head. I love it when that happens. Like the dinosaur that never existed, because, apparently, someone muddled up the bones of Apathosaurus, so Brontosaurus, one of the most widely known species of dinosaur never actually existed. Or did it?

A double negative has become a positive, or in this case, two wrongs make a right, because according to a 2015 study Brontosaurus is back. Not necessarily with a vengeance but discernably variant from Apathosaurus and not as merely one species but three, thus outweighing its passively-agressive relative not in actual weight but in diversity.

Mistakes in science are great. They can be aggravating, but true science always has to be aware that models and theories are bound to have their flaws and limitations. New discoveries that unveil mistakes are mile stones on the road to a better, more accurate understanding of our past, present and future.

All of this is is not, however, what’s bothering the young and usually spright individual at the top of the page. And its sombre mood has nothing to do with the error of previous scientists’ opinions on these species of ‘chickens from hell’ that have become extinct – possibly due to their own equivalent of ancient bird flu or paleo burger joints.

What you see in the illustration up to is self-berating at its best. The real mistake being to think that a previous mistake will make any effort from now on obsolete – as you clearly have ruined the future already. If you give in to that feeling, a little further on down the time line you are bound to discover that not the mistake itself but your drawn conclusion was the true mistake. One that could easily paralize you – like an insect in amber, for instance –  because everything from now on would be futile anyways, maybe twice so, as you have ruined the future YET AGAIN! You can go on that way till it ends. But you will have stopped a long time before that.

Dara O’Briain, funny and brilliant science fan, has said ‘Science does not know everything! Or else it would have stopped.”

Science does not stop. Mistakes happen all the time. They often make us fitter, more aware, careful and likeable than any plain success. Mistakes don’t equal failure. It’s your take on mistakes that makes them what they can be. Why not make the best of them?


2 thoughts on “crest-fallen dinosaur – and the fear of mistakes

  1. I like the idea of feathery dinosaurs :) It makes sense if birds are their closest living relatives. I’m imagining really crazy bright colours! Probably not realistic, but still…
    True dat about the dwelling-on-mistakes thing. I’m very guilty of it. But they must be learnt from, or no progress is made.

    1. think there’s probably too much shame attached to mistakes and a resulting fear of making mistakes when we probably need to get things wrong repeatedly in order to get the right eventually.

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