The problem with having an open mind…

“The problem with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and putting things in it.”
Terry Pratchett

Except for the nine years I lived in Iran, I have always lived/studied and worked in a multicultural environment. Though none were as diverse as London. Not only there are more diversity in nationalities and ethnic groups, there are more diversity in the social class within the same ethnic group. Yeah, there were loads of [enter ANY nationality here] in Kuwait, but they were more or less from a similar background…not so much so here in London. You’ll encounter the whole range of spectrum of human thoughts and ideology here.

Now, having grew up with people from various backgrounds I had thought I had seen it all. I mean when it comes to religious views, politics, philosophy, etc, I thought I had had debates from every possible angle…never thought I would hear a perceptive that would LITERALLY make my jaw drop!

So I was on a bus having a casual conversation with a fellow student. And here’s how it went:

HIM: By the way Noushin, have you been to the Natural History Museum

ME: Yeah, but not worth going more than once, the best thing about it is the building itself, the architecture is amazing, I have probably taken more than …

HIM: But I heard there are dinosaur bones there

ME: [Thinking he is a bit too old to get excited about dinosaurs] …oh, yeah there are…several in fact

HIM: So it’s real!

ME: [Wondering if is asking or just surprised]..eeeeeh, yeah! [Now wondering if I should be asking or be surprised that he is surprised]

HIM: But, but, so what Darwin said is true?

Now, a little explanation…this classmate I was talking to was …or still is…i’m a little cloudy on the details.. well, a priest. I had totally forgotten, I mean it’s not everyday one of your classmates turns out to be a priest. And I certainly didn’t want to get into a religious debate, so I said:

ME: Well, dinosaurs don’t necessary prove or disapprove Darwin theory.

HIM: But it does show that such animals existed

ME: You mean dinosaurs?

HIM: yeah

ME: [Okay does he doubt the theory of evolution or the existence of dinosaurs?] eeh, I don’t follow.

HIM: Well, how do you know that dinosaurs really did exist?

ME: You think the existence of dinosaurs is a hoax?

HIM: YES!

ME: [Trying my best not to look shock] Oh, …eeeh, well, ….eeeeh…maybe…oh, look my stop!

Honestly, as I said, I always try to keep an open mind, hey if people have theories different from mine, it’s coz of their upbringing, their experience, their religion, culture, etc…but i have NEVER thought there are people out there who think dinosaurs are a hoax.

So a couple of days later I was telling this little anecdote to another acquaintance. And here’s how it went:

ME: So the guy actually doubts the existence of dinosaurs!!

HER: Well, you know, he is right.

ME: [My jaw fell down so hard and far I still haven’t been able to close my mouth since then]..but, but, there are fossils and bones, and..

HER: But how do you know they are not fake?

ME: [jaw drops further] But why would anyone pull a hoax like this?

HER: For money. It has attracted a attention, hasn’t it. Think of all the movies, toys, exhibitions…people pay a lot to see something like that. But how do you know really know they actually existed

Yes, there are all kinds of people in this world, with all sorts of ideas, and just when you thought you had heard them all, in comes TWO people who doubt the existence of dinosaurs! …oh, and these two people were from different nationalities, religion, continent, social class, and age group.

So, did dinosaurs really exist?

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