‘Jurassic Park’ Point-Counterpoint

POINT: Jurassic Park is Scientifically Impossible
By Mark Hamblin, Paleontologist

It pains me to say that last month, after years of work, my team of paleogeneticists debunked the entire premise of Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park. You see, the idea of extracting 80-million-year-old DNA from mosquitoes trapped in amber is absolutely impossible, because as my assistants and I have calculated, DNA has a half-life of 521 years. To put it simply, even in the best conditions we could hope for, dinosaur DNA would decay completely after 6.8 million years at the most, and it would be unreadable after a mere 1.5 million years. I’m sorry to disappoint those of you who, like me, dreamt of bringing Crichton’s ingenious park to life, but the evidence is irrefutable. Dinosaurs and humans will never inhabit the earth at the same time.

COUNTERPOINT: Nothing a Tab of Acid and a Magic School Bus Can’t Fix

By Alan Eastman, Drug User

Well, with all due respect, man, it’s pretty obvious that you’ve never spent a summer afternoon tripping at the playground of your old elementary school. You said you spent years working on this dino-DNA theory? In a lab? Seriously, all it took for me to debunk your “research” was ten hours and ten bucks, and I got to chill with velociraptors, a smiling bus with teleportation capabilities, and the Friz. Sounds like a better use of time and resources, doesn’t it, doc? Listen, don’t give up on your dreams. Just change your research methods: go hang out in the woods, drop some acid, and see what happens. Take chances! Make mistakes! Get messy! And don’t fear the Friz – that’s why Arnold always had such a bad trip.

Originally published: November 2012

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