Dinosaur Sunday – Reassessing Science and Faith

At Everything Dinosaur, we get involved in all sorts of unusual projects, helping schools, museums and community groups by providing information and resources related to dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals.  One such example was when we were contacted by the Brighthelm United Reformed Church and Community Centre to assist them with their dinosaur themed church service – Dinosaur Sunday.

As this particular group is based in Brighton, (East Sussex), they find themselves surrounded by important geological sites.  For example, to the west is the beginnings of the area designated as the “Jurassic Coast” – the famous stretch of English coastline which is a World Heritage Site.  To the east is the town of Lewes, the birthplace and home of Dr. Gideon Mantell, the amateur geologist and scientist who is credited for naming Iguanodon, only the second dinosaur to be formerly named and studied.

Dinosaur Sunday described by the organisers as a celebration of science and faith, with two church services emphasising the wonders of the world that surround this area of Britain’s south coast.  Talie, a young member of the church group gave a presentation to the congregation about how it is important to keep reassessing both science and faith.

The afternoon service, was held in the dark, with wall projections showing some of the prehistoric animals whose fossils have been found in the region.  A small piece of fossilised dinosaur bone (Iguanodontid) found in the Hastings area was brought in for church members to see and touch.

Part of the Church Service on Dinosaur Sunday

Picture Credit: Rev. David Coleman

The Everything Dinosaur contribution consisted of providing some information on Dr. Mantell’s views and our changing opinions regarding the Cretaceous Ornithopod Iguanodon.  After all, Mantell originally perceived Iguanodon to be a quadruped, then the Belgian palaeontologist Louis Dollo, who was responsible for the first reconstruction of the fossilised bones of Iguanodon thought it was a biped.  Now scientists, with many more fossils to study think that Iguanodon was capable of walking on its hind legs as well as on all fours.

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