Falkor Is My Homeboy

Before I wrote this poem, I had no knowledge of Brian Dunning’s introduction to critical thinking, Here Be Dragons, but after watching it, I think that I accidentally did it justice, I hope you do to. Thankfully “The Nothing” can be more easily destroyed than it was in the movie with a little reading and critical thinking. Despite the voice of the poem, it is not the story of my journey to skepticism, thankfully I had a mother who started that journey early for my brother and I.

“...if you would only consider that there have been millions of books written about these winged wyrms...”

Falkor Is My Homeboy

I believe in dragons,
not the metaphorical kind
but the metaphysical kind,
the mystical kind
that flies through skies
and raids villages
unless virgins are sacrificed,
the magical kind
that breathes fire and does battle with
wizened wizards wearing pointy hats
and holding staffs.
I believe in dragons
because I can see
evidence of their descendants
scattered around the earth,
you call them dinosaurs,
but I know the truth,
they are dragons who never lived
long enough to learn how to fly
but my dragon survived
so he could pass the truth on to me
and I, as his righteous prophet,
am here to pass it on to you.
My dragon is the son of his father,
before there was anything
there was nothing
but the father of my dragon,
he coughed up a hairball
and caught the sun aflame,
a few millennia later
he had 7 bowel movements to form the planets,
but he had plans for the earth,
the earth was special,
so he was careful in what he ingested
making sure it was right for life
and now in order to protect us,
his most precious creation,
he carries us through the universe in his claws.
My dragon will one day poop planets,
but for now he evacuates asteroids into the atmosphere,
scientists have been fooled into thinking they come from space,
but I know the truth, and now so do you.
My dragon did damage when he was younger,
demanding sacrifices from believers
and death to non-believers,
but now he is a kinder, gentler deity,
he lives in the hills behind my house
and he protects me,
as his righteous prophet,
and I give him thanks and praise
when he uses his magic
to make things go my way,
and I plead for forgiveness
when his angry footfalls causes the earth to quake;
science attempts to tell me
that he doesn’t exist because he
has no influence on his environment,
that there is no fecal matter
congruent with a large lizard
evident in the immediate vicinity,
that there is not enough food
that exists in the ecology
to feed one as large as he,
but my dragon defies science,
my dragon lives outside the scope of science,
my dragon is magic.
Physicist attempt to tell me
that a dragon large enough to make the earth quake,
would need to be visible from space,
and I reply with…
They try to tell me that his wings
would need to be immense
in order to lift one so large,
and I reply with…
They try to tell me that fire
could not physically exist in a lizard,
that flammable expectorant
is not enough to cause dragon breath,
but an ignition system is needed as well,
and I reply with…
Friends and family plead with me to get help,
they say that the way I go on about dragons
I must be crazy,
and I can see
that some of you agree with that assessment,
but consider that every inhabited continent
has legends about dragons,
consider that every human culture
tells tales about these great beasts,
if you would only consider
that there have been millions of books
written about these winged wyrms,
if you only had faith the size of a mustard seed
in the existence of my dragon,
you would see that the evidence is irrefutable.
Well it was irrefutable
until I reached middle school,
when I had my first science class
and learned the scientific method;
you postulate a hypothesis,
arrange a test to check the validity
of your hypothesis,
and if it isn’t valid,
you must come up with a new hypothesis,
but if it holds true,
you need to submit your
findings and experiment for peer review.
Science tells us how the natural world works,
and my dragon was admittedly un-testable
despite the mountains of mythologies
they had no foundation in reality,
my dragon’s existence became questionable.
When I hit high school
and learned about biology,
the way the human embryo progresses
from single celled organism,
to full fledged human being,
my irrefutable evidence got a little shaky
because there was no need for me to be descended
from Atreyu and the Empress.
Then I got to college
and learned about potassium argon dating,
the way an objects age can be determined
by how much potassium argon remains in it’s structure,
and did some of my own research,
I read the evidence and formula for the big bang,
and by then my dragon had all but disappeared,
replaced by reason,
I am more amazed now
by my minuscule place in the universe,
my own existence,
and it’s improbability.
To quote Richard Dawkins
“We are going to die,
and that makes us the lucky ones.
Most people are never going to die
because they are never going to be born.
The potential people
who could have been here in my place
but who will in fact never see the light of day
outnumber the sand grains of Arabia.
Certainly those unborn ghosts
include greater poets than Keats,
scientists greater than Newton.
We know this because the set of possible people
allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds
the set of actual people.
In the teeth of these stupefying odds
it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.”
This is the way my belief in dragons
dissipated into skepticism
as maturity took me,
there is a quote I read in a collection of mythologies
that has stayed with me through the years,
“When I was a child, I spoke like a child,
thought like a child, and reasoned like a child.
When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me,”
and yet you continuously
attempt to convince me
that your deities are real.

Victor Harris Jr. © 2009


Trained in the ways of critical thinking and skepticism at a young age by his mother, Victor then learned the ways of atheism during ten years of catholic schooling. He has been a Dj since 1996. a performance poet since 1999, a cheesecake baker and entrepreneur since 2003, and a race car driver since he figured out which pedal was the accelerator, which pedal was the brake and which pedal was the clutch, there is a rumor that there is a video of him doing these four pursuits at the same time...but it is as of yet unsubstantiated. He is also an avid Formula 1 fan, and would like to add: Go Lewis.

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  1. Thank you Leigh, I thought that was a good twist on the common young earth argument that fossils are tricks from the devil.

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