Large fossil specimens are beautifully detailed…

At best Trump is a large fossil specimen, of what? an earlier Trump who while he may have had a life at an earlier time, manipulating the art of the deal and firing employees in the Apprentice, this Trump now does seem to be extinct, and if he somehow pretends to survive it’s as a fossil.

And large fossil specimens are, in his case, as we see here and below, beautifully detailed:

There remain at most only remnants of what Trump may have been at the earlier time (he still plays golf, certainly more than Barack Obama whom he accused of playing golf instead of working!).

When Trump talks about making the country great again, he’s really speaking about himself, making himself great again, at least like what he thought he once was, and what he’d like to be again.

Now the greatest irony is this, that Trump, a fossil himself, is ignorant of what the fossils tell us about our own history. While we don’t know how many species there are now, still living, and we don’t know the numbers of those that have gone extinct, although scientists tell us that 99.9% of those that have ever lived, the dinosaurs for example, are now extinct. Not how many are extinct, let alone how many are alive today, although probably numbering in the tens if not hundreds of millions.

Crinoids are unusually beautiful and graceful members of the phylum Echinodermata.


This is the phylum that brings us starfish, sea urchins, and sand dollars. The crinoids  resemble an underwater flower while some, known as sea lilies, even have parts that look and act like roots anchoring them to the ocean floor. line drawings of crinoids-sea lillies Crinoids are not just some of the oldest fossils on earth but are still alive and well today and probably living in an nearby ocean. The earliest come from the Ordovician Period, some 450 million years ago. Most of the early Paleozoic life forms died out during the Permian extinctions of 250 million years ago although the few species that did survive into the Mesozoic Era that followed thrived.

The echinoderms were at their height during the Paleozoic era. They could be found all over the world, creating forests on the floor of the shallow seas of this time period. There were so many in places, that thick limestone beds were formed almost entirely from their body parts piled on top of each other.

Crinoids of today tend toward waters more than 200 meters deep. Scientists can study living relatives of fossils that are 450 million years old. While these living crinoids are not the same species or orders as those of the past there are enough similarities to help us understand how these plant like animals lived.

We of course are only beginning to leave fossils behind us. For the oldest homos are only a few million years old, and homo sapiens, at most only a few hundred thousand. Still we are uncovering little by little a line of humans, teeth and bones if not yet fossils, that we can follow back into the time we shared with the great apes, our ancestors? some tens of millions of years ago.


Trump of course is a very late comer to the legions of fossils that are out there, those, probably a minority, not yet totally destroyed, but buried somewhere in the wet but probably mostly dry surfaces of the earth, waiting to be uncovered by fossil hunters, and then with our help telling us a bit about themselves. If Trump were the fossil of which I speak it would be a fine thing if he was content to stop signing and correcting what he calls the mistakes of earlier presidents, and just tell us about himself at an earlier time. Then we might listen to him. As it is we kind of turn him off as he speaks of things of which he knows nothing.

The great irony is that Trump probably could make himself “great again” if he were just to stop talking about what he doesn’t know— education, taxes, infrastructure, healthcare, et al. most everything, and simply begin to look at the earlier forms of life, fossils like himself, from the perspective of a fossil where characteristics such as nationality and skin color, to which Trump himself gives so much importance, have no importance at all, no place, no standing.

It would help too if Trump put aside such Biblical stories as the Garden of Eden, Noah’s flood, the Opening of the Red Sea, in fact the totality of the events of the Bible as well as those of the other sacred books, all of which when looked at in the context of the evolutionary history of the earth have little, if anything to say about the origin and meaning of life on the earth.  Holding onto these stories is now in this Christmas season like holding on to Santa.

It does seem unbelievable that Trump could never have realized that the Bible was at best a source of tales, some beautiful and some not, some true and some terribly false, for children and the adult children of his base, for in regard to religion, especially the Christian religion, Trump goes on playing the role of a believer. Is he? Whatever he is he’s not a Christian. But he does believe, in as much as a fossil can believe in anything, in the power of religion to get him elected to the presidency of the United States. And no one, except maybe our fossil, saw this coming.

To the fossil evidence for what happened to the earlier forms of life on earth, representing hundreds of millions of years, not to the surviving literature of the earth’s religious traditions, representing tens of thousands of years at the most, is where we should look for both knowledge and understanding of where we came from and to where we are going.

Again, neither Trump nor his Republican and Evangelical base seem to have ever looked at the fossil evidence from the nearly 4 billion plus year old evolutionary history of life on earth. For these “leaders” of our country, unbelievingly, still look for answers to their important questions, not to science, but to the words of the Bible, in large part the words attributed to God (and what is the evidence for that attribution?) whereas they ought to be looking at the much more convincing large fossil evidence much of which is now readily available in our natural history museums.

If I see president Trump as an extinct vertebrate fossil, it’s because of what I see of him in the media. He is always the same, saying always the same things to different people and on different occasions. He is unoriginal and boring, and in order to become interested you’d have to read him as we read fossils, in terms of what they once were. Now there are only the predictable and repetitive words and movements of the three-dimensional spacial volume that we call Trump, be this seated in the Oval Office signing his name while gloating and undoing the signings of his predecessor, be it while swinging a golf club on a links at Trump National in Bedminster, NJ,  or at Trump International at West Palm Beach.

His movements are those of the fossil Trump, his having never in spite of being president become a part of the real movements of history, those movements unseen by him, but going on about him. and mostly without him. While fossils may have before becoming extinct contributed substantially to the movements of the life about them, extinction means just that, no longer do they have a part to play. This is Trump’s case.

Tell me have you ever seen the president change in response to the constant changes about him? Have you ever seen him by his own actions change anything of real substance?

But what got me thinking about all this was something I read just yesterday from Live Science.Com.

“The first life on Earth was microbial, and fossils from this time offer a tantalizing glimpse of the forms from which all creatures — living and extinct — evolved over billions of years.”

All creatures, including us, the Evangelicals, Donald Trump himself, are descendants of the very first microbial life on earth. Wouldn’t you think that this would be humbling?

Compared to fossils of extinct vertebrates, microbial fossils may not seem like much to look at, even when they’re highly magnified. Certain large fossil specimens are beautifully detailed in their preservation, retaining impressions of ancient animals’ skin or feathers. Others astonish with their sheer size, such as the giant sauropod dinosaurs’ massive femurs, which can be taller than a human adult.

When I read, “certain large fossil specimens are beautifully detailed in their preservation…”

I did think of Donald Trump. He does seem to be mostly working at his own preservation and in great detail.

And I thought that Trump is probably bothered by the fact that microbe fossils, though neither structurally complex nor large, are unrivaled when it comes to age. To be beaten in anything at all, and by the tiniest form of life existing, this should also be humbling, but in Trump’s case he would be early morning tweeting against the microbes, describing them not unrivaled in regard to their age (some 4 billion years) but as merely specks of dust on a photographic plate. But the microscopic fossils tell us most about the origin of life on earth.

Finally, from Live Science:

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