Monday, April 13, 2015

Author Bio: Robert Bakker

Chances are pretty decent that the first time you heard Robert Bakker's name, it was here:

In this scene of Jurassic Park, Dr. Alan Grant is trying to find a seat in one of the Jeeps without having to sit next to either of the kids, but the boy (Timmy... classic 1990s boy name) is a huge fan of Dr. Grant's work, so he's following him around asking questions about his theories. He references a couple other sources, including "this one book by a guy named Bakker..." Well, that guy is this week's author here on the blog.

He actually gets referenced again in The Lost World, since this guy (Dr. Robert Burke) is supposed to be an affectionate caricature of him:

And this is really Bakker:

Robert T. Bakker #3

Bakker has been publishing studies on dinosaurs since 1968. He advised Jurassic Park, published his seminal work (The Dinosaur Heresies) in 1986 (which presented evidence to support his theory that dinosaurs may well have been warm-blooded), and is currently the Curator of Paleontology at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

Bakker was born in New Jersey in 1945. He's an ecumenical minister, and doesn't believe that religion and science are mutually exclusive. To him, the Bible is a moral guidance system, not a literal timeline of events, and does not disprove evolution or geologic history.

A friend of mine suggested Bakker's novel Raptor Red when he found out that I'm a big fan of the Jurassic Park trilogy, and that's why I chose it for us to review this week. It's told from the viewpoint of a Utahraptor (which is actually what we think of as Velociraptor, thanks to the Jurassic Park movies... Velociraptor was closer to the size of a big turkey, whereas Utahraptor was the height of a rather tall human).

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