Plenty of cults exist - every cult has its 'religious dogma', its idols, its 'prophets', its 'science', its 'proof' and its intolerant liturgy of demands. Cults everywhere: Islam, the State, the cult of Gay and Queer, Marxism, Darwin and Evolution, 'Science', Globaloneywarming, Changing Climate, Abortion....a nice variety for the human-hater, amoral, anti-rationalist to choose from. It is so much fun mocking them isn't it ?
Tempus Fugit Memento Mori - Time Flies Remember Death
Dragons, renamed 'Dinosaurs' in 1841, did of course exist with humans, and have been a part of human civilization. Every single culture, bar none, discusses Dragons, rampaging large lizards, battles with men, and every single culture has its St. George, its Beowulf, its Dragon on a coat of arms, or in the Zodiac [as with the ancient Chinese]. Every single culture relates winged lizards, depicts and describes in detail a T Rex and relates devilish scenes of carnage wrought by large plesiosaurs in the waters. Dragon stories and pictures of dragons are found all over the world, long before modern scientists took a femur relic and rebuilt an entire sauropod or tetrapod. How can you describe something you have not seen ?
Medieval and ancient literature, including the Old Testament, is littered with references to Dragons. They were the great menace, much like marauding elephants or tigers would be today, or hungry wolves and boars might have been in the early modern period.
See William F. Dankenbring, 'Dinosaurs in Human Times' for a detailed account.
For example Dankenbring's book contains many cultural artefacts from the medieval era in the UK. Stories about men fighting Dragons back to the times of the Romans. In 1405 in Suffolk, England a tale tells:
“Close to the town of Bures, near Sudbury, there has lately appeared, to the great hurt of the countryside, a dragon, vast in body, with a crested head, teeth like a saw, and a tail extending to an enormous length. Having slaughtered the shepherd of a flock, it devoured many sheep.”
Before the time of Rome and its subjugation of the Britons, there was the tale of a Dragon eating a King in 336 BC:
“The Danes employed an eotanweard (lit. a giantward, a watcher for monsters), to warn of Grendel’s approach, but often in vain. For so silent was Grendel’s approach when he was hunting in the darkness of the night that sometimes the eotanweard himself was surprised and eaten. On one particular and long-remembered night, no less than thirty Danish warriors were killed by Grendel. Little wonder then that Beowulf was rewarded so richly and was so famed for having slain him.”