Albert Einstein is credited with some variation of saying that “I do not know what weapons the third war will be fought with, but the fourth war will be fought with sticks and stones.” With that in mind, it can be argued that The Flintstones is not actually the distant past, but rather a distant future after a nuclear apocalypse. Maybe it was less about cavemen, and a bit more like the original ending to Planet of The Apes. Here are ten reasons why.

10. It’s in the Theme Song

If you had any type of proper childhood, then you know the lyrics to The Flintstones’ theme song. Have you ever considered that they might just be telling you the actual premise of the show?

“Flintstones, Meet the Flintstones, They’re the Modern Stone Age Family. From the town of Bedrock,  They’re a page right out of history.”

Pay attention to the lyrics. The Flintstones are not actually living in the Stone Age. They are living in a Modern Stone Age. They are not in the past. They are “a page right out of history.” The song never tells you that they lived millions of years ago. All it tells you is that this society had to rebuild based on what was available, and people appear to be living “right out of history.”

9. Horror Movies of the 1950’s

The concept of awakening or creating monsters due to nuclear experimentation was one of the great themes of horror and science fiction movies of the 1950′s. Many were simply examinations of living in a post-nuclear age. Them! featured giant ants. The Creature From the Black Lagoon featured finding an ancient monster. The Flintstones were simply taking a cue from those pictures and combining it with modern suburbia.

In The Flintstones, not only is the Stone Age ancient history, but also the era in which we live as well. They had to combine everything in order to fashion a new society, which combines the creature comforts and malaise of the modern age with the simple materials at hand. After a decade of giant ants, monsters, and other mutations in this genre, The Flintstones would have made a bizarre bit of sense to a dawn-of-the-60s audience .

8. Fred Flintstone Is An Evolved Man

Fred Flintstone does not represent the past, but rather the future of evolution. Flintstone clearly walks upright. He also possesses what we would consider to be superhuman strength and speed, but what is considered common in that era. That is demonstrated by the way in which their cars are built. The cars can move just as fast, but they are powered by humans and not an engine.

Fred also only has four fingers. However, it is the pinky finger which is missing. It is entirely possible that, in some far-flung future, the need for a pinky finger became vestigial, and the damn thing falls off altogether. In addition, Flintstone possesses oversized feet and three toes, all of which the same size. This does not appear to be a birth defect, nor is it a present trait at any point in human history.

7. The Doomsday Device

The origin of the Great Gazoo is that, after creating a “Doomsday Device” on his own home world, his punishment was banishment to Earth, where a Doomsday Device was clearly used at some point. In this way, his punishment is to live out his life seeing the possible results of his potentially irresponsible actions.

While Gazoo recognizes Earth as being in a Stone Age, this does not necessarily mean he’s right. It simply means he came from the even more distant future. After all, a reference to Gazoo coming from a future year of “2000 AD” was actually removed from the final script, perhaps because it didn’t jive with the truth behind the series. In addition, Gazoo appears in a scene in Duck Dodgers, a show set in the 24th Century. If Gazoo is present then, and can be sent to what he considers a Stone Age, it would actually be more evidence that The Flintstones are the distant future rather than the past.

6. The Animals Were Not Historically Contemporary

Fred keeps Dino the dinosaur as a pet, along with Baby Puss the saber-toothed tiger. This indicates an era in which animals from the Ice Age, humans, and dinosaurs all co-existed at the same time. There is no period in our history in which this occurred. Large mammals came to be after the dinosaurs died off, and humans pretty much showed up two minutes ago as far as evolution is concerned. The mere existence of all these creatures at once, with the added feature of domestication, would indicate a period in history which we have not arrived at yet.

5. The Animals Speak And Show Intelligence

In the first episode, The Snorkasaurus Hunter, Dino is shown to speak and possess problem-solving skills. As a matter of fact, Dino continually outsmarts both Fred and Barney. In the end, Dino agrees to go home and play the role of a pet. So in theory, Dino has not neither lost his ability to speak nor his ability to outsmart humans. Dino gives Fred a daily reminder of this when he meets Fred at the door every day.

All of the animals and dinosaurs in the Flintstones universe speak. They have also developed a sense of peace with their human neighbors. The animals do seem to serve subservient roles, however it appears that they are more working jobs, such as the trash disposal mammoth, than actual pets. The presence of animals which do not exist in today’s world talking and fulfilling this type of role in society would indicate an evolution which does not exist today.

4. The Jetsons “Scorched Sky” Theory

Before there was The Matrix, there was The Jetsons and The Flintstones. In The Jetsons, the only time you see the ground is in the opening, which shows you the Earth. Otherwise, you are flying in the air in the upper reaches of the atmosphere. The robots demonstrate a clear artificial intelligence, as well as the ability to collude together. This would indicate on some level that The Jetsons exists some where between Machine Wars, the first of which ended very much Matrix-like with a scorched sky.

In The Matrix Revolutions, you see the sky above where it was scorched. This would be where the cities in The Jetsons would be built. Man, in his hubris, figured that he had solved the problems associated with artificial intelligence and robots. This gives us the fairly benign era of Rosie and other robots possessing artificial intelligence, but not yet having rebelled again.

By the time you get to the even more far-flung future depicted in The Flintstones, animals have been genetically engineered to fulfill those roles, and the sky is no longer scorched. There is also no electricity used, which could mean a future in which electricity was deemed too dangerous to exist.

3. “Ten Little Flintstones”

In the season four episode “Ten Little Flintstones,” androids are used by aliens (other than the Great Gazoo) to create an army of Fred-bots, in an attempt to invade the Earth. The bots can only say “Yabba Dabba Doo,” but it also indicates that the Modern Stone Age is capable of making contact with advanced civilized societies from outer space. Basically, “Ten Little Flintstones” would indicate that these aliens have been monitoring Earth for some time now, and are trying to see if they have a chance to successfully invade, now that Earth society has regressed.

2. The Planet of the Apes Validation

Did you know that the original Planet of the Apes novel involved a couple on a pleasure cruise in space, as well as an ape city complete with vehicles and modern technology? Did you know that the Planet of the Apes cartoon actually is closer to the novel than the movies are?

The original Planet of the Apes movie came out two years after The Flintstones ended. Apes demonstrates that the history of technology is actually quite non-linear. Technological and societal advances will erupt, and then be forgotten about. You can see it in the real world too, such as how the Chinese invented gunpowder ages ago, and then later marveled at its “invention” by somebody else.

Shows like Revolution demonstrate how quickly things can revert without the prevalence of electricity. If there was a scene of Fred Flintstone kneeling before a destroyed Statue of Liberty, it would not have been shocking in the least.

1. The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones

Originally, the Jetsons planned to use Elroy’s time machine go to the 25th century, instead of the distant past. However, Elroy clearly didn’t think this through, because in his machine, the only thing that differentiates the “future” from the “past” is those two words on the levers. Also, when they selected “future,” they ended up in Flintstone time, making them think the machine was glitched, and that they had actually ended up in the past.

Of course, as we know by now, the machine took them exactly where they wanted to go. It’s just that the future was so jarring, and so unlike what anybody could have predicted, that they naturally thought they had ended up in the Stone Age. They did: the Modern Stone Age. This is made no more evident than when the Flintstones accidentally get sent to Jetsons time, with the lever set to “past.”