When Did They Live? Where Did They Go?

Don't Allow Your Children to be Brainwashed with Dinosaur Mythology!

During the last few decades we have witnessed a huge interest in so-called 'Pre-historic monsters' - indeed a whole mythology has grown up with regard to now extinct giant reptiles; but do we really know how much of this is pure fiction?

There was the blockbusting Movie, Jurassic Park, and, more recently, BBC Television even developed a whole series called Walking With Dinosaurs in which numerous statements were made about these beasts, often in a most categorical fashion, and the series was plainly upheld as a science series, yet huge areas of the programmes were actually viewed with amusement by many scientists!

In our schools our children are taught that dinosaurs (and other prehistoric reptiles) roamed this earth around 65 million years ago but eventually became extinct for some reason which we cannot be entirely certain of. The picture is presented of huge creatures roaming this earth, mercilessly pouncing on anything unfortunate enough to get in their way! And the whole thing is very attractive and fascinating to our young people.

The truth, however, is far less exciting; apparently your average 'prehistoric' was about the size of a sheep, if you came across one the size of a cow, that would be a big one! But - I can hear you asking - what about these huge creatures which have been reconstructed in some of our museums? Oh, there were certainly some really big ones (depending on the type), and some of their fossilized bones have indeed been assembled, but these huge creatures were exceptional, elderly and slow on their feet, as writers like Ken Ham have explained! So these elderly monsters did not last the pace too well.

Unlike us Homosapiens who cease to grow at around 18-20 years of age, reptiles can just go on growing where a plentiful supply of food is at hand! So a few really old ones were, well, monsters but perhaps a little ponderous on their feet (unlike the portrayal usually given). Moreover an increasing number of scientists with an interest in this area, are reminding us that the presence of huge teeth in some fossilized giants does not have to mean that they were carnivores, many could have been herbivores. Bears, after all, have huge teeth but are mostly not too interested in flesh.

But great size does not necessarily have to mean great aggression; witness elephants, rhinos and whales which are relatively placid in nature, yet what is more deadly than a venomous snake? So, let us admit that a lot of what we hear about prehistoric reptiles is, very likely, sheer mythology!

Now it probably would not matter too much if the dinosaur mythology went no further than some of the foregoing points, but now we must look again at a point I made in passing a little earlier:
Our young people are taught that these creatures became extinct around 65 million years ago! We now need to recognise that a huge amount of guessing work is involved in arriving at such figures. Why? Because the prevailing paradigm of evolution requires it! The scientific establishment has chosen evolution as their worldview, but we have to understand that if evolution ever really occurred, it could only have occurred over almost unimaginable ages of time. Indeed, I just stated that most believe that the so-called prehistoric reptiles went extinct about 65 million years ago - which is in itself a mind-boggling period of time - but many of these same experts insist that the creatures evolved about 235 million years ago!

"Evolutionists claim that dinosaurs evolved from some reptile that had originally evolved from amphibians. But they cannot point to any clear transitional (in-between) forms to substantiate their argument. Dinosaur family trees in evolutionary books show many distinct types of dinosaurs, but only hypothetical lines join them up to some common ancestor. The lines are dotted because there is no fossil evidence. Evolutionists simply cannot prove their belief in a non-dinosaur ancestor for dinosaurs"
('What Really Happened to the Dinosaurs', Ken Ham, p7, 2001)

Evolutionsts have a picture firmly fixed in their minds and they refuse to be led astray by other points of view, or, indeed facts! This picture includes the teaching that dinosaurs (I use the term 'dinosaur' from now on to include all of these creatures) have now long gone, but that we see their descendants among the bird family! Of course, this is a view hotly contested by many scientists but the public are often kept in the dark about this; while the world of evolutionary thought is filled with conflicts, arguments and disagreemennts, the public are encouraged to think that there is complete harmony of thought!

Bearing in mind that the giant dinosaurs were undoubtedly exceptional and untypical (though their huge fossils have been easier to find!) we should not be too surprised to discover that some question whether all dinosaurs are really extinct. One would have to have a huge knowledge of dinosaur bodies, types, and body parts to be able to categorically say that every type is now extinct. To quote just one example, as Ken Ham says,
"Experts have been embarassed when, after having declared animals extinct, they were discovered alive and well. For example, explorers recently found elephants in Nepal that have many features of mammoths."
('What Really Happened to the Dinosaurs?', page 32).
There are other examples of very odd creatures being discovered which may be related to dinosaurs, some are to be found in dense jungles of places like the Congo. (See 'Dinosaur Hunt' Science Digest, 1981, 89(5);21, for instance).

But why did dinosaurs ever become mostly extinct? We have to realise that many animals and plants have become extinct for a variety of reasons, moreover it continues to occur!

But we currently have the sad situation that many youngsters who are in Sunday School every week without fail, are in their school classrooms subjected to evolutionary teaching which denies what they are learning in Sunday School - moreover too many Christian parents are simply allowing it to happen, without offering a more biblical teaching about dinosaurs!!

So what can we say about dinosaurs from a biblical perspective?

As mostly land animals, they were created on Day Six of Creation Week, just a few thousand years ago (not the countless millions of years that evolutionary theory requires!) See Genesis 1: 20-25,31. Of course Adam and Eve were also created on this day. Without any question, dinosaurs lived at the same time as people! After the Flood (and by the way, Noah would not have needed to take giant dinosaurs on the Ark, young adults would have been better in the case of the larger types - don't forget: the huge ones were almost certainly elderly. Perhaps no more than 30 kinds would have been needed on the Ark, though we cannot be sure). , but after the Great Flood, the dinosaurs, in common with all the creatures, again spread out but perhaps it would now be harder for them to survive and some of them could have started to die out at that time.

But, one might ask, if dinosaurs can be dated as recently as the last few thousand years, why don't we read about such monsters in the Bible and other ancient histories and traditions?? BUT WE DO!

For instance, it is little short of astonishing how many civilisations and cultures carry the tradition of ancient Dragons, which appear to have been large and dangerous lizard-like creatures, which could - so some traditions claim - breathe fire! We not only have the story of St George who killed a dragon, but other stories have survived too. Of course, some of this may be quite fanciful, yet the fact that the tradition is so widespread is intriguing! There is usually some sort of a basis for ancient traditions which are that widespread among many peoples and tribes (The Worlwide Flood tradition is another example).
Actually, the Hebrew word for 'dragon' ('tan' with its variations) can be found 30 times within the Old Testament! In the interests of space, I don't propose to go through all of these here but Strong's Concordance would be of help to go through those texts in detail. By the way, as Ken Ham points out,
"...Strong's Concordance lists 'dinosaur' as one of the meanings of tannin/m"
(Ken Ham, page 12).

Let it suffice for me to point out that Job 41 describes a great sea animal which could apparently breathe fire, the Leviathan. The 'fiery flying serpent' of Isaiah 30:6 sounds very much like one of the flying dinosaurs such as the Pterodactyls. Then there is the 'behemoth'. We cannot be sure just what this was, but those Bible commentaries which have decided on something like an elephant, are probably way off course. But the description is not unlike a Brachiosaurus.

If we leave the Bible, the ancient legends of huge dragon-like creatures are abundant, as we have already noted. China is especially known for some of these stories, then there is the story of a certain Gilgamesh who encountered a huge dragon and killed it by cutting its head off.

So we begin to see that there actually exists quite a bit of evidence that these creatures are not millions of years old at all!

Why are fossils formed at all? One might expect a dead animal to decompose fairly quickly; why are some preserved as fossils?
For fossils to form an animal has to be buried rather quickly! It is also increasingly being realised that only certain conditions will do the job. Scientists have mostly now abandoned their earlier hypotheses that these animals died gradually and became covered in sediment, since it just does not fit what we see happening today. So they are starting to talk about the need for catastrophe to produce just the right conditions (See D. Ager, 'The New Catastrophism', Cambridge University Press, 1993). The Bible itself tells us about one such catastrophe - and the most major one of them - the Worldwide Flood, but this just does not fit in with evolutionary thought, so it is rejected as a possible major cause. Of course, even if evolutionists believed that there was a huge flood at the time that the Old Testament indicates, they would be bound to reject this as providing the most ideal conditions for a huge fossil layer containing dinosaurs, since evolutionary thought must insist that dinosaurs are millions of years old, not thousands of years old!

Let those of us who are Christians be unafraid to teach our children biblical truth, that truth which we are told is, "...the beginning of wisdom" (Prov 9:10).
Let us regain our confidence in a biblical revelation which does indeed teach us about great animals which once roamed this earth; there is no reason to abandon biblical principles when our children show an interest in dinosaurs, just because scientism's explanation has become so pervasive. On the contrary, realising that some of the great animals mentioned in the Old Testament and in various ancient records and traditions were almost certainly part of the dinosaur family, should renew our enthusiasm for a Bible-based approach!
Robin A. Brace,