The Dinosaur Reformation
New research on old bones is leading back to Genesis
Renaissance to Reformation
The Dinosaur Renaissance was a movement in evolutionary dinosaur paleontology that began in the 1960s following revolutionary discoveries and ideas. This movement has caused a significant shift in science and popular culture. No longer are dinosaurs seen as slow evolutionary failures, but as dynamic evolutionary successes. I believe that biblical creationists are now beginning a new revolutionary movement in dinosaur paleontology: the Dinosaur Reformation.
Why a reformation?
Beginning in the early 19th century, dinosaur paleontology was born into a time and culture that had already compromised the foundations of the Reformation: the historical truth of Genesis. Dinosaur fossils were viewed as ancient relics from ‘deep time’. They were believed to have existed before man, and, if still believed in at all, before the Flood described in Genesis. Two centuries later, the modern evolutionary interpretation of dinosaur fossils has removed the history recorded in Genesis entirely. Sadly, many Christians have yielded to this evolutionary worldview.
Fortunately, however, a necessary shift in dinosaur paleontology is taking shape. Let’s look at some of the new creationist research driving the Dinosaur Reformation and why it matters:
The BEDS model
There is evidence of live dinosaur activity within what are obvious Flood sediments. Challengers ask, ‘How could dinosaurs build nests, lay eggs, leave delicate trackways, and spend time scavenging vast collections of dinosaur carcasses during a catastrophic global flood?’ However, the BEDS (Briefly Exposed Diluvial Sediments) model, proposed by creationist Mike Oard in the last few years, explains this supposed problem. It takes account of the complex physical processes that would have occurred during the Flood.
Essentially, a short-term drop in the water level in a local area would temporarily expose previously flooded land. This would be for varying lengths of time. In the earlier stages of the Flood, some animals would have stayed afloat by swimming. This would have included herds of dinosaurs, some types of which would have been among the more buoyant species. During this time of brief exposure, some of these desperate dinosaurs would be able to land on the freshly laid sediments, where they would leave traces of their activity. The simple explanatory power of the BEDS Hypothesis helps guide research and has great scientific and apologetic value.1
Original tissues in dinosaur fossils
The discovery, by evolutionists,2 of original tissues in dinosaur fossils has offered biblical creationists an incredible opportunity. The tissues demonstrate the youth of dinosaur bones and the rocks they’re buried in. They also reveal what dinosaurs were literally really made of. Research into how fast such tissues decay reveals significant problems for the alleged vast ages of dinosaur fossils. It makes a strong apologetic argument for their burial during the Flood only thousands of years ago.3
In addition, biblical creationists are also doing innovative research with original dinosaur tissues. This includes uncovering osteocytes (bone cells) in the brow horn of a Triceratops horridus and developing new ways to detect collagen proteins in dinosaur fossils.4,5
The study of original dinosaur tissues will grow rapidly, pursued by both evolutionists and biblical creationists. Regardless of the researchers’ worldview, this will only profit our understanding of the designed biology of dinosaurs.
Baraminology (from Hebrew bara ‘created’ and min ‘kind’) works to identify the original biblical created kinds, and the relationships among them. This involves measuring and comparing distinct characteristics inside and outside of a kind with statistical computer modelling. This important area of study is now being applied to dinosaur fossils, including the ‘king’ of the dinosaurs, Tyrannosaurus rex.
Researchers recognize that there are pitfalls because of the distorted, scarce nature of dinosaur fossils, and the possibility of creating artificial relationships between kinds that appear evolutionary. However, with careful refinement, applying baraminology to dinosaur fossils should prove very informative. Understanding the original created dinosaur kinds, and the variations that developed within those kinds, will suggest what physical changes are possible within each kind. It could also offer useful insight into how dinosaurs adapted to pre-Flood environments.6
Reconstructing pre-Flood dinosaur environments
Reconstructing the environments that dinosaurs inhabited, and where those environments were in the pre-Flood world, offers remarkable insights. Through the study of enormous Flood sediments, and the large dinosaur bonebeds buried within them, some biblical creationists have hypothesized a pre-Flood home of North American dinosaurs: Dinosaur Peninsula. This lower-elevation environment, that spanned several American States and Canadian Provinces, was filled with swamps, and ruled by dinosaurs.
During the Flood, Dinosaur Peninsula went from an environment where North American dinosaurs thrived in vast herds to a graveyard where enormous dinosaur bonebeds are buried—a potent reminder of God’s judgment. Further research on Dinosaur Peninsula, and other pre-Flood dinosaur environments, will help our understanding of dinosaur behaviour before and during the Flood. It will also help our understanding of how the pre-Flood world was overwhelmed with water and buried.7
The Dinosaur Reformation for Christ’s glory
Informed by God’s Word, and driven by truly novel ideas, the Dinosaur Reformation is set to make even more remarkable discoveries. These will challenge the evolutionary interpretation of dinosaurs, reveal the created uniqueness of dinosaurs, demonstrate the history in Genesis, and offer apologetic opportunities to share the Gospel. This will ensure that the Dinosaur Reformation is a biblical, scientifically revolutionary movement in dinosaur paleontology that honours Jesus Christ as the Creator.
References and notes
- Oard, M., Behemoths buried alive: evidence of rapid dinosaur burial points to a catastrophic deluge, Creation Ministries International (video), 2012. Return to text.
- Catchpoole, D. and Sarfati, J., ‘Schweitzer’s dangerous discovery,’ creation.com/schweitzers-dangerous-discovery, 19 Jul 2006. Return to text.
- Thomas, B., Collagen decays too fast for evolutionary time, icr.org, 31 Jul 2019. Return to text.
- iDino II Investigation of dinosaur intact natural osteo-tissue, 2015, creationresearch.org. Return to text.
- Thomas, B., Research presented at a secular conference, Acts & Facts 48(9), 2019; icr.org. Return to text.
- Cserhati, M., Baraminology data filtering method based on entropy measurement and its application in dinosaur and cephalopod data sets, J. Creation 33(3):55–65, 2019; creation.com/dino-baraminology. Return to text.
- Clarey, T., Dinosaur Fossils in Late-Flood Rocks, Acts & Facts 44(2), 2015; icr.org. Return to text.