Can dinosaurs falsify evolution?
Yet another Achilles’ heel!
Originally published in a CMI newsletter, October 2014
Dinosaurs are a constant source of fascination for young and old alike. At CMI, our dinosaur talks are often the most requested by churches, and the subject inevitably comes up during our question and answer times. But why? After all, there are thousands of other extinct creatures found in the fossil record—types of shellfish, insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and birds. Biblical creationists have no problem in answering when God might have created such creatures. For instance, Day 5 of Creation Week, about 6,000 years ago, for the sea and flying creatures and Day 6 for land animals. However, when it comes to dinosaurs there is a seeming mystery. “How do you fit dinosaurs in the Bible? Why don’t we see them mentioned in Scripture?” are the usual questions we receive.
Dinosaurs = millions of years?
But most Christians seem unaware that they are only asking these questions because of evolutionary indoctrination. Quite simply, most people are confused because the concept of dinosaurs is firmly equated with millions of years (MOY). The secular world is equally fascinated by dinosaurs, and so there is a plethora of movies, documentaries, and children’s books; and museums that elegantly display and recreate them, and always within an evolutionary framework of MOY. And this alleged ‘evidence’ is seemingly overwhelming to many.
“Look, we can find their bones, therefore they are real and must be MOY old.”
The MOY stronghold is so strong that even well-meaning Christians sometimes resort to extra-biblical ideas such as saying that they existed in an alleged gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. Some confused Christians have even proposed that God created the fossils to test our faith, or some even claim that they are hoaxes.
However, this is simply a case of not thinking biblically about such things. So a major reason why CMI goes to churches is to help believers make logical deductions from Scripture on matters that the Bible, on the surface, might appear silent about. For example, we know that dinosaurs existed because of their fossils. They are land animals and, thus, would have been made on Day 6 of Creation Week along with man. Wow! That means dinosaurs and man would have been contemporaries. But to suggest that dinosaurs lived only thousands of years ago alongside man would have people looking at you as if you have left your brains at the church door!
Evolutionists claim that it is impossible for any human to have seen a living dinosaur because they died out 65 MOY ago. According to evolution, man (Homo sapiens) is a recent visitor on the evolutionary scale, appearing only about c. 200,000 years ago. That’s a 300-fold difference in time. Moreover, evolutionists claim that some dinosaurs ultimately evolved into birds (strangely, the ‘lizard-hipped’ dinos rather than the ‘bird-hipped’ ones). But the Bible indicates that birds pre-existed dinosaurs because they were created on Day 5 (the day before the land animals).
Dinosaurs = millions of years? Not anymore!
Dinosaurs have been a pillar of evolution—a stronghold that unfortunately leads countless people (especially our children) to believe in the MOY of evolution. However, biblical creationists are leading the charge and revealing the truth about these wonderful created creatures. The tide is changing, and evolutionary assumptions about some of the most magnificent beasts that God created are being overturned.
The archaeological evidence
For many years in Creation magazine and our other publications we’ve been highlighting sculptures, paintings, tapestries, vases and ornaments etc., where people have depicted dinosaurs that they must have seen firsthand, because of the incredible detail in the representations. For example, note the engravings in brass around Bishop Bell’s tomb at Carlisle Cathedral in the north of England. He was interred there in AD 1491. We can easily recognize the other creatures such as a bat, bird, fish, and even a dog wearing a collar! But one engraving depicts two necking sauropods (the long-neck-and-tail type). And specifically one of them appears to be a Shunosaurus, a little-known dinosaur with a cleft and spikes on its tail. Notably, the other one does not have this feature. There are now dozens of examples like this found all around the world, an evolutionary impossibility if man and dinos are separated by about 65 million years.
The scientific evidence—soft tissue
We first broke the news to supporters back in the 1990s when paleontologist Dr Mary Schweitzer claimed to have found unfossilized blood cells in the leg bone of a Tyrannosaurus rex. At the time there was a massive effort to discredit the claim, trying to prove they were anything but dino blood cells. How wrong they were! We now have numerous examples of soft tissue finds, including ligament, flesh, more blood cells, and even skin from a hadrosaur. We featured all these claims in Creation magazine and on CREATION.com.
Even more startling was the discovery of DNA in the bone cells of dinosaurs claimed to be over 65 MOY old. DNA is a very unstable chemical molecule and it has been calculated that under all sorts of varying temperatures and conditions, it simply cannot last for MOY.
And more recently was the revelation that all tested dinosaur fossils contain carbon-14 (14C). It had the evolution community in a spin, so much so that they even censored the scientific findings at a major international conference. Out of the many types of radiometric dating, 14C is used to date organic matter (not rocks etc.), and it has a very short half-life of 5,730 years. Consequently, it has been estimated that there should be no detectable 14C in anything much older than 60,000 (theoretical) years. Could there be any stronger scientific evidence that directly refutes the MOY dogma about dinosaurs?
I’ve just mentioned a few big picture points so you will hopefully see that dinosaurs are not evidence for evolution—they are great evidence for the Bible’s timescale. For more info, see Dinosaur Questions and Answers. Because of the corollary of MOYs and dinosaurs, such information can be startling to those who’ve never heard it before, but more importantly it can be life-changing. Jason W. wrote:
“I discovered this site [creation.com] recently and I enjoy it and find it very informative. I have battled doubt in my faith life for a long time, and most of it comes from evolution and dinosaurs and scientific stuff…”
Our friend Vance Nelson is a major contributor to the creationist cause in establishing a biblical view of dinosaurs. He is the author of the book Untold Secrets of Planet Earth: Dire Dragons. After hearing Vance speak at a CMI SuperConference, Sharon M. wrote:
“I really liked the presentation on dinosaurs and the dragons ‘evidence’ by Vance Nelson [It] was excellent. Dinosaurs are really the ‘poster children’ for evolution claims and because they soooo appeal to children I think that putting dinos on the Ark and in post-Flood history will start children on the path toward a biblical worldview.”
Too true. We can start them on a clear biblical line of evidence that can be followed.
You may be already aware of the biblical account of the creature behemoth in Job 40:15–24. When God spoke to Job in the midst of his trials, he tells Job to consider the mighty behemoth which He made along with him (day 6 of creation). Then God provides details about behemoth. He reminds Job that it ranks first amongst the ‘works of God’; that it eats grass like an ox (a vegetarian); has bones like tubes of bronze and bars of iron; can stand in the River Jordan with his mouth against the surge; but the real clue that this is likely a sauropod dinosaur is the description of having a tail like a cedar tree.
Presumably, Job lived near the Middle East, so God would have been casting Job’s eyes to the impressive cedars of Lebanon. These were magnificent trees from which Solomon later constructed the Temple. One cannot think of any land creature today that has a ‘tree-like tail’. The indication is that this is a large sauropod dinosaur.
Of course, it might be easy to dismiss one line of evidence, but as described above there are several. Because practically everybody has been exposed to evolutionary teaching as ‘fact’, it is necessary for us to ‘un-learn’ such information, particularly when it is not accurate and has become a stronghold in our lives. This is particularly appropriate when trying to reach the lost who believe that evolution is a fact.
Undoing such strongholds and equipping believers is CMI’s main mission. This is, in fact, a Scriptural admonition:
“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4–5).
Indeed, the walls came tumbling down for Rich D. who emailed to say:
“I can testify (and I know you have other such testimonies on file—I’ve read them) that CMI is not only helpful to those whose faith is floundering but to those who never had any to begin with as well. Having grown-up in a largely secular environment … I had simply taken it for granted that there was no logically sound case for Christianity, and that the naturalistic historical stories pushed so fervently by most of the mainstream media (as well of course as attacks on the absolute accuracy of the other historical canonical books) were basically uncontroversial fact. When, in my hour of need, the Holy Spirit led me to CMI, I found-out in a matter of weeks how wrong I had been.
“I know beyond doubt that there are many more people in my former position out there and I intend to devote the rest of this leg of my life to reaching them with the sort of well-reasoned case which CMI so excels in… Praise God!”
Everyone loves dinos!
Dinosaurs are just one great evangelistic tool to open up conversations with non-believers who cite evolution as a reason for rejecting the Christian faith. But I’ve always been a great believer that evangelism needs to start at home. Parents and grandparents need to be aware that our young ones get most of their information about these fascinating creatures from secular sources. It’s inevitable because we are bombarded with it 24/7. And left unchallenged it has the potential to create such strongholds by associating subjects like dinosaurs with MOY, and those MOY will ultimately be the undoing of many people’s confidence in the Scriptures. If we want to preserve our families in the faith, we must all ‘renew our minds’ (Romans 12:2) to conform with the correct biblical approach in dealing with this information.
In closing, may I encourage you to do two things
- Take up the information that ministries like CMI are producing to help you and your families?
- Would you consider supporting CMI to help us keep producing this information?