Published in Creation 26(3):34–35, 2004
One hundred and sixty years ago, things were very different from today. There were no cars, no televisions and no playstations. Radios had not been invented and people grew their own vegetables.
One hundred and sixty years seems like a long time. Was that the time when dinosaurs lived?
‘Of course not’, you may be thinking. ‘Dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago, long before people lived on the earth.’
Ah, but how do you know?
‘I’ve read it in some of my dinosaur books. The television says so, too!’
Hold on. There is a big difference between 150 years and 65 million.
Let’s use our ‘time machine’, the Bible, which is a record of true history, to travel into the past. Let’s discover how the Bible can help us understand dinosaurs.
Dinosaurs could not have died out 65 million years ago because God only made the earth about six thousand years ago!
‘How do you know that?’ you may ask.
Well, the Bible tells us that God created all things in six days. Then God’s Word records the ages of people and when their children were born. It begins with the first two people, Adam and Eve, made on Day 6. We can work out from these ages when God made the first two people. It’s the best way of knowing because we have a reliable written record—right from the beginning.
Genesis chapter 1 enables us to understand that God made the dinosaurs on Day 6, too. We know that because He tells us that He made the land animals on Day 6. The word ‘dinosaur’ was specially invented (in 1841) as a name for the fossils of the land animals that at that time were described as terrible lizards.
‘But’, you may be thinking, ‘if people and dinosaurs lived together, why don’t we hear about it?’
Because most people believe from evolution that dinosaurs and people didn’t live together. That’s why they haven’t been looking for the evidence. But when we do look, we discover fascinating evidence that indicates people possibly saw dinosaurs.
Let’s go back 160 years.
In 1845, people in the south of Australia discovered a large, odd bone. It was part of the knee of a gigantic animal, and unfossilized. What animal did the bone belong to? The settlers, who were living near Geelong in Victoria, did not know.
A local Aboriginal man saw the bone and said it was a ‘bunyip’.
The settlers thought he just meant a mythical monster, but he insisted the animal was real. The Geelong Advertiser published a sketch of it.
Other Aboriginal people also recognized the bone and picture, and said it was a ‘bunyip’. They said they had seen the animal, and named people it had killed. Even though these Aboriginal people were from another area and had no chance of talking with each other, their stories were alike. So they must have seen the animal.
It is an amazing picture. At first, it just looks like a crocodile. But when you look more closely, many details do not match that of a crocodile.
Its snout is flat. A crocodile’s snout is more pointed.
It’s standing on its back legs, but a crocodile slithers on all fours.
Its legs are straight up and down, but a crocodile’s legs spread out sideways.
Its head bends forward at its neck, at an angle from its body. A crocodile’s head is in line with its body.
So it doesn’t make sense to say this animal was a crocodile. It’s amazing, but the animal looks more like a duck–billed dinosaur! The Aboriginal people did not know it, but their picture and description seems to be what we, today, call a dinosaur.
This is only one of many stories from all over the world about animals similar to dinosaurs living at the same time as humans.
Next time someone tells you about the time of the dinosaurs, remember our ‘time machine’, the Bible. Then explain that God made dinosaurs on the same day He made Adam and Eve and every other land animal.
Noah took each kind of land animal—including dinosaur kinds—on the Ark during the Great Flood. After the Flood, they began to spread out over the earth.
In recent years, dinosaurs have probably become extinct. That’s not surprising because many other animals have become extinct. Even in our present world, extinction still occurs each year. However, when you think about it, we can’t really be sure all dinosaurs are extinct. Some may still be hidden, alive in a jungle or swamp somewhere. Who knows? But wouldn’t it be exciting to find one?
The Name Game
Things you need: Timer
How to play:
Take turns to name as many animals as you can that are descended from the animals made on Day 6 of creation.
Take care because some animals now look different from the original created kind (see example about dogs below). Each player has 30 seconds for their turn. Remember, animals that live in the sea and birds were made on Day 5, not Day 6.