Friday, July 20, 2018

Dinosaurs And Christianity; Is There A Problem?

            Dinosaurs existed many many years ago. I say ‘many many years ago’ because there is an ongoing debate about the age of our earth and thereby the time or the era when dinosaurs existed.

            Broadly, Christians subscribe to either of the two creation models: (1) The Young Earth Creationism and (2) The Old Earth Creationism. If you believe that the age of the earth is approximately 6000 years old, then you are a young earth creationist. But if you believe that the earth was created millions of years ago, then you are an old earth creationist.

            The young earth creationist or those who believe that the age of the earth is approximately 6000 years would claim that the dinosaurs existed within the past thousand years. But an old earth proponent – a Christian who believes that the earth is millions of years old – would believe that the Dinosaurs existed millions of years ago.

            Is there a problem? Christian apologist, J. Warner Wallace, articulates this dilemma, “Perhaps the most frequent questions asked of me related to the age of the earth are these: What do Christians say about dinosaurs? How do Christians account for dinosaurs and the death we observe in the fossil record? Doesn’t the very existence of dinosaurs in the fossil record, contradict the claims of the Bible? There’s an impression, even amongst Christians, dinosaurs present the Christian community with a true dilemma. There seems to be something contradictory about the archeological record of dinosaur life, and the biblical record of creation…”1

            A systematic study of this subject should encompass a study of the claims and the counter-claims of the young and the old earth creationists. But because of a self-imposed word restriction for every essay that I publish for your consumption, I shall only consider the response to the dinosaur dilemma from the perspective of the young earth creationists.

            Since this view completely disagrees with the evolutionists, I believe it would be more interesting to study the arguments of the proponents of young age creationism with respect to the dinosaur dilemma. (On the other hand, the old age creationist’s view of the dinosaurs would largely agree with that of the evolutionists.)

            “Answers In Genesis” is a Christian apologetics ministry that believes in the young earth creationism. They believe that the existence of dinosaurs does not disprove the Bible or that of Historic Christianity. Here’s their response to the existence of dinosaurs:2

Did Dinosaurs Really Exist?
Dinosaurs certainly did roam the Earth in the ancient past! Fossils of dinosaurs have been found all over the world, and their bones are displayed in museums for all to see. Scientists have been able to reconstruct many of their skeletons, so we know much about how they may have looked.
When Were Dinosaurs Found?
The story of their discovery began back in the 1820s, when Gideon Mantell, an English doctor, found some unusual teeth and bones in a quarry. Dr Mantell realized there was something very different about these animal remains, and believed that he had found an entirely new group of reptiles. By 1841, about nine types of these different reptiles had been uncovered, including two called Megalosaurus and Iguanodon.
At this time, a famous British scientist, Dr Richard Owen, coined the name “Dinosauria,” meaning “terrible lizard,” for this is what the huge bones made him think of.
When Did Dinosaurs Live?
The story we have all heard from movies, television, newspapers, and most magazines and textbooks is that dinosaurs lived millions of years ago. According to evolutionists, the dinosaurs “ruled the Earth” for 140 million years, dying out about 65 million years ago. However, scientists do not dig up anything labeled with those ages. They only uncover dead dinosaurs (i.e., their bones), and their bones do not have labels attached telling how old they are. The idea of millions of years of evolution is just the evolutionists’ story about the past. No scientist was there to see the dinosaurs live through this supposed dinosaur age. In fact, there is no proof whatsoever that the world and its fossil layers are millions of years old. No scientist observed dinosaurs die. Scientists only find the bones in the here and now, and because many of them are evolutionists, they try to fit the story of the dinosaurs into their view.
Other scientists, called creation scientists, have a different idea about when dinosaurs lived. They believe they can solve any of the supposed dinosaur mysteries and show how the evidence fits wonderfully with their ideas about the past, beliefs that come from the Bible…
Although the Bible does not tell us exactly how long ago it was that God made the world and its creatures, we can make a good estimate of the date of creation by reading through the Bible and noting some interesting passages…
…As you add up all of the dates, and accepting that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to Earth almost 2000 years ago, we come to the conclusion that the creation of the Earth and animals (including the dinosaurs) occurred only thousands of years ago (perhaps only 6000!), not millions of years. Thus, if the Bible is right (and it is!), dinosaurs must have lived within the past thousands of years.
Where Did Dinosaurs Come From?
… The Bible tells us that God created all of the land animals on the sixth day of creation. As dinosaurs were land animals, they must have been made on this day, alongside Adam and Eve, who were also created on Day Six (Genesis 1:24–31). If God designed and created dinosaurs, they would have been fully functional, designed to do what they were created for, and would have been 100% dinosaur. This fits exactly with the evidence from the fossil record.
Evolutionists declare that no man ever lived alongside dinosaurs. The Bible, however, makes it plain that dinosaurs and people must have lived together. Actually, as we will soon see, there is a lot of evidence for this.

            Another question that deserves a credible answer is, “Did Dinosaurs and Man coexist?” Evolutionists claim that dinosaurs and man did not coexist. In contrast, the young earth creationist claim that they coexisted, “Here, in short, is how we arrive at our conclusion that dinosaurs and man lived at the same time—starting with a straightforward reading of the Bible as the true, eyewitness account of history:

1. Dinosaurs, being land animals, were created on Day 6 of Creation Week. (Genesis 1:24–25)
2. Adam and Eve were created on Day 6 of Creation Week. (Genesis 1:26–30)
3. Thus, dinosaurs and humans lived side by side.6 (Genesis 1:31)”3

            Interestingly, carvings of dinosaurs have been discovered at various locations. Carvings of dinosaurs could only exist if man had seen them, claims an article in the “Apologetics Press,” entitled “Physical Evidence for the Coexistence of Dinosaurs and Humans [Part II],” “If humans and dinosaurs lived together on the Earth in the past, what would you expect to find to verify their cohabitation? One line of conclusive evidence would be a series of carvings or drawings accurately depicting dinosaur anatomy that could be shown to have been produced before modern information about dinosaur anatomy emerged. The Stegosaurus carving in Cambodia, the dinosaur carving found by Samuel Hubbard, the accurate dinosaur petroglyph on Kachina Natural Bridge, dinosaur figurines discovered by Julsrud and studied by Charles Hapgood, the Ica stones, and various other carvings, figurines, and ancient art that we have not had space to include, converge to form a mountain of physical evidence that is exactly what would be expected if humans saw live dinosaurs. Evolutionists have used dinosaurs long enough to teach their false worldview. It is time we take dinosaurs back, and use them to teach about the awesome power of the One Who created these magnificent creatures.”4

            If you desire to dig deeper into this subject matter from the perspective of young earth creationism, then this page5 in the ‘Apologetics Press’ website would offer you helpful resources (copy and paste the link found in the endnotes in your browser). Also please visit the website of “Answers In Genesis” to learn more about dinosaurs from the perspective of young age creationism.

            How do the Christians subscribing to old earth creationist model respond to the dinosaur dilemma?

   is a Christian apologetics ministry subscribing to old earth creationism. They claim, “Since dinosaurs were first given a name (“terrible lizards”) in 1841, they have fascinated people. Our testable creation model says God created dinosaurs to roam the Earth roughly 230 million years ago, and many different types of these creatures dominated the landscape. Their time on Earth ended when a 6 mile-wide asteroid impacted Earth 65 million years ago. Some Christians say the Leviathan and Behemoth mentioned in Job refer to dinosaurs, but we disagree. Because humanity arrived on Earth much later, no biblical author would have had contact with dinosaurs. The most popular scientific model claims dinosaurs evolved into birds, but we reject this view also. Instead, we argue that both birds and dinosaurs were specially created by God to fill the livable environments available on Earth during their respective eras.”6

            To conclude, sincere Christians endeavoring to study the subject of dinosaurs from within the perspective of Historic Christianity could either agree to the views of the young earth creationists or the old earth creationists. But as Christians subscribing to Historic Christianity, let us not condemn the proponents of the opposing viewpoint.

            The dinosaur dilemma and the various models/perspectives of creation (young earth creationism, old earth creationism etc.) are not essential to the truthfulness of Historic Christianity. In other words, we are not required to take a hard stand on fringe topics such as the creation model or the dinosaurs.

            It would be worthwhile to invest our time and energy into understanding the truth-claims that offer validity to the various essential doctrines of Historic Christianity e.g. Creation over Unguided Evolution etc. This is a better alternative than to pore over fringe doctrines because our belief in the fringe doctrines cannot jeopardize our belief in Historic Christianity.

            Hence, when we study/discuss dinosaurs or creation models, we can always agree to disagree with the opposing view to uphold this timeless saying, “In essentials unity, in nonessentials liberty, in all things charity.”








Websites last accessed on 20th July 2018.

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