Dinosaurs and the Bible

worth asking

If you’re a Christian and you believe in creation, especially if you believe in a literal 6-day creation, what do you do with the fossil record and the modern belief that dinosaurs roamed the earth millions of years ago?

Until recently, I figured there was a logical explanation and that one day, when I got to heaven, God would explain it to me. I still believe that where science and the Bible contradict, science just hasn’t caught on yet. (The world used to be flat, remember?)

Last week, I had the chance to read a book called Dinosaurs of Eden: Did Adam and Noah Live with Dinosaurs? by Ken Ham (Master Books 2015).

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The argument goes something like this:

  1. Assume the Bible is true.
  2. If God created all beings, then He also created the dinosaurs.
  3. If God created the dinosaurs, then the dinosaurs were in the Garden of Eden along with Adam and Eve.
  4. If all of the land animals were taken into Noah’s ark, then the dinosaurs must have been as well.
  5. If dinosaurs made it onto the ark, they made it off the ark.

Sounds far-fetched, doesn’t it? Laughable.

For us, who have grown up in public schools with separation of church and state, with amazing advancements in science, with evolution taught as fact and not theory, the thought that dinosaurs could be only a few thousand years old and could have co-existed with humans seems ridiculous.

>>> Here’s the question worth asking: Do we really believe the Bible? <<<

Could it be that even as Christians we are so inculturated we haven’t stopped to consider the simplest explanation? That dinosaurs existed, and have simple gone extinct like so many other species.

The book goes on to explore biblical and historical references to dinosaurs, the Flood, the fossil record, and other salient points. But you don’t have to buy the picture book to get the picture. You can read Ken Ham’s theory in this article.

I’m a first-time homeschooler this year. My 5th grade daughter and I are going through ancient history, beginning with Creation. (Keep in mind, my oldest still happily attends public school).

It amazes me how well the Bible dovetails with historical accounts. (Why should it amaze me?) And that makes me wonder, what are we teaching our kids? And why aren’t we teaching them this?

 

17 thoughts on “Dinosaurs and the Bible

  1. I am so glad you asked! I taught creation science at the junior high level, and we spent two days in museums in Cincinnati. The Creation Museum wasn’t quite ready for visitors yet, and we would take our kids to the natural history museum, a proponent for evolution, if there ever was one. One of my students debated the docent into silence. The conversation went something like this:

    Student: How do you know the fossils are millions of years old?
    Docent: We have the geologic column showing layers of sediment which indicate the eras of geologic periods.
    Student: How do you know which layer belongs to which era?
    Docent: By the fossils within each layer.
    Student: So the fossils are found in a layer and assigned a particular age, and the layer is assigned an age based on the fossil. Isn’t that circular reasoning?
    Docent: …..

    This was not a student at the top of his class by any means, but he had been listening in science, and he understood the fallacy of circular reasoning! In fact, he had planned the conversation and had hoped the docent would fall into the trap.

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  2. I think you already know I was homeschooled from 6th grade up – we used Christian curriculum so I am very familiar with Ken Ham. We also got to see seminars by Kent Hovind more than once. (He’s controversial but we didn’t know that at the time – and apparently several of the disagreements he had with CMI no longer apply.) I even still have the first “Answers Book” by Ham, Sarfati & Wieland and “Many Infallible Proofs” by Dr Henry Morris III , the “father of the modern creationist movement”. What’s funny about this post is it drives home to me the point that many Christians live in an insular bubble. I’ve been a believer in dinosaurs on the ark for so long that I assume it’s well-known in Christian circles and forget how many Christians are inculturated to believe most secular scientific theories and haven’t been exposed to the creationist arguments.

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  3. I don’t necessarily believe in a literal 6-day creation or that the dinosaurs were on the ark. To me, the Bible is a history book (completely inspired by God) and not a science text. At the same time, I don’t necessarily believe in the modern science account and consider evolution to be preposterous. More and more, I believe the Biblical account. Not because of proof on the Christian end but because scientific evidence supporting evolution and old earth theories seem ridiculous.
    In other words, I think it’s important to teach both along with critical thinking. Like Linda’s student above, he was able to discern the docent’s ignorance and circular reasoning.
    I’ve also come to believe the Biblical account because of spiritual maturity. If I believe in the other miracles throughout scripture, why don’t I believe the Genesis account as miraculous as well?
    As for dinosaurs on the ark, I believe most drowned and a few survived such as Nessie and Champie (Loch Ness Monster, Lake Champlain’s monster). Mostly because it’s a fun theory.

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    1. “If I believe in the other miracles throughout scripture, why don’t I believe the Genesis account as miraculous as well?”

      Gretchen – my point exactly. We grew up believing that evolution and the fossil record (along with carbon dating) were scientific proofs. I believe in micro-evolution, but not macro evolution. And I also believe in a 6-day creation, because without reason not to, I take the Bible at its word. Even so, it’s the thought that dinosaurs were millsions of years old (as “proven” be science) that make us question a 6-day creation.

      Believe me, I get it. I was an anthropology major undergrad! Homo erectus, australopithecus, and all those. Neaderthal. Chimpanzees being human’s closest relatives. Phylogentic trees. Evolutionary genetics. All interesting principles, but all predicated on the belief that the earth is billions of years old. I’m no longer certain it is. And if I’m going to place a bet, I’m going to place my bet on God. 😉

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  4. I’ve studied both sides extensively, believe in a literal 6 day creation because I believe in the power of God and the truth of His word and I believe dinosaurs were on the ark and simply went extinct. I’ve seen fossil evidence that seems to show dinosaur prints and footprints in the same river bed. And if that description in Job doesn’t sound just like a brontosaurus or something similar, I don’t know what does. If you haven’t explored fossil rim park where seashell fossils are on mountains or dinosaur state park and the creation museum in Glen Rose, it’s well worth a trip. And I had repeatable scientific data in my genetics PhD work that could not be published “because we couldn’t make the data fit the popular evolutionary model in place with any reasonable explanation.” If people only knew how biased scientific research and journals really were….

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  5. “Could it be that even as Christians we are so inculturated we haven’t stopped to consider the simplest explanation? That dinosaurs existed, and have simple gone extinct like so many other species.”

    Maybe I’m missing something obvious here, but isn’t that the general opinion already? I don’t know anyone, even evolutionists — especially evolutionists — who think dinosaurs did not exist and subsequently succumbed to extinction.

    I am wholly comfortable believing both that dinosaurs existed and that God created them. I find no dissonance in simultaneously believing that dinosaurs have gone extinct or become birds and believing that God designed both looks. And I certainly don’t have a problem believing that God could have existed billions of years ago.

    These dilemmas are largely arbitrary arguments, based on basic misunderstanding of both modern science (I sometimes see creationists arguing against evolutionary theories which have been replaced for over a century) and of scripture (why do some insist that “yom” is a 24-hour day when it’s used by the same author and others to mean a variety of other spans of time? how could it mean a 24-hour day before the sun existed?). If “yom” simply means “a period of time,” then it is very possible to take the scriptural account literally and yet believe creation took more than 144 hours.

    Yes, I can believe the Bible is true and also believe that paleontologists are neither malicious or idiotic. Setting up a false dilemma does no one any good, especially not children who must conclude that one group or another is lying.

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    1. I need to amend my previous comment:

      “I don’t know anyone, even evolutionists — especially evolutionists — who think dinosaurs did not exist and subsequently succumbed to extinction.”

      Actually, I have encountered the allegation that dinosaurs never existed, that fossils are installed to test our faith. Since I don’t believe in a God who lies to his children, I tend to ignore that. But I guess it is out there somewhere.

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  6. I’ve always believed that the book of Job was referring to dinosaurs. This has always been an area I was ok with not understanding.

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  7. I enjoyed the discussion here. You have provoked some thought, Lisa. I am in sparksofember’s camp having been exposed to creationist talks, books, and videos for years. I wish you the best with your homeschooling endeavor. We homeschooled all four of ours for a total of 20 years and have never regretted it.

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