What Is A Dinosaur?
What Were the Dinosaurs?
The term "dinosaur" was coined in 1842 by Sir Richard Owen and derives from Greek δεινός (deinos) "terrible, powerful, wondrous" + σαuρος (sauros) "lizard". It was at this period of time that people began to discover reptilian like creatures, often of immense size, in the strata of rocks in various places around the world. Many of these fossilized creatures were unique from anything that man had recorded seeing in the past and so man’s curiosity was peeked as too what they were and when they might have lived.
Because they were buried in rock strata which many scientists believe to be millions of years old, they therefore declared these animals to be earlier part of the evolutionary chain that died off for some unknown reason some 400 million years ago. For a long time science used circular reasoning to date these fossils. They determined that the rocks that they were found in were 400+million years old based on the dinosaurs they found in them and they determined the dinosaurs were 400+ million years old because of the rock layers they were found in. In other words, their dating of these marvelous and mysterious creatures was based on a presupposition that the world was billions of years old and that life had evolved from a primordial soup. In more recent times, scientists have used carbon dating to try to measure the age of these creatures. Carbon dating takes the known half life of carbon and thus by measuring the remaining carbon in these bones, they can make a estimate of their age.
There are several flaws to the dating of these creatures.
First of all, their age is determined by a presupposition or belief system based on a world view that leaves God and the biblical account of creation out of the equation. Thus their observations of the age of the creatures is based on a belief system rather than scientific data. Thus the theory of evolution and the ages it assigns extinct animals is based not on scientific evidence but rather on a personal belief system.
Secondly, the carbon dating that is being used to determine the age of something is not helpful in determining the age of these creatures. This is true for three reasons. First of all, carbon dating can not date none organic substances. Therefore it is useless to date the rock strata that the dinosaurs are found in. Secondly, the dating theory is only accurate to around 80.0000 years or well short of the age that scientist give the dinosaurs. Thirdly, carbon dating is based on the basis that the rate of carbon 14 being formed has always been the same. Yet there are many factors which can have influenced this formation. If it is not consistent that the method falls flat on its face. Check out the article on the Answers in Genesis website. It should answer all questions on this issue.
The Bible gives a radically different age for these creatures. In Genesis 1, God says he created all living creatures both land, sea, and air during the first week of Creation. This would put the dinosaur’s at no later date than about 4000 years BC. Scientists believe that dinosaurs were killed off suddenly in a terrible earth shattering event such a large meteor strike. The Bible says that what killed and rapidly buried the dinosaurs and other living animals was a global flood. In fact a global flood is the only explanation that can explain the rapid burial of so many creatures. One recent fossil shows a fish in the process of eating another fish when he was suddenly buried and another fossil shows a mother in the process of birth.
Thus from a biblical point of view, dinosaurs were nothing more than living creatures, created by God at creation and who lived and died at the time of Noah. At least 2 representatives of these creatures would have been present when Noah came off the ark and would have been a part of the repopulation of the world. The radical climate change in the earth after the flood probably played a significant role in their later demise and has continued to take its toll of animal life.
In essence the age and role of dinosaurs is based then on which presupposition you approach them from. If you believe in evolution and an old universe, they are millions of years old but if you believe in biblical creation and an early universe, then they are animals who have gone extinct sometime in the last 6000 years. The following illustrates this point well.
With this insight, we must conclude that the only scientific statement we can make about these creatures are that they are animals and vegetation that gone extinct. When this extinction took place depends on one’s perspective
With that said Is there any scientific evidence that would lend credence to either of these theories? The answer is yes. Job who lived around 2200 BC speaks of two unique creatures that lived in his day whose descriptions can only be that of living dinosaurs. There is Behemoth (Job 40:15-24) whose cedar like tail and iron like legs fits the description of a Brachiosaurs and Leviathan (Job 41) who may have been a Plesiosaurs, a dinosaur of the sea. But even more dramatic is the number of dinosaurs, who supposedly went extinct millions of years ago, are being found still living today. Let me give just a few of the sightings
“Yet fresh, unfossilized dinosaur bones have been found. In 1987, a young Inuit (Canadian Eskimo), working with scientists from Memorial University, Newfoundland (Canada), on Bylot Island,found a bone which was identified as part of a lower jaw of a duckbill dinosaur.
In 1981, scientists identified dinosaur bones which had been found in Alaska 20 years earlier. The bones had been so fresh that the geologist who had found them thought at first they must have been bison bones. They have now been identified as belonging to horned dinosaurs, duckbill dinosaurs, and small carnivorous dinosaurs.
Bones, of course, don’t stay fresh very long—certainly not for millions of years. These discoveries clearly indicate that dinosaurs were around recently.
It is possible too that some of those huge flying reptiles, the pterosaurs, also survived Noah’s Flood and lived into recent times. The Illustrated London News of February 9, 1856 (p. 166) reported that workmen digging a railway tunnel in France last century disturbed a huge winged creature at Culmont, in Haute Marne, while blasting rock for the tunnel.
The creature was described as livid black, with a long neck and sharp teeth. It looked like a bat, and its skin was thick and oily. It died soon after. Its wingspan was measured at 3.22 metres (10 feet 7 inches). A naturalist ‘immediately recognised it as belonging to the genus Pterodactylus anas’, and it matched the remains of known pterodactyl fossils.
American Indians have stories of creatures they call ‘thunderbirds’, the description of which resembles that of a pterosaur. It is possible that the reason they can describe and draw these creatures is because their ancestors saw them.” (Answers in Genesis Website)
“The coelacanth. In 1938 this one-and-a-half-metre-long (five-foot) fish was caught in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Africa. From fossils, scientists had declared it extinct for about the same time period as the dinosaurs, but it was actually quite well known to the Madagascan fishermen, who had been catching it for centuries.
Very recently, a live tree was discovered, in an Australian wilderness, which was previously unknown except for its ‘dinosaur age’ fossils. Evolutionists must explain not only why such organisms as these documented finds have survived unchanged through millions of years of mutations and changing environments and predators, but why none of their fossils are found in the rock layers representing the alleged millions of years between then and the present.” (Answers In Genesis Website)
It would appear that evolutionary scientists have failed again. If only they would listen to the only eye-witness account of the origins of these creatures, how much further they would be ahead in their understanding of these marvelous creatures.