Creationists freely recognize the past existence of dinosaurs, and their extinction, just as evolutionists do. The difference in the two views is how, when and why the extinction occurred, but even the “how” part of the story has become increasingly similar in many ways…
Articles in the “Institute for Creation Research” monthly magazine “Acts and Facts” have helped fuel my interest in and understanding of the demise of the dinosaurs. The articles relate to secular theories for past mass extinctions, which these days involve cataclysmic events, supposedly millions of years ago. Evolutionists, like creationists, believe that at some time in the past some colossal and profound event or events radically affected life on earth.
Along with stories of earth-changing events are smaller-scale attempts to account for the rich fossil record, such as “dinosaurs falling into swamps” stories which I’ve written about before. I’m referring to fossil evidence demonstrating how dinosaurs, sometimes entire herds of them, drowned in mud together, and how entire schools of whales ended up in the middle of continents. Other extinction theories include such titles as “fatal gene transfer”, and, as I’ve noted before, Gary Larson’s humorous suggestion that they smoked too much.
There are a number of different theories these days as to why the dinosaur died out completely. Perhaps the most well-known is the one in which a huge asteroid, supposedly evidenced by the Chicxulub crater in the Gulf of Mexico, caused large scale devastation and global poisoning of certain prone species, including the dinosaur. Brian Thomas summarizes the evidence against the theory (note 1).
Smithsonian.com discusses some of the theories which have been proposed in the past in an article titled “THE TOP TEN WEIRDEST DINOSAUR EXTINCTION IDEAS” (see note 4). They then assert that there’s now a short list of generally accepted causes for the demise of the dinosaur:
Today, paleontologists have discerned that most dinosaur lineages disappeared by about 66 million years ago after intense volcanic activity, climate change and a catastrophic asteroid impact triggered one of the worst mass extinctions in our planet’s history.
When I was a small boy (in the dark ages) I had an encyclopedia which contained an “artist’s impression” of dinosaurs fleeing from enormous volcanoes erupting all around them, clearly just about to be buried in lava and rocks. At the same time my science teachers were telling me all about “uniformitarianism”- the popular secular understanding of earth’s history since the time of Charles Lyell until just a few decades ago- perhaps still persisting.It’s also described as “The present is the key to past”. According to this view all processes on earth have always continued at the same pace as we see them happening now, so that f it takes a year for one millimetre of silt to settle in a lake bed, it must have taken an awfully long time for hundreds of feet of it to form-certainly more than the Bible gives it, right?
Uniformitarianism has been all but debunked in many ways. In my own part of the world there is abundant evidence of past rapid super-eruptions of lava over thousands of square miles: not the sort of thing you see every day. More than that, in 1923 geologist J Harlem Bretz published a paper claiming that the area I now live in was inundated by enormous sudden floods at the end of the last ice-age. He said that the waters were up to 1000 feet deep. and rushed at high speeds down to the ocean, dramatically altering the landscape. You can see the results of rapid and large-scale water erosion for thousands of square miles all around here.
Bretz’ peers were unwilling to accept his proposal for some time, because it smacked too much of the Biblical Flood. Again, it’s not every day you see a thousand feet of water engulfing thousands of square miles of land, so perhaps the present is not always the key to the past.
ICR has noted that evolutionists believe five major catastrophic events have occurred during earth’s history. Some now claim a sixth, while others insist there were three: so much for hard scientific facts (note 3). Incredibly, according to evolutionary scientists, the worlds worst extinction event, the “Permian Extinction”, said bye-bye to 70% of land species and 95% of marine species! (note 2).
Picture Credit: Royal Tyrrell Museum.
CATCHING UP WITH THE BIBLE
What amazes me is that it’s taken this long for our would-be intellectual masters to arrive at the conclusion that enormous, cataclysmic events have transformed our world, because as long as three thousand years ago the Bible already had an explanation for worldwide mass extinctions and rearrangement of the surface of the earth: the global Flood. The reason for the demise of the dinosaurs has always been there for everyone to see. That is, everyone who wanted to see it.
And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, livestock, beasts, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all mankind…(Genesis 7:21 ESV).
Physical evidence for the Flood is abundant in rock layers all around the world, where billions of creatures (and colossal amounts of vegetation) are found to have been rapidly buried, sometimes exquisitely preserved, and in some locations in mass graveyards. Billions-yes, billions of tracks of dinosaurs and many other animals have been found all over the world-tracks made in mud and then buried and fossilized. Interestingly, the tracks commonly appear in straight lines as though these creatures were on their way somewhere in a hurry, not foraging, mating or just living out their lives peacefully in swampy terrain. At the same time, the earth is covered in layers of sediments up to continent size. They are claimed by evolutionists to be the deposits of ancient oceans. Instead, they lend themselves, as does the fossil evidence, far more obviously to the Biblical Flood.
I want to repeat a reference I found on a secular site-not written by a creationist or a believer, which is not uncommon in its descriptions, but is very provocative in relation to the Bible’s Flood account. It’s from an article titled “World’s Largest Dinosaur Graveyard Linked to Mass Death”:
“Scientists have revealed what may be the world’s largest dinosaur graveyard. The dinosaurs may have been part of a mass die-off resulting from a monster storm, comparable to today’s hurricanes, which struck what was then a coastal area. The findings could help solve a mystery concerning why the badlands of western Canada are so rich in dinosaur fossils.“ (note 5).
The Flood is recorded not just in the Bible as a catastrophe in earth’s history, but also in various forms in many cultures around the world, including the Mesopotamian culture-the oldest known civilization on earth.