Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Dinosaurs: An Evolutionary Giant?
First of all, what is science? The modern definition of science is:
"systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation." Science deals with physical, observable things which can be recorded and used for the benefit of mankind. Science is what allows us to build computers, explore outer space, and learn more about the world around us. Creation and evolution however, cannot be considered true science because it deals with things that was not observed, such as the Creation of the world or the Big Bang. Therefore, instead of using observation, we must collect data and evidence and attempt to explain it through worldviews.
A worldview is like a set of of glasses that are used to observe and explain the world around us. If you were to wear glasses that had red lenses, everything you would look at would appear to be red. Although the world is not actually red, it appears to be red through the glasses. In the same way, our beliefs and assumptions about the world will influence the way you view the world. Most evolutionists believe that there is no God, so they assume that everything had to have come about by random chance natural proccesses.
The evolutionary geologic time chart places dinosaurs in the Mesozoic Era, which starts around 250 million years ago and ends around 65 million years ago when dinosaurs mysteriously went extinct. This era is divided into 3 periods; the Triassic, the Jurassic and the Cretaceous periods. It was during the Triassic period that dinosaurs supposedly arose from other, lower reptiles. With this assumption of dinosaur evolution, there should be some evidence of dinosaurs evolving in the fossil record. However, we have found no transitional fossils showing such an occurence. In fact, Darwin himself recognized this problem.
"The number of intermediate varieties which have formerly existed on earth must be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory." - Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species, 1902 edition. Even nowadays, the hunt for transitional forms has come back empty, again and again. There are a few alleged transitional forms, but they have all been shown to be false (I will write more information on these in future posts).
The Bible however, tells a different story. According to Genesis 1:24-25, God created all land dwelling animals on the Sixth Day of Creation. It also says that God created each animal to produce "according to its kind". Dinosaurs are land creatures (flying reptiles and marine reptiles such as pterosaur and plesiosaur are not considered to be true dinosaurs), so they must have been created on Day Six, around 6,000 years ago, according to Biblical Chronologies. As you can see, these two worldviews have radically different beliefs and assumptions, which means we must look at the evidence and see which worldview best explains it. As I said previously, we have found no evidence in the fossil record of dinosaur evolution, but rather, the fossil record seems to indicate that dinosaurs have always been dinosaurs, which is what we would expect to find if dinosaurs were created the way they were.
So why do we find dinosaur fossils buried in the rock layers, all over the earth? When did these fossils form? What caused the dinosaurs to go extinct?
When we find dinosaur fossils, we usually don't find them by themselves. They are often accompanied by fossils of other animals or dinosaurs. Almost always, these creatures are very well preserved, however, many of them are disarticulated (torn away from the rest of the skeleton). Most dinosaur fossils are buried in mud layers or limestone; the latter of which is made up of an accumulation of sea shells. We know already that dinosaurs are land creatures, so why are they buried in rocks formed by water? Secular geologists think that the carcasses of the creatures were carried into a shallow body of water (e.g; a stream), and were slowly buried and fossilized over millions of years. There are, however, several problems with this belief. First of all, if we use the evolutionary geologic principle of uniformatarianism (the present is the key to the past) then these "soon to be" fossils would have rotted away in a week or less! Then what about the fossils we see throughout the fossil record that are so beautifully preserved? They must have been buried quickly so that no outsiders could contaminate or destroy the specimen. What kind of event could of create all these factors? A violent watery catastrophy would quickly bury the specimens in thick mud layers and the chemicals in the rock would replace the cells of the bones (in some rare cases, the flesh as well), turning them into stone. Because we so many large-scale fossil deposits all around the world, featuring both land and marine creatures, it is safe to assume that this was a large-scale catastrophy. Secular geologists are beginning to consider the idea of large-scale catastropies to explain many of the earth's geologic features, along with there uniformitarian ideas. However, if it was mutiple large-scale catastrophies, then previously deposited rock layers and fossils formed by earlier catastrophies would be destroyed by the later catastophies. When in history was there a singe, large-scale catastrophy that could have produced massive amounts of fossils (dead things)? In Genesis 6-8, we are told that the human race became so wicked, that God sent a worldwide flood to destroy His now ruined creation. A righteous man named Noah, however, pleased God, so God told Noah to build an Ark (A big boat) to save him and his family from the Flood. God sent Noah two of every kind of animal to go on the Ark (seven of some), so that those few animals could repopulate the Earth after the Flood (dinosaurs would have been included). Mass amounts of plants and animals would be rapidly buried in mud and sand sediments, and because the Flood was worldwide, we would expect to find marine animals and land animals together. That is exactly what we find in the fossil record.
A question that has plagued many of those who believe in Noah's Flood is "how could the dinosaurs get on the Ark?" Evolutionists often use this question when trying to prove the Bible false. Dinosaurs, or at least the ones we are used to seeing, are huge creatures! How could Noah possibly fit two of every kind of dinosaur on the Ark along with all the other animals? Interestingly, not all dinosaurs were giants, in fact, the average size of a dinosaur is the size of a sheep, and many are much smaller! Even the largest dinosaurs fit in eggs the size of footballs, so why couldn't God have taken younger dinosaurs on the Ark? Besides, you wouldn't want bring senior-aged dinosaurs to repopulate the Earth after the Flood, would you? Since the biblical word "kind" does not refer to the species, but rather it refers to animals that have the same basic body plan, for instance, the dog kind. Though there are many different breeds and species in the dog kind, they are all still dogs! Same goes for the dinosaur kinds. Creation scientists have broken down all the different dinosaur species into only about 50 biblical "kinds". In the same way our Master Planner and Designer can fit even the largest creatures on His Ark of Salvation, He can fit even the biggest sinners on His Ark of Salvation, Jesus Christ, by forgiving our sins and bringing us into His family.
Such a massive catastrophy as Noah's Flood would have certainly decreased the population of the dinosaurs, but the dinosaurs on the Ark would have lived on in the years after the Flood. So then what happened to the dinosaurs after the Flood? Is there evidence of dinosaurs living alongside man in the post-Flood world? Could dinosaurs still be alive?
I will cover all this, and more in future posts. Until then, have a wonderful Christmas and a Blessed New Year!
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Merry Christmas and God bless you!