Sound Doctrine - Titus 2:1

Dinosaurs

Bryan Matthew Dockens


"The living God made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them" (Acts 14:15). Since it was God who created all the occupants of land, sea, and sky, He deserves credit for the existence of every dinosaur in the fossil record.

So-called scientists, who aren't really scientists at all because the scientific method requires observation, claim that dinosaurs occupied the earth for 165 million years, beginning 230 million years ago. But the truth is that God created all animal life on the fifth and sixth days (Genesis 1:20-31). By calculating the ages recorded in the genealogies of scripture, and estimating where no age is provided, the age of the earth can be determined to be well under ten thousand years, probably not much older than six thousand years, in fact. Therefore, dinosaur bones are much, much younger than presumed.

These pseudo-scientists furthermore contend that human co-existence with dinosaurs was impossible, arguing that mankind did not enter the scene until well after the extinction of the great beasts. However, as already mentioned, the land-roving dinosaurs were created by God the same day He made man, and the sea serpents and pterosaurs were created just the day before. Persistent doubters would argue that humankind could not possibly survive simultaneously with such enormous and ferocious creatures, but such an argument overlooks important facts.

There was a time, before men regarded animals as a food source (Genesis 1:29; 9:1-3), that humanity and the animal kingdom interacted peacefully. God presented Adam with every animal in existence so he could name them (Genesis 2:19-20), and Noah faithfully obeyed God's command to bring every species into the ark for preservation from the flood (Genesis 6:19-7:9). Both these incidents would have included dinosaurs. It was only after the great flood that animals were instilled with the fear of man (Genesis 9:2), at which time God identified them as suitable for human consumption (Genesis 9:3). Until then, dinosaurs posed no direct threat to human survival. Even afterward, man was the predator and animals the prey, including dinosaurs.

God has granted mankind dominion over all other creatures on earth (Genesis 1:26-28; Psalm 8:4-9). We are and have always been the dominant species, "For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind" (James 3:7). Indeed, killer whales are trained to perform tricks before audiences at Sea World, while elephants perform circus tricks and manual labor, and have been used in combat for over three thousand years. If orcas and elephants can and have been tamed by man, the possibility of dinosaur domestication can hardly be ruled out, especially since dinosaurs weren't all enormous; their average size was comparable to cattle.

The scriptures clearly depict humankind living simultaneously with some great, fearsome creatures unlike anything known to move on the earth today. The Lord declared His power to Job by pointing to the wonders of His creation, including Behemoth (Job 40:15-24) and Leviathan (Job 41:1-34).

Behemoth was created along with man (40:15). It was considered chief among the ways of God (19), likely a reference to its size, with a tail comparable to a cedar tree (17) known to grow as high as 130 feet. It had strong hips and stomach muscles (16), and seemingly unbreakable bones (18). Behemoth dwelt in the swamps (21-22), and could drink a river (23-24), but did not disturb other animals as it ate (20) because it was an herbivore (15). This description certainly resembles that of Sauropods, the suborder that includes Brontosaurus, Brachiosaurus, and Diplodocus.

Leviathan was a creature beyond capture (41:1-11, 26-29), but not beyond observation (12). It dwelt in the sea (31-34), and was secure beneath layers (13) of scales (15-17). Leviathan could terrorize with its teeth (14), and was capable of breathing fire: "His sneezings flash forth light, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning. Out of his mouth go burning lights; sparks of fire shoot out. Smoke goes out of his nostrils, as from a boiling pot and burning rushes. His breath kindles coals, and a flame goes out of his mouth" (18-21). Who could mistake such an obvious reference to a dragon? But don't dismiss it as mere mythology. There must be some factual basis for the legends from China to England and places between. The word dragon is even used in reference to Leviathan (Isaiah 27:1 KJV). Undoubtedly, the scientific community would object to the notion of a fire-breathing dinosaur, but how could anyone living today prove otherwise? If the electric eel had become extinct millennia ago, what evidence would exist to prove it could deliver a 500 volt shock? Or, if the bombardier beetle became extinct today, how could a scientist a thousand years from now ever know that it could expel a toxic fluid at boiling temperatures? God's description of Leviathan lends credibility to certain elements of dragon legends, and resembles the Mosasaur or possibly the suborder of Plesiosaurs.

God was not describing creatures unknown to Job, which had become extinct in ages past, but things he could "Look at" (Job 40:15). In another scripture, Leviathan is said to have occupied the same waters as sailing ships (Psalm 104:25-26).

The origin of dinosaurs must be credited to God Himself during earth's first week. Their co-existence with mankind can be demonstrated in the scriptures.

The facts of their demise are less certain. It is unlikely a cataclysmic event, such as a meteorite impact, could have rendered dinosaurs extinct without simultaneously destroying human life. The great flood cannot be blamed for their extinction since "every living thing of all flesh of every sort" was brought into the ark (Genesis 6:19), with marine life implicitly excepted (20). The more likely explanation is that these creatures were eventually hunted to extinction (Genesis 9:1-3).

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