Dinosaurs never existed?
I'm guessing many of you are reading this, not because you have a particularly high level of fascination with dinosaurs or that you have so much extra time on your hands that you have nothing better to do, but because you simply want to find out if I am actually going to make the bold assertion that dinosaurs never existed. Well… keep reading!
As I often do with the “Question of the Month”, I will not be focusing on the minute details of this topic but simply making a larger point. And it will come as no surprise that it deals directly with our “starting point” – God’s Word.
To anyone with even cursory knowledge of the Bible, it seems very clear that what we’re taught about dinosaurs does not seem to comport with the standard biblical narrative. In response to this apparent dilemma, some have gone as far as to claim that dinosaurs actually never existed! I guess that’s one way of attempting to eliminate the dilemma. But is that the best way or even a legitimate option? A few famous people, including professional athletes, have recently made this claim and that’s what prompted me to address this question.
Those who make this type of a claim (that dinosaurs never actually existed) usually say that the fossils we find were actually planted by Satan to deceive us and are also used by God to “test us” to see who we are ultimately going to trust. That is certainly an interesting thought, but it is also one that I feel has no merit. Rather than giving us the “best of both worlds”, this belief gives us the worst of each. It obviously rejects any actual evidence currently provided by science, but it also ignores many passages of Scripture at the same time.
When a conflict arises between what the Bible teaches and what we hear from the secular media or academic institutions, Christians too often respond by manipulating their view of Scripture to fit more comfortably with the secular narrative. This, for many reasons, can cause serious problems and ultimately denigrates the authority of God’s Word. It also makes man’s fallible opinions the ultimate source of authority rather than the Bible. One famous televangelist took the route of claiming that dinosaurs actually existed “before the time of the Bible”. Maybe I missed something, but I am pretty sure that Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning…”. So, I’m not sure what could possibly be considered “before the Bible”, since Scripture encompasses all of history, from the very beginning of everything, through eternity future!
The main thrust of this article is to further encourage you to always turn to your “starting point” (God’s Word) to formulate your views no matter what topic arises. Whether it’s transgenderism, same-sex marriage, abortion, creation vs evolution, or even dinosaurs… what does God’s Word tell us about that particular subject? If the Bible truly doesn’t mention anything about it, then we are generally free to conclude whatever we wish, using input from other sources.
Let’s consider a hypothetical topic – the color of an electron. If scientists think they have evidence that it is red, I don’t have a problem with that conclusion, because Scripture in no way comments on that particular question. If they later change their minds and think that it is actually pinkish-blue, again I have no reason to believe they must be wrong. (I might wonder how in the world they could even see color in an atomic particle, but I would have no ultimate basis for claiming they are in error.)
On the other hand, if they claim the first king of Israel was a woman named “Gertrude”, I would have to say they are definitely wrong, because the Bible is very clear that Saul was the first king of Israel. If they say that King David had green eyes, I would have reason to wonder how they think they know, but I would not have a biblical basis for claiming they are wrong. I think you get the picture.
So, how do we go about using this “starting point” approach with the topic of dinosaurs? In this brief article, I will only be broaching the subject, but it should give you a good idea of how it works.
Let’s start by examining Genesis 1 and Exodus 20:11, specifically looking at what God said about the entire creation process. Of particular note is the fact that Scripture indicates that God created EVERYTHING in six days. What does “EVERYTHING” leave out? Only one thing… nothing! God’s says He created everything in six days. He didn’t say, “I God, created everything in six days, well, except those dinosaurs. I mean, come on, I couldn’t have done that in six days – those guys are millions of years old!” He said “everything”. Using a bit of logic – dinosaurs are part of everything, so they must have been created within that period of time. When were they specifically created? “Well the Bible doesn’t tell us when He created dinosaurs,” many will claim. It doesn’t specifically mention when God created big horn sheep either, but we know it must have been “day 6”, because that’s when He said He created the land animals, and big horn sheep are land animals. Guess what? Dinosaurs were land creatures as well, so they must also have been created on “day 6”.
We have just begun to build our understanding of dinosaurs based on what Scripture is clear about.
Just one more example for this article. Were dinosaurs vicious meat-eaters? All right, now you’re thinking, “The Bible certainly doesn’t tell us what they ate!” Let’s see. Genesis 1:29-30 says, “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.” What can we conclude from this? That dinosaurs were originally vegetarian! (That all changed after the flood, but we’ll have to address that some other time.)
I am very aware that even these two simple points (that dinosaurs were created on day 6 and they were originally vegetarian) probably goes completely against everything you’ve been taught about dinosaurs. If I had time, I could easily show you how true science actually supports the biblical narrative, but space prohibits that for now.
Psalm 118:8 says, “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.” The more we get in the habit of following this admonition, the more we will grow in our faith and be better positioned to make sense of the world around us and share the Gospel of Christ with a lost and dying world.
It’s somewhat dangerous for me to broach this subject, but not fully develop it or offer a detailed defense. That’s one of the reasons we produce the resources we have, so you can learn more on your own and at your own pace. (For more information, see our DVD and booklet on dinosaurs.)
In the meantime, if you have any questions about this or any other issue, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
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