Review © Old Earth Ministries
The book The Great Dinosaur Mystery Solved!, is by Ken Ham. The edition being reviewed is a paperback, Fifth Printing, April 2005, ISBN Number 0-89051-282-5.
This book is aimed specifically at youth. Creation science ministry Answers in Genesis knows that the key to keeping their children young earth creationists when they grow older is to reach them while they are young, and what better way to do it than through dinosaurs. This book testifies to the indoctrination methods of the young earth creationist leaders.
The format of the book is a little unusual, with the chapter on dinosaur history going from page 18 to 87, yet it is interspersed with data from individual species. The material from each species is placed appropriately, and the layout actually reads quite well. Almost half of the book is the appendices, which gives quotes and sources for dinosaur material.
In the introduction, we clearly see the intention of the book. In the bottom paragraph on page 9, Ham says “…when one takes the events of history as given in the Bible, as well as the doctrines of Christianity, that an entire WAY OF THINKING can actually be developed that can be applied to all areas of the created universe.” (The words in all caps are that way in the book.) Note that Ham is saying that you can “develop” a way of thinking about it to fit the Bible. This is an admission that by itself, the evidence clearly points to an old earth. The evidence must be "developed" to fit the Bible’s young earth timeline.
Old earth creationists do not have this problem. We do not have to “develop” a way to twist the plain evidence of science, so that it appears to be old…it is old! Ham would no doubt claim that we are “reinterpreting” the Scriptures to make it fit the old earth evidence. We are all free, as Christians, to interpret the Bible. If someone else gets it wrong, should we not correct it?
What are we reinterpreting? There are only three real issues here that we are reinterpreting. One is the Hebrew word for day, Yom. This can be interpreted as days or long ages. Young earth creationists will point to rules for translating the word Yom…but these rules were invented by young earth theologians to support their cause…there is no evidence of these rules existing prior to the rise of the modern young earth creation science movement. For more, see Word Study: Yom, and the article collection for Yom.
The second issue is death before sin. Nowhere does the Bible claim that there was no animal death before Adam sinned. The young earth arguments against death before sin are only valid within young earth creation science circles…thus, we have the creation of a doctrine to support their own view of creation. For more, see the topic Death Before Sin.
The final issue is the Flood, which most old earth creationists interpret as local in size, yet universal in effect. The words of Genesis allow this as a possible interpretation, even when taking the account literally (see articles on The Flood).
When you examine it further, it is really death before sin that is driving the other two issues. If there were no objection to death before sin, then the length of days, and the flood which supposedly killed the animals, become non-issues.
As is typical with young earth creation science books, Ham uses quotes from scientific sources, which cast doubt upon the secular scientists' solutions to the quoted problems. He uses these quotes effectively to set up straw-man arguments, so that when he provides the solution to these so-called problems, the young earth reader will accept them as "gospel." Due to the nature of the young earth culture, readers are expected to blindly accept the words of this so-called expert. Due to the fascination of dinosaurs in our culture, it will effectively teach young earth believers many false conclusions about dinosaurs. Old earth creationists should know the truth behind these claims so that they can answer the young earth arguments with ease.
Keep in mind that this book is written for a younger audience, and it does not get too technical. As such, it is quite easy to provide rebuttals for the claims (concerning dinosaurs, it is also easy to rebut the technical articles). Since this book is used by many homeschoolers, it is critical to reach them with proper dinosaur information that is not tainted by the false young earth creation science theories.
Although he paints a picture that old earth creationism is contrary to the Bible, this simply is not true…it is contrary to the young earth interpretations of the Bible. One can believe in an old earth (with or without evolution), and still believe in an inerrant, infallible Word of God. Conservative Christianity and old earth creationism can easily go hand-in-hand. May God bless you as you study this portion of His creation.
If you are not a Christian, and you have been holding out on making a decision for Christ because the Church always preached a message that was contrary to what you saw in the scientific world, then rest assured that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, and you can believe in Christ and receive salvation, while still believing in an old earth. Click here for more.
Are you a Christian who believes in young earth creationism? Now that we have shown the many difficulties of the young earth creation science model in this and many other articles, how does this impact your Christian life? If you are a young earth creationism believer, click here.
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