Review by Greg Neyman
Review © Old Earth Ministries
First Published 15 September 2005
What Happened to the Dinosaurs? (Page 11)
Ham says the Bible can be used to as a basis for explaining dinosaurs in terms of thousands of years of history. This is true, but only if you ignore all of the scientific evidence which indicates the dinosaurs lived millions of years ago. How much of the scientific evidence indicates the dinosaurs lived millions of years ago? All of it. There is no evidence that dinosaurs lived only thousands of years ago.
The only place you will see a dinosaur claim for thousands of years ago is within young earth creation science circles. None of the claims made by these so called scientists stands up to scrutiny, and are easily shown to be false. This is what happens when you pre-suppose that the earth is young, and then twist the evidence to match your notions. We will examine a few of these claims in this book, but if you want to jump right into more dinosaur articles, check out the Dinosaur section.
Are Dinosaurs a Mystery? (Page 11)
Of course there are mysteries with the dinosaurs. No man has ever seen one. We reconstruct what we can of their lives, given the scant evidence we have from fossils and trace fossils. Ken Ham claims they are only a mystery if you accept the evolutionary story of their history. He is merely blowing smoke. Secular scientists have a very good picture of dinosaur life, and the mysteries are few. Interestingly, he uses a quote, and indents it, but only the first part of the first sentence is a quote…the rest is part of Ham’s discussion. Yet, the rest stays indented for some reason. I assume this is poor editing from the author and publisher, or perhaps it was done for effect.
After a brief discussion, he concludes with “All these ideas are guesses and make dinosaurs a great mystery!” He makes it sound like dinosaur scientists are making wild guesses. In reality, not much guesswork is involved. Where scientists have to fill in the gaps, it is a highly-educated guess. They rely upon many sources of information, such as other comparable fossils, trace fossils, radiometric dating, stratigraphic position, and other’s research into the species in question. It’s not like they don’t have a clue…they have many sources of data for comparison to make their estimates. Of course, they sometimes are proven wrong after new evidence is uncovered. This is a natural part of the scientific method…when new discoveries are made, old theories are discarded. Young earth creationists love to point out errors in theories. However, this is merely the scientific method at work. The discarding of bad theories cannot be used to imply a young earth is correct…all the evidence still indicates millions of years. (In reality, there is no such thing as a bad theory…only bad data that led to the theory.)
Why are the Two Views so Different? (Page 14)
Ham argues that “scientists try to connect the fossils they find to the past.” Of course they do. All the evidence supports them being millions of years old. Young earth creation science tries to dismantle the evidence, and come up with alternate theories, but they are all flawed. This is because they start with the assumption that the earth is only 6,000 years old, and then they try to make the evidence fit. They try to take scientific truth, and make it match biblical truth (their “interpretation” of the Bible), and as a result, they so butcher the science that it is laughable. Why then, do young earth creationists accept it? This is a cultural issue…they were raised believing in a young earth, and they have always been taught to ignore any evidence which is contrary to this interpretation. To see a simple description of how they do this, read Morton’s Demon. They are unwilling to rationally consider any alternatives.
On page 15, Ham says “The Bible is THE HISTORY BOOK OF THE UNIVERSE from the very beginning.” True…but it varies depending on who is interpreting it.
Ham oversimplifies the two views on page 16, saying there are only two choices (there are many). He says its either the Christian World View or the Secular World View (evolutionary history). However, Progressive Creationists reject evolution, yet they are old earth creationists. Ham intends the Christian view to mean young earth, but it can also mean old earth creationists. We accept the literal reading of the creation account, just as young earth creationists do...but for Progressive Creationists, there is no need to twist the science to fit a preconceived notion about the age of the earth…it is a much better fit to the Bible than young earth creationism.
Ham says that if you accept the biblical view of history, you will reach the young earth explanation for dinosaurs back on page 13. This is simply not true. Progressive Creationists accept the biblical view of history, and conclude that the earth is old. Even if you believe God used evolution to create (Theistic Evolution), you can still read Genesis literally, and thus you also can accept the biblical view of history. As usual, Ham is presenting this choice as an either/or scenario…either you accept the biblical view (and a young earth), or you don’t (you reject the biblical view and accept an old earth). You can accept an old earth, and the biblical view, and be a very conservative Christian at the same time. The simplistic explanation given by Ham is simply not the truth.
Which View is Right? (Page 17)
Early in this section Ham mentions the death before the Fall of man issue. This is the main reason that young earth creationists feel they must reject the old earth, and twist the evidence to fit their own theories. God told Adam in Genesis 2:17,
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Using a common, literal interpretation, when Adam ate the fruit, he should have died physically that day. Did Adam die the same day he ate the fruit? No, he did not. There are only four possibilities. First, God lied to Adam. We know that God cannot lie, so this is not the case. The next alternative is that God did not mean physical death, but spiritual death only. When Adam ate the fruit, he sinned, which caused separation between him and God, or spiritual death. We know that physical death cannot separate you from God, thus it is vastly more important from a theological perspective than physical death.
Two other possibilities must also be examined. First, the one commonly used by young earth creationists, is that when Adam sinned, he became vulnerable to the process of death, thus he did incur the "death penalty" that day, even though he died hundreds of years later. The final possibility is popular among old earth creationists. Adam did die that day, just as God said. Since the days of creation are millions of years long, and God was in his seventh day of rest (which continues to this day), he died in the seventh day.
Ham says “Also, if there really was a global flood, this will have a direct bearing on a Christian view of geologic history.” Speaking as a Christian, and as a geologist by training (B.S. in Geology), I can state with 100 percent certainty that there is absolutely no geologic evidence for a global flood. Ham’s statement reflects the poor approach of young earth creation science theorists to the scientific evidence. Young earth creationist geologists, such as Steve Austin of the Institute for Creation Research, approach geology with the presupposition that the earth is young. As a scientist, he should approach the evidence from geology, come to a conclusion for how old it is, and then compare it to the Bible to see if they agree. Billy Graham said “The Bible is not a book of science. The Bible is a book of Redemption…” The Bible is scientifically accurate, when interpreted with an old earth position, but in the end, we should not get hung up on the creation…redemption through Jesus is the main issue. Unfortunately, young earth creationists, in focusing on these side issues, and presenting them as an either/or choice, have driven millions away from the church. It need not be so! You can accept both the Bible and science.
Ham says that if you “start with the Bible to build a framework of thinking, one can consistently interpret the evidence concerning dinosaurs and construct a history that can be logically defended.” You can do this with old earth creationism also, although I’m certain that is not what Ham intents. Yes, you can come to a young earth conclusion, if you drastically twist the evidence, and ignore the evidence you cannot twist…but it cannot be logically defended as Ham claims. All one needs to do is look at this review, and the many other rebuttals on the Old Earth Ministries website.
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.
To learn more
about old earth creationism, see
Old Earth Belief,
or check out the article
Can You Be A
Christian and Believe in an Old Earth?
Feel free to check out more of this website. Our goal is to provide rebuttals to the bad science behind young earth creationism, and honor God by properly presenting His creation.