Review by Greg Neyman
© Old Earth Ministries
First Published 15 September 2005
What Did Dinosaurs Eat? How Did They Behave? (Page 53)
What did dinosaurs eat? Whatever they wanted to! As expected, Ken Ham turns this into a discussion of death before the fall. We have already covered this earlier, so there is no need to discuss it here. He mentions coprolites, and the fact that scientists can tell what a dinosaur ate be examining them. This is true. I have one sitting on my desk as I type this. Many reveal signs of a carnivorous diet. Some creationists believe there was no animal death prior to the flood, and even Ham mentions this possibility, but he is non-committal.
Some dinosaur fossils, which some young earth creation science proponents say were killed in the flood, show evidence of being chewed on by other dinosaurs. Combined with evidence from the coprolites, they give clear evidence that animals were carnivorous prior to the so-called worldwide Flood.
Young earth creationists commonly point to animals with sharp teeth, which eat only vegetables and fruits. Sure, there are examples, but just because they eat fruit now does not mean they have always eaten fruit. The two examples given (fruit bat, panda) are just two out of many thousands of species with carnivorous teeth. You cannot argue that just because two are vegetarian, that the rest could have been. This is no different than me saying that since I have prehensile hands, and the chimpanzee has prehensile hands, then my human ancestors must have used them to swing from trees. They are both behavioral actions based on body structure, and any mention of what they were used for millions of years ago is merely a guess.
Ham makes the claim that “everything changed because of sin.” Let’s look at this a little closer. There are three aspects to the curse…the curse upon the serpent, the curse upon Eve, and the curse upon Adam. The serpent’s curse could be taken two ways…as only upon Satan, or upon the snakes. In either case, the focus is narrow…the animal kingdom as a whole is not cursed here (Genesis 3:14-15).
Eve’s curse is for an increase in pain in childbearing and in a desire for her husband, for him to rule over her (Genesis 3:16). Again, there is nothing here that affects the animal kingdom.
Adam’s curse does affect the rest of creation (Genesis 3:17-19). God says;
Cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field; by the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.
Again, no animals are involved in this curse. Also note carefully the wording at the beginning, “Cursed is the ground because of you.” God did not curse the ground…it is cursed because of man’s interaction with it. How do we treat our environment today? Pollution, hunting animals to extinction, greenhouse gases, to name a few. The world is cursed because of man…not because of God.
Aside from snakes, the Bible does not say that God cursed the animal kingdom. The animal kingdom is affected by man’s curse, as man damages the creation. God did nothing after the curse to make some animals carnivorous. He mentions creation science advocate Henry Morris, who talks about the possibility of animals developing carnivorous teeth after the Fall. There is no indication this is true. If this were true, then we should have fossils of T-Rex’s with molar teeth! Have you ever seen one?
He mentions Romans 8:22, where Paul says the creation is groaning. I agree…under man’s abusive nature, through pollution, overkilling of species, and other harmful effects, the world is suffering. It is suffering as a result of man’s oppression…not God’s curse upon the creation. It is an indirect effect of God’s curse upon Adam.
Carnivorous Animal Discussion (Page 55)
He mentions Genesis 6:12;
And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. (KJV)
This is used to claim that after the curse, some animals may have even started to eat one another, thus they were corrupt in their ways (is this “animal sin?”). The main meaning for the Hebrew word for flesh, bâsâr, is person or man. The Hebrew dictionary gives no indication that this refers to animal flesh. God is not talking about the corruption of the animal kingdom, but about man’s corruption. This is corrected in some other translations (NIV, “people”; Amplified, “humanity”).
Genesis 9:2 is mentioned, where God says the animals will fear man. There is no indication of a change in diet for the animals. The verse only refers to the animal’s fear of man, and not dietary behavior. To use it to support a dietary claim for animals prior to the flood is inappropriate.
Why Do We Find Dinosaur Fossils (Page 57)
Ham makes the claim that evolutionists are now using catastrophic means to understand fossil burial. He then says, “Evolutionists now are basically saying that the fossil record formed quickly, but over millions of years!” This is an oversimplification of the evolutionist position. Yes, some fossils are buried quickly…but not all! One example is fossil fish in the Green River Formation in Wyoming, which are buried slowly over many years. The fossils survived because of the anoxic conditions of the water which prevented predators from feeding on the fish. Also, the simple statement implies a specific event, such as a flood, hurricane, or volcanic eruption. Under normal conditions, such as an animal dying on land, preservation is possible when the animal is washed into a fluvial system and buried over many months. It’s not all instantaneous burial as Ham would have the reader believe.
Next, Ham makes the case that there must have been two of every kind of dinosaur on the ark…I love it when young earth creationists do this! He claims that very small juvenile dinosaurs could have been taken on the ark. He uses the “kind” argument to say there was no need for one of each of the 600+ dinosaur species. For instance, one sauropod, one large theropod (T-rex), one raptor, one stegosauria, etc, is all you need. He says the multiplication of the dinosaurs after the Flood is not evolution, since it involves no new genetic material. It still involves the rapid reordering of genetic material through speciation, and thus it is a selective use of a portion of evolution. Evolutionists see little difference…its still evolution. However, that’s not the issue. Since young earth creationists claim the dinosaurs were mostly wiped out in the flood, the speciation we see would have occurred between the creation and the flood.
The real issue for dinosaurs and the ark does not happen until they get off the ark…more on that later.
Stegosaurus (Page 60)
Ham gives a general description of the Stegosaurs. He starts out with the creation account, reeling in the young earth reader by tying Stegosaurs to Day Six. At the end, he mentions the picture on page 60…and makes the emotional appeal that it would have been easy for Noah to take such a cute baby on the ark, which is no larger than your fist. Unfortunately, babies require much more care and feeding, thus increasing the burden upon Noah, which few young earth creationist researchers take into account in their ark studies.
Number of ‘Kinds’ of Dinosaurs (Page 65)
Ham comes to the conclusion that there were about 50 “kinds” of dinosaurs which needed to be taken on the ark. He ties this to the Ark study done by Morris and Whitcomb in their book The Genesis Flood. They claim you can fit 75,000 animals on one floor of the ark. With 75,000 animals, each person in Noah’s family (a total of eight) would care for 9,375 animals daily. Assuming that Noah and his family slept 8 hours, and fed themselves for one hour, that leaves them 15 hours to care for the animals. Since nobody can work 15 hours straight, let’s give them four 15 minute breaks, bringing them down to 14 hours. Subtract one more hour for “other tasks,” bringing us to a total of 13 hours. There are 780 minutes in 13 hours. This equates to 5 seconds per animal. Does this seem feasible? You can imagine that watering alone would take up all your 5 seconds. Also keep in mind the fact that it was low-tech…there’s no plumbing taking water to the various parts of the ship. You could probably carry water in a bucket or wheelbarrow or some other device, but every 5-10 animals, you would make a trip back to the water tanks, which would surely take several minutes. Then you have to remove waste and feed the animals. And this is only one of the three floors of the ark!
The dinosaurs not on the ark drowned, thus the millions of fossil dinosaurs we have in the rocks. However, these dinosaur fossils are all several thousand feet above the rock layers supposedly deposited at the start of the flood. For instance, the layers you see in the Grand Canyon are said to be flood deposits. There are no dinosaurs in these layers. It’s not until you get two layers stratigraphically above the Grand Canyon rocks that you encounter the first dinosaur fossils. Thus, somehow they survived over a mile of deposition before the flood wiped them out. They must be excellent swimmers! Also, all the trace fossil evidence, such as footprints, trackways, eggs, etc, are all in these layers, several miles above the first flood deposited layers. This is inconsistent with a global flood occurring only thousands of years ago, and has never been addressed by young earth creation science theorists (what they can’t solve, they ignore).
Is There Any Evidence of Dinosaurs Living After the Flood? (Page 66) (Alternate Old Earth Ministries Title, “NOAH…Watch Out for that T-REX!”)
The short answer is no…because there is no evidence for a global flood. Ham says the dinosaurs came out of the ark, and found a different world. In fact, since the land would have been stripped of vegetation, none of the animals would have any food to eat. Noah would have to feed the animals for several years after the flood, but this food requirement is not accounted for in the volume studies of the ark.
When the animals left the ark, what did all the carnivores eat? There were seven pairs of the cattle “kind,” and no doubt other species, that would have been the food source for the thousands of carnivores. For instance, let's assume a tiger killed once a week for food. If it preyed on cattle, the fourteen cattle kind would be killed by the tiger in only 14 weeks. Expand this to all the carnivores, and you see the problem. Throw in the carnivorous dinosaurs, such as raptors and T-rex, and the problem multiplies. The animals on the ark, after they disembarked, would be the food source for the carnivores. The animals that got off the ark, and in all likelihood, Noah and his family, would be dead within the first few months. The fact that I am here…alive and typing this webpage, is testimony that the young earth flood model is not correct. Praise the Lord that He didn’t use a global flood!
Ham then refers to Job, and his description of behemoth in Job 40. For a discussion on this passage of scripture, see Job 40-41.
Behemoth (Page 69)
Using the large sauropods, Ham gives a description of them (mostly Brachiosaurus), and equates it to behemoth. In reality, the Hebrew word does not indicate what it is…it just means a large quadruped animal. He can no more claim that it was a dinosaur, than we can claim it was a hippopotamus.
Reasons for Extinction (Page 74)
Ham blames a number of extinctions on the Flood, and the post-Flood conditions, although there is no actual evidence to tie them to the Flood. Yes, many animals were killed in the fossil record by floods, but there is no way of knowing “which flood” caused it. Secular scientists have causes for extinctions, which fit the evidence better than the flood model.
He does not go into secular models for extinction. He claims the dinosaur extinction was post-Flood, and the likely cause of it was man…despite the fact that not a single piece of evidence indicates man and dinosaurs were alive at the same time! Ham states it “matter of factly”, with no discussion of this theory, hoping the reader will blindly accept his statements as fact. Keep in mind this book is aimed at youth, who are taught to respect authority figures such as Ham, and accept their words as truth. Therefore, in the culture that is “young earth creationism,” no explanation is needed.
Triceratops (Page 76)
Ham gives a description of Triceratops and the history of its discovery. He equates the finding of 500 skulls and bones to the flood…but without having witnessed the event that caused their death, Ham is merely guessing that the global Flood killed them. Yes, there are many dinosaurs in so-called dinosaur graveyards…but there are many more that are not in graveyards. Sure, I can buy the fact that a flood killed them…but which flood? There are evidences for many floods in the rocks…all of them separate events, and not the result of a single worldwide flood. There is no geologic evidence for a worldwide flood. The rocks of the world would be very different from what are now if there was a global flood.
Are Dinosaurs Extinct? (Page 81)
He says geologists have been “severely embarrassed several times when, after having declared animals to be extinct, they have discovered them alive and well.” He is referring to “living fossils,” and I’ve never seen the type of embarrassment he refers to. We are excited when we find animals alive that were thought to be dead. This characterizing of such an event being embarrassing is not true. Ham desires geologists to be embarrassed and disgraced, but we are alive and well, and happy as a clam!
Ham goes on to mention present-day dinosaur sightings…none of which have been verified. As is typical of young earth dinosaur claims, he relies upon the cave paintings done by American Indians. However, such drawings do not mean the Indians saw a living dinosaur. For a rebuttal of this claim, see Paleontology Pioneers.
He mentions the Loch Ness monster, saying it could possibly be a plesiosaur. I agree, if it exists, it could be a plesiosaur. For more on this claim, see Plesiosaurs: What If?. He goes on to mention that finding a T-rex alive in the jungle would not embarrass the young earth creationist. It would not embarrass the old earth creationist, nor the evolutionist, either. We would all jump for joy! Of course, the young earth creationists would jump on this as evidence for a young earth, but it would not be. This would merely be one more living fossil. Instead of arguing living fossils here, please check out the article Living Fossils.
Next, he discusses the dinosaur to bird evolutionary link. He dismisses one dinosaur with feathers found in 1996…yet this ignores the many more that are clearly feathered dinosaurs that have been found since (Ham’s book is a little out of date). If dinosaurs evolved from birds…great. If not, that’s great too! It has no bearing on the age of the earth, nor upon the doctrines of the Bible.
Ham then goes into a short discussion on the cold-blooded/warm-blooded debate. He mentions a bone study which concluded that dinosaurs were cold-blooded. However, there are equally valid studies indicating the warm-bloodedness of dinosaurs, also based on the bones. The truth is probably a mixture…some species were, some were not. The small theropods, from which birds are said to evolve, present easy evidence for warm-bloodedness, as does the T-rex and other large therapods. He goes on to mention studies on the fingers of birds and dinosaurs, which supposedly proves birds could not have evolved from dinosaurs. Unfortunately, Ham is only presenting one side of the argument. There is much more evidence to indicate they did. It will always be a topic of debate. In reality, it doesn’t matter! God created them, and however he decided to do it is fine with me…this stuff is interesting, but we shouldn’t get wrapped around the axle over it.
He sums it up with “There is NO evidence dinosaurs evolved into birds.” Actually, the evidence is quite good. There is “no” evidence that Ham is willing to recognize…such a recognition would be contrary to his young earth viewpoint. Whether or not it is true, Ham MUST deny it…thus he has reached the conclusion first, and then sets out to twist the evidence to support his conclusion. This science in reverse is contrary to the scientific method, and casts doubt upon all young earth creation scientists. For more, see Creation Scientist?
Why Does It Matter? (Page 86)
He tries to tie a person’s belief in evolution to how they view the Bible. He says that the teachings of evolution in our education system have a great deal to do with why many will not listen to the Gospel. I agree, but for different reasons.
Young earth creationists, and the churches they are in, have presented this topic as an either/or scenario. Either you accept that God did it in six days, or you reject the creation account and the Bible. Young earth creationists are alarmed about people who go into schools, and learn about evolution and long ages, and then they see the earth is old, so they abandon the Bible. They learned this from their young earth teaching. They were taught that you cannot accept both. In reality, you can.
Because of this either/or mentality, many have left the church…and we have the young earth community to blame for this exodus of people. Over the past century, I would venture to say that young earth creation science has driven many millions away from the church…many more than have come into the church through their efforts. We are working now to undue this damage. Old earth creationism has shown that you can accept the creation account in the Bible, as a literal, historical record, and it does not conflict with the scientific evidence. We need to focus on the real reason for the Bible, the salvation of mankind through Jesus Christ. Billy Graham sums it up best…
I don't think that there's any conflict at all between science today and the Scriptures. I think that we have misinterpreted the Scriptures many times and we've tried to make the Scriptures say things they weren't meant to say, I think that we have made a mistake by thinking the Bible is a scientific book. The Bible is not a book of science. The Bible is a book of Redemption, and of course I accept the Creation story. I believe that God did create the universe. I believe that God created man, and whether it came by an evolutionary process and at a certain point He took this person or being and made him a living soul or not, does not change the fact that God did create man. ... whichever way God did it makes no difference as to what man is and man's relationship to God.
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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about old earth creationism, see
Old Earth Belief,
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Can You Be A
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