by Greg Neyman
© Old Earth Ministries
First Published 30 April 2005
I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard that there are dinosaurs living today! This common claim is so rampant in young earth creation science circles that I would be a millionaire! But wait a minute...what if they are right! What about all those claims for living plesiosaurs...the Loch Ness Monster, the Lake Champlain Monster, and others. Kent Hovind, in his seminar on dinosaurs, says these reports of modern day plesiosaurs prove that dinosaurs are alive today!
Is this true? If these claims are true, are dinosaurs alive today? The simple answer is no. You see, plesiosaurs are not dinosaurs. Plesiosaurs are of the Superorder Sauropterygia, a class of marine reptiles, and dinosaurs are of the Superorder Dinosauria . The chart below diagrams the classification.
Subclass Ornithodira (dinosaurs and pterosaurs)
Superorder Dinosauria (dinosaurs)
Order Saurischia and Ornithischia (based on hip structure)
The dinosaurs and pterosaurs are grouped together at the subclass level because it is thought that they had a common ancestor. However, all dinosaur species are in their own superorder, separate from the marine reptiles. There is a vast difference between dinosaurs and the Sauropterygia. All dinosaurs dwelled on land, and none of them lived in water.
Therefore, if a live plesiosaur were found today, it would not be proof that a living dinosaur exists today...it would be proof that a living marine reptile, once thought to be extinct, was still alive (a Living Fossil). Naturally, young earth creationists would jump on this, and claim dinosaurs were alive, but this would not be the truth.
Is there a chance that there are live plesiosaurs today? Sure, anything is possible. While there are many tales of sightings, there is no solid evidence. That does not mean they do not exist. When considering the extinction event that killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, the marine reptiles would have had a better chance at survival. However, you may be asking why we have no plesiosaur fossils during the Tertiery period, from 65 million years ago to 11,000 year ago. Good question...one that is unanswered. Even though this question cannot be answered, it does not improve the young earth creation science argument...it simply means that there are no fossils of plesiosaurs younger than 65 million years. An argument from a lack of evidence is an empty argument.
I would rejoice at the discovery of a live plesiosaur...but it would not be proof of a young earth. It would be evidence taken out of context with the rest of science. It would be a piece of straw in the young earth creationists hand, yet the young earth creationist would be ignoring the stack of hay where it came from , which contains millions of straws.
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?
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