Review by Greg Neyman
Young earth creationists frequently point to evidence that dinosaurs existed with man, but once you examine the evidence, you realize that it does not support their claims. Such is the case with their latest claim. In an article on the Answers in Genesis website on 15 January 2007, Kenneth Cole explains that there is evidence of dinosaurs at Angkor, which is a site of ruins in Cambodia.1
The ruins date to the 12th century, and Cole eloquently sets up his argument by explaining them. He claims that there are no other obviously mythical beasts portrayed in the carvings, indicating that they are all based on real animals. He lists pigs, monkeys, water buffaloes, roosters, and snakes. He then makes the claim that one of the animals looks remarkably like a stegosaurus. These animals, he explains, were depictions of real animals inhabiting the region a little over 800 years ago. Unfortunately, AiG provides a small resolution photo of the animal in question, to prevent people from examining it closely. For comparison, here is an outline of a stegosaur. While the animal pictured in the ruins appears to have spine plates, the similarities end there. It appears to be a boar of some type, with a rooting nose. If this was carved using a live stegosaur as a sample, then one must only conclude that the artist was nearly blind.
There are several more reasonable explanations available. The author claims that there are no mythical beasts depicted, but looking at the picture of the author, it is clear that the artwork is embellished with artistic license. Look at the monkey below the supposed stegosaur. Have you ever seen a monkey with such a wide smile on his face? How do we know that the stegosaur-like creature was not embellished by the artist? Second, artwork from regions that contain dinosaur fossils frequently depict such fossils, such as the dragons in Chinese lore, and the drawings of dinosaurs in North and South America. This does not mean that the artist saw an actual dinosaur...it merely means that he may have seen a dinosaur fossil.
So in the end, what we have is a young earth creationist relying on an 800 year old work of art to support his belief. This is hardly scientific evidence for dinosaurs! Recognizing the weakness of this evidence, the editors put in a note at the end, saying that even if it is found to be fraudulent, there is plenty of other evidence to support their cause. They list the "many other petroglyphs." Again, this is artwork that is hundreds of years old. Some of this artwork is located close to dinosaur fossils, supporting the theory that they were merely drawing what they saw in the fossils (click here for an example). The editors also refer to the Word of God. While I agree that the Word is the truth, the truth depends on how you interpret the Word. There is no clear evidence in Scriptures to indicate that man and dinosaurs lived together (see Job 40-41).
Sources / For More Reading
1 Evidence of Dinosaurs at Angkor, published at http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2007/0115angkor.asp
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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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