Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dinosaurs On The Ark?

Biblegems #34
One young lady recently asked, were dinosaurs on the ark?

The first question that needs to be asked is, what, technically, is a dinosaur?
Today, most scientist agree that the term “dinosaur” generally refers to a variety of extinct, land-based reptiles whose limbs extend beneath the body, like that of a crocodile. Many were very large, some quite small. Most of these scientists also adhere to the theory of evolution, and so would assume that dinosaurs existed between 230 million and 65.5 million years ago. According to that point of view, dinosaurs were extinct long before humans came on the scene.

Biblically, of course, dinosaurs and humans did coexist. In fact they were both brought into existence on the sixth day of creation (Gen. 1:25-27). Roughly 1,600 years later the Flood inundated the entire earth, and nearly all land based animals and mankind were annihilated, including the dinosaurs. However, God had Noah bring onto the ark representatives of every “kind” of animal, including dinosaurs, along with the eight people of Noah’s family.
The term “kind” in the Bible refers to living creatures of the same type. Dinosaurs would be considered one “kind” of animal. So it was not necessary for the ark to have carried several variations of dinosaur, such as a brontosaurus or tyrannosaurus. It is certainly possible that a flying pair of dinosaurs were aboard the ark in addition to those that walked on the ground. It is also quite possible that infant dinosaurs of the larger variety were aboard.

What we do know for sure is that some dinosaurs were on the ark, because Scripture itself gives eyewitness accounts of humans interacting with them long after the Flood had receded (Job 40: 15-24; Job 41:1), and art work from post-Flood human settlements portray a great number of dinosaurs. Well known and respected historians and travelers such as Herodotus, Marco Polo and Alexander the great reported sightings of dinosaurs. And several Native American tribes have left oral and cave art records of interaction with dinosaurs, especially a giant flying reptile they call the “thunderbird.”

Most dinosaurs, of course, perished in the Flood. Those that did travel on the ark would have found it extremely difficult to survive in the radically altered landscape of the post-Flood world. Gone were the vast plains of tropical vegetation and the green-house-like conditions maintained by the pre-Flood water canopy around the earth. The Ice Age that followed the Flood would have wiped out many dinosaurs that struggled to breed and survive.

Eventually, dinosaurs became extinct, with the slight possibility that an extremely small number have continued to breed and may exist to this day in remote jungles, the ocean, or deep places in some large fresh water bodies where local inhabitants claim to encounter them.

The fossil remains of dinosaurs and the artwork and oral history of ancient peoples are a great testimony to the authority and accuracy of Scripture. God has left His signature upon the canvas of creation. The whole earth is indeed full of His glory!

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