Astronomers and other scientists often speak of the extinction of dinosaurs on this earth. They believe that dinosaurs disappeared from the earth some 65 million years ago, long before man came along. They make these statements as if it were a known, proven scientific fact that dinosaurs were long gone by the time men appeared on the earth.
Of course, those of us who believe the Bible know that what they are saying cannot be true. We know this because the Bible does not teach that the earth is millions of years old. In fact, it is probably less than 10,000 years old. We also know this because of what the Bible teaches about the creation, something we'll discuss as we progress in this study.
DINOSAURS DID EXIST
There can be no doubt when you see the skeletal remains of huge animals, some 76 feet long and 40 feet tall, that dinosaurs once lived on this earth. In fact, in light of what the word "dinosaur" means, I think we can say that some of them still exist today. The word "dinosaur" means "terrible lizard." If you go to the zoo, or if you travel to certain areas of the world you will see "terrible lizards" that are alive. There are the great monitors, some of which weigh as much as 300 lbs. One example is the Komodo dragon which reaches lengths of up to 12 feet (Funk & Wagnalls New Encyclopedia). There are the Crocodiles, some of which reach 30 feet in length (Funk & Wagnalls New Encyclopedia) - certainly, these could be described as "terrible lizards."
Fossils of extinct dinosaurs have been discovered all over the world. The question is not, "did they live", but when did they live and what happened to them?
WHEN DID DINOSAURS LIVE ON THIS EARTH?
The Bible teaches that God made all living creatures during the 6-day period of creation as recorded in Genesis chapter one. The Bible says, "For in six days Yahweh made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day." (Exodus 20:11). The Bible teaches that God made the heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them in the six days of creation. That answers the question as to how long the dinosaurs have been on this earth. They did not appear on this earth 225 million years ago and then die out some 65 million years ago. God created them during the same week He created all the other animals, and the same week that He created man. The dinosaurs were evidently created on the fifth and sixth days. "So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good." (Genesis 1:21). According to Strong, the word translated "great sea creature" here refers to "a marine or land monster, a sea-monster, sea serpent." This passage then, would include the aquatic dinosaurs as well as all other water animals.
Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind"; and it was so. (Genesis 1:24). This passage would cover the land dwelling dinosaurs. The word "cattle" is defined by Strong as "any large quadruped animal." Quadruped means an animal having four feet. So this would refer to any four-footed beast including the great dinosaurs. The words "creeping thing" means "reptile or any other rapidly moving animal." The land dwelling dinosaurs would be included in these definitions.
This tells us something else that's very important: Human beings and dinosaurs were contemporaries at this point in history. In fact, in their book The Genesis Flood, John Whitcomb and Henry Morris have a picture taken of dinosaur prints made and preserved in the Paluxy River bed near Glen Rose, Texas. These are normal dinosaur tracks like those found in many other locations. However, right along with the dinosaur tracks are human footprints made during the same time that the dinosaur tracks were made. How could this have happened if dinosaurs died out 65 million years before man came upon the earth?
In addition to this, human footprints have been found in the strata which is supposed to be reserved for the time period of dinosaurs. In other words, evolutionists commonly believe dinosaur remains are found only in certain strata of the earth, with the age of between 285 and 65 million years. However, in these strata which are supposed to be far older than man, they have discovered human footprints. Bert Thompson, in an article written in the Firm Foundation, entitled "Dinosaurs and The Bible" said:
In 1968, William J. Meister discovered a half billion year old (according to evolutionary assumptions) trilobite fossil between two slabs of rock 200 feet up a cliff in Utah. Such a find would not be considered an unusual discovery except that the fossil was embedded in a perfect mold of a human sandal. Somewhere the evolutionist has lost 500 million years of his precious time scale." Trilobites were supposed to have lived and died 500 million years before man came into existence on this earth.
DOES THE BIBLE SPEAK OF DINOSAURS?
The Bible doesn't use the word dinosaurs, but it is possible that it speaks of dinosaurs. For instance, Job speaks of an animal he calls a behemoth: "Look now at the behemoth, which I made along with you; he eats grass like an ox. See now, his strength is in his hips, and his power is in his stomach muscles. He moves his tail like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are tightly knit. His bones are like beams of bronze, his ribs like bars of iron. He is the first of the ways of God; only He who made him can bring near His sword. Surely the mountains yield food for him, and all the beasts of the field play there. He lies under the lotus trees, in a covert of reeds and marsh. The lotus trees cover him with their shade; the willows by the brook surround him. Indeed the river may rage, yet he is not disturbed; he is confident, though the Jordan gushes into his mouth, though he takes it in his eyes, or one pierces his nose with a snare." (Job 40:15-24). Some Bibles have in their marginal notes here that the animal Job refers to is a hippopotamus or an elephant. But have you ever seen a hippo or elephants tail? Job describes this animal's tail as being moved "like a cedar." By no stretch of the imagination can one conclude that this animal refers to the hippo or the elephant because their tails in no way resemble a cedar. The description of the behemoth's bones being "beams of bronze," and "like bars of iron" may be a description of the bony outer material or armor - the large scales some think dinosaurs had.
Not only that, but listen to Job again. "Can you draw out Leviathan with a hook, or snare his tongue with a line which you lower? Can you put a reed through his nose, or pierce his jaw with a hook? Will he make many supplications to you? Will he speak softly to you? Will he make a covenant with you? Will you take him as a servant forever? Will you play with him as with a bird, or will you leash him for your maidens? Will your companions make a banquet of him? Will they apportion him among the merchants? Can you fill his skin with harpoons, or his head with fishing spears? Lay your hand on him; remember the battle; never do it again! Indeed, any hope of overcoming him is false; shall one not be overwhelmed at the sight of him? No one is so fierce that he would dare stir him up. Who then is able to stand against Me?" (Job 41:1-10). God uses the example of this great sea creature, the Leviathan, to show that just as one would not want to face this great sea creature, he would not want to face God. But notice the description of this sea creature. Do you know of any animal in the sea that would be so dreaded and deadly today? The leviathan was evidently known in David's day. "O Yahweh, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions; This great and wide sea, in which are innumerable teeming things, living things both small and great. There the ships sail about; there is that Leviathan which You have made to play there. These all wait for You, That You may give them their food in due season." (Psalm 104:24-27). How long did this Leviathan last? Is it still alive? No one knows, because we are not exactly sure what it is. But is it possible that this is referring to a great sea creature that we know today as a dinosaur?
In the article referred to earlier by Bert Thompson he wrote, "In the late 1800's, archaeologist Dr. Samuel Hubbard found ancient Indian drawings on a canyon wall in Arizona. Amongst pictures of ibex and elephant is an accurate representation of a dinosaur. The question is this: If the evolutionists are correct, how could men draw pictures of a creature which became extinct millions of years before man ever emerged on this earth?"
From both Bible and secular evidence, the only conclusion one can draw is that men and dinosaurs lived on this earth at the same time!
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE DINOSAURS?
Of course in asking this question, we're talking about the dinosaurs which no longer inhabit the earth. There are thousands of fossils of dinosaurs. Whitcomb and Morris speak of one "dinosaur graveyard" where the fossils of more than 300 separate dinosaurs have been discovered.
What happened to the dinosaurs? First, we know that since dinosaurs existed in the days of Noah, that he took some of them with him on the ark. One of the things that skeptics usually bring up is the difficulty and impossibility of Noah taking two 76 foot long dinosaurs upon the ark. Of course, one thing they overlook is that the ark was huge. Another thing they overlook is that Noah didn't have to take two full-grown adults.
But since God commanded Noah "And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Of the birds after their kind, of animals after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive." (Genesis 6:19-20). Since verse 22 says, "Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so he did..." then we know that Noah took them upon the ark with him.
Now the evolutionists say that the dinosaurs became extinct when some great cataclysmic event occurred to the earth. I'll have to agree with the evolutionists on this point. However, they say that a possible comet or asteroid crashed into the earth and caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. If that is true, why did it not cause all life to become extinct? The Bible convinces me that it was the flood in Noah's day that caused most of the dinosaurs to die. God destroyed every living creature on the face of the earth during the flood - and that would include all of the dinosaurs.
But what happened to the dinosaurs that were on the ark? They were saved during the flood along with the rest of the animals that were on the ark. Nevertheless, remember that the Bible teaches that the earth before the flood was perfect. It had a perfect climate. But all that drastically changed after the flood. It may very well be that the dinosaurs that Noah took on the ark could not survive the climatic change that had occurred. That is a greater possibility than the comet - asteroid theory prominent today because we have actual historical testimony concerning the flood - we have only theories concerning a comet or asteroid.
The point we are making is this: the existence of dinosaurs presents no problem to those of us who believe the Bible account of creation and the universal flood. There's no proven scientific fact that contradicts the Bible in any way concerning what we know about dinosaurs. It's only when men speculate about what they believe happened in the past that apparent contradictions appear.
Evolutionists are wrong when they say man and the dinosaurs never existed as contemporaries. The scientific evidence proves their error, and the inspired Word of God, the Bible, points to this fact in no unmistakable terms.
Paul wrote, "because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, " (Romans 1:21-22). This aptly describes the evolutionists of our day. They profess themselves to be wise, but they have become fools. We would do well to heed the warning Paul gave Timothy: "O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge;" (1 Timothy 6:20). The theory of evolution is not science - it is "falsely called knowledge." It is not based upon any proven scientific facts, and has no facts whatever to support it.
We believe and will continue to believe what the Bible teaches concerning the origin of this earth and the Judgment of God in the days of Noah. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" is a truth that cannot be successfully denied. All the evidence from the Bible and from natural sciences point to God, the Creator, the Judge and the Benefactor of all mankind.
God's word stands and will ever stand forever.