Did Humans and Dinosaurs Coexist?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Saturday, January 27, 2018 0 comments

by Nathan Buck

Along with my sci-fi interests, an equally challenging question for me as a teenager was, "What about the dinosaurs?" I mean, did we coexist, or was there an age between them and us?

I wrestled with this as a new believer in Jesus, because it seemed to me that it challenged the account of creation if there was millions of years between us. Even after I learned and wrestled through the 'day/age' theory (the idea that the days of creation in Genesis each represented thousands of years), I still wondered how we could have co-existed. Growing up I had seen shows like "Land of the Lost," where a family falls into a split in the earth and they find a tropical biosphere with full sized dinosaurs. This family daily had to survive and try to find their way back home. The scale of the dinosaurs was so huge compared to them that it was fantastic to believe that we could exist in the same time. And yet, they survived episode after episode, while continuing to reinforce the evolutionary view and separation of humans and dinosaurs in history.

As a teen, when I asked my pastor about all of this, he took me to Genesis 1-3 and we read about creation, specifically pausing at Genesis 2:19-20. My pastor asked me, "How many animals does it say God created?" And then he asked, "How many did Adam name?"

The answer was obvious to me, even then: ALL. This was the first time that I considered it possible that humans and dinosaurs existed together from the beginning. I still would come back to this from time to time and check my assumptions from new scientific or Biblical information. As I learned about the forgeries in fossil reconstruction by archeologists determined to prove evolution and then began to learn about the archeological assumptions made in excavating human towns, animal bones, dry river beds, etc., I began to challenge both my assumptions and the assumptions of scientists who made leaps in connecting physical data to ideological presumptions. All that to say, I approached my own assumptions and theirs with skepticism and relied on scientific and Biblical evidence to determine what is true.

I was content with a sort of "limbo" in regard to when and how the dinosaurs existed and whether there was an "age" between us for quite some time. But a very simple encounter with a life sized model of a T-Rex changed my thinking. I have stood next to elephants and models of wooly mammoths. And as big as they are, I never had a reason to doubt that we have coexisted with them, and that Adam likely named them something way back in Genesis 2. When I went to a science center focused on wildlife of land and sea, I walked into a room with a life-sized model of a T-Rex, and it was like a switch flipping inside me on a visceral level. All the drama and exaggerated scale of and every dinosaur movie/show suddenly evaporated.

As I looked at the model, it dawned on me that it was really NOT that much bigger than an elephant. I actually imagined what it would be like to harness it and ride on its back, and I realized that it was a reasonable possibility that we could do so. And for all the fear mongering and indoctrination from "Land of the Lost," the irony of their survival became absurdly clear to me. Yes, it was a fictional show, but by its very own storyline it dismantled its own message about the big, scary, dangerous predators of ancient history. And while Jurassic Park tried to make this more believable by killing people in the story and having the dinosaurs eat them, the irony of the survival of the main characters remained.

So, for me, suddenly the extinction of the wooly mammoth as an accepted and settled reality in our history was exactly the same as the extinction of the dinosaurs - not just as a fantastic pre-human event, but as a very probable event within the span of human existence. In that moment, it was more realistic and believable that Adam could have named the dinosaurs, just as the Bible indicates.

We have had many animals, large and small, go extinct within human history, and we currently have animals equal to and larger than the average dinosaur. The Bible says Adam named all the animals God created, and I believe it is correct. 

If you want to dig deeper into the additional considerations on the age of the earth, evolution, creation, etc., feel free to check out some of our blog posts by Steve Risner and Charlie Wolcott.

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