Dinosaurs have long been an effective tool for teaching evolutionary dogma. However, since all things were created by the God of the Bible during the creation week not long ago, and He didn’t use evolution to do so, there must be a better understanding of them. Let’s go to His account and adopt His view.
The dinosaurs were (by definition) land animals and thus were created on Day Six, probably within the category “beast of the earth” (Genesis 1:24-25). There were also large marine reptiles and flying reptiles created on Day Five (v. 21), but these were technically not dinosaurs since they did not have the right hip structure. Along with all animals and mankind, they were created to be plant eaters (vv. 29-30), for there was no death of conscious life before Adam and Eve rebelled against God.
Of the many dinosaur fossils found, almost all give evidence of having been plant eaters. Several of the dinosaur fossil types, however, do possess sharp teeth, sharp claws, spikes, armor plates, etc., perhaps used for a variety of offensive or defensive purposes. Of course, scientists can never be certain about a creature’s life habits when they only have bits of dead ones to study, and most dinosaur fossils are extremely fragmentary, usually consisting of part of a single bone. And many animals alive today that have sharp teeth and claws use them for strictly peaceful ends. But some dinosaur fossils are found with partially digested animals in their stomachs, leading to the conclusion that some of them ate meat.
The Bible doesn’t give the details of how these dinosaurs gained carnivorous habits, but it does give us a clue. When Adam and Eve rebelled, God pronounced the awful curse of death on all of creation. In doing so, He not only fulfilled His promise that they would begin to die (Genesis 2:17, “dying, thou shalt die”), but evidently He actually changed the genetic makeup of many “kinds” so that all their descendants would forever be different. He changed Eve’s body structure (3:16), the plants (v. 18), and animals, as well (v. 14). Perhaps at this time some dinosaurs and other animals acquired or began to acquire a taste for meat, as well as body parts designed for aggression or protection. This may be over-speculation, but sin ruins everything, and before long the entire planet was corrupt (6:11-12).
God told Noah to bring pairs of each kind of unclean, air-breathing land animal on board the Ark, including, evidently, the dinosaurs (7:2). Recognizing that as reptiles, dinosaurs would have continued to grow as long as they lived; and implying that the largest would be the oldest, the dinosaurs on the Ark probably would have been young adults, no bigger than a cow perhaps. Thus, there was plenty of room on board the Ark. But the world after the Flood was much different than before, with much less vegetation and a colder, harsher climate. Evidently the dinosaurs gradually died out. Perhaps they were even hunted to extinction by humans, as would be indicated by the many legends of people slaying dragons, the descriptions of which closely resemble dinosaurs.
At any rate, biblical history has an explanation for dinosaurs, their creation, lifestyle, and extinction. Christian parents are encouraged to use them to teach biblical truth.
* Dr. Morris is President of the Institute for Creation Research.
Cite this article: Morris, J. 2010. Dinosaurs According to Their Creator. Acts & Facts. 39 (10): 16.