How Do The Dinosaurs Fit In?
by John D. Morris, Ph.D.
When first exposed to the creation model of earth history, Christians and non-Christians alike usually ask the same question: "What about the dinosaurs?" It seems that decades of evolutionary brainwashing have led many people to equate dinosaurs with evolution. Dinosaurs have long been an effective tool for teaching evolutionary dogma, but they really did exist, and therefore must somehow fit into the Biblical framework.
The Bible says that all things were created during the six-day creation week (Exodus 20:11, etc.), including dinosaurs. The reptilian dinosaurs were (by definition) land animals which were created on Day Six under the category of "beast of the earth" (Genesis 1:24, 25). There were also large marine reptiles created on Day Five (v. 21). Along with all animals and mankind, they were created to be plant eaters (vs. 29,30), for there was no death before Adam and Eve rebelled against God.
Of the many dinosaur fossils found, almost all give evidence of being plant eaters exclusively. 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 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 use them for strictly peaceful ends. But enough is known of dinosaurs to strongly suspect that some of them ate meat.
The Bible doesn't say when they gained that ability, but I feel 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 (2:17), but evidently He actually changed the genetic makeup of each "kind" so that all their descendants would forever be different. He changed Eve's body structure (3:16); the plants (v. 18), and the animals, as well (v. 14). Perhaps at this time dinosaurs and other animals acquired or began to acquire 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, 7).
God had told Noah to bring pairs of each kind of land animal on board the Ark, including, evidently, the dinosaurs (7:15). Recognizing that as reptiles, dinosaurs would have continued to grow as long as they lived, implying that the oldest would be the largest, there was plenty of room on board the Ark for the younger ones. Thus the dinosaurs on board the Ark probably would have been young adults, no bigger than a cow perhaps. But the world after the Flood was much different than before, with much less vegetation and a colder, harsher climate, and evidently the dinosaurs gradually died out. Perhaps they were even hunted to extinction, as would be indicated by the many legends of dragons, the descriptions of which closely resemble dinosaurs.
At any rate, Biblical history has an explanation for dinosaurs, their creation, life-style, and extinction. Christian parents are encouraged to use them to teach Biblical truth.
* Dr. John Morris is President of the Institute for Creation Research.
Cite this article: Morris, J. 1989. How Do the Dinosaur Fit in? Acts & Facts. 18 (5).