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Tag: Dinosaurs

Christians Say the Darnedest Things: Were There Dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark?

dinosaurs on the ark
Cartoon by Mike Peters

People often wonder how all of the animals could have fit on the ark. Often, “bathtub arks” are loaded down with various species of animals, rather than the biblical kind, which is approximately at the family level of biological classification. Noah didn’t need to bring lions, leopards, and tigers onto the ark, just a single pair from the cat kind. We see so many illustrations of large creatures packed tightly into a little boat. But this image is inaccurate too. Noah’s ark was so much larger than it is usually depicted, and many of the animals were probably smaller than are shown in popular pictures.

But the biggest hurdle people have when they see any of our displays of the ark (or visit the Ark Encounter) is seeing dinosaurs depicted on the ark (or in stalls in the Ark Encounter). Due to evolutionary indoctrination, many people can’t picture man living alongside dinosaurs, or if they do, they think of the Jurassic Park/World movies and view all dinosaurs as wanting to trample or eat people. Even if they overcome or set aside this stumbling block, we still get questions of how dinosaurs could even fit on the ark, particularly when considering the massive dinosaurs, especially the sauropods. Other oft-cited “problems” with dinosaurs on the ark are feeding the herbivores the massive amounts of vegetation that the adults eat, feeding the carnivorous ones (and avoiding being eaten by them), and cleaning up after them.

It makes more sense to think that God would have sent to Noah juveniles (or sub-adults) or smaller varieties within the same kind. Consider the following advantages to bringing juveniles or smaller versions of a creature: they take up less space, they eat less, they create less waste, they are often more docile and easier to manage, they are generally less susceptible to injury, and they would have more time to reproduce after the flood. And considering this last point, wasn’t that the end goal of bringing them on board the ark: to keep them alive and to ensure that they would “be fruitful and multiply on the earth” (Genesis 8:17)? Bringing a full-sized dinosaur that only had a few years left and/or was past its reproductive prime seems illogical and wasteful. Neither of those is characteristic of God.

Regarding carnivorous activity, we know from the fossil record (most of which is a testimony of the worldwide, globe-covering flood) that some animals were carnivores in the post-fall/pre-flood world. But even if carnivory was prevalent in the late pre-flood world, it is still possible the animals that God sent did not eat meat or were omnivores that could have survived for one year without meat. There have been modern examples of animals normally considered to be carnivores that refused to eat meat, such as the lion known as Little Tyke. Additionally during times of war or natural disaster when meat was unobtainable, zoos and wildlife parks have utilized meat substitutes1 like nuts, peanut butter, coconuts, beans, soy, and other legumes as their protein-source feed for the animals.2

However, if some of the ark’s animals did eat meat, there are several methods of preserving or supplying their food. Meat can be preserved through drying, smoking, salting, or pickling. Certain fish can pack themselves in mud and survive for years without water—these could have been stored on the ark. Noah may have also brought mealworms and other insects onto the ark as food, and these can be bred for both carnivores and insectivores, providing even necessary amino acids, like taurine. Cricket or grasshopper flour could be baked into breads, as could the ground seeds of gourds. And plants like amaranth and quinoa yield high protein feed. Yeast paste and dried seaweed also contain high amounts of protein and taurine, so Noah quite likely had many options available to him. And occasionally in desperate times, like during the Nazi siege of Leningrad in 1941, even obligate carnivores (in this case, a tiger) have switched to vegetarian diets and survived for several years.

For the plant-eating dinosaurs, the animals brought on board could have eaten compressed hay, other dried grasses, dried vegetables, seeds and grains, legumes, etc. Another factor that may have reduced food consumption for both vegetarian and carnivorous dinosaurs is that they went into a state of hibernation/brumation or torpor. Many reptiles today begin to eat less, reduce their metabolic rate drastically, and then “sleep” for long periods of time when the weather gets a little cooler, virtually eating nothing and waking up only for brief periods to drink before reentering brumation. Often the best conditions for this state are humidity, temperatures between 50° and 68° F (10° and 20° C), and low-light conditions. The outside weather at the time of the flood (rainy and thus likely cool) combined with the lower-light interior compartments of the ark would make ideal hibernation/brumation conditions on the ark. If any of the dinosaurs and other reptiles and amphibians went into brumation, then food requirements would have been severely reduced.

— Troy Lacey, Answers in Genesis, Dinosaurs on the Ark: How It Was Possible, April 28, 2021

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

You can contact Bruce via email, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

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Sacrilegious Humor: Religion, Science, and Dinosaurs by Eddie Izzard

eddie-izzard

This is the forty-fourth installment in the Sacrilegious Humor series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a comedy bit that is irreverent towards religion, makes fun of religion, pokes fun at sincerely held religious beliefs, or challenges the firmly held religious beliefs of others, please email me the name of the bit or a link to it.

Today’s bit is a video titled Religion, Science, and Dinosaurs by Eddie Izzard.

Warning, many of the comedy bits in this series will contain profanity. You have been warned.

Video Link

The Sounds of Fundamentalism: Dinosaurs NEVER Existed by Eric Dubay

dinosaurs never existed
Comment about Eric Dubay’s Video

This is the one hundred and fifteenth installment in The Sounds of Fundamentalism series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a video clip that shows the crazy, cantankerous, or contradictory side of Evangelical Christianity, please send me an email with the name or link to the video. Please do not leave suggestions in the comment section.  Let’s have some fun!

Today’s Sound of Fundamentalism is a video clip from dinosaur denier Eric Dubay. Dubay is a flat-earther and a consummate conspiracy theorist. You can check out his blog here. Let me give you an excerpt from Dubay’s blog:

QR – If the earth is indeed flat, then where does it start and end, and why don’t we fall off it?

I could similarly ask NASA and modern astronomers, “if outer-space is indeed real, where does it start and end, and why can’t we go beyond that?” Antarctica is not the tiny ice-continent found confined to the underside of astronomer’s globes, but is rather a gigantic ice wall/plateau 200 feet tall that surrounds the Earth and holds the oceans in 360 degrees around us. How far the Antarctic ice extends southwards and whether it terminates in an edge, barrier/firmament, or whether it is infinite is currently unknown and unknowable to the public thanks to the Antarctic Treaty which prevents ordinary people from independent exploration of Antarctica.

QR – What happens to the oceans at the ends of the earth?

The oceans are all connected, are completely flat (it’s called “sea-level” for a reason), and are held in by the surrounding Antarctic ice wall/plateau. How far the Antarctic ice extends southwards and how it terminates are still unknown to the public at this time.

….

QR – Where does the atmosphere start and finish?

This is another question which even NASA refuses to answer. They claim that at some undetermined height, “gravity” becomes weaker and weaker until it magically gives way to “outer-space” which is a vacuum which allow astronauts to free-float forever without falling back down. First of all, it is physically and philosophically impossible for “infinite non-gravitized vacuum space” to exist adjacent to and not separated in any way from non-vacuum, gravitized atmosphere. Secondly, no amateur rocket, balloon, or other technology has ever been able to reach this alleged height where instead of falling back down to Earth like a skydiver, people are able to simply free-float. This is because astro-nots are not in outer-space at all and are simply filming the free-floating effect using camera tricks, green screens, wires, dark pools, and so-called “zero-g planes.” The reality is as the old adage states, “what goes up, must come down,” and not because of “gravity” but because objects always rise/fall based on the relative densities of their surroundings. A helium balloon rises upwards because it is lighter than the oxygen, nitrogen and other elements in the air surrounding it. A rock drops right to the ground because it is denser than the air surrounding it. That is all. The helium balloon doesn’t mysteriously escape “gravity” while the rock is subjected to it, but rather, as was known for millennia before Newton’s silly theory, objects naturally rise/fall towards their own density.

….

QR – There really is some compelling evidence that the Earth is flat and that we’ve all been deceived for centuries. In your opinion who is pulling the wool over our eyes and, more importantly, why?

The Jews, Jesuits, Freemasons and other embedded secret societies in the current New World Order establishment have been lying about the Earth and many other subjects for centuries.

The following video is thirty minutes long. I know 99.9% of you won’t listen to all of it, but I hope you will listen to the first five minutes. You will learn everything you need to know about Eric Dubay.

Video Link

The Sounds of Fundamentalism: Were You There?

evolutionists go to hell

This is the one hundred and fifth installment in The Sounds of Fundamentalism series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a video clip that shows the crazy, cantankerous, or contradictory side of Evangelical Christianity, please send me an email with the name or link to the video. Please do not leave suggestions in the comment section.  Let’s have some fun!

Today’s Sound of Fundamentalism is an X-Files-like video about creationism, Noah’s flood, and dinosaurs. Please have a bag nearby. You will definitely need it.

Video Link

Playing Dodge Ball With a Creationist

ken ham's book dinosaurs
Page from Ken Ham’s fiction book, The Dinosaurs of Eden
repost, edited and updated

James Hoskins, one of the writers for the Pathos blog, Christ and Pop Culture, wrote a post about the upcoming debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham. I left several comments on the post and I thought readers would enjoy reading my interaction with a young earth creationist by the name of Riley:

Riley

Regarding dinosaurs and humans coexisting, we know that to be true already. So it seems plausible that the dragon myths point back to what we would now call dinosaurs. As far as the anatomical details, some of it was probably embellished and exaggerated over time, while other details come from witnessing different strains of dinosaurs.

Nemo

Citation needed. Before the Paluxy River tracks, I’d like to point out those were faked. Also, to add to my post about the origin of dragon myths, early European paintings showed them to be about the size of large monitor lizards (St. George, most notably). Over time, their size was exaggerated.

Riley

Ancient literature documents dinosaur siting’s. Citation: Job 40 (thought to be the oldest book in the Hebrew Bible)

15 “Behold now, Behemoth, which I made as well as you; He eats grass like an ox.16 “Behold now, his strength in his loins And his power in the muscles of his belly. 17 “He bends his tail like a cedar; The sinews of his thighs are knit together. 18 “His bones are tubes of bronze;
His limbs are like bars of iron. 19 “He is the first of the ways of God; Let his maker bring near his sword. 20 “Surely the mountains bring him food, And all the beasts of the field play there. 21 “Under the lotus plants he lies down, In the covert of the reeds and the marsh.
22 “The lotus plants cover him with shade; The willows of the brook surround him. 23 “If a river rages, he is not alarmed; He is confident, though the Jordan rushes to his mouth. 24 “Can anyone capture him when he is on watch, With barbs can anyone pierce his nose?

Nemo

The behemoth in Hebrew mythology was the beast embodying the land, with the Leviathan representing the sea. Occasionally, the ziz, representing the sky, would be mentioned.* You must realize that the Book of Job was written well before any of the other books of the Old Testament, and contained some references to older myths.

As for the “tail like a cedar”, that was most likely a euphemism for it’s reproductive organs, a reference to the beast’s virility. Creationists have tried to insist that the Behemoth was a sauropod (to explain the size) despite the fact that sauropods had teeth unsuited to the eating of grass, and instead ate the leaves at the tops of trees. Sauropods also, contrary to early beliefs about them, were not partially amphibious creatures.

Bruce

Funny how you abandon literalism when it is convenient. Where does this text use the word dinosaur. This is a behemoth not a dinosaur. Isn’t that what the TEXT says? At best, all you can say is that you don’t know what a behemoth is. Apply the Evangelical hermeneutic that Scripture interprets Scripture. Where does the Bible say that the behemoth is a dinosaur?

You want people to literally accept the Genesis 1-3 creation account, yet you are free to read your own interpretation into Job 40. Is this not hypocritical?

Further, even if this is a dinosaur, shouldn’t Evangelicals call the dinosaur a behemoth? After all, that is what God called it.  Dare you replace the Word of God with your own word?

Riley

Someone is sure in a bad mood! I don’t think I’m reading anything into the text when I conclude based on the textual description that it is what we would call today a “dinosaur.” What else has a tail like a cedar that swings? The word Behemoth was taken straight from the Hebrew by English translators because they didn’t know how to translate the word. But I think the context points to it being a dinosaur. I have no problem if you prefer to call it a “Behemoth”, but most people won’t know what you mean.

Bruce

How could you possibly know what my mood is? Don’t confuse my directness with anger or being in a bad mood.

Why is it that no modern translation translates the word dinosaur? Even the CEV translates it hippopotamus. What in the Hebrew text warrants translating the word dinosaur? In fact, according to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, the Hebrew word behemoth( H930 if you want to look it up) is the plural of the word behemah (H929) which is translated everywhere else in the Bible as cattle or beast. Even in your beloved Gen 1-3, it is translated cattle.

You have no textual warrant for translating the word dinosaur, other than your presupposition about dinosaurs. This isn’t about creation or science. It is about being honest with what the text says.

At best, all you can say is that you don’t know what a behemoth is. But, based on the singular use of the word, it is likely some sort of cow. The translating of the word as dinosaur is not not found until modern creationists needed “prove” their theology.

All I am asking is that you be honest with the text.

Riley

I am doing my best to be honest with the text, friend. From the immediate context I think signs point to it being a dinosaur. I never said it should be translated, “dinosaur.” I think given the uncertainty the traditional rendering, “Behemoth” is preferable to speculative renderings of hippopotamus and whatever else some modern versions have.

Riley

And so would small lizards now extinct not qualify as dinosaurs in your book?

Numerous other comments you can read here

Riley

I didn’t say I “believed” the explanation for the appearance of lizards breathing fire, at least not in the same sense that I believe what is in God’s word. But any intelligent person can discuss possibilities without making it a matter of faith.

Don’t get hung up on the word, “Behemoth”, considering it just means a large beast and is not more descriptive than that, based on the linguistic data we have. Examine carefully the rest of the description in the passage. What do you think it could be?

Tehsilentone

You’re ignoring the obvious rebuttal you must already know if you wish to argue your perspective. When it says a tail like cedar it is not saying it is large and thick. The text does not specify the trunk. It is assumed by this line to be much more reasonably than a dinosaur, a hippo, elephant, maybe giraffe? As their tails are whippy and light as a ceder switch.

If there is no reason to believe something is real why try to argue for it. Goodness. Just cause you don’t believe it to your very core doesn’t mean you aren’t horribly muddying the waters.

Then Riley goes where all Evangelicals go when backed into a corner:

To me it makes very little difference whether the “Behemoth” in Job 40 is dinosaur or not. It’s not really worth arguing over, since it’s not an important matter of faith what kind of animal it was. The point of the passage is that God must be very powerful if he can create a large powerful animal which is far beyond human control. I just tend to think that it is a dinosaur when I read the description. This question might perhaps merit a more detailed exegesis, but this is not the forum for that. I have not studied this passage in depth in the original Hebrew (though I have read it through once or twice in Hebrew.) I could be wrong, but I am taking “like a cedar” to be like the tree, i. e. the cedar beam. I already know that dinosaurs and humans coexisted from the Genesis 1 account.

end of discussion

dinosaur reading bible

Riley wants to do some “detailed” exegesis of the Hebrew. I think I gave him all he needs to know. He has no warrant for saying behemoth actually means dinosaur. The only reason he does so, and the only reason any creationist does so, is because they need to fit dinosaurs into the young earth creation timeline. They KNOW they existed because the fossil record tells them they did, so the behemoth in Job 40 and leviathan in Job 41 become dinosaurs. This is a classic example of having a presupposition and making the Bible fit that presupposition.

As I have stated many times before, I think it is wrongheaded to argue science with creationists. The better line of argument is the Bible text itself. Their faith lies not in science, but in the Bible. Cause them to doubt the Bible and they are more likely to consider that they just might be wrong about creationism. Once their god, the inspired, inerrant Bible, is crushed, then those educated in the sciences can help lead them into the light.

If you have a creationist friend or family member, I encourage you to try to get them to read several of Bart Ehrman’s books. Ehrman destroys the notion that the Bible is an inspired, inerrant text. It’s impossible for a creationist to honestly read Ehrman and come away still believing the Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God. This doesn’t mean that they will necessarily abandon Christianity, but it does mean, if they are honest, that they will recognize that the religious authority figures in their life have misled them. They might even conclude that their pastor, Sunday school teacher, and every other Evangelical Bible expert has lied to them. As Ehrman makes clear in several of his books, many Evangelical pastors know the truth about the nature of the Bible, but they refuse to share what they know with congregants. Telling the truth could result in conflict and loss of employment, so they stand week after week before their fellow Christians and lie about the history and reliability of the book they call the Word of God.

[signoff]

Bruce Gerencser