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What Really Happened to the Dinosaurs?

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What Really Happened to the Dinosaurs?

The Bible says a lot more about these prehistoric creatures than most realize. Here’s how what it says aligns with the geological record.

Learn the why behind the headlines.

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For the scientific community, there is only one explanation. A giant explosion occurred nearly 14 billion years ago, eventually leading to all the galaxies, stars and planets in the known universe. The Earth formed about 4.5 billion years ago, and for millions of years life steadily evolved into larger and more complex forms.

The dinosaurs—creatures predating humans whose fossilized bones have been discovered across the globe—were mostly wiped out in a cataclysmic meteor impact 66 million years ago.

For many Bible readers, however, all of this seems impossible.

Millions who believe in an infallible God who authored the Bible point to the Creation account in Genesis 1. They say Earth and all life on it were created over the course of seven days. This occurred 6,000 years ago, calculated by adding up all the genealogies in the Bible.

The dinosaurs—if they even existed—would have been roaming the Garden of Eden with them. Some “young Earth” believers claim dinosaurs were around until Noah’s Flood.

For scientists who draw their conclusions from observable facts, this sounds ludicrous. Yet the religious look to the Bible as the foundation of knowledge.

So people from both camps often end up agreeing on one thing: You cannot believe in God and science.

Or can you?

Those who think so try forcing the two together. For example, some claim God is powerful enough to create the universe any way He wants. So they say God used the Big Bang and billions of years of evolution to bring life about on this planet. This is the idea of intelligent design or theistic evolution, that God used natural processes to finish and improve on His original Creation.

But if this is true, then the dinosaurs would have existed millions of years ago as an unsuccessful branch in the tree of life—they would not have lived alongside humans before the Flood as young Earth creationists assert.

Knowing what really happened to the dinosaurs, and ultimately how and when Earth was made, is possible. It starts with knowing that the Bible and science do agree. The problem with scientists and Bible theorists is they miss what Scripture actually says.

Examining the holes in thinking of all sides of the debate will prepare you to see the incredible truth of the Bible.

A Young Earth?

The Bible shows that when God made the Earth, it was made perfect from the beginning.

The prophet Isaiah recorded God’s eye-witness account of Earth’s creation. “For thus says the Lord that created the heavens; God Himself that formed the earth and made it; He has established it, He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited” (45:18).

The Hebrew word translated “vain” in this verse means formlessness, confusion, unreality and emptiness. This matches what Paul wrote to the Corinthians that “God is not the author of confusion” (I Cor. 14:33).

But this does not match what young Earth creationists believe. Look at the first two verses of the Bible: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void” (Gen. 1:1-2).

The Hebrew word translated “without form” is the same one translated “vain” in Isaiah 45:18. It appears to state God made the Earth to be an empty waste! This contradicts the account in Isaiah!

But a mistranslation clarifies the account in Genesis. The word “was” in verse 2 should be translated “became.”

These two verses should read: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth became without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep.”

A thorough reading of the creation account in Genesis 1 and putting all the relevant verses together shows that God created Earth along with the universe, then something happened, and light was extinguished.

After this, “the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” as He prepared to renew the planet over a seven-day period along with the introduction of mankind. This means the rest of the chapter describes the re-creation of Earth’s surface—long after it was originally created and then somehow destroyed.

Prehistoric Life

Piecing together all the Bible passages about Creation makes it clear that the third planet from the sun existed long before mankind was made approximately 6,000 years ago.

But what happened that made the Earth become “void”?

The disappearance of the dinosaurs could shed some light. The fossil record indicates that dinosaurs emerged about 245 million years ago and dominated Earth until a meteor struck the northwestern coast of the Yucatan peninsula about 66 million years ago. Scientists claim the resulting cataclysm destroyed 76 percent of all life at the time.

The scientific community estimates the meteor that hit the Gulf of Mexico was up to 13 miles wide—taller than Mount Everest. The impact vaporized the meteor and formed the Chicxulub crater, which is over 90 miles wide and 12 miles deep. Researchers believe it shook Earth like a magnitude-12 earthquake at the impact site with magnitude 9 to 10 shockwaves all around the world. These “smaller” earthquakes triggered volcanos, landslides and mudflows everywhere.

The impact rang the Earth like a bell, but the damage continued.

As the meteor struck, the ground pushed out of the crater was shot into a low orbit. All around the globe, ejecta fell from the sky, superheating the atmosphere. Within minutes, the whole world was on fire. Every animal on the surface of the planet died and plants burned up. Acid rain killed off marine life.

The soot and dust in the upper atmosphere blanketed the planet for up to a decade. After the fires burned out, the temperature plummeted. The lack of sunlight reaching the surface would have plunged the planet into a years-long winter, killing off the plants and animals that might have survived the fires.

This could explain why Earth became “without form” and “void.” However, it also discredits the idea that mankind is the product of guided evolution.

The meteor impact left its mark all over the globe in a layer of clay and soot rich in iridium, an element uncommon on Earth but common in asteroids. This layer is called the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary. The fossil record abruptly ends for most lifeforms in this layer.

Scientists believe the impact killed off just about everything weighing more than about 55 pounds. The theory is that animals small enough to get into the water or go underground survived the fires that raged and the accompanying climate change.

But the idea that life survived this impact has problems. Everything that could burn, including carcasses and plant life, did. The planet was dark for a decade or more as the smoke and dust stayed in the atmosphere, so nothing grew. The waters were acidic and would have killed anything that tried to drink or live in it.

Many paleontologists believe this impact would have wiped out most dinosaurs except avian (birdlike) ones. Dr. Jack Horner and his colleague Mary Schweitzer helped find the first soft tissue inside a fossilized dinosaur bone. By comparing protein within that tissue to 21 currently living animals, they found the closest relatives to be chickens and ostriches. Alligators were a close third.

Just as very few birds burrow today, very few of the avian dinosaurs were known to burrow or swim at the time of the impact, the only ways scientist believe animals could have survived. But if the impact destroyed 76 percent or even all life, how could avian dinosaurs have survived at all?

This means birds could not exist today, which leaves no room for guided evolution to have occurred.

Problem for Future Paleontologists

Paleontologists generally refuse to acknowledge that anything written in the Bible could be true, which leaves them only the fossil record to believe in. Trying to piece together what happened before, during and after a cataclysmic event with minimal evidence, however, means there are bound to be inaccuracies.

The fossil record before and after the K-Pg boundary are vastly different. Therefore, the only conclusion scientists can come to is that the species before died off and the species that survived evolved.

But the Bible indicates something else entirely. Isaiah 11:6-9 describes a world quite different from the one we inhabit today, but still on the Earth. Verse 7 begins, “And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together.”

What a strange picture—a cow and bear feeding alongside each other with their calves and cubs lying down. We are not used to seeing that kind of proximity between predator and prey. For these two to coexist, the bear must become as docile as domesticated cattle.

The second half of the verse shows the predatory nature of all animals will change. The lion, one of the fiercest hunters, will “eat straw like the ox” (vs. 7). Verse 8 describes how asps and vipers, deadly snakes, will be harmless even to young children. The bear, the lion, the asp, the viper and all carnivorous or dangerous animals “shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain” (vs. 9).

What happens to change the nature of these animals?

God promises a cataclysm that will change not just Earth as the Chicxulub impact did, but the stars as well. “For thus says the Lord of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land” (Hag. 2:6). The event described here will make the Mexico meteor impact look like tossing a pebble into a sandbox.

After this, animals will have a different nature. But here is the catch for those who think God would use evolution to bring this about. Isaiah 11 reveals that the same animal can exist on either side of an extinction boundary with body types so different that they appear to be different animals.

While certain paleontologists hypothesized that avian dinosaurs were the predecessors of modern birds, they cannot say which dinosaurs became which birds. The forms of modern birds are too different from the dinosaurs.

Now consider how difficult a job a future paleontologist would have describing where a grass-eating lion or a docile bear originated. They would have nothing to connect the great teeth and claws of these fierce beasts to an animal that grazes like a cow.

What Really Happened to the Dinosaurs?

To see the Bible’s answer, we must go to the very beginning, which is not found in Genesis. John 1:1 states: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God…”

Verse 3 states “all things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.”

Before anything was made, two Beings existed: the Word and God. The Word here is the same Being who became Christ, as the account points out: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (vs. 14). God is also called the Father.

Together, they created everything in a specific order.

First came angelic beings. The Bible reveals this because it states the angels “sang together and…shouted for joy” (Job 38:7) when God “laid the foundations of the earth” (vs. 4).

One of these created angelic beings was Lucifer. Ezekiel 28:14 names this being “the anointed cherub that covers” who “was upon the holy mountain of God.” This is describing an archangel who was “perfect in your ways from the day you were created” (vs. 15).

But Lucifer, despite his perfection, rebelled against God’s authority and attempted to dethrone Him. Isaiah 14 describes: “You have said in your heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High” (vs. 13-14).

Note the existence of clouds, which suggests the devil had to ascend from Earth to reach heaven.

God’s power overwhelmed Lucifer’s attack. Isaiah 14 records: “How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How are you cut down to the ground!” (vs. 12). This verse states Lucifer—now called Satan the devil—was “cut down” to the “ground.” This shows Satan fell to Earth’s solid surface with cataclysmic force.

Jesus Christ (who as the Word involved in Creation and has seen everything that had ever happened) witnessed this: “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven” (Luke 10:18).

Lightning can move from a cloud to the ground at about 75 miles per second. If Satan fell that fast, it would have had an incalculable physical impact on the planet.

The effect of God plunging Satan into Earth’s surface—or of other fallout of space objects—could have left the planet devoid of life. This explains Genesis 1:2, that the Earth became “without form” (meaning desolate and deserted) and “void” (meaning an indistinguishable ruin).

The Earth remained like this for perhaps millions of years until God began renewing the surface of the Earth (Psa. 104:30; Gen. 1:2). This involved bringing back plant and animal life that had been killed—just in different forms. God then told those creatures to “be fruitful and multiply…and let fowl multiply in the earth” (vs. 22).

When Scripture is examined properly, it shows science and the Bible are in perfect harmony.

Learn more about the validity of God’s Word by reading Bible Authority...Can It Be Proven?


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