The Day God Created Dinosaurs

According to evolutionary time scales, the dinosaurs lived hundreds of millions of years ago and died out about 65 million years ago.  Holding to a literal interpretation of Genesis and accepting the record of the dinosaurs, however, would seem to be diametrically opposed. Therefore what are we to do with the dinosaurs if we also hold to a literal, six-day creation only several thousand years ago?

 

Dinosaurs Were Real

Some believers in the inerrancy of the Bible have simply dismissed the dinosaurs as having never existed almost as a knee-jerk-reaction to the controversy concerning the supposed missing links of human ancestry.[i]  The collection of dinosaur bones, however, is a completely different question from that of man’s supposed early ancestors, and hence their existence should not be in question.

 

The number of dinosaur bones that has been discovered is staggering.  They have been found all over the world in large quantities, and sometimes entire skeletons have been found intact.  There should be no doubt among young earth creationists that dinosaurs were real creatures that existed in great quantities in the past.  The big question at hand is: when did they exist?  The Bible-believing adherents of an old earth see the reality of dinosaurs as one more reason that evolutionary timescales must be true and must have taken place over millions of years.  Indeed, we have been told so many times that dinosaurs died out around 65 millions years ago, that men and dinosaurs never coexisted, and that holding to a literal creation of six, 24-hour days of creation a few thousand years ago would seem to pose some problems.  It is only a problem, however, until we realize that the Bible actually speaks of dinosaurs being created during the first six days and coexisting with men.

 

Where Are the Dinosaurs in the Bible?

So just where in the Bible are dinosaurs mentioned?  The word dinosaur, per se, is never mentioned in the Bible.  The word was not coined until 1841, twenty years after a British doctor, Dr. Mantell, discovered some teeth and bones in a quarry.  They were so different from the bones and teeth of known lizards that they were eventually given a new name by another British scientist, Dr. Owen, who called them dinosaurs, meaning terrible lizards.  Given that the name itself was not coined until the 1800’s, we would not expect to find it in the Bible as such.  But that does not mean that the Bible doesn’t mention them by another name.

 

There are, in fact, dozens of verses that speak of dinosaurs sometimes as actual living physical creatures and sometimes as either physical or symbolic creatures.[ii]  We will look at the three main words in Hebrew, תנינם tanninim, בהמות behemoth, and לויתן Leviathan, which designate dinosaurs of various types.  Though there are other words such as Rahab and nahash, which some people suggest refer to dinosaurs, their designation as dinosaurs is speculative.  Therefore, we will focus on the large number of strong examples that we already have to work with.

Tanninim

The first word, tanninim, is found in Genesis 1:21, the fifth day of creation: “So God created great sea creatures [תנינם tanninim] and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.”  The word tanninim appears 27 times in the Hebrew Old Testament, 21 of which have been translated as dragon (or dragons) in the King James Version (KJV), three times as serpent (and serpents), once as monster, and twice as whale (and whales).[iii]  Thus, we don’t actually see the word dinosaur written in the text of an English Bible, but it is lying below the surface in the original language.  Just how are we to understand this word though?  Is this word referring to great whales as the KJV translates it here or as great sea creatures or great sea monsters as we see in other versions?  Is it simply understood in a generic sense of a big creature or more specifically as a dinosaur-dragon-type creature?

 

The Origin of the Word

The origin of the word is not absolutely certain.  The most accepted Hebrew lexicon, Brown Driver Briggs, suggests the following meanings: 1) dragon, serpent, sea monster 1a) dragon or dinosaur 1b) sea or river monster 1c) serpent, venomous snake, though it suggests that tanninim may be related to a more primitive root of tan meaning to howl, and hence, by implication, jackal.  This latter suggestion is questioned by many scholars due to linguistic considerations.  The Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible states regarding the origin of this word:

 

AARTUN has revived the proposal […] that Tannin is derived from a geminate root TNN, “to smoke, ascension of smoke”, leading to the Ugaritic “the dragon, (sea) monster, snake (stretching out/moving forward like smoke).” (Van Der Toorn et al 1999: 834)

 

Three Root Letters

Semitic languages are fascinating in that (almost) every word consists of three root letters that serve as the foundation of the word.  By adding prefixes, suffixes, and changing the vowels, the application (and implication) of the word changes, but the essential meaning remains the same.  This idea can be seen in English, although it is still slightly different, in some words like save, savior, and salvation.  These three words are all related with the common meaning of save, though they obviously have different roles.

 

In Hebrew and all Semitic languages, there are three principal letters which give a word its essential meaning.  tanninim consists of the three-root letters tav, nun, nun or TNN.  Just as there are Spanish, French, and Italian words that are practically the same (such as gato, chat, and gatto, respectively meaning cat), the same is true of Semitic languages where a word in one language can be almost identical to that in another language.  Thus, to find that the root TNN appears with a similar meaning in an ancient language called Ugaritic, which was spoken around approximately 1400 B.C. in what is today Lebanon, greatly helps us narrow down the search for the meaning.

 

According to R. E. Whitaker, A Concordance of the Ugaritic Literature, the word appears eight times (Whitaker 1972: 619).  Six of those are couched in mythological texts, and three of those are concerning tunnanu, the great sea monsters.  J.C.L. Gibson translates a particular text as “In the sea are Arsh and the dragon” (Gibson 1977: 81).  The Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible notes that the ideogram, which is a type of written picture, for tunnanu, is that of a snake (Van Der Toorn et al 1999: 835).  Thus comparing the Hebrew word tanninim with the Ugaritic, we find that the word was indeed related to a creature, though associated with the Ugaritic gods, that was, nonetheless, a type of aquatic dragon which may have also breathed fire.

 

Dragons in the Septuagint

We should also consider the testimony of the Septuagint, which is the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures done in approximately 270 B.C. by Alexandrian Jews.  Therein we can gain an insight into an ancient understanding of the word.  The Septuagint translates the word in Genesis 1:21 as κητη (kete) which means monster.  However, the majority of the occurrences of the word tanninim are translated as δρaκων (drakon), which is the origin of the English word dragon.  There are many references to dragons in Greek literature.  They were snake-like monsters (though often with feet) that were guardians of important places; they were not merely whales.  Hence, the Greek translation of the word points in the direction that this class of creatures that God created on the fifth day was indeed a dragon or, in modern language, a type of  sea “dinosaur”[iv].

Behemoth

The next word is behemoth found in Job 40:15.  Behemoth is the plural of the feminine noun behema, which simply means beast.  It is curious to note here that behemoth, though plural, takes a singular and masculine verb (in Hebrew the number and gender of nouns and verbs must agree) thereby signifying not beasts, but a specific type of creature.  Thus, the word behemoth here is not just a plural form, but a completely different creature or beast.

 

God’s Description of Behemoth

In this passage, God comes, per Job’s request, to testify that He is altogether above man’s understanding and challenges Job to consider His creations, “Look now at the behemoth, which I made along with you…” (Job 40:15)  Notice how God declares that He made the behemoth along with Job.  But even more importantly is the command “look now” – a clear statement that this creature was created at the same time and apparently lived contemporarily with Job, or he would not have had a clue what God was talking about and certainly would not have been able to “look” at what God was talking about.[v]  God then lists many of the attributes of this creature that we will look at to get the best picture possible of what kind of animal this truly was.

 

Look now at the behemoth, which I made along with you;

He eats grass like an ox.

See now, his strength is in his hips,

And his power is in his stomach muscles.

He moves his tail like a cedar;

The sinews of his thighs are tightly knit.

His bones are like beams of bronze,

His ribs like bars of iron.

He is the first of the ways of God;

Only He who made him can bring near His sword.

Surely the mountains yield food for him,

And all the beasts of the field play there.

He lies under the lotus trees,

In a covert of reeds and marsh.

The lotus trees cover him with their shade;

The willows by the brook surround him.

Indeed the river may rage,

Yet he is not disturbed;

He is confident, though the Jordan gushes into his mouth,

Though he takes it in his eyes,

Or one pierces his nose with a snare. (Job 40:15-24, emphasis mine)

 

God says that “He eats grass like an ox.”  To say that the creature is like an ox in the food it eats means that it is not an ox, but rather it is only similar in the way that they both eat grass.  There have been three main explanations as to what known animal this could be: elephant, crocodile, or hippopotamus.  Both elephants and hippos are known to eat grass, while crocodiles, on the other hand, eat only meat (frogs, insects, or larger animals), but never grass.  We can safely conclude that this creature is not a crocodile just from its diet.

 

Elephant or Hippo?

Could it be either an elephant or a hippo?  Thomas Aquinas, a Catholic theologian of the 13th century, suggested that behemoth is in fact an elephant (Jackson 2005).  This animal could possibly be an elephant in that they both eat grass, but what about the other characteristics?  Do they really fit those of an elephant?  “See now, his strength is in his hips, And his power is in his stomach muscles” (Job 40:16).  The strength of an elephant is in its trunk, shoulders, and head.  Its hips and stomach, though not weak compared to ours, are certainly not its outstanding characteristics.  God then continues describing the animal, “He moves his tail like a cedar…” (Job 40:17).

 

Just how big is a cedar tree?  According to one source, a Lebanon cedar tree (assuming that is what Job would have

Cedar of Lebanon

understood) typically grows to around 81 feet tall and 112 inches (9.33 ft) in diameter.  The tail of an adult male elephant measures between seven to ten inches at the widest part! [vi]  And just what would it be like to wag a tail that is like a cedar?  Obviously, anything that got in its path would experience serious devastation.  Getting in the path of an elephant’s tail might not smell great, but it probably would not do much harm.  What can be said about the tail of an elephant is equally true of a hippopotamus – the tail is little more than a fly swatter!

 

It’s a Tail and Nothing Else

Some have tried to suggest that the Hebrew word זנב (zanav tail) should in fact be translated as the male genital instead.  This theory is nothing more than an attempt to draw attention away from the true issue that in this text the tail of this creature does not fit that of any normal everyday kind of creature.  Zanav is used eleven times in the Hebrew Bible including this passage in Job.  Every occurrence outside of Job refers to a tail whether it be an animal’s literal tail or a figurative usage of what comes after and not before.  Several of those times[vii] the word is further defined by the contrast with the head, leaving little doubt that a tail, and not a sexual organ, is being referred to.

 

The Bones

Next God states what his bones are like.  To take this passage literally means that we understand that the text suggests that the bones are like bronze and iron, although they are not made of those actual materials.  Care must be given not to overlook those small but important words that allow us to interpret literally.  Nevertheless, the picture is given that the bones of this creature were of immense strength implying that the creature itself was extremely big to need such strong bones.  Although one could argue that elephants and hippos possess such strong bones, it would fit well in describing the strength of dinosaur bones, too.  In fact, considering that “the weight of Brachiosaurus, the largest plant-eating dinosaur, is 50 metric tons” according to the Indian Institute of Astrophysics website, which is 49.2 English tons, its bones would have to be extremely strong.  An adult, male, African elephant, the largest of all elephants, weighs in at 6.8 tons.  While we should certainly not want it to step on our feet, it is much, much lighter than the heaviest of dinosaurs.  The Brachiosaurus is seven times heavier than the elephant.  The implications of such enormous size are summarized as follows:

 

Galileo was the first to address the problem of support faced by land animals in the early 1600s. He theorized about the relation of size to strength and structure. Consider two animals of different sizes that are geometrically similar. If the larger is twice as long as the smaller animal, it is also twice as wide and twice as high. The larger creature outweighs its smaller counterpart eight times. Although the volume is eight times larger, the strength of its legs increases only by a factor of four. Thus, eight times the weight would have to be carried by only four times the bone strength. If an animal becomes progressively bigger without changing its shape, it must eventually reach a size at which it is incapable of supporting itself.  (Indian Institute of Astrophysics 2006)

 

While the above explanation does not consider the elephant and the Brachiosaurus specifically, the principle holds true that the bones of the dinosaur would have needed to be extremely strong to support such an enormous creature.  Thus, the Bible’s description of the bones being like bronze and iron is in no way an exaggeration if the animal were indeed a large dinosaur such as the Brachiosaurus.  In fact, it would seem that no other creature except such a giant would merit the description of having bones like bronze and iron.

Leviathan

After questioning Job about his knowledge of Behemoth, God then continues to challenge him regarding another creature, whose description has caused many to dismiss it as purely myth.  The Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible states, “Obviously the author of Job 41 had access to some animal mythological literature relating to the Egyptian tradition” (Van Der Toorn et al 1999: 513).  The author matter-of-factly states that the biblical writer, whom I believe to be Job, borrowed the tradition from another culture.  The author of the dictionary has effectively declared that it was not God who spoke those words to Job, but rather some unknown author who was inspired by another culture.

 

A Dragon/Snake-Like Creature

A root similar to Leviathan is found in an Ugaritic text[viii]litanu whose etymology is thought to be either “the twisting one (cf. Arabic lawiya) or the wreath-like, the circular (cf. Heb liwya), both possibilities pointing to an original concept of Leviathan as a snake-like being” (Van Der Toorn et al 1999: 511).  Other than this connection, no other supporting evidence is given to substantiate the claim that Job, or whoever is believed to have written the biblical book of Job, borrowed the idea from others rather than being told divinely from God Himself.  Most Ugaritic texts are from the 15th century B.C., although many believe that the book of Job is much older than that.  Granted, the date of Job is controversial and not altogether certain.  However, if the early date of Job is accepted, then it is at least possible that the account in Job is the original, while the Ugaritic account is merely a distortion of it.  Although we may not be able to prove conclusively which account is older, we can look at the Bible’s own description of this amazing creature.

 

God’s Description of Leviathan

We are told in Isaiah 27:1 that at that point God will “punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan that twisted serpent; and He will slay the reptile that is in the sea.”  Due to the end times nature of this passage, it cannot be ruled out that this may be metaphorical language referring to Satan who is called the dragon of old in Revelation 12:9.  On the other hand, we are told specifically that the creature lives in the sea and is some type of twisting serpent-like creature as we saw in the Ugaritic text.

 

Psalms 104:26, 27 provides an important naturalistic description of Leviathan indicating that it was a real, historical creature as far as the Bible is concerned.  “There the ships sail about; There is that Leviathan which You have made to play there.  These all wait for You, that You may give them their food in due season.”  The fact that Leviathan lives where the ships sail and is listed with the innumerable teeming things which live in the sea (Psalms 104:25) strongly demonstrates that, whatever it was, it was one of the many creatures that God made.  The detailed description of Leviathan is given in Job 41 where God challenges Job if he is able to contend with Leviathan, with the implication that God alone is able.

 

Can you draw out Leviathan with a hook,

Or snare his tongue with a line which you lower?

Can you put a reed through his nose,

Or pierce his jaw with a hook?

Will he make many supplications to you?

Will he speak softly to you?

Will he make a covenant with you?

Will you take him as a servant forever?

Will you play with him as with a bird,

Or will you leash him for your maidens?

Will your companions make a banquet of him?

Will they apportion him among the merchants?  (Job 41:1-6)

 

Not an Ordinary Creature!

God is stating in unambiguous terms that this creature is no ordinary creature.  He is not some animal that one can tame like the other animals and is not one that is taken as food for a banquet (verse 6).  God then goes on to describe how this creature is practically invincible because no spear can pierce him and his entire body is covered with a type of armor impenetrable to man’s weapons.

 

Can you fill his skin with harpoons,

Or his head with fishing spears?

Lay your hand on him;

Remember the battle–  never do it again!

Indeed, any hope of overcoming him is false;

Shall one not be overwhelmed at the sight of him?

No one is so fierce that he would dare stir him up.

(Job 41:7-10)

 

Invincible

The description that God gives of this creature is remarkable.  There is no known animal on the entire earth that was so fierce that man could not conquer it.  God declares that because no one would dare stir Leviathan up that there was no one who was able to stand against God.  No elephant, hippopotamus, crocodile, or any other creature is invincible to man.  Although many men may die fighting, given enough spears and men, every creature would eventually fall at the hands of men — with the exception of one.  This creature can be conquered by God alone.  God continues describing Leviathan.

 

“I will not conceal his limbs,

His mighty power, or his graceful proportions.

Who can remove his outer coat?

Who can approach him with a double bridle?

Who can open the doors of his face,

With his terrible teeth all around?

His rows of scales are his pride,

Shut up tightly as with a seal;

One is so near another

That no air can come between them;

They are joined one to another,

They stick together and cannot be parted. (Job 41:12-17)

 

 

Some remarkable traits of Leviathan are his terrible teeth, true of the crocodile but certainly not of the elephant or hippopotamus.  The teeth is where the similarity to the crocodile ends, however, for Leviathan has an outer coat which none can remove and has rows of scales which no air can come between nor can they be parted.  It is true that crocodiles have a hard and scaly backside, but their belly is soft and vulnerable.  In verse 30 we are told that his undersides are sharp and that he leaves marks in the mire – characteristics hardly true of the crocodile.

 

Fire Breathing

What is truly shocking about Leviathan is that God states that he breathed fire.

 

His sneezings flash forth light,

And his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning.

Out of his mouth go burning lights;

Sparks of fire shoot out.

Smoke goes out of his nostrils,

As from a boiling pot and burning rushes.

His breath kindles coals,

And a flame goes out of his mouth. (Job 41:18-21)

 

I admit that when I first contemplated the thought of a fire-breathing dragon as actually being real, I was skeptical.  But then I began to consider it and eventually came to the conclusion: why not?  After all, Fireflies (One of God’s Amazing Creatures) are tiny creatures that produce something inside of them that produces light as do numerous bioluminescent marine animals including the electric eel.  Certainly an amazing creature is the bombardier beetle, which, when being attacked by a predator, can release chemicals in its rear to provide about 70 quick explosions which are fatal to other insects.  Thus, if a little beetle is able to  create an explosion from its tiny body, who is to say that dinosaurs might not also have been able to breathe fire?  Perhaps the legends of fire-breathing dragons from all over the world actually hold some validity.

 

A Shining Wake

God then finishes by giving some other characteristics of Leviathan that separate him from all other creatures, especially any of the animals living today.  He could swim so rapidly and above the surface of the water that he left a shining wake making people think that the “deep had white hair”!  In God’s words, there is nothing like him on earth and so “…he is king over all the children of pride” (verse 34):

 

Strength dwells in his neck,

And sorrow dances before him.

The folds of his flesh are joined together;

They are firm on him and cannot be moved.

His heart is as hard as stone,

Even as hard as the lower millstone.

When he raises himself up, the mighty are afraid;

Because of his crashings they are beside themselves.

Though the sword reaches him, it cannot avail;

Nor does spear, dart, or javelin.

He regards iron as straw,

And bronze as rotten wood.

The arrow cannot make him flee;

Slingstones become like stubble to him.

Darts are regarded as straw;

He laughs at the threat of javelins.

His undersides are like sharp potsherds;

He spreads pointed marks in the mire.

He makes the deep boil like a pot;

He makes the sea like a pot of ointment.

He leaves a shining wake behind him;

One would think the deep had white hair.

On earth there is nothing like him,

Which is made without fear.

He beholds every high thing;

He is king over all the children of pride.” (Job 41:22 – 34)

 

Impenetrable Armor

Anna Gosline, writing for the NewScientist.com news service, writes about the amazing body armor of one type of dinosaur known as Ankylosaurs, which, though it is not to be equated with Leviathan, does provide an excellent example of what these impenetrable scales may have been like – pointing to the veracity of the account in Job 41.

 

An in-depth study of dinosaur armor has revealed an unexpected new level of strength, with some plates having a weave of fibers resembling today’s bulletproof fabrics. The likely strength of such plates makes the dinosaurs studied – ankylosaurs – perhaps the best – protected creatures to have ever stalked the Earth […] Ankylosaurs were massive herbivores that grew up to 10 meters in length during the late Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. The coin-sized plates sported by the ankylosaurs fully covered their back, neck, head and even protected their eyes […] They had sets of structural fibers running parallel and perpendicular to the surface, and then further sets at 45° to each of these axes, providing strength in all directions. The fibers of the bulletproof fabric Kevlar are similarly arranged. (Gosline 2004)

 

Where is the proof?

So the Bible does in fact claim that men and dinosaurs once lived together.  However, there is still so much research regarding dinosaurs and so many experts attest that they died out about 65 million years ago.  If the dinosaurs really did exist with men as the Bible claims, shouldn’t we see some proof of that other than mere oral accounts that many believe are suspect to exaggeration and mythologizing?  Wouldn’t we expect to see some hard facts substantiating men and dinosaurs living together?

Soft Tissue and Red Blood Cells

The evidence that men and dinosaurs coexisted not millions of years ago but only thousands of years ago lies right in front of

T-Rex Soft Tissue

our faces, but out of fear, most refuse to see.  The evidence of Job and the description of two dinosaurs is evidence not to be lightly brushed off; nevertheless, it remains invisible to many.  The discovery of soft tissue complete with blood vessels in dinosaur bones should be just such evidence that should make people reconsider their paradigm.  Dr. Schweitzer, who made the discovery, even suggested, “We may not really know as much about how fossils are preserved as we think” (Peake 2005).  Dr. Carl Wieland remarks regarding the discovery:

One description of a portion of the tissue was that it is “flexible and resilient and when stretched returns to its original shape”. Dr. Schweitzer…has been cited as saying that the blood vessels were flexible, and that in some instances, one could squeeze out their contents. Furthermore, she said, “The microstructures that look like cells are preserved in every way.” She also is reported as commenting that “preservation of this extent, where you still have this flexibility and transparency, has never been seen in a dinosaur before.”

 

The reason that this possibility has long been overlooked seems obvious: the overriding belief in “millions of years”. The long-age paradigm (dominant belief system) blinded researchers to the possibility, as it were. It is inconceivable that such things should be preserved for (in this case) “70 million years”.

 

Unfortunately, the long-age paradigm is so dominant that facts alone will not readily overturn it. As philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn pointed out, what generally happens when a discovery contradicts a paradigm is that the paradigm is not discarded but modified, usually by making secondary assumptions, to accommodate the new evidence.

That’s just what appears to have happened in this case. When Schweitzer first found what appeared to be blood cells in a T. Rex specimen, she said, “It was exactly like looking at a slice of modern bone. But, of course, I couldn’t believe it. I said to the lab technician: “The bones, after all, are 65 million years old. How could blood cells survive that long?’” Notice that her first reaction was to question the evidence, not the paradigm. (Wieland 2005, emphasis mine)

Dinosaur tissue is an amazing challenge to the old-earth paradigm, but it still doesn’t prove that men and dinosaurs coexisted as the Bible clearly claims.  However, evidence that men and dinosaurs lived together in the past does exist and is available for scrutiny for all who are willing to reconsider the paradigm.  Let’s now consider some archaeological evidence that men and dinosaurs lived together.



[i] A plethora of excellent research has been done in this area demonstrating conclusively that many of the supposed transitional forms were hoaxes, fanciful reconstructions based on pigs’ teeth, merely extinct apes, or just humans – none of which is the missing evolutionary link between men and the imagined ancestor.  Marvin Lubenow’s Bones of Contention is a scholarly, yet very readable, creationist assessment of human fossils.  Mr. Lubenow systematically demonstrates that the bones in question are not the transitional forms the paleontologists have been telling us for so many years.

[ii] See Jeffrey Harrison’s article Dinosaurs and the Bible (2006), for a detailed listing of over forty verses dealing either directly or indirectly with dinosaurs. www.totheends.com/dino.html

[iii]King James Concordance (electronic version: The Word Bible Software): Total KJV Total of occurrences 27 of the root תּנּים / תּנּין tannin / tannim: dragons 15: Deu 32:33, Job 30:29, Psa 44:19, Psa 74:13, Psa 148:7, Isa 13:22, Isa 34:13, Isa 35:7, Isa 43:20, Jer 9:11, Jer 10:22, Jer 14:6, Jer 49:33, Jer 51:37, Mic 1:8

dragon 6: Psa 91:13 (2), Isa 27:1, Isa 51:9, Jer 51:34, Eze 29:3

serpent 2: Exo 7:9-10; monsters 1: Lam 4:3; serpents 1: Exo 7:12; whale 1: Job 7:12; whales 1: Gen1:21

[iv] Dave Wright notes “The sea creatures, like the plesiosaur, are not actually considered dinosaurs. The term “dinosaur” is used to refer to those that live on land. Therefore, dinosaurs were land animals that were created on day six.”  (Dave Wright, Answers In Genesis staff, personal communication, June 9, 2007)

[v] Dr. Sholar notes “when He says, ‘Look now at the behemoth..’ this speaks strongly to me of coexistence.  If it was extinct, however, the ‘look now’ makes no sense for he would not have had any historical record of it.” (Sholar, personal communication September 21, 2006)

[vi] Cedars of Lebanon. Retrieved August 8, 2006, from

www.mcforest.sailorsite.net/ListTest.html

[vii]Exodus 4:4, Deuteronomy 28:13, Deuteronomy 28:44, Judges 15:4, Isa_19:14-15

[viii] KTU 1.5 I:1 27

 

The Supposed “Fact” of Evolution

A large number of well-trained scientists outside of evolutionary biology and paleontology have unfortunately gotten the idea that the fossil record is far more Darwinian than it is. This probably comes from the oversimplification inevitable in secondary sources: low-level textbooks, semi-popular articles, and so on. Also, there is probably some wishful thinking involved. In the years after Darwin, his advocates hoped to find predictable progressions. In general, these have not been found–yet the optimism has died hard, and some pure fantasy has crept into textbooks […]  (David Raup 1981: 832, Professor of Geology University of Chicago, Chicago Field Museum, emphasis mine)

The First Six Days Module

The primary reason that there is any question regarding the length of the creation days of Genesis is due to many people’s belief that evolution is a fact, and since it is a fact, then a literal reading of Genesis must not be valid.  Some have gone so far as to suggest that the ancient Israelites were simplistic and merely ignorant of true science, which is precisely what medical doctor William Keen did in his 1922 book entitled I Believe in God and Evolution.  Keen’s book may be somewhat dated, but the attitude he championed has not changed.  In fact, we could argue it has become even more entrenched today.

Fully convinced that evolution was an established fact, Keen argued, “A fundamental difficulty with the so called ‘Fundamentalists’ is that they fail to recognize the fact that the ‘Children of Israel’…were living in the intellectual childhood of the human race” (Keen 1922: 7).  He then goes on with his biased and incorrect version of ancient history by stating, “…their minds were cast in a poetic mold, their literature was permeated with imagery, metaphors and parables.  Bards, priests and prophets delivered it to them.  No scientists then existed”  (Keen 1922: 8).

Neither of Keen’s observations is based on historical fact.  Unfortunately, his belief in evolution has skewed his understanding of history, though his perspective is consistent with the evolutionary model.  Simply stated, the evolutionary model proposes that life forms continue to get more and more complex and so too does man’s sophistication and understanding of the world.  While mankind is more technologically advanced today than ever before, and hence we have more and usually better data to work with, ancient man was by no means primitive, nor was man at that time in the “intellectual childhood of the human race.”

The age before Abraham (approximately 2000 B.C.) saw amazing applications of scientific principles based on math, geometry, physics etc.  The ancient civilizations of the time (the Sumerians, Babylonians, Akkadians and Egyptians) were the ones who invented writing, an extremely complex concept not for the weak-minded.  These civilizations first developed elaborate mathematical tables.  It was even the Babylonians [1] who preempted the Greek philosopher Pythagoras with his famous discovery known as the Pythagorean Theorem by approximately 1300 years (O’Connor and Robertson 2000b).  These ancient peoples erected enormous pyramids and ziggurats, which to this day still defy some of our best engineering prowess — and they did so all without the aid of motorized machinery.  They plotted the course of the stars with incredible precision and devised extremely accurate calendars.  They wrote music and plays for entertainment, kept immaculate business records that have survived until today, and even had a postal system.  This supposedly primitive culture, to which Keen referred, codified extensive laws, which in many countries, law students are still required to study.

Keen is equally incorrect in claiming that there were no scientists.  Let’s consider some evidence that shows that ancient man was actually quite advanced and therefore was not mentally primitive as Keen as suggested.  If men were not mentally primitive, then they were able to faithfully and accurately pass down the creation account given to them by God.

What is Science?

The Collins English Dictionary defines science as “the systematic study of the nature and behavior of the material and physical universe, based on observation, experiment, and measurement, and the formulation of laws to describe these facts in general terms.”  This description certainly applies to what we narrowly define as science today.  But the word science comes from Latin and simply means knowledge.  This meaning is reflected in the Webster’s Dictionary 1828 definition, “In a general sense, knowledge, or certain knowledge; the comprehension or understanding of truth or facts by the mind.”  The Bible contains many astute observations about nature that demonstrate that the authors were very observant of the world around them and came to conclusions about their world.

In the book of Job, we find a statement that claims something that was not universally accepted in the ancient world.  Whereas the countries surrounding Israel believed that the world was either floating on water or founded upon the body of a dead or living god, the Bible describes the earth suspended in empty space:  “He stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing על־בלי־מה. [al-bli-ma literally: on-without-what]” (Job 26:7).

Ecclesiastes 1 verses 6 and 7, thought to have been written by Solomon, make keen observations regarding the circulation of the atmosphere and the water cycle:

The wind goes toward the south,

And turns around to the north;

The wind whirls about continually,

And comes again on its circuit.

All the rivers run into the sea,

Yet the sea is not full;

To the place from which the rivers come,

There they return again. (Ecclesiastes1:6, 7)

We take these passages for granted since they communicate things that are fairly common knowledge today, but these passages demonstrate an extraordinary understanding of the world – all without the benefit of high-tech measuring instruments.  At the most, these are proofs that God inspired the words of the Bible; and at the least, they demonstrate good science on man’s behalf.  Consider another example:

The birds of the air,

And the fish of the sea

That pass through the paths of the seas. (Psalm 8:8)

The fact that “the seas were circulating systems with interaction between wind and water” [2] was not known until the late 1800’s yet the Bible contained this truth almost 3000 years earlier than modern science.  In essence, William Keen and those in agreement today who claim that the Bible is just a collection of myths and therefore we need not take it literally but instead must interpret the Bible by way of modern science, have made a grave mistake.  The Bible is reliable and scientific.  Certainly, if indeed inspired by God, then it must be accurate.  However, if only inspired by men, then those men were first-rate scientists of their day.  Dr. Keen’s thesis is certainly not unique, however.  In fact, it seems that the number of individuals who claim, “I Believe in God and Evolution” only grows in spite of the authority and accuracy of the Bible.

Evolution Sunday

On February 12, 2006 hundreds of churches around the United States observed Evolution Sunday, a celebration of the 197thbirthday of Charles Darwin, in order to support the teaching of evolution in public schools.  Evolution Sunday was the culmination of approximately two years of gathering signatures from over 10,000 clergy from many mainline churches who believe that evolution is an established fact.  “At St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church, Atlanta, the Rev. Patricia Templeton told the 85 worshipers […] ‘A faith that requires you to close your mind in order to believe is not much of a faith at all’” (New York Times, Feb 13th 2006).  A parishioner from that church commented in a similar fashion:

Observation, hypothesis and testing — that’s what science is, it’s not religion. Evolution is a fact. It’s not a theory. An example is antibiotics. If we don’t use antibiotics appropriately, bacteria become resistant.  That’s evolution, and evolution is a fact.  (ibid)

Unfortunately Rev. Patricia Templeton and her parishioners have misunderstood both the Bible and science.  She is wrong in believing that the teaching of the Bible somehow requires us to close our minds – the Bible actually gives us the correct paradigm with which to properly understand the world.  It tells us why people behave selfishly and sinfully, why there is disease and death, and why we see the scars of a global cataclysm known as the flood.  The real scientific evidence, as we will see, supports the Bible.

The parishioner that made the above statement is wrong as well since he lacks a basic understanding of the difference between macro and Natural Selection.  Natural Selection, speciation and adaptation, are embraced by essentially all Bible believers.  The person referred to merely an example of how organisms adapt to their surroundings – a fact which is recognized by all.  As noted, Darwin was correct in observing the change of the beaks of the finches.  That, however, was all that he actually observed.  The other aspects of his model are speculation and not based on “observation, hypothesis and testing,” the very requirements people claim the Bible leaves out.

Molecules-to-man evolution, that is to say the changing of one kind to another (reptile to bird, for instance), remains nothing more than a paradigm which has never been observed and cannot by any means be proven even after so many years of trying.  It is not an established fact.  Darwin himself even wrote in a letter [3] to Asa Gray, a Harvard professor of biology, “I am quite conscious that my speculations run quite beyond the bounds of true science.”  Darwin was not the only “Darwinist” to recognize this point.  L. H. Matthews wrote in the Introduction to Darwin’s (1971 edition) Origin of the Species:

The fact of evolution is the backbone of biology and biology is thus in the peculiar position of being a science founded on unproven theory.  Is it then a science or a faith?  Belief in the theory of evolution is thus exactly parallel to belief in special creation.  Both are concepts which the believers know to be true, but neither, up to the present, has been capable of proof. [4] (emphasis mine)

Matthews is by far not the only person to suggest such sentiments regarding the scarcity of evidence in support of the evolutionary model.  Famed evolutionist Stephen J. Gould of Harvard, stated “The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of the fossils” (1990: 13). David M. Raup, paleontologist at the University of Chicago and curator and Dean of Science at the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History, likewise stated:

The evidence we find in the geologic record is not nearly as compatible with Darwinian natural selection as we would like it to be. Darwin was completely aware of this. He was embarrassed by the fossil record because it didn’t look the way he predicted it would […]. Well, we are now about 120 years after Darwin and the knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species but the situation hasn’t changed much. […] Ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin’s time. By this I mean that some of the classic cases of Darwinian change in the fossil record, such as the evolution of the horse in North America, have had to be discarded or modified as the result of more detailed information.  (Raup 1979: 22-29 emphasis mine)

The Clergy Letter Project

The Clergy Letter Project from which the idea of Evolution Sunday came about issued the following statement (An Open Letter Concerning Religion and Science) that sadly claims that the keystone and foundational passages of Genesis are nothing more than stories with a spiritual message and are not real historical events.  The entire letter has been copied below:

Within the community of Christian believers there are areas of dispute and disagreement, including the proper way to interpret Holy Scripture. While virtually all Christians take the Bible seriously and hold it to be authoritative in matters of faith and practice, the overwhelming majority do not read the Bible literally, as they would a science textbook. Many of the beloved stories found in the Bible – the Creation, Adam and Eve, Noah and the ark – convey timeless truths about God, human beings, and the proper relationship between Creator and creation expressed in the only form capable of transmitting these truths from generation to generation.Religious truth is of a different order from scientific truth. Its purpose is not to convey scientific information but to transform hearts.

We the undersigned, Christian clergy from many different traditions, believe that the timeless truths of the Bible and the discoveries of modern science may comfortably coexist. We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rests. To reject this truth or to treat it as “one theory among others” is to deliberately embrace scientific ignorance and transmit such ignorance to our children. We believe that among God’s good gifts are human minds capable of critical thought and that the failure to fully employ this gift is a rejection of the will of our Creator. To argue that God’s loving plan of salvation for humanity precludes the full employment of the God-given faculty of reason is to attempt to limit God, an act of hubris. We urge school board members to preserve the integrity of the science curriculum by affirming the teaching of the theory of evolution as a core component of human knowledge. We ask that science remain science and that religion remain religion, two very different, but complementary, forms of truth.(“An Open Letter Concerning Religion and Science”, Clergy Letter Project, 2004, emphasis mine)

What Kind of Truths Are the Biblical Promises?

Whether or not religious truth is different than scientific truth is irrelevant; if something is indeed true, then it does not matter what category it falls into.  The events as described in the Bible are either true or they are not; there can be no middle ground.

The very accounts that they are dismissing as being spiritual stories or allegories are, in fact, the very foundation of the Bible.  For example, if the flood did not actually occur as Genesis declares, then the promise given by God “I have sworn that the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth…” (Isaiah 54:9) through the prophet Isaiah is worthless.  If God based His promise on an event that did not really occur, then what assurance would outcast Israel have that some day God would no longer hide His face but restore them?

“For a mere moment I have forsaken you,

But with great mercies I will gather you.

With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment;

But with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,”

Says the LORD, your Redeemer.

“For this is like the waters of Noah to Me;

For as I have sworn

That the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth,

So have I sworn

That I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you.

For the mountains shall depart

And the hills be removed,

But My kindness shall not depart from you,

Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,”

Says the LORD, who has mercy on you. (Isaiah 54:7-10 emphasis mine)

God is comparing the judgment of the earth by the flood with the judgment on Israel.  Here He promises that just as the waters would no longer cover the earth, which is to say that the judgment would not happen again, so too was the promise that Israel’s judgment would pass.  If the story of the flood is just a timeless story to teach us about God, what do we do with the promise that He made to Israel?  If there was no real flood, was there also not a real judgment that fell on them?  Clearly from biblical and secular history we know that is not true; Israel definitely was judged as we will see in the statements of Daniel, Jeremiah and the Chronicler.  Later in chapter 11 we will look at some real-world evidence of that flood.

Furthermore, if we categorize the creation account, Adam and Eve, and Noah and the Flood as being merely figurative and non-literal stories that contain truths, all the while denying that they are in fact true in what they state about cosmology, history, and geology, then what do we do with the promise of redemption given to us concerning the current sinful condition of man?  Is Jesus the fulfillment of that promise?  Was there really ever a promise made?  And if there was a promise made, then to whom was it made if not to the real, historical Adam and real, historical Eve?  Gleason Archer stated well the importance of the Bible being true and accurate in all areas that it touches: “if the biblical record can be proved fallible in areas of fact that can be verified, then it is hardly to be trusted in areas where it cannot be tested.”  (Archer 1982: 23)

Darwin Didn’t Want God’s Help

We should not use man’s observation of nature to interpret the Bible.  Man sees things differently everyday and in a way that fits his best interests.  The data concerning the origin of the universe are out there, but how we interpret those data is the true test.  After having seen the historical and archeological confirmations of Scripture, we should therefore let Scripture be the starting point of our worldview.  We ought not let man’s interpretation of nature be used to interpret Scripture.

Accepting the various facets of the evolutionary model as fact is the only reason for arguing that the creation days mean billions of years.  Ironically, Darwinian evolution is diametrically opposed to God’s assisting in any way.  It is given as a plausible mechanism for how we are here without any first cause, not how God might have done the job!  There seems to have been no room for divine intervention in Darwin’s world.  Darwin expert Neal Gillespie noted “Darwin clearly rejected Christianity and virtually all conventional arguments in defense of the existence of God and human immortality” (Gillespie 1974: 141).

Furthermore, Sir Arthur Keith stated in the introduction to the sixth edition (1872) of Charles Darwin’s Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection

[…] we see that Darwin’s aim was to replace a belief in special creation by a belief in evolution and in this he did succeed, as every modern biologist will readily admit.  (Keith 1872: xvi-xvii)

Darwin himself, in Life and Letters of Charles Darwin published posthumously, describes the process by which he went from a belief in God to removing God from his world completely:

Thus disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but was at last complete. The rate was so slow that I felt no distress, and have never since doubted even for a single second that my conclusion was correct. I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true.  (Darwin 1896: 274-286)

Evidently, to grant room for evolution in Genesis is contrary to what Darwin advocated.  If Darwin didn’t believe in Theistic Evolution, why should we?  Before looking at the actual text of Genesis we first need to consider what method should be used to interpret those days of creation.


[1] O’Connor and Robertson state concerning the Babylonians mathematical abilities, “Perhaps the most amazing aspect of the Babylonian’s calculating skills was their construction of tables to aid calculation. Two tablets found at Senkerah on the Euphrates in 1854 date from 2000 B.C.. They give squares of the numbers up to 59 and cubes of the numbers up to 32…”  (O’Connor and Robertson 2000a)

[2] “Late 1800’s. Dr. Matthew Maury is considered one of the major founders of the science of oceanography. He was also a creationist who believed in the absolute authority and accuracy of the Bible. One day while he was sick in bed, he asked his son to read the Bible to him. One of the verses his son read was Psalms 8:8. That particular verse mentioned “paths” in the seas. Believing that the Bible must be correct about these “paths”, he set out to find them. As a result, Dr. Maury was the first to discover (in modern times) that the seas were circulating systems with interaction between wind and water.”  Scientific Foreknowledge in the Bibleretrieved from creationists.org/foreknowledge.html October 22, 2006

[3] Quoted in N.C. Gillespie, Charles Darwin and the Problem of Creation (1979) p. 2 (University of Chicago book). Seenwcreation.net/evolutionism.html retrieved October 2, 2006

[4] See Introduction pages: x, xi.

Evidence of Men and Dinosaurs Articles

Still soft and stretchy

Dinosaur soft tissue find—a stunning rebuttal of “millions of years”

by Dr Carl Wieland, AiG–Australia

25 March 2005

We previously announced the discovery of what seemed to be microscopic red blood cells (and immunological evidence of hemoglobin) in dinosaur bone (see Sensational dinosaur blood report! and response to critic).1 Now a further announcement, involving the same scientist (Montana State University’s Dr Mary Schweitzer2) stretches (pun intentional) the long-age paradigm beyond belief.

Not only have more blood cells been found, but also soft, fibrous tissue, and complete blood vessels. The fact that this really is unfossilized soft tissue from a dinosaur is in this instance so obvious to the naked eye that any scepticism directed at the previous discovery is completely “history”.

T Rex Soft Tissue

Science via AP
(From www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7285683/)

A: The arrow points to a tissue fragment that is still elastic.  It beggars belief that elastic tissue like this could have lasted for 65 million years.
B: Another instance of “fresh appearance” which similarly makes it hard to believe in the “millions of years”.
C: Regions of bone showing where the fibrous structure is still present, compared to most fossil bones which lack this structure.  But these bones are claimed to be 65 million years old, yet they manage to retain this structure.

One description of a portion of the tissue was that it is “flexible and resilient and when stretched returns to its original shape”.3

The exciting discovery was apparently made when researchers were forced to break open the leg bone of a Tyrannosaurus rex fossil to lift it by helicopter. The bone was still largely hollow and not filled up with minerals as is usual. Dr Schweitzer used chemicals to dissolve the bony matrix, revealing the soft tissue still present.4

She has been cited as saying that the blood vessels were flexible, and that in some instances, one could squeeze out their contents. Furthermore, she said, “The microstructures that look like cells are preserved in every way.” She also is reported as commenting that “preservation of this extent, where you still have this flexibility and transparency, has never been seen in a dinosaur before.”

It appears that this sort of thing has not been found before mainly because it was never looked for. Schweitzer was probably alert to the possibility because of her previous serendipitous discovery of T. rex blood cells. (It appears that the fossils were sent to her to look for soft tissues, prior to preservative being applied, because of her known interest.) In fact, Schweitzer has since found similar soft tissue in several other dinosaur specimens!

CREDIT: M. H. Schweitzer


Will they now be convinced?

Unfortunately, the long-age paradigm is so dominant that facts alone will not readily overturn it. As philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn pointed out,5 what generally happens when a discovery contradicts a paradigm is that the paradigm is not discarded but modified, usually by making secondary assumptions, to accommodate the new evidence.

That’s just what appears to have happened in this case. When Schweitzer first found what appeared to be blood cells in a T. Rex specimen, she said, “It was exactly like looking at a slice of modern bone. But, of course, I couldn’t believe it. I said to the lab technician: “The bones, after all, are 65 million years old. How could blood cells survive that long?’”6 Notice that her first reaction was to question the evidence, not the paradigm. That is in a way quite understandable and human, and is how science works in reality (though when creationists do that, it’s caricatured as non-scientific).

So will this new evidence cause anyone to stand up and say there’s something funny about the emperor’s clothes? Not likely. Instead, it will almost certainly become an “accepted” phenomenon that even “stretchy” soft tissues must be somehow capable of surviving for millions of years. (Because, after all, we “know” that this specimen is “70 million years old”.) See how it works?

Schweitzer’s mentor, the famous “Dinosaur Jack” Horner (upon whom Sam Neill’s lead character in the Jurassic Park movies was modeled) is already urging museums to consider cracking open some of the bones in their existing dinosaur fossils in the hope of finding more such “Squishosaurus” remains. He is excited about the potential to learn more about dinosaurs, of course. But—nothing about questioning the millions of years—sigh!

I invite the reader to step back and contemplate the obvious. This discovery gives immensely powerful support to the proposition that dinosaur fossils are not millions of years old at all, but were mostly fossilized under catastrophic conditions a few thousand years ago at most.7

NC State scientist finds soft tissue in T. rex bones

Contact: Tracey Peake
tracey_peake@ncsu.edu
9190515-3470
North Carolina State University

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2005-03/ncsu-nss032405.php retrieved October 6, 2006

Conventional wisdom among paleontologists states that when dinosaurs died and became fossilized, soft tissues didn’t preserve – the bones were essentially transformed into “rocks” through a gradual replacement of all organic material by minerals. New research by a North Carolina State University paleontologist, however, could literally turn that theory inside out.

Dr. Mary Schweitzer, assistant professor of paleontology with a joint appointment at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, has succeeded in isolating soft tissue from the femur of a 68-million-year-old dinosaur. Not only is the tissue largely intact, it’s still transparent and pliable, and microscopic interior structures resembling blood vessels and even cells are still present.

In a paper published in the March 25 edition of the journal Science, Schweitzer describes the process by which she and her technician, Jennifer Wittmeyer, isolated soft organic tissue from the leg bone of a 68-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex.

Schweitzer was interested in studying the microstructure and organic components of a dinosaur’s bone. All bone is made up of a combination of protein (and other organic molecules) and minerals. In modern bone, removing the minerals leaves supple, soft organic materials that are much easier to work with in a lab. In contrast, fossilized bone is believed to be completely mineralized, meaning no organics are present. Attempting to dissolve the minerals from a piece of fossilized bone, so the theory goes, would merely dissolve the entire fossil.

But the team was surprised by what actually happened when they removed the minerals from the T. rex femur fragment. The removal process left behind stretchy bone matrix material that, when examined microscopically, seemed to show blood vessels, osteocytes, or bone building cells, and other recognizable organic features.

Since current data indicates that living birds are more closely related to dinosaurs than any other group, Schweitzer compared the findings from the T. rex with structures found in modern-day ostriches. In both samples, transparent branching blood vessels were present, and many of the small microstructures present in the T. rex sample displayed the same appearance as the blood and bone cells from the ostrich sample.

Schweitzer then duplicated her findings with at least three other well-preserved dinosaur specimens, one 80-million-year-old hadrosaur and two 65-million-year-old tyrannosaurs. All of these specimens preserved vessels, cell-like structures, or flexible matrix that resembled bone collagen from modern specimens.

Current theories about fossil preservation hold that organic molecules should not preserve beyond 100,000 years. Schweitzer hopes that further research will reveal exactly what the soft structures isolated from these bones are made of. Do they consist of the original cells, and if so, do the cells still contain genetic information? Her early studies of the material suggest that at least some fragments of the dinosaurs’ original molecular material may still be present.

“We may not really know as much about how fossils are preserved as we think,” says Schweitzer. “Our preliminary research shows that antibodies that recognize collagen react to chemical extracts of this fossil bone. If further studies confirm this, we may have the potential to learn more not only about the dinosaurs themselves, but also about how and why they were preserved in the first place.”

The research was funded by NC State, the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences and the National Science Foundation.

Note to editors: An abstract of the paper follows.

“Soft-Tissue Vessels and Cellular Preservation in Tyrannosaurus rex”
Authors: Mary H. Schweitzer and Jennifer L. Wittmeyer, North Carolina State University; John R. Horner, Montana State University; Jan B. Toporski, Carnegie Institution of Washington Geophysical Laboratory Published: March 25, 2005, in Science

Abstract: Soft tissues are preserved within hindlimb elements of Tyrannosaurus rex (Museum of the Rockies specimen 1125). Removal of the mineral phase reveals transparent, flexible, hollow blood vessels containing small round microstructures that can be expressed from the vessels into solution. Some regions of the demineralized bone matrix are highly fibrous, and the matrix possesses elasticity and resilience. Three populations of microstructures have cell-like morphology. Thus, some dinosaurian soft tissues may retain some of their original flexibility, elasticity and resilience.


NC State Scientist Finds Soft Tissue in T. Rex Bones

Contact: Tracey Peake
tracey_peake@ncsu.edu
9190515-3470
North Carolina State University

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2005-03/ncsu-nss032405.php retrieved October 6, 2006

Conventional wisdom among paleontologists states that when dinosaurs died and became fossilized, soft tissues didn’t preserve – the bones were essentially transformed into “rocks” through a gradual replacement of all organic material by minerals. New research by a North Carolina State University paleontologist, however, could literally turn that theory inside out.

Dr. Mary Schweitzer, assistant professor of paleontology with a joint appointment at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, has succeeded in isolating soft tissue from the femur of a 68-million-year-old dinosaur. Not only is the tissue largely intact, it’s still transparent and pliable, and microscopic interior structures resembling blood vessels and even cells are still present.
In a paper published in the March 25 edition of the journal Science, Schweitzer describes the process by which she and her technician, Jennifer Wittmeyer, isolated soft organic tissue from the leg bone of a 68-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex.
Schweitzer was interested in studying the microstructure and organic components of a dinosaur’s bone. All bone is made up of a combination of protein (and other organic molecules) and minerals. In modern bone, removing the minerals leaves supple, soft organic materials that are much easier to work with in a lab. In contrast, fossilized bone is believed to be completely mineralized, meaning no organics are present. Attempting to dissolve the minerals from a piece of fossilized bone, so the theory goes, would merely dissolve the entire fossil.
But the team was surprised by what actually happened when they removed the minerals from the T. rex femur fragment. The removal process left behind stretchy bone matrix material that, when examined microscopically, seemed to show blood vessels, osteocytes, or bone building cells, and other recognizable organic features.
Since current data indicates that living birds are more closely related to dinosaurs than any other group, Schweitzer compared the findings from the T. rex with structures found in modern-day ostriches. In both samples, transparent branching blood vessels were present, and many of the small microstructures present in the T. rex sample displayed the same appearance as the blood and bone cells from the ostrich sample.
Schweitzer then duplicated her findings with at least three other well-preserved dinosaur specimens, one 80-million-year-old hadrosaur and two 65-million-year-old tyrannosaurs. All of these specimens preserved vessels, cell-like structures, or flexible matrix that resembled bone collagen from modern specimens.
Current theories about fossil preservation hold that organic molecules should not preserve beyond 100,000 years. Schweitzer hopes that further research will reveal exactly what the soft structures isolated from these bones are made of. Do they consist of the original cells, and if so, do the cells still contain genetic information? Her early studies of the material suggest that at least some fragments of the dinosaurs’ original molecular material may still be present.
“We may not really know as much about how fossils are preserved as we think,” says Schweitzer. “Our preliminary research shows that antibodies that recognize collagen react to chemical extracts of this fossil bone. If further studies confirm this, we may have the potential to learn more not only about the dinosaurs themselves, but also about how and why they were preserved in the first place.”

The research was funded by NC State, the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences and the National Science Foundation.
Note to editors: An abstract of the paper follows.
“Soft-Tissue Vessels and Cellular Preservation in Tyrannosaurus rex”
Authors: Mary H. Schweitzer and Jennifer L. Wittmeyer, North Carolina State University; John R. Horner, Montana State University; Jan B. Toporski, Carnegie Institution of Washington Geophysical Laboratory Published: March 25, 2005, in Science
Abstract: Soft tissues are preserved within hindlimb elements of Tyrannosaurus rex (Museum of the Rockies specimen 1125). Removal of the mineral phase reveals transparent, flexible, hollow blood vessels containing small round microstructures that can be expressed from the vessels into solution. Some regions of the demineralized bone matrix are highly fibrous, and the matrix possesses elasticity and resilience. Three populations of microstructures have cell-like morphology. Thus, some dinosaurian soft tissues may retain some of their original flexibility, elasticity and resilience.

Still soft and stretchy

Dinosaur soft tissue find—a stunning rebuttal of “millions of years”

by Dr Carl Wieland, AiG–Australia

Courtesy of www.Answersingenesis.org

T Rex Soft Tissue

Science via AP (From www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7285683/) A: The arrow points to a tissue fragment that is still elastic. It beggars belief that elastic tissue like this could have lasted for 65 million years. B: Another instance of ‘fresh appearance’ which similarly makes it hard to believe in the ‘millions of years’. C: Regions of bone showing where the fibrous structure is still present, compared to most fossil bones which lack this structure. But these bones are claimed to be 65 million years old, yet they manage to retain this structure.

We previously announced the discovery of what seemed to be microscopic red blood cells (and immunological evidence of hemoglobin) in dinosaur bone (see Sensational dinosaur blood report! and response to critic).1 Now a further announcement, involving the same scientist (Montana State University’s Dr Mary Schweitzer2) stretches (pun intentional) the long-age paradigm beyond belief.

Not only have more blood cells been found, but also soft, fibrous tissue, and complete blood vessels. The fact that this really is unfossilized soft tissue from a dinosaur is in this instance so obvious to the naked eye that any scepticism directed at the previous discovery is completely “history”.

One description of a portion of the tissue was that it is “flexible and resilient and when stretched returns to its original shape”.3

The exciting discovery was apparently made when researchers were forced to break open the leg bone of a Tyrannosaurus rex fossil to lift it by helicopter. The bone was still largely hollow and not filled up with minerals as is usual. Dr Schweitzer used chemicals to dissolve the bony matrix, revealing the soft tissue still present.4

She has been cited as saying that the blood vessels were flexible, and that in some instances, one could squeeze out their contents. Furthermore, she said, “The microstructures that look like cells are preserved in every way.” She also is reported as commenting that “preservation of this extent, where you still have this flexibility and transparency, has never been seen in a dinosaur before.”

It appears that this sort of thing has not been found before mainly because it was never looked for. Schweitzer was probably alert to the possibility because of her previous serendipitous discovery of T. rex blood cells. (It appears that the fossils were sent to her to look for soft tissues, prior to preservative being applied, because of her known interest.) In fact, Schweitzer has since found similar soft tissue in several other dinosaur specimens!

CREDIT: M. H. Schweitzer
Left: The flexible branching structures in the T. rex bone were justifiably identified as “blood vessels”. Soft tissues like blood vessels should not be there if the bones were 65 million years old.
Right: These microscopic structures were able to be squeezed out of some of the blood vessels, and can be seen to “look like cells” as the researchers said. So once again there is scope for Dr Schweitzer to ask the same question, “How could these cells last for 65 million years?”

The reason that this possibility has long been overlooked seems obvious: the overriding belief in “millions of years”. The long-age paradigm (dominant belief system) blinded researchers to the possibility, as it were. It is inconceivable that such things should be preserved for (in this case) “70 million years”.

Will they now be convinced?

Unfortunately, the long-age paradigm is so dominant that facts alone will not readily overturn it. As philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn pointed out,5 what generally happens when a discovery contradicts a paradigm is that the paradigm is not discarded but modified, usually by making secondary assumptions, to accommodate the new evidence.

That’s just what appears to have happened in this case. When Schweitzer first found what appeared to be blood cells in a T. Rex specimen, she said, “It was exactly like looking at a slice of modern bone. But, of course, I couldn’t believe it. I said to the lab technician: “The bones, after all, are 65 million years old. How could blood cells survive that long?’”6 Notice that her first reaction was to question the evidence, not the paradigm. That is in a way quite understandable and human, and is how science works in reality (though when creationists do that, it’s caricatured as non-scientific).

So will this new evidence cause anyone to stand up and say there’s something funny about the emperor’s clothes? Not likely. Instead, it will almost certainly become an “accepted” phenomenon that even “stretchy” soft tissues must be somehow capable of surviving for millions of years. (Because, after all, we “know” that this specimen is “70 million years old”.) See how it works?

Schweitzer’s mentor, the famous “Dinosaur Jack” Horner (upon whom Sam Neill’s lead character in the Jurassic Park movies was modeled) is already urging museums to consider cracking open some of the bones in their existing dinosaur fossils in the hope of finding more such “Squishosaurus” remains. He is excited about the potential to learn more about dinosaurs, of course. But—nothing about questioning the millions of years—sigh!

I invite the reader to step back and contemplate the obvious. This discovery gives immensely powerful support to the proposition that dinosaur fossils are not millions of years old at all, but were mostly fossilized under catastrophic conditions a few thousand years ago at most.7


The First Six Days

The First Six Days Banner

The goal of this book is to show that biblically and historically creation took place in six, literal days. I do not attempt to argue the finer points of creation science because I am not a specialist in those areas. However, there are many who are specialists in their respective fields who have spent many years developing plausible answers to the questions surrounding creation. I have listed the resources below that I believe will be of particular interest as you desire to dig deeper and discover that the science of creationists is just as good, and many times better, than that of the evolutionists.”

– Douglas Hamp

If God really created via evolution then why does God say that He created everything in only six days? Are those days literal days or are they really indefinite periods of time as Progressive Creationism claims? We know dinosaurs were real; when did God create them if He created in six, literal days only thousands of years ago. The answers to these questions are plainly laid out in Scripture. Ancient commentators, both Jewish and Christian, all agreed that the Bible taught a literal, six day creation only thousands of years ago.


Douglas Hamp’s work The First Six Days is a much needed contribution to settle the question of days or ages. As a Hebrew language specialist trained at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, he demonstrates convincingly from the pages of Scripture that the days of the Genesis creation account are literal days. He also carefully clarifies some misrepresentations of what day means in Hebrew. This is followed up by a stimulating review of the literal, six-day position held by ancient Jewish and Christian interpreters as well as archaeological corroboration of the biblical record.”

– Dr. John Morris, President Institute for Creation Research

It’s wonderful to have an easy-to-read yet well-researched book that demonstrates that a sound reading of Genesis chapter 1 demands a literal, six-day creation week. If you’ve ever asked yourself whether the first six creation days were real days, or whether it even matters, this book by pastor and educator Douglas Hamp is for you.”

– Ken Ham, Founder and President, Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum

A powerful examination of the biblical, linguistic, historical and archaeological evidence affirming that the creation days of Genesis were nothing but real and literal days. If you think that God worked through evolution, read this book and be challenged. If you believe that God created in a literal six days, read this book and be strengthened.”

– Joseph Farah, Chief Executive Officer WorldNetDaily.com Inc.

For me, this book was a faith-strengthener in the power of God as creator.”

Carl Westerlund Th.M, Director Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa School of Ministry and Graduate School

 

An easy to read yet meticulously researched book demonstrating that the only sound reading of Genesis 1 is a literal, six-day creation week.  This is a must read for everyone asking the question of how long were the first six days!

Pastor Chuck Smith, Senior Pastor Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, CA

 

– Pastor Chuck Smith, Senior Pastor Calvary ChapelCosta Mesa, CA

 

And others…

Mr. Hamp,
I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the study that you have put into proving the literal interpretation of Genesis and helping to help others that have been deceived by the deceptive philosophical truth claims that have permeated our society. You are a true blessing and I’m praying for you and your family. When I have the money I will support your ministry and of course by your book “The First Six Days”. Blessing to you and your family.


Table of Contents

Introduction

    • Questions of Origins
    • How Long Were Those Six Days?

1 – The Importance of Genesis

    • God’s Word is Above His Name
    • Genesis is Foundational
    • The Origin of Sin and Death
    • Genesis Contains the Promise of the Redeemer

2 – Evolution Plus God

    • What is Evolution?
    • The Changes in Language and Culture
    • From Micro to Macro to Abiogenesis
    • According to Its Kind
    • Dogs Are Still Dogs
    • Views of Biblical Creation
    • Theistic Evolution
    • The Gap Theory
    • Progressive Creationism
    • How Much Time Does God Need?

3 – The Fact of Evolution

    • What is Science?
    • Evolution Sunday
    • The Clergy Letter Project
    • What Kind of Truths Are the Biblical Promises?
    • Darwin Didn’t Want God’s Help

4 – Interpreting Genesis

    • The Method of Interpreting the Bible
    • Scripture Interprets Scripture
    • Hermeneutics
    • What Do We Mean By Literal?
    • What is Allegory?
    • Striking the Rock
    • Daniel
    • Jeremiah’s 70 Years
    • Daniel’s Understanding of the 70 Years
    • The Chronicler Agreed
    • Interpreting Literary Genre
    • What is Meant By Literary Genre?
    • Scholars Believe in Literal Days of Genesis
    • Final Thoughts Concerning Biblical Interpretation

5 – The Question of Days

    • Meanings of Day in the Old Testament
    • 24-Hour Days
    • Days With a Cardinal Number
    • Days with Ordinal Numbers
    • Days in Hosea 6:2
    • The First Day
    • Bara and Asa
    • The Heavens and Earth
    • Tohu Vavohu
    • Tehom, The Deep
    • Merachefet, God’s Energizing of His Creation
    • God Speaks
    • The Days in Genesis 1
    • God Defines the Days for Us
    • The Days in Genesis 2
    • Genesis 2:4
    • Genesis 2:5 – 2:7
    • Genesis 2:19
    • A Final Objection
    • With The Lord
    • A Little Word with Big Meaning
    • Psalm 90:4
    • Summary of the Days in Genesis 1 and 2

6 – Days According to Ancient Jewish Commentators

  • The Use of Ancient Interpreters
  • Targumim
  • Targum Onkelos
  • Targumim Jonathan
  • Josephus
  • From The Creation
  • In Just Six Days
  • Rabbinic interpretation
  • The Talmud Comments on the Mishna
  • Rashi
  • Other Rabbis
  • Philo
  • Philo’s Paraphrase
  • Philo’s Allegorical Treatise
  • Philo and the Number Six
  • 7 – Days According to the Church Fathers

  • The Early Church Fathers
  • Twisting the Words of the Early Fathers
  • Barnabas
  • Irenaeus
  • Theophilus of Antioch
  • God Finished in Six Days
  • Theophilus’ Simple Arithmetic
  • To Theophilus, The Earth Is Young
  • Clement of Alexandria
  • Hippolytus
  • Origen and Methodius
  • Origen’s Disturbing Doctrines
  • Methodius Opposed to Origen’s Teaching
  • Fathers of the Third and Fourth Centuries
  • Victorinus
  • Lactantius
  • Augustine
  • Creation Was Less than Six Thousand Years Ago
  • Augustine’s “Literal” Interpretation
  • Spontaneous Generation a Fact For Augustine
  • The Fathers Believed in a Young Earth
  • 8 – What Did Adam Know On His First Day?

  • Naming the Animals
  • Parallelisms
  • Etymologies
  • Replenish the Earth and the Gap Theory
  • Replenish/Malu
  • 9 – The Day God Created Dinosaurs

  • Dinosaurs Were Real
  • Where Are the Dinosaurs in the Bible?
  • Tanninim
  • The Origin of the Word
  • Three Root Letters
  • Dragons in the Septuagint
  • Behemoth
  • God’s Description of Behemoth
  • Elephant or Hippo?
  • It’s a Tail and Nothing Else
  • The Bones
  • Leviathan
  • A Dragon/Snake-Like Creature
  • God’s Description of Leviathan
  • Not An Ordinary Creature!
  • Invincible
  • Fire Breathing
  • A Shining Wake
  • Impenetrable Armour
  • Where is the proof?
  • Soft Tissue and Red Blood Cells
  • 10 – The Day Men Saw Dinosaurs

  • Challenging the Paradigm
  • Needed Skepticism
  • Nazca Graves
  • Sophisticated Drawings
  • Possible Hoaxes?
  • Expert Analysis
  • The Rocks in the Laboratory
  • The Ica Stones Are Not Unique
  • Three Possible Answers
  • 11 – Are Six Days Enough?

  • Starlight and Time
  • The Rocks Speak
  • Polonium Radiohalos
  • Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth
  • The Grand Canyon and Mount St Helens: Keys to Geology
  • Cataclysmic Change
  • The Canyon Formed Quickly
  • Footprints in the Ash
  • The Testimony of the Fossil Record
  • Six Days Are Enough

12 – In Six Days

Epilogue (Knowing the Creator)

Appendix 1: The Last Years of Time

Appendix 2: Resources

Notes

Bibliography