Most scientists today teach that the dinosaurs ruled the world for 150 million years. From some mysterious reason they became extinct about 65 million years ago.
No one is exactly certain why they died out either. Some scientists think a meteor hit the Earth; others think dinosaurs just evolved into other creatures....
...But there is no DIRECT evidence that dinosaurs lived so long ago!
That may sound surprising – but what real evidence is there? Some scientists say radio-active dating proves the dinosaurs lived 65 million years ago.
But radio-active dating is based on at least 8 un-provable ideas. These un-provable ideas show radio-active dating is not reliable.
Now…We DO find fossils of dinosaur bones, teeth, footprints, coprolites (fossilized dino dung), eggs and skin impressions. But just finding fossils doesn’t tell us how old they are.
The truth is, if dinosaur bones are actually 65 million years old they should be fully fossilized. Remember, fossilized materials are literally turned into stone.
Fossils are made when minerals replace soft tissue. (Read more about Fossils here).
Now…everyone knows that soft tissues like blood, blood vessels and bone marrow will rot. You wouldn’t expect soft tissues to survive for very long much less for 65 million years.
But guess what? Scientists have found dinosaur bones with soft tissue still intact. That just shouldn’t happen if the bones were really 65 million years old.
Of course – you don’t read about this in most textbooks, do you? But it’s true…
"No more soft tissue talk, this is Evolution!"
One sample from a Tyrannosaurus rex had blood vessels and red blood cells still visible under a microscope. (1) You could even squeeze the soft tissue with a pair of tweezers. And the bone’s themselves were still bones, not solid rock. They still have the protein collagen in them. That should be impossible if the bones are actually 65 million years old.
Collagen is a protein that should break down and disappear in a matter of thousands of years too. Real experiments that scientists have verified show that collagen should not exist after any more than 100,000 years. (2)
And this sample from T rex is not the ONLY example of soft tissues found in dinosaur bones either. This has been found in a number of other places including a hadrosaur skeleton that looked like it had been buried just recently. (3)
That’s a problem if you believe dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago. Big problem. Looks like dinos have not been buried that terribly long ago.
But still, most scientists won’t give up their belief that dinosaurs lived millions of years ago.
Please remember – not ALL creationists believe in a “young Earth”. Not all creationists believe the Bible is describing actual historical events in the stories of the creation and the Great Flood either.
And finally – there are plenty of Intelligent Design folks out there too. These people don’t agree with Evolution because they can see too many things that MUST have been designed and built when they study biology.
But Biblical Creationists (like me) believe the Bible is telling the real story.
That means we believe God created everything, including the dinosaurs, not that terribly long ago. Certainly not billions of years ago – that’s for sure.
There are some people who think there is a gap between the first two verses of the Bible’s Creation story. These people think this “gap” was many millions of years long. They think that dinosaurs and other extinct creatures lived during this gap.
Okay…but there’s no real evidence of any kind of gap of millions of years in the book of Genesis. (Read more about gap theory here).
And then there are some other people who think the six days of the Creation story were actually periods of millions of years. This is called the “day-age theory”.
But again, there is no evidence in the Bible that the days of Genesis were anything other than normal days. ( You can read more about Day Age Theory by clicking here).
But it’s important to be fair about this stuff. There are many honest, well-meaning Christians who believe in the gap theory and the day-age theory. We do need to remember that how we think about Genesis is not what makes a person a Christian.
Still, there is no scientific reason we should try and fit millions of years into the Creation story.
What does all this mean?
Well, if we accept the Bible’s story just as it is written then dinosaurs must have lived at the same time as human beings. It means dinosaurs were part of the story of Noah and the Flood too. And it means that most of the fossils we find today came from the Flood.
So that could mean that some dinosaurs were on the ark and lived to tell the tale.
We have some articles on this site about Noah’s Flood so I won’t re-write them all here. Instead, I’ll just summarize a few things here so you can see where we’re going…
Now…most fossils of plants and animals come from the Great Flood. They tell us that before the Flood, much of the world was tropical or semi-tropical. It was sort of like most of the world being like Hawaii is today. Still, it is likely there were some places that were much cooler too. After all, even in Hawaii there are snow topped mountains.
The story in Genesis also hints at the idea that the Earth’s air was different before the Flood. There was a lot more water vapor in the air.
This would have caused higher air pressure too. (By the way, this can explain how certain large, extinct flying creatures could have flown. In today’s atmosphere, some creatures we find as fossils wouldn’t have been able to fly…but that’s another article I haven’t written yet). This water vapor could also have helped produce a “greenhouse effect”.
Genesis seems to say that much of Earth's water supply was underground too. This meant that large amounts of water might have sprung up under pressure from springs.
So…at the beginning of the Flood there were terrible earthquakes that probably released tons of ground water. Genesis describes this as the “breaking up of the fountains of the great deep”.
This breakup of the Earth caused gigantic eruptions of volcanoes such as Earth had never seen before or since. Trillions of tons of ash exploded into the air, blocking out the sun.
We can see evidence of this in places such as the Columbia River Lava Plateau where there are 200,000 square miles of lava flows; some of them are miles deep. Nothing has been seen like this in modern times.
At the same time the Earth was breaking up, water vapor in the atmosphere probably collapsed because of the ash in the air. Earthquakes and volcanoes caused gigantic tidal waves hundreds of feet high.
These waves would have surged around the Earth, tearing billions of tons of mud and debris off of the continents and laying down thousands of feet of muddy sediments. The resulting Flood lasted 371 days.
After the Flood, the Earth was very different. The Flood had warmed up the oceans, causing many years without summers. Warmer oceans caused heavy snowfalls and huge shifts in temperatures. Snow would alternately pack down and then melt.
Several thousand feet of snow fell in the Polar Regions and the Earth experienced an ice age.
So…what happened to the dinosaurs? Seems pretty obvious, doesn’t it?
Many animals that came off the ark found they could only survive well in certain areas of the new world where there was enough food or where it wasn’t too cold. Right after the Flood, there was intense competition for food.
Many animals were forced into extreme environments like the arctic or the desert to survive. Some animals were designed with an ability to survive in extreme environments like deserts and others were not.
Dinosaurs and many other extinct varieties of large, land-dwelling creatures required huge amounts of food to live. These creatures were not able to survive very long in the new world.
Some dinosaurs probably did survive for a long time, especially marine reptiles. Most of these animals were probably very rare on the Earth after the Flood.
They may have lived for long periods, continuing to grow larger like modern turtles do today. It is possible the world's many dragon legends refer to sightings of these amazing animals.
These legends often describe dragons as snake-like or lizard-like with bony, armor plating and there are dragon legends from every continent on Earth with these common threads. (4)
(You can read more about Dragon Legends here)
There are even two references to dinosaur-like creatures in the Bible. You can read about them in Job chapter 40 and 41.
There is no way to know how long dinosaurs survived after the Flood. Many animals simply did not survive long in the new world.
Even today there are many animals going extinct every year as the environment changes. Myths, legends and fossils don’t prove the story of Noah, but these stories do remind us that there is much we do not yet know.
If you want to read more about dinosaurs, check out this list of other related articles on this site:
My name is Patrick Marks, and I am the author of understanding-creationism.com and the book "Someone's Making A Monkey Out Of You."
I live in Surprise, Arizona, along with my wife and 5 kids. My oldest two sons currently serve in the United States Navy.
I am the Pastor of FourteenSix Christian Church. In my off time I write everything from non-fiction books to screenplays, play guitar, and dabble in drawing and painting.
(1) Thomas, B. 2008. Dinosaur Soft Tissue: Biofilm or Blood Vessels? Acts & Facts. 37 (10): 14. “Over a decade ago, paleontologist Dr. Mary Schweitzer accidentally discovered soft tissues preserved inside dinosaur bone. While examining the bone structure from an incompletely fossilized T. rex nicknamed "B. rex," she came upon what appeared to be blood vessels and blood cells on her microscope slides. In an interview years later, she recalled, "I looked at this and I looked at this and I thought, this can't be. Red blood cells don't preserve."
(2) Thomas, B. 2008. Dinosaur Soft Tissue: Biofilm or Blood Vessels? Acts & Facts. 37 (10): 14. The belief that "millions of years" is established fact seems here to trump the empirical evidence that biomolecules should not last longer than 100,000 years. One resilient biomolecule found in many fossils, including B. rex, is collagen. However, "in bones, hydrolysis [breakdown] of the main protein component, collagen, is even more rapid and little intact collagen remains after only 1-3x104 [10,000 to 30,000] years, except in bones in cool or dry depositional environments." 4. Quoting: Bada, J. et al. 1999. Preservation of key biomolecules in the fossil record: current knowledge and future challenges. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 354 (1379): 77-87.
(3) Thomas, B. 2009. Dinosaur Soft Tissue Issue Is Here to Stay. Acts & Facts. 38 (9): 18. “This dilemma between the science of biochemistry and the belief in millions of years is not going away. In addition to the well-characterized tissues from a T. rex reported by paleontologist Mary Schweitzer in 1997,4 2005,5 and 2007,6 new soft tissue finds keep surfacing. Schweitzer published a report on another sample in Science in 2009,3 this time from a hadrosaur, in which the precise characteristics of dinosaur biochemicals were verified by a third party. This was necessary to confirm the reality of the soft tissues to an incredulous scientific community. (Similarly, Schweitzer's 2007 results have also been verified.7)”
(4) Morris, Henry M., Morris, John. The Modern Creation Trilogy, Vol 2. Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 1996: p. 121. Print. "Tales about dragons have come down from many nations all over the world, and it is simply impossible that these various peoples were all inventing the same imaginary animals. There must have been a basis of fact in their tales..."