Dinosaurs, the Bible, and a 6,000-year-old Earth?
Dinosaur Tracks, the almost homemade-looking sign says on the side of Highway 160 just west of Tuba City, Arizona, on the way to the Grand Canyon. The expanse of fossils and footprints, scattered throughout this portion of the Painted Desert on a Navajo Indian reservation, attests to a dramatic moment in Earth’s history.
The site lies some few miles north of an ancient meteoric crater, and the story seems relatively clear from the evidence left behind. Some footprints indicate running—confusion as traffic collided in the final moments of a chaotic world. Yet, the majority of the footprints seem to face the direction of the crater—as if these large reptiles were transfixed by a fiery display in the sky. The world around them was collapsing. Precipitation had muddied the terrain. When the meteor hit, scorching heat burst in all directions, baking this dinosaur community right into earth—the footprints, the eggs, the dung and even an almost-entire dinosaur skeleton—all of it fossilized just off this wilderness highway.
Palaeontologists have left the remains there, says one of the Navajo locals who guides tourists around, though all the finds have been documented. This desert museum is one of many sites that attest to the destruction of a majestic breed of animals. These imposing creatures have captured the imagination of many a young boy, and the story as to their extinction has perplexed palaeontologists, scientists and evolutionists, who can only theorize as to how the “age of reptiles” came to an end.
Many Bible-believers, on the other hand, are cautious about all this dinosaur talk, fearing that—if scientists are right about the nature of these creatures’ existence—the Bible’s credibility could be forever extinguished. They assume the Earth is 6,000 years old, and that the Bible attests to that fact. This either causes them to ignore fossil evidence or to concoct outlandish theories that dinosaurs lived between Adam and the great Flood of Noah’s day.
On this point, traditional creationists need to be corrected. And if scientists knew what the Bible actually says, perhaps they would be less likely to dismiss it as some mythical text that weaves a tale of a world much younger than they believe to exist. Science would, in fact, see the direct answer to the age-old mystery of what happened to the world of the dinosaurs!
The answer is in the first two verses of the Holy Bible, yet no one seems to acknowledge it!
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). No biblical evidence suggests that this verse documents an event 6,000 years ago—to the contrary!
Verse 2 states: “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”
The Hebrew words translated as without form and void are tohu and bohu—“tohu” meaning vain, confusion, wasteland, place of chaos, and “bohu” meaning void, empty, waste. The verse continues to describe a state of utter darkness. Does this sound like a creation of God? Of course not! In fact, God states elsewhere emphatically—using the very same word tohu—that He did not create the earth in this manner! Isaiah 45:18 says: “For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain …” The word “vain” here is the same tohu used in Genesis 1:2. And He created it NOT in this manner.
Other verses confirm that God did not create the Earth in this state of disarray. And the phrase “the earth was without form” actually means, in the Hebrew, the Earth became without form (Genesis 19:26 uses the corresponding Hebrew verb, stating how Lot’s wife became a pillar of salt). Thus, these verses clearly show an initial creation, and then a cataclysmic destruction.
How much time passed between the creation of Genesis 1:1 and the ensuing destruction of the Earth’s ecosystem as noted in verse 2? Though the Bible does not tell us—it could have been millions or billions of years—it does tell us how the Earth came to be in such a state.
Genesis 1:2-10 indicate that the Earth was covered with water and that no sunlight was able to pierce through the impenetrable, lethal atmosphere. What God embarked on, according to this account, was a re-creation. This is what the Bible shows occurred roughly 6,000 years ago. Earth was re-inhabited with life. The “Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters,” beginning this process of renewal. This too is stated dogmatically elsewhere in the Bible: “You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the earth.” (Psalm 104:30).
See, the entire planet had already been created. Only the face of the earth, which had been destroyed, required renewing!
Understanding this timeline allows for dinosaurs, other creatures, and other phenomena to have existed and occurred much more than six millennia ago. It is only when so-called Bible believers lock themselves into a 6,000-year-old world that they have trouble with dinosaurs. This gives birth to the erroneous notion that dinosaurs had to exist until the time of the great Flood—another Earth-wide destruction. A simple study into the account of Noah will show that he brought some of every kind of animal onto the ark (see Genesis 6:19-20). If dinosaurs had existed, they would have been on the ark—and still would have existed in large enough numbers to be documented throughout man’s history.
Older Than 6,000 Years!
The Bible actually contains a number of passages about the Earth before the re-creation of Genesis 1:2. Accounts like Isaiah 14:12-15 shed light on this:
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer [Heylel], son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine 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. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell [Hebrew: sheol, meaning grave, pit or exile], to the sides of the pit.
The Bible tells of an impressive angelic creature that rebelled against God before the creation of Adam. His attempt to launch a coup against God’s heavenly throne resulted in his being thrown back down to the already-existent planet Earth. As a result of this satanic uprising, unprecedented Earth-wide destruction ensued! Ezekiel 28:11-16 contains a parallel account of this angelic rebellion. It shows that Lucifer (Heylel), who became Satan, was a “covering cherub,” the pinnacle of God’s creation, who led one third of the angels (as shown elsewhere in Scripture) in a hostile attempt to overthrow God Himself. This resulted in total destruction brought to the face of the Earth. More about this can be found in Herbert W. Armstrong’s book Mystery of the Ages, chapter 2. (If you would like to receive a free copy of the book, just click on the link.)
The story of the Bible is not about a young Earth, but an ancient one that was literally impacted by the rebellion of a great archangel so many years ago. Any details about the Earth after the re-creation are vastly different than those of the pre-Adamic world. Instead of an age where colossal reptiles roamed a planet hostile to human existence, this new age shows foliage and fruits, gardens and grains, and a dominant population of warm-blooded mammals. This re-creation was a different Earth in that sense—a new cast of animals, where mammals take center stage while cold-blooded reptiles are more of a sideshow. Of course, the reptiles are vital to the ecosystem, but their role of dominance and grandeur is gone. This transition from a reptile-dominated world to a mammal-dominated one is completely baffling to scientists. As vertebrate paleontologist Dr. George Simpson stated, of this “most dramatic and in many respects the most puzzling event in the history of life on the Earth”:
It is as if the curtain were rung down suddenly on the stage where all the leading roles were taken by reptiles, especially dinosaurs in great numbers and bewildering variety, and rose again immediately to reveal the same setting but an entirely new cast, a cast in which the dinosaurs do not appear at all, other reptiles are mere supernumaries and the leading parts are all played by mammals …
This transition is completely at odds with evolution. However, it aligns precisely with the biblical account.
This world, after the ruins of Satan’s rebellion were repaired, is one completely suited for warm-blooded humankind—created in the image and likeness of God, to have dominion (Genesis 1:26). Man could not have dominated a world in the age of the Tyrannosaurus Rex or the Brachiosaurus. Nor could he have survived. The fruits and vegetables, the meat, and even the pleasant beauty and sounds of birds and flowers, were all created for the age of man.
Whether they believe the Bible or not, scientists must admit that the Bible does plainly allow for the existence of a pre-Adamic Earth and ecosystem, and for the catastrophic destruction of that world. What they will not accept is that the evidence they have uncovered proves the Bible’s explanation to be the answer to this age-old mystery!
The fossil record proves the biblical explanation.
Scientists look at the remains of the pre-Adamic world (our term, not theirs) and see fossils buried in what they say is an evolutionary order. That is what they assume—finding, we might add, no transitional fossils between these layers. This is something that still stumps the greatest scientists! The world, in truth, was actually teeming with all sorts of life of varying sizes. When destruction rained down on the Earth, rocks were laid down suddenly. Those creatures close to the impact of a meteor would have been cremated and/or buried and baked near the surface, as can be seen near that spot in the Painted Desert. Earthquakes would have rocked the Earth, along with major volcanic eruptions.
This great extinction wiped out old and young, eggs and elderly, small and large. No other explanation can account for such a dying off of these prehistoric life forms—particularly the dinosaurs, which disappeared in all regions of the world. It caused the extinction of air, land and marine reptiles.
These reptiles did not evolve into mammals. They were obliterated. The so-called Cenozoic era—the age of man’s existence on Earth, where all vegetation and life enable human survival—began after God re-created the Earth. Cenozoic rock, because it represents the age of man, consists of an entirely different set of sedimentary layers and fossils than was laid down in the pre-Adamic destruction mentioned in Genesis 1:2. In these more recent layers, not surprisingly, fossils of the warm-blooded mammals associated with man’s world suddenly predominate.
What geologists have found in Cenozoic rock is another mass burial of life. This can be traced back to Noah’s Flood, occurring about 1,650 years after the re-creation of the Earth. This worldwide catastrophe was not as severe as the pre-Adamic one, as sea life was not extinguished.
Bible and Science Can Coexist
Rather than proving evolution, the layers of fossilized rock attest to supernatural forces at work in nature: First, huge meteor showers unleashed by Satan’s war against God (Ezekiel 28:16-18) and an ensuing catastrophic Earth-wide flood; and, second, the Flood of Noah’s day, caused directly by God Himself.
Thus, there is no conflict between fossil record and biblical truth—instead, the biblical account matches up perfectly with the evidence on the ground. It is the evolutionary theory that is at odds with the evidence. Modern science is built on the premise of dismissing God’s existence, and discarding the Bible (however, it wasn’t always this way). This method was always doomed to fail. After all, science should be based on all knowledge—of which the God-given Bible is the foundation! As a result, the “experts” are “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7).
The facts of science and God’s Word will always agree with and mutually amplify each other! For further proof of the existence of God, as well as the authority of the biblical account, request (or read online) our two free booklets: Does God Exist, and The Proof of the Bible.