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Hi my name is Dean Smith and in this podcast, I want to hopefully answer one of the bigger Bible mysteries: what happened to the dinosaurs. According to the Genesis creation account, God created all animal life on the sixth day which by definition would have included dinosaurs.
And many believe there may actually be a description of a dinosaur in the Bible. Job, for example, is considered to be the oldest book in the Bible and describes the period of time before the flood. In chapter 40: 15-18, Job talks about Behemoth likening its tail to a cedar tree and limbs to rods of iron.
Cedars in the Middle East grow to 60 feet or taller and the Bible makes several references to their size 2 Kings 19:23 and Isaiah 2:13.
With Behemoth’s tail likened to a 60’ cedar tree, there is nothing alive today that comes even close to that. The only possible creature that could fit that description would be dinosaurs, such as sauropods or brontosauruses.
So, if the Bible states that God created dinosaurs, you would think there would be some explanation of what happened to the creatures that weighed upwards of 80 metric tons.
Now many suggest dinosaurs were killed off by the flood. Except that the Bible says that two of every living creature was spared, along with Noah and his family, in the ark. Unfortunately, two of every living creatures would include dinosaurs.
And of course, we also have massive dinosaur-like creatures such as Ichthyosaurs that inhabited the seas. And like most sea creatures they would have survived the flood. And, sticking with the sea monster theme, the Bible also refers to creatures called Leviathans that were looked upon as monsters of the deep. Was the word Leviathan referring to these ancient sea creatures? Who knows?
So if the flood didn’t kill off the dinosaurs? What in the world did?
Well, the Bible provides one single solitary verse that may explain their disappearance. This may seem rather disappointing, because we have hundreds of museums full of dinosaurs bones. We have dozens of movies about dinosaurs include massive hits such as Jurassic Park and, the Bible provides one lone verse to explain what happened to them.
Yep, I am afraid so, that’s all we get.
And, there is also a display in the Manitoba Museum in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada that I recently visited that may confirm this single, solitary verse found in the Book of Genesis. It involves a display of the skeletal remains of a sloth. But this is not just any ordinary skeleton, this sloth towered over me and is easily 15 feet tall. It is a giant among sloths, because today sloths only range between two and three feet in size. Sloths as their name suggests are slow moving creatures that spend most of their days hanging upside down from trees is the jungles of Central and South America.
But despite their small size, today, they have found the bones of elephant-sized sloths roaming around those jungles a few thousand years ago.
So, what does that have to do with that lonely, solitary verse in Genesis?
Well, before we get started we need to provide some Biblical background.
The Bible records that when Adam and Eve fell into the sin, humanity was corrupted and judged with death. Humans would now die. But this judgment did not just affect people, but all creation was corrupted as well. There were now predators and prey. The world became a cruel and hard place as animals were equally impacted by man’s fall into sin.
The same thing happened in Genesis 6, when God judged the world with a flood because of man’s wickedness. God not only said He would wipe out all humanity, except for Noah and his family, but as well all living creatures except for those that survived inside the ark.
In other words, living creatures were judged again because of man’s wickedness.
Though, God had judged the world with death in the period after humanity’s fall into sin, people were still living very long lives — Methuselah lived 969 years and Jared 962 years as examples.
But things were about to change, because tucked in the flood account there is a third judgment, that never receives the same press as the flood:
Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” (v 3 NASV)
In this third judgment, God limits man’s life span to a maximum of 120 years.
Several years ago I was reading a newspaper and in his column, Odd Body — published in the National Post — Dr. Stephen Juan confirmed this 120 year limit. Addressing the issue of old age, Dr. Juan said, “Some cell biologists now believe there is a definite limit to human cell reproduction making the maximum age possible for human life to be about 110 to 120 years.”
All they are simply discovering is what the Bible recorded thousands of years ago.
But if the previous two judgments directed at humans equally impacted animals, is it possible when human lifespans were reduced to a maximum of 120 years, that the lifespans of animals, reptiles, birds, fish were similarly shortened as well.
Now back to our giant sloths. Not only have the remains of giant sloths been found, a few years back, the remains of an eight-foot beaver was discovered in the Yukon, a territory in Northern Canada. It was the size of a black bear and came with six-inch incisors. Compare that to modern beavers that are 3′ to 4′ long.
At the opposite end of the world, they have found the remains of giant Kangaroos over 10′ tall in Australia. It is known they were hunted by Aborigines. In comparison, today’s kangaroos grow to about 6′ tall.
So why did these animals grow so large? Well there may be a simple explanation.
Kangaroos and beavers are among a select group of mammals that grow until they die. So a reasonable explanation for giant kangaroos and bear-sized beavers is at one time they lived longer than they do today.
But beavers and kangaroos are not alone. Most reptiles and fish and many amphibians also grow until they die.
So this leads to the next obvious question, could dinosaurs simply be a species of reptiles that had extended lifespans?
With the large variety of reptiles and lizards in the world today, it’s tough to nail down a typical life span. Five to seven years is probably a reasonable average guess, with some living longer and shorter lives.
And there are some reptiles today that have a distinct similarity to dinosaurs.
The Basilisk group of lizards, common to the Americas, live upwards of seven years and can grow up to two and a half feet in size. They are interesting as some have a large fin on their back similar to the now extinct Dimetrodon that grew up to 15′ in size and weighed upwards of 550 pounds.
Though not officially classified as dinosaurs, Dimetrondons look similar to super-sized Basilisks.
But there are not only lizards with fins on the back, there are some that can run on their hind legs such as the Jesus Lizard in Central America — named because of its ability to run across the water on its hind legs.
The Collared lizard also runs on its hind legs when chasing prey. Curiously, Wikipedia describes the lizard found in the American southwest this way:
“They are well known for the ability to run on their hind legs, looking like small theropod dinosaurs.”
A lizard that looks like a mini-dinosaur — I wonder how that happened?
So how large would the Jesus Lizard grow if it lived 50 years — 25′ — provided it grew at the same rate until it died. The collared lizard would be about half the size. But how big would they grow if they lived for 75 or even 100 years?
Though they were living longer back then, similar to today not all have the same life span or growth rate.
But, this is where this gets interesting, because researchers studying the fossilized remains of ancient mammals have made an interesting discovery. In the ancient past some had much longer lifespans than they do today.
The research team led by Dr. Ellis Newham from Britain’s University of Bristol discovered this while studying the growth rings in the tooth sockets of two ancient mouse-like creatures, Morganucodon and Kuehneotherium. Similar to tree rings, tooth sockets lay down layers that can be used to determine the age after the animal died.
Using high definition X-rays to look at the tooth sockets of hundreds of samples, Dr Elis Newham said he was dumbfounded by what they discovered.
They expected that these mouse-like creatures would be living one to two years as we see today, but instead the scans showed that they were living nine to 14 years. They had no real explanation for this other than suggesting maybe they lived a more sedentary life than mice do today.
Maybe, but the Bible suggests there was a time when lifespans were longer than we have today.
But it doesn’t stop there.
There are dozens of explanations as to why dinosaurs went extinct. In 1928, a scientist said they died of Ricketts caused by a lack of vitamin D caused by sun being blocked by dust
Others have blamed asteroids, volcanic eruptions that spewed poisonous gasses into the atmosphere, cataracts (yes cataracts), global warming, starvation and on the opposite of that overeating for their demise.
But researchers at Oxford have come up with another theory. Dinosaurs did not actually die off they just shrunk. Now of course, their theory took an evolutionary turn and said that dinosaurs shrunk and became birds.
The researchers led by Oxford’s Dr. Roger Benson measured the thigh-bones of hundreds of dinosaurs and concluded that they experienced a rapid decline in size.
In its article entitled, Dinosaurs are alive and well, the British Newspaper, The Telegraph ,reports on their findings:
“A study of the evolution of 426 dinosaur species over millions of years revealed that dinosaurs gradually became smaller in size until they evolved into birds….
The scientists found that dinosaurs underwent rapid changes in body size shortly after they first appeared…”
So, what would cause reptiles that grow until they die to suddenly start shrinking?
I believe the Bible supports the shrinkage associated with a decline in life span for reptiles, but doesn’t support them turning into humming-birds
But there is another important point that we need to discuss. When God judged the world limiting man’s life span to 120 years, it didn’t happen overnight. There was a gradual decline in the human life span over the next several hundred years.
Noah lived to be 950 years of age. Abraham lived 175 years. Isaac lived 180 years. And it wasn’t until we reached Joseph, who was 110 when he died, that lifespans dropped below 120 and remained there.
Like humans, after the flood, animals and reptiles experienced a gradual reduction in life span and for those that grow until they die, there was a corresponding gradual reduction in size.
Now of course, there are other issues, but I am not going to get into an extensive discussion about evolution’s claim that dinosaurs lived millions of years ago, other than to point out that paleontologists around the world, such as the group from North Carolina State University, are finding soft tissue such as blood vessels and cartilage inside fossilized dinosaur bones thought to be millions of years old.
In its new release, North Carolina State University stated:
“The [discovery of tissue] from Tyrannosaurus Rex was controversial when first reported. The survival of proteins from the Cretaceous Period (66-145 million years ago) was not thought possible.
“Although soft tissue vessels and cells have been observed in multiple fossil specimens …
The paleontologists, who initially said they didn’t believe this could be dinosaur organic material, also stated:
“Our results add further, robust support to the identification of these still soft, hollow structures as remnant blood vessels produced by the once living dinosaur.”
How could something be millions of years old if there is still soft tissue inside these fossilized bones. Such discoveries are seriously calling into question the dating.
After man’s fall into sin, all nature was corrupted. Some animals and reptiles turned into meat-eater. Some grew until they died.
But that all changed when God purposefully reduced their life spans.
Again this is just my opinion, but I believe it may provide a Biblical explanation of what happened to dinosaurs.
They are in fact still living among us, miniaturized, of course.
READ: Earth’s first mammals were less active than their modern relatives but live longer – just like reptiles AND Researchers confirm original blood vessels in 8-million-year-old fossil: NCSU AND Confirmed Dinosaur Blood on Ancient Fossil Astonishes Evolutionists AND Dinosaurs are alive and well AND Growing and growing and growing and… AND Giant Beaver AND Giant Kangaroos Killed 40,000 Years Ago by a Severe Drought, Not by Ancient Aborigines
Intro and outro voice over: Ian Smith