Dragons and Dinosaurs: The Real Jurassic Park (Sept 2010)

Dragons or Dinosaurs


Dragons and Dinosaurs: The Real Jurassic Park

 


Have you ever wondered why there is so much excitement about dinosaurs? There is an inherent “awe” in seeing these amazing creatures that once wandered the earth.

Can you imagine standing right next to a Brachiosaurus — towering the height of a four-story building, stretching 85 feet long, and weighing 40 to 80 tons? Recent research suggests they traveled in herds and could shake the ground like a huge earthquake.

Dinosaurs also had a bizarre appearance. A great example is the three-horned Triceratops, crowned by a bony frill on top of its head. Triceratops had the largest skull of any terrestrial animal, easily occupying one-third of its 30 foot total body length. It wore a single horn over its snout, like the modern one-horned rhinoceros, but was much more intimidating, as it sported an additional pair of horns over its eyes. Standing up to 10 feet tall, these creatures would have dwarfed a large elephant. Triceratops also traveled in herds, as I have personally witnessed during our CSI-sponsored Dino Digs to Glendive, Montana. We have seen several of these excavated under the direction of Otis Kline, proprietor of the land, dedicated creationist and dinosaur excavator, and responsible for building the Glendive Dinosaur and Fossil Museum in the same area. It is the second largest museum in Montana with 20,000 feet of exhibit space and it houses 23 full-sized exhibits, including dinosaurs such as T-Rex, Triceratops, and other fossil replicas arranged according to their environments. In our newest video entitled “Dragons or Dinosaurs?,” Otis and his museum are featured, and you can witness some of these most bizarre creatures.

The very popular Stegosaurus would also fit the category of bizarre and weird. He is famous for his distinctive 17 large bony plates, which were extensions from the back vertebra running in two alternate rows, some measuring 2 ½ feet in height. The function of these plates is still in debate.

Scientists believe it is possible that they were used to regulate their body temperature, or perhaps they were for protection or mating purposes. The jury is still out. Since we have never seen these creatures in action, as with all the extinct dinosaurs, there is mystery as to how certain features were used.

Stegosaurus had a body size of 26 to 30 feet, very similar to Triceratops. But unlike Triceratops, it had a very tiny head that housed a brain the size of a walnut. Evolutionists are quick to respond that because of its brain size, this animal was not very smart. Creationists realize that it is not brain size that determines intelligence, but how the brain is designed. A bird can navigate thousands of miles without an airplane’s complicated navigational tools.

Perhaps the best way to summarize Stegosaurus and other dinosaur mysteries is the title used by Time magazine in 1993, which read, “The Truth About Dinosaurs – Surprise: Everything You Knew Is Wrong.” As more and more discoveries are being made, the old ideas are being replaced with new ones. Lastly, these creatures also conjure up images of fear and terror. The blockbuster Jurassic Park, produced by Steven Spielberg, hit the theaters in 1993 and brought to the world a renewed excitement about these incredible creatures.

The film was based on the book of the same name by bestselling author Michael Crichton, who had the ability to find reality and stretch it to its maximum imaginative ends. Crichton skillfully entwined the latest fossil finds of the infamous T-Rex, showing off his newly discovered tee-totter stance and intimidating 5 1/2 feet long head filled with 50 serrated teeth, some measuring a foot long and protruding like steak knives so all can see. Suspense built when this amazing creature was put in motion, chasing its victims at 32 miles per hour with a loud, ferocious roar. Steven Spielberg creatively made these extinct dinosaurs come alive, setting a new standard of award-winning special effects in the world of cinema. In this movie we witnessed evolutionary fairy-tale jargon, which even the most hopeful evolutionists would have to agree was all fiction. Yet the way these creatures from the past were portrayed created a stunning sense of realism. Yes, Jurassic Park revived great interest in dinosaurs.

The Dinosaur Attraction
Author, film screenwriter, and director Michael Crichton – when asked about his inspiration for the novel Jurassic Park – attributed it to what he witnessed at a museum:

I went to a museum and they had this sideshow. There was a little boy who couldn't have been more than six. His feet didn't even touch the ground. Each time they showed a dinosaur he would shout, “Tyrannosaurus!’ ‘Stegosaurus!.” He did that for an hour, and I thought, “What is it about dinosaurs that's so fascinating?” That's when I decided to write Jurassic Park.

Dinosaurs have this ability to amaze and intrigue us. Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, gave me great opportunities to see the many museums that this great metropolitan area is known for— one of them being the American Museum of Natural History. I remember touring the dinosaur exhibit and being completely fascinated with these very large and unique creatures. The feeling of being in an ancient world filled my imagination with wonderment and excitement. Scenes of T-Rex and the gargantuan Apatosaurus, and much more that the museum portrayed, were etched deep in my memory for the longest time. My youthful eyes witnessed a remarkable world that they said existed millions and millions of years ago.

In 2006 I had chance to go back to New York City and visit the museum that carried such fond memories. I asked the elevator operator what is the most popular floor in the Museum? He responded without hesitation: “The fourth floor where the dinosaurs are!” Sure enough, as I stepped out of the elevator, all I could hear and see were excited, energetic children moving about with their parents in large and open halls. The displays were more engaging and seemed to be closer to the people than I'd remembered them from my childhood. You could come really close to T-Rex, and there was a special case where you could almost touch his skull, except for a special transparent sheet. The noise level was high, and the enthusiasm in those voices was contagious. The museum certainly succeeded in bringing families together and getting them excited about the past, but it is the specific message they hear, see, and interact with over and over again that causes me real concern. Dinosaurs have been so successfully used for evolutionary propaganda, simply because they seem to be such fantastical and legendary creatures – so unlike anything we experience today – that people will readily buy into the “millions of years ago” tag-line that is dogmatically attached to them. People fail to realize that dinosaurs were designed to thrive in the pre-flood world, where conditions were vastly more amenable to life and longevity, and where “giantism” was commonplace in reptiles and other living things. It is not millions of years, but the one-time event of the worldwide flood that suddenly degraded living conditions on planet earth for the few survivors of that catastrophe. Throughout our grand national museums, displays are prominently placed that promote evolutionary concepts by pointing out how features of each dinosaur relate to one another through “evolutionary trees.”

These always lead to Darwin’s evolutionary cornerstone: that all living things, including dinosaurs, came from a common ancestor. Many have changed their exhibits, so that evolution is emphasized more than ever. In 1994-96, the same museum I visited when I was young had undergone an extensive renovation project that cost the taxpayers of New York millions of dollars.

The reason stated on their web site was to “display the specimens according to evolutionary relationships, dramatically illustrating the complex branches of the tree of life in which animals are grouped according to their shared physical characteristics.” (Note how the biblical term “tree of life” is hijacked and perverted to give it an anti-biblical connotation.) Yet, if truth be known, dinosaurs are a huge embarrassment for evolution. These uniquely massive and complex creatures appear “abruptly” in the fossil record, without even a trace of any direct ancestor ever having been found. This fact is conveniently ignored, as museums rely on artistic imagery to present ancestral links that are pure speculation backed by zero fossil evidence.

A book Discovering Dinosaurs published in 1995 and written by Mark Norell, Eugene Gaffney, and Lowell Dingus — all curators of the American Museum of Natural History — asked the simple question “How many different kinds of dinosaurs are there?” They could only estimate around forty different species. Why so few? Their answer is very revealing: “Because the fossil record is incomplete.” They go on further to state, “We do not know how bad the fossil record is, but we suspect it may be very bad.”

So let's recap here! Pro-evolution Time Magazine suddenly declares that everything we knew about dinosaurs has been wrong. The curators of the American Museum of Natural History are admitting the fossil record may be “very bad.” And now evolutionary paleontologists are finding still-elastic blood vessels and body fluids inside dinosaur bones, a discovery which screams that these bones are very recent. Yet dinosaurs are being heralded as “icons of evolution” by all these institutions with more zeal than ever. I'm sure God created dinosaurs for a reason. But our museums use the most awesome, bizarre, fearsome giants that ever walked the earth in fancy exhibits to tell our children, moms, dads, and grandparents that evolution is true. It is all part of the great lie and God-mocking agenda that insinuates that our loving Creator does not exist . . . and we're “uneducated” if we believe in a God that loves us so much that He sent His only begotten Son to save us.

Dinosaurs and Dragons of the Bible
I am convinced that “behemoth” in Job 40:15–19 is a great big dinosaur. It describes the strength of its thighs and the power of the muscles of his belly. I can't help but think of the scene in Jurassic Park where the humans first encounter a living dinosaur, the giant Brachiosaur. They're so awestricken that they are brought to their knees and see only its enormous belly and great thighs in their field of view.

This forty-foot creature then lifts himself to reach some leaves on a tree, now looking even more enormous. God says to Job in verse 40:19 “He is the chief of the ways of God” (KJV), alternately translated as, “He ranks first among the works of God” (NIV). God uses the behemoth, a dinosaur, to give a glimpse as to how all-powerful He is, and in the book of Job, how as our Creator/Savior He can change lives and is deserving of all praise. What a mockery it is to use these awesome creatures to proclaim evolution, when they were created for our children and all the generations to witness the handiwork of God. Another description of extinct awesome creatures, in Job 41:18–21, gives a great illustration of fire-breathing dragons.

The concept of dragons might seem fictional, but God's words, as recorded in the book of Job, and the wider context of the surrounding passages (where God is humbling Job by giving him a “science quiz”), undeniably require us to adopt a very literal interpretation:

His snorting throws out flashes of light; his eyes are like the rays of dawn. Firebrands stream from his mouth; sparks of fire shoot out. Smoke pours from his nostrils as from a boiling pot over a fire of reeds. His breath sets coals ablaze, and flames dart from his mouth. (NIV)

Dinosaurs: Alive Recently?
Our featured resource this month is a fascinating DVD entitled Dragons or Dinosaurs? This documentary examines accounts of dragons from cultures, historians, mythology, and folklore from around the world, as well as the descriptions of “behemoth” and “leviathan” in the Bible. It examines numerous archaeological discoveries of anatomically-correct drawings and carvings of dinosaurs produced long before paleontologists ever reconstructed the first dinosaur from fossils, suggesting that human beings saw living dinosaurs with their own eyes. It puts forth the idea that “dragon” may simply have been an earlier term for “dinosaur” and that these creatures may still have been living as recently as a few centuries ago!

But this DVD doesn't stop at discussing dragons and dinosaurs. Truly, I was astonished at how much additional material is packed into this presentation that wouldn't be obvious from its title. It skillfully weaves in many other evidences for biblical creation, Noah's flood, and a “young earth” along the way, even tackling such topics as radiometric dating, the fossilization process, and formation of canyons and rock layers.

In fact Dragons or Dinosaurs? could even become one of the most powerful witnessing tools in your DVD library! Since the title will naturally stir people’s curiosity, you could easily give this DVD to a friend.

The viewer will be exposed to much more compelling material than they bargained for, and Dragons or Dinosaurs? skillfully concludes by placing the viewer face-to-face with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Coming from Cloud Ten Pictures, the same producers as Left Behind: The Movie, you can be confident that Dragons or Dinosaurs? is a quality production you'll want to add to your DVD library and share with others.

Please consider obtaining this resource. You’ll understand exactly how dinosaurs – and dragons – comfortably and logically fit within a biblical “young earth” worldview.


Tom DeRosa
Executive Director & Founder of CSI