Monday, March 13, 2006
Dinosaurs and Man
Dinosaurs are the icons of deep time, and any creation model will need to address their existance. Biblically, they would have been created on the sixth day with the land animals. But what happened after that? There are two lines of thought. The first is that they were all killed in the flood. That seems to be the position of the Geoscience Research Institute.
I take another view, which I think is the majority view among Creationists. That is, most dinosaurs were with Noah. Most of them have died out by now, but there are a few species still extant in various parts of the world.
You might wonder -- if Dinosaurs have been with man, why don't civilizations know about Dinosaurs? Well, in fact they do. Only they were called dragons. The modern conception of dragons is really a chimera of many dragon reports throughout the world. No dragon contained all of the elements of the modern "dragon" conception, and, if you look at the reports individually, many of them match the characteristics of well-known dinosaurs.
John of Damascus, in the 700s wrote a treatise on dragons (sorry, no primary source -- there is no English translation). In it, his purpose is to dispel the myths about dragons as mystical creatures, and instead describes their biology and ecology so that people will know the truth about them. In this book, he describes a report by a Roman historian where the Romans encountered a dragon during a battle.
Several historical reports of dragons in the UK are here.
There are drawings/images of Dinosaurs throughout the world. In South America, the Ica Burial Stones have etchings of several types of dinosaurs (for a defence of their authenticity, see here). Several other pieces of Dinosaur art can be found here.
Bill Cooper gives several dinosaur reports from the Anglo-Saxon records. None of these are legendary -- most are just simple news reports. Here is a report from 1793:
In the end of November and beginning of December last, many of the country people observed dragons appearing in the north and flying rapidly towards the east; from which they concluded, and their conjectures were right, that...boisterous weather would follow
Bill Cooper also has an interesting theory on Beowulf. It seems possible to me that the heroes of old did in fact fight dragons. Like so many creatures in earth history, the presence of man caused them to go extinct.
A large number of accounts, both recent and old, of interactions of man with dinosaurs and other strange creatures, can be found in William Gibbons' book Missionaries and Monsters. He primarily documents accounts from missionaries and priests.
Gibbons himself is searching for Dinos. Specifically, there are reports of a Saurapod dinosaur called Mokele Mbembe which he is organizing an expedition to search for.
Some depictions of the American Indian Thunderbird resemble a Pterosaur.
Many dinosaur bones have been found unfossilized or only partly fossilized.
To be sure, there have been false leads along the way, but I think the historical evidence gives us sufficient reason to keep on searching, and to not be overly-skeptical of new finds.
Two additional sources of information which I found while researching but haven't had time to look through yet are here and here. Also the out-of-place artifacts collection has more information on the subject. Also here is an AiG article on the subject.
There is lots of evidence for the co-existance of man and dinosaurs in recent times. But it seems that man has killed off most of the evidence. However, I think that a little persistence will turn up hard proof of living dinosaurs in the near-recent future.