The GeoChristian

The Earth. Christianity. They go together.

Paleontologists visit the Answers in Genesis museum

The Answers in Genesis Creation Museum in Kentucky apparently has a nest of dinosaur eggs on display (here and here).

If you are a regular reader of The GeoChristian, you know that

  1. I believe that the Bible is the Word of God.
  2. I don’t believe much of what Answers in Genesis has to say about Earth history.

These dinosaur eggs are another reason why I don’t think Answers in Genesis has the answers. Think about it, depending on which young-Earth creationist one listens to, these dinosaur nests were deposited either in the middle or towards the end of the flood. This is what would have had to have happened:

  • The flood covers the entire Earth, eroding vast amounts the planet’s crust.
  • These sediments then start to deposit: Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, etc… (not all geologic periods in all places, but always in the same order).
  • When it is time for the Cretaceous sediments to be deposited, there are still a bunch of (pregnant) dinosaurs swimming around.
  • The dinosaurs find places on dry ground to make nests, and there is time for the embryos to develop within the nests, and even to hatch.
  • Then there is time for more dinosaurs to make nests and their babies to hatch, because there are a number of localities where the dinosaur nests occur in multiple layers, sometimes separated by soil horizons.
  • Then there was more flooding and deposition to form the rest of the Cretaceous rocks, and perhaps Cenozoic rocks as well (again, depending on which young-Earth creationist you talk to).

Young-Earth alternatives are:

  1. The dinosaurs laid their eggs underwater.
  2. The nests were somehow transported all together by the flood, and then deposited.
  3. The nests were formed after the flood.

I don’t think any of these alternatives work any better.

Another alternative is that the Bible isn’t attempting to describe geologic history in Genesis 6-8. The Bible doesn’t say anything about dinosaurs (let’s save discussions about behemoth and leviathan for another time), and it doesn’t say that the sedimentary rock record was deposited in the flood.

So what are professional paleontologists to think of Christianity and the Bible when they tour the Creation Museum? Will they be drawn to Christ?

Seventy attendees of last week’s North American Paleontological Convention toured the Creation Museum last week. These professionals can see all the problems with the dinosaur egg display, and a host of other problem exhibits. The intention of the Creation Museum is to defend the truthfulness of the Bible and to point people to Christ. I suspect that many of these paleontologists were more likely to walk out of the museum with their minds hardened against Christianity, thinking that they would have to turn off their brains to become Christians. Will it be because of their atheistic, anti-Christian world views (not all paleontologists are atheists, nor are they all hostile to Christianity), or because the museum presents something that just isn’t true (not required by the Bible, not scientifically accurate) as apologetics?

New York Times: Paleontology and Creationism Meet but Don’t Mesh

With a love for the body of Christ, and for scientists who are turned away from Jesus Christ by bad apologetics.

Grace and Peace

July 2, 2009 - Posted by | Apologetics, Biology, Geology, Origins, Young-Earth creationism | , , ,

8 Comments »

  1. I challenged Kurt Wise about multiple layers of dinosaur nests w/ evidence of parental care when he gave a talk on the University of Kentucky campus in the late 1990’s. He brushed them off as “post Flood.” I pointed out the considerable geological record after the Cretaceous (the entire coastal plane!) and that this would leave large numbers of dinosaurs running around western North America about 2300 BC. His response was little more than a so what. The audience was mostly on his side. Some anti-creationists say a few nice things about Wise compared to other creationists. I do not.
    Wise was a major player in designing the CM. The museum displays repeatedly say the Flood was in 2348 BC.

    Like

    Comment by Xenu, Lord of Darkness | July 3, 2009

  2. Indeed there must have been many dinosaurs running across the Americas after the flood. Indian legends contain stories of them, and they left clay figurines and drawings of them as well. Lord of Darkness would do well to investigate the young earth model in its entirety before dismissing bit pieces. The young earth model predicts lots of geologic activity after the flood in 2300 BC as glaciers formed and melted.

    Like

    Comment by 99marko | July 6, 2009

  3. The point is 99marko that the nests of dinosaurs are in layers that are DURING the flood – dinosaurs don’t really go around building nests while they are drowning in the middle of a massive world-wide flood.

    Like

    Comment by WebMonk | July 6, 2009

  4. And, if these dinos were to go from Ararat to N. America in the first couple hundred years AFTER the flood:

    These “many” dinosaurs would have come into existence VERY soon after the Flood. That’s a trip of THOUSANDS of miles in just a couple hundred years, during a time of what is claimed to be extremely intense geological and meteorological activity – 100s of meters of dirt being laid down, glaciers across much of Europe and North America, massive eruptions, crossing the Atlantic ocean (Steggy and T-Rex don’t swim), etc.

    Not only would the (cold blooded) dinos needed to make this trip VERY quickly for a VERY long way in extremely hostile conditions instead of making for the nearest tropical climate, they would have had to have phenomenal population growth during all this. (remember – generally lower food amounts, cool weather, rapid travel)

    As a rule of thumb, gestation/incubation periods get longer as lizards and reptiles get bigger. Two dinosaurs reproducing to herds of tens or hundreds of thousands while crossing glaciers and freezing weather, heaving continents, massive recurring floods, very low food conditions, wide oceans, while the eggs sit for months incubating in hostile conditions ….

    The words “not a chance” come to mind.

    Like

    Comment by WebMonk | July 6, 2009

  5. Xenu:

    Thanks for your comment. I have a big problem with the YEC proposal that Cenozoic sediments represent post-flood deposits. Too much sedimentation—thousands of meters in places—in too little time. To add Cretaceous sediments to this pile makes it even more unbelievable. And what do they want to do with Triassic and Jurassic dinosaur nests? Using the same reasoning, these would have to be post-flood deposits as well. To try to squeeze the entire Cenozoic and part of the Mesozoic into a few centuries after a 2300 BC flood is among the worst of the YEC hypotheses.

    Like

    Comment by geochristian | July 7, 2009

  6. 99marko:

    Thanks for your comment. I think WebMonk did a good job of responding to what you had to say (thank you WebMonk). I would add that the presence of glaciers hurts rather than helps your argument. How did all of this sedimentation occur beneath the glaciers?
    Think about dinosaur fossils in places like Alberta. Did the dinosaurs build their nests under the glacial ice?

    It just doesn’t work, and shouldn’t be used as Christian apologetics.

    Like

    Comment by geochristian | July 7, 2009

  7. “Perhaps not a single geologist or paleontologist has ever come to faith in Christ through young-Earth creationism”

    The follow shows this statement to be false:

    Persuaded by the Evidence: True Stories of Faith, Science, and the Power of a Creator
    By Doug Sharp, Jerry Bergman

    Like

    Comment by MC | January 4, 2010

  8. MC — Thanks for your comment. I haven’t seen that specific book, but have seen similar collections of creationist testimonies. There certainly are young-Earth creationists who are trained geologists, including with master’s degrees and doctorates. They have come to young-Earth creationism through their interpretation of the Bible (an interpretation that I believe is incorrect), but they haven’t come to Christ through creationism.

    The following quote from John Ankerberg (Christian apologist, former young-Earth creationist) illustrates this well:

    When I was arguing for the young earth view in the early years of our television ministry, I remember when my friend Dr. John Morris, the President of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) and one of the world’s largest young earth organizations, was being interviewed on KKLA radio in Los Angeles. He was asked, “Had he or any of his associates ever met or heard of a scientist who became persuaded that the universe or earth is only thousands of years old, based on scientific evidence without a reference to a particular interpretation of the Bible?” Morris’ answer was no, he had not.

    As I have said many times, young-Earth creationism is bad apologetics. It may draw some to Christ, but it needlessly drives others away.

    Quote from http://www.johnankerberg.org/Articles/_PDFArchives/science/SC1W0209.pdf, HT: Tough Questions Answered.

    Like

    Comment by geochristian | January 4, 2010


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