How do dinosaurs and similar extinct creatures fit into the Bible? While some people may think they don’t and while the Bible does not say “dinosaurs” specifically, I don’t think this means that they are incompatible either. Why would we expect the Bible to talk about everything that exists or existed? As far as I know, it does not talk about giraffes, octopuses and protozoa. In other words, silence on such matters does not mean that God did not make them or they do not fit in the Bible.
However, with this said, I do think they not only all fit into the Bible quite well, but also the Bible does talk about them. For this article, let me lay out a big backdrop about God and creation in general and then I’ll talk about the dinosaur, and like creatures, issue.
God is Creator, and He’s No Liar
If one believes the Bible, God ultimately is the “uncaused-first-cause”. This obviously raises another question, who made God? But as said, he is “uncaused”, thus he never was made and that would mean he always existed. Also, since he is the “uncaused-first-cause”, in some ultimate sense, would have to mean that God caused everything else to come into existence, including life. Whether he caused specific kinds of creatures to come into existence or he created a mechanism that he used to make everything come into existence, he still was the final cause.
However, my view is quite simple on how God did this: I think God did what he said he did. I don’t think this position is radical. If I draw a cartoon kangaroo, it would be only rational to believe me when I explain how it was drawn, especially if I was a honest chap.
It seems to me that if God really is God, he would have told us the truth. By pure definition, the biblical God does not lie. And if the biblical God really is God, he should know how he created.
Now, we may know more about the natural world than past peoples because of our advanced science and technology. This does not mean, however, that God did not tell the truth to the ancients on how he made everything. It is totally reasonable that God did not give every detail to those who could not totally comprehend it. However, I don’t think that would point to God misrepresenting how he made everything. So I think the big picture he painted for us in the Bible is true.
Next step, the Universe
We also need to address another big issue: the universe as a whole. I don’t think the Biblical record is that much different from what we have found through science, when talking about the universe. The biblical account opens with the origin of the universe. It says that at a specific time in the past God created everything. Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” It goes on in that chapter to to say that he spoke order into the system, or we could say he “infused it with information”. The biblical writer says simply “And God said…” and things came to be.
If this is true, I would think we could at least validated parts of this opening salvo, and I think we can. While there is disagreement on the age of the universe, as a scientific body, we all know the universe started to exist at a specific time in the past. Really, who does not believe that now?
The Bible also validates our find that we live in a finely tuned universe. Just like harps, harpsichords and bass guitars need fine tuning to be useful, so is the universe finely tuned. Not only is it finely tuned so that it exists, but it is tuned so that specific areas can support life.
The biblical account does not stop at the creation of the universe. It goes on to say that God infused information into some mater to make life too, he spoke life into existence, including microbes and man. Thus it is not surprising to find life infused with meaningful, usefully and complex information, much like the information we create. Again, I think it is fair to believe God when he told us how he made everything.
I also don’t doubt it when he says he made the different kinds of organisms, or we could say different families of organisms, in the beginning. However, contrary to many evolutionary creationist’s positions, it never says all of life came from a single ancestor.
So what about them Dinosaurs?
With this foundation, I think it may be obvious now what I think about the dinosaurs and the other like creatures. I think God created dinosaurs when he created all of life. If the biblical account is correct, then God would have created the dinosaurs when he created pigs, pigeons and even people. In today’s milieu this may sound off kilter. However, in ancient times this would not have sounded crazy. What I’m referring to here is the idea that dinosaurs were created alongside of all of life, including people.
The reason why I think the ancients would be friendly to this is because there are many, many independent accounts across the globe of something called “dragons”. Now, some my say these were all fictional, and more than likely many were, but sometimes these were used in the context of living alongside of other common animals. Just a quick and superficial search brings up many descriptions of large serpentine and lizard type creatures.
Many have noted that many of the so called mythical dragons really do remind us a lot of the dinosaur. This should not surprise us, we have to remember that the word “dinosaur” is a fairly new word, coined in the mid 19th century.
What I’m saying should not surprise us, here is why. Think of the so called “mythical” animal, the unicorn, surprise, surprise, it was not at all mythical. Now the horse with a horn is fictional. However, there was a one horned rhino that matches the description quite well. This is the extinct Siberian unicorn that was probably the bases of this “mythical” creature. It does have one horn, but it also had much more of a bison and horse like look than other rhinos. Plus, there are a couple of contemporary rhino species today that have only one horn.
Back to the dinosaur issue. Strangely enough there does seem to be biblical descriptions of couple animals that really do seem like they could be some sort of dinosaur type creature. In one of the oldest books of the Bible, the book of Job, we find the accounts of such creatures.
Job, chapters 40 and 41 notes couple animals God brought to Job’s attention: Leviathan and Behemoth. Some may say these were fictional animals, and they could be. However, other real creatures are mentioned in the text too, so the fictional claim is questionable in my mind. Others may say these were just hippos and crocodiles or the like, and again that could be true. However, the characteristics don’t seem to match those animals, rather they are more dinosaur like.
More could be said about dinosaurs, however, all in all, I think God made them in the beginning when he said he made all of the different kinds of life.
Please tell us your thoughts below!