The creationists’ dinosaur problem

Creationists love dinosaurs and insist that humans lived contemporaneously with them. One of the things that struck me when writing about the financial travails of Ken Ham’s vanity ark project are the many problems that creationists face with the dinosaurs. Since the Noah’s flood story requires that at least a pair of every species be saved, that means two dinosaurs of every ‘kind’ at a minimum had to be accommodated, creating a huge space and resources problem right off the bat. Ham partially deals with that one by suggesting that Noah could have chosen ‘teenage’ dinosaurs (!) to save space.

But surely those teenage dinosaurs would have driven Noah crazy with their eye-rolling and loud music and complaints about there being nothing to do on the ark?

But leaving that aside, then how did they become extinct? According to Ham, they found it hard to adapt to the new post-flood ecosystem and quietly went extinct.

So how did dinosaurs die? The same sorts of problems that drive today’s animals to extinction took their toll on earth’s remaining dinosaurs.

But he then also suggests that they had stuck around until “several centuries ago”, i.e., well into recorded history and what we call the era of post-Galilean modern science and the Renaissance. Since the flood is supposed to have happened 4,300 years ago, the dinosaurs coped for 4,000 of those years and then were defeated.

It all seems a bit anti-climactic for these magnificent animals, doesn’t it? Ham’s god makes Noah go to extraordinary lengths to create room for each pair of each dinosaur ‘kind’ to save, keeps them around for another 4,000 years, and then quietly kills them off, for no apparent reason.

Some gods are so fickle in their affections.


  1. NitricAcid says

    I know Jack Chick (and possibly Kelly S. Seagraves) insisted that dinosaurs were hunted to extinction soon after the flood, since they were big and meaty, and also favourite targets for knights errant.

  2. colnago80 says

    Just shows how ignorant Jack Chick is. A full grown Tyrannosaur is believed to weigh about 7 tons and stand 16 feet high at the shoulders. Given the weapons that early man had available, he wouldn’t have stood a chance. In fact, the humans would have been the eaten, rather then the eaters. A full grown Apatosaur tipped the scale at some 30 tons. Not much chance that spears or bows and arrows would have made much of an impact.

  3. Rob Grigjanis says

    I thought the creationist story was that they became extinct because Noah didn’t bring them on the Ark. Another memo I mistook for toilet paper, I guess.

  4. Jockaira says

    If a knight-errant were to come upon a T-Rex or one of its cousin carnivores, he would have no chance of surviving the encounter except as tasty bits in the flesh-eating dinosaur’s intestines. It’s doubtful that you could get any sane horse to come near enough for the knight’s weapons and attacking one of these creatures on foot would only be an invitation to lunch. A group of knights would be considered an all-you-can eat buffet and the suits of armor a satisfying crunchiness lubricated by blood-sauce.

    In the post-flood scenario proposed by many, carnivorous dinosaurs would have made farming and the keeping of domestic animals extremely hazardous for humans having no weapons or tactics to deal with these nightmarish monsters. After T-Rex had finished off the flocks, I imagine that any other food cravings could be satisfied by tearing into the nearest human habitation.

    The only sure-fire defense against these giant land sharks is to be somewhere else when they’re around.

    Those are only a couple of suppositions about how it would be to live with dinosaurs in the neighborhood. Not good for humans!

    More substantial objections and hard counter-evidence is found in the fossil record. There have never been found any remotely human remains in the same geological strata with dinosaur remains. One would expect that if humans were living with dinosaurs, in peaceful coexistence or a conventional predator-prey relationship, that at least a few dinosaur fossils would be found along with human remains, maybe even with a cow, goat, or human fossilized in the saurian’s gut area.

    Geologists have determined with a high degree of certainty that the relevant rock strata containing dino-fossils took millions of years to develop and then to be overladen with subsequent layers of pre-history.

    Based on these two latter facts any reasonable person would conclude that humans never lived with the dinosaurs except in the movies and in the fevered imaginations of Goddists who have their own problems with reality.

  5. Donnie says

    You know, doing the Ark from a scientificperspective would be interesting. The science videshowing explicitly how unfathomable dinasaurs on the ark, even teenager, modeling NonStampCollecter’sbout the issues with getting all animals, the tensile strength of a T-Rex versus a suit of armour, or tank, would be fun.

  6. sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d says

    Since the flood is supposed to have happened 4,300 years ago, the dinosaurs coped for 4,000 of those years and then were defeated.

    Dinosaurs were around 300 years ago and no-one noticed?
    Actually, the real threat to hypothetical dinosaurs would not be knights or even arrows but the vulnerability of their eggs to smaller predators like rats.

  7. Matt G says

    Does this clown have even the faintest idea how much teenagers EAT? There goes the whole food budget right there!

  8. ShowMetheData says

    Teenage dinosaur says,

    OMG! No way that I’m gonna stay inside that crap palace!! I have to share??!? With Brontosaurs!!!? OMG! No way!! If I have to do that, I think I will self-extinct!

  9. lamaria says

    Don´t forget that according to Ham all Dinosaurs were vegetarians. Those big big teeth were for… slicing up tough leaves. Yes, really, exhibits in his “museum” say so, I think it was PZ who posted pictures.

  10. busterggi says

    “Some gods are so fickle in their affections.”

    SOME? Name one that isn’t.

    “But leaving that aside, then how did they become extinct?”

    According to creats they aren’t extinct – they’re cryptids such as mokele m’bembe, Nessie, sea serpents, ropens and other critters that leave no physical evidence other than blurry video & photos.

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