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.