There is a body of opinion that it is all the fault of the Flintstones for putting ideas into young impressionable minds. This makes at least as much sense as any other explanation for the strange desire of Creationists to have their cake and eat it. The evidence for the past existence of dinosaurs is irrefutable and they have become part of our popular culture from Conan Doyle's Lost World via Godzilla to Jurassic Park. For the "scientific creationist" (oxymoron par excellence) this presents a dilemma - on the one hand the idea of such extinct creatures seems to support that device of Satan, evolutionary theory, and on the other there are the fossilized skeletons in the world's museums and more being found every day. Two popular ways of coping with this problem are to claim either that dinosaurs never died out and are still very much around or that the fossils are faked by unscrupulous, godless scientists to further their sinister agenda. There may well be a third or fourth take on this but these two would appear to be the most popular.
The first site to catch 80's rheumy eye is the catchily titled Genesis Park - an obvious nod to Spielberg's movie which also appears to be the model for the layout - which is nicely executed. The "mission" of Genesis Park is clearly stated and falls into the first of the two categories mentioned above - "The purpose of Genesis Park is to present in a graphical, easily accessible manner the evidence that dinosaurs and man were created together and have co-existed throughout history. Genesis Park questions the evolutionary illusions surrounding the dinosaurs and approaches the subject of origins with a literal adherence to the scriptures and an emphasis on creation demonstrating God’s power." Given this, let us see how well the site's creator (if we may use that term) does in putting this point of view. The opening page leads to a site map depicting a "dinosaur zoo" similar to Michael Crichton's original idea. We have a Pterosaur Paddock (an odd name perhaps for an enclosure for flying creatures?), a Plesiosaur Tank, and, amongst others, the rather more prosaically named Crocodile and Alligator Paddock. A click on say, the Pterosaurs, leads to a short and accurate description of this group of reptiles - accurate up until the last sentence - "Along with considerable evidence that such creatures lived in recent history, there are credible stories suggesting that some might be still alive today!" (This is obviously a meaning of the word credible of which 80 was previously unaware.) Below the text are two links to credulous (now that's the word) accounts of flying monsters, the Kongamato of Africa and the Ropen of New Guinea. Since you ask, Kongamato means "overwhelmer of boats" and Ropen, rather more fittingly, is "demon flyer". Evidence for the latter is cited from an expedition by the Creation Evidence Museum (so no sign of bias in that name then.)
The Crocodile section takes you to a short piece on existing crocs and some that were dinosaur contemporaries. A half-hearted attempt is made to show that the fossil crocodilians were in some ways more "fit" to survive than today's beasties, the implication being that evolutionary theory is wrong. This only goes to show a straw man is the easiest target, particularly one based on ignorance. Evolution is not nature's attempt to continually improve and perfect living creatures - this would imply some kind of direction and there is no evidence for this. Random mutation leading to better adaptation to the environment over a long period of time has no purpose - it just happens - and occasional catastrophic changes to that environment can lead evolution in unpredictable directions. To claim ancient crocodilians were more "fit" to survive than today’s is nonsensical. Last stop - the Plesiosaur Tank - gives another thumbnail description and links to pages on the various lake monster legends and poor tired old Nessie. In summary the site is well laid out and superficially attractive but has, like Creation Science itself, no real substance.
we go from the view that evolution is just plain wrong and that dinosaur (and
other) survivors will eventually prove this, to the view of evolutionary theory
as part of some sinister, possibly demonic, plan and the fossils in the museums
are deliberate fakes or misinterpretations. Jesus,
Dinosaurs and More is the eye-grabbing title of our next stop, and is the
work of one "Scott,
I am 25 years old."
As he states "The
main focus of this web site will be:
Where Dinosaurs can be found in the Bible
Evidence that Man and Dinosaurs were both Created by God on the same day, and
lived together before Noah's Flood, and became extinct shortly there after.
Man was Created in the Image of God, and Did NOT evolve from Ape-like creatures.
Each so called "Ape-man" will be examined, and you will see the
numerous misidentifications, frauds and cover ups that have taken place."
Point one seems a good place to start. Scott, aged 25, naturally starts from a basis of his own beliefs and in common with many in the creationist field seems to think that a biblical quotation carries special authority. To 80 the christian bible has no more authority than Homer's Iliad or the Icelandic Sagas as an explanation of how the Earth and the life upon it came to be. The 25 year old Scott's view is "As Christians we must learn to treat God’s word as the source of absolute truth and authority. To answer questions about dinosaurs and Creation, we must start our thinking with the Bible, and from there find the answers. If we trust the Bible as true, and accept theories compatible with scripture we will never have a problem." That may be fine for Scott but no rational examination of any subject can begin shackled to such beliefs. Such prejudice fatally damages any subsequent discussion - and if you are, say, moslem or hindu, boy, have you got it wrong! The whole theme of the site is encapsulated in this sentence "The only way to learn the truth about how and when life began is to read the testimony of the only one who was there, God himself."
Right, now that we know rational discourse is out the window what else has Scott, the quarter-centenarian, have to tell us about? Here's a good one - Noahs Ark.. Fact or Fairy Tale? "The purpose of this page is to dispel the notions that Noah’s Ark did not exist. Or that the Ark was not big enough for ALL the animals." Ok, how does the explanation go? Using the biblical description of the ark and interpreting the length of a cubit in a particular way the dimensions given are 52 feet high, 86 feet wide and 500 feet long (no godless metric system here). The ark is shown superimposed on a football field for those who use that as their basic unit of measurement. This craft was built by 8 people, Mr and Mrs Noah and family. This doesn't seem a very big construction crew but Scott points out that they could have taken a hundred years. (Don't forget to Scott the bible is literally true so enormous lifespans are quite acceptable.) Right, so the ark is big but not impossibly so - now how do we fit two of every beast on board (and seven of each of the "clean" animals)? Here comes the clever bit - you don't need all of the species but just an archetypal representative of the genus - so Ur-dog (80's term) could stand for all canines and Ur-rat for all rodents - you get the picture. (This still needs an explanation for how all these creatures then diversified into the ones we see today - how about evolution?) As for the huge dinosaurs on board Noah got round this by only taking BABIES - clever old Noah (950 years old - apparently).
of the best and, in 80’s
opinion, funniest pieces on the story of the Ark is by Mark Twain in his
posthumously published Letters
from the Earth. The temptation to quote from this is irresistable………
and his family were saved -- if that could be called an advantage…..The Family
were saved, yes, but they were not comfortable, for they were full of microbes.
Full to the eyebrows; fat with them, obese with them, distended like balloons.
It was a disagreeable condition, but it could not be helped, because enough
microbes had to be saved to supply the future races of men with desolating
diseases, and there were but eight persons on board to serve as hotels for them.
The microbes were by far the most important part of the Ark's cargo, and the
part the Creator was most anxious about and most infatuated with. They had to
have good nourishment and pleasant accommodations. There were typhoid germs, and
cholera germs, and hydrophobia germs, and lockjaw germs, and consumption germs,
and black-plague germs, and some hundreds of other aristocrats, specially
precious creations, golden bearers of God's love to man, blessed gifts of the
infatuated Father to his children -- all of which had to be sumptuously housed
and richly entertained; these were located in the choicest places the interiors
of the Family could furnish: in the lungs, in the heart, in the brain, in the
kidneys, in the blood, in the guts. In the guts particularly. The great
intestine was the favorite resort. There they gathered, by countless billions,
and worked, and fed, and squirmed, and sang hymns of praise and thanksgiving;
and at night when it was quiet you could hear the soft murmur of it. The large
intestine was in effect their heaven. They stuffed it solid; they made it as
rigid as a coil of gaspipe. They took pride in this. Their principal hymn made
gratified reference to it:
"Constipation, O Constipation,
Joyful sound proclaim
man's remotest entrail
praise its Maker's name "
above passage has most likely been missed in Scott's researches and he would
perhaps do well to lift his biblical
Creation Science home page has
a fine example of argument from blinkered biblical belief amongst a variety of
other claptrap -
"The magnificence of our world shows to all that there must be a creator:
God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's
invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly
seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.'
Romans 1:19-20 NIV" …….er – can you run that one by me again?
is the conclusion from "Noah's
Ark: A Feasibility Study" by Jason D Browning -
“Remember the following to have an accurate picture of Noah's ark:
animals from each genus, not every species, were taken.
and his sons (and their wives) were smart people.
had a lot of time to plan and prepare. This allowed for the creation of a
menagerie, the design of enclosures to be labor-saving, and the choice of
foodstuffs to be compact. They may have hired people to do some of this work.
ark was not a boat. It was a housing that only needed to FLOAT for one year.
The ark was not a zoo. The animals only needed to SURVIVE for one year.
definitely helped, but we should not think that continuous miracles were
necessary for the completion of a successful voyage. God normally operates
through natural means.”
similar to Scott's (25). 80
was fascinated by how much “compact” food would need to be carried for a
year for just one pair of (even baby) elephants let alone all of the ruminants.
The bible does not mention it but one could envision Noah's magnificent ark in
company with a flotilla of supply tenders containing the necessary rations.
Particularly to be pitied are the suggested "hired people" who were
presumably left to drown when their usefullness had passed. (Perhaps they were
paid in lifejackets.) Mind you, their fate leaves 80
wondering where a year's supply of carnivore snacks came from -
"compact" or not.
The conclusion of this observer is that far less mental effort is needed to understand something of the basic and demonstrable evidence of evolutionary theory than any amount of mythological twaddle with all of the special pleading it requires. Last thought - did Noah install aquaria for the chosen fish, amphibians, shellfish, plankton, aquatic mammals (perhaps the blue whales were towed behind) etc? This is a point that 80, in this admittedly short survey, has not seen raised.
Here is a distinctly unpleasant, well presented site yourgoingtohell - there is something here to offend almost everyone – in fact so ridiculous and over the top is the rhetoric that 80 initially thought this was a parody – and still hopes it is. A laughable page is devoted to the supremacy of the King James Authorized version of the christian bible as the only true text – never mind all that greek stuff them early christians wrote. A towering ignorance of the provenance of the KJ version is amply demonstrated by the author of this piece. The KJ version owes a huge debt to earlier English translations and in some cases uses whole chunks of text from these. The King James fanatic here is apparently unaware of the contributions of John Wycliffe, William Tyndale, and Miles Coverdale to mention just three or the Geneva Bible. To give a flavor of this site’s all-inclusive damning try the False Gospel of Islam, Ouija Boards are Evil and Halloween is Demonic. A final point – this site is very big on hell for….. well, for just about all of us – yet nowhere does it say who created this devil that 80 for one is apparently bound to meet. To put it another way – who created everything, including the devil?
noun pl eisegeses \-'sez\ [Gk eis into (akin to Gk en in) + E exegesis (1892)
The interpretation of a text (as of the Bible) by reading into it one's own ideas - compare exegesis
of The SF Gate Morning
Fix and the excellent Mark Morford)
“You can learn more about dinosaurs
from 2 hours of reading your Bible, than man has learned on his own in the last
150 years of studying their bones” - Scott, aged 25
"The first of April is the day we
remember what we are the other 364 days of the year. " - Mark Twain
"The total amount of suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation. During the minute that it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of animals are being eaten alive, many others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear, others are slowly being devoured from within by rasping parasites, thousands of all kinds are dying of starvation, thirst, and disease. It must be so. If there ever is a time of plenty, this very fact will automatically lead to an increase in the population until the natural state of starvation and misery is restored. In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won't find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference." Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life, Basic Books, 1996