A new That’s a Fact video, Dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark, jumped today to the head of the short queue of episodes that I have yet to present to you. This is a topic we’ve seen many times before (e.g. two days ago), but it’s always fun:
Here’s your transcript and commentary:
Were dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark? According to Scripture the answer is: yes!
“Scripture” does not mention dinosaurs, as you probably know, but as we have already seen there are a few scattered verses that talk of dragons and “behemoth” that creationists like to pretend refer to this group. None of that today, however:
Genesis says that God created all the land animals on day six of creation, which would have included the dinosaurs. The Bible also says that two of every animal kind were on the Ark with Noah. And that had to include the dinosaurs.
The logic runs: Dinosaurs existed and were animals; all animals were on the Ark; therefore dinosaurs were on the Ark. Is that not, however, the first step down Jason Lisle’s slippery slope? After all, if you’re prepared to let “secular scientists” tell you that there was this whole big group of animals that don’t exist any more and you just cave and make room for them on the Ark…
But what did they eat, and how did they fit? Well, the Bible says that in the beginning everything was very good, and there was no death. That means all the animals were vegetarians, even the ones with sharp teeth.
For the perplexed, the ICR don’t consider plants to be “biblically” alive: to fit their definition you need to to have the following attributes:
- Be capable of “independent movement”
- Have “blood”
- Have a soul/spirit
Plants have none of those, so wanton herbicide is perfectly compatible with a “very good” world.
Today, we see that fruit-bats and pandas have really sharp teeth, and they eat only fruit and bamboo. So it’s possible that T. rex was a vegetarian on the Ark!
This is an idea that we’ve seen before: if there are animals with sharp teeth that eat vegetables, then why can’t all animals with sharp teeth be vegetarian? The trouble is that there’s more to teeth than just whether they are “sharp” or not. There is indeed a shape of “sharp” tooth that fruit-bats need for their fruity diet, but insectivorous bats have very different morphology (as do therapod dinosaurs). Another way of looking at it would be to ask why, if T. rex could slip so easily into carnivory, pandas and fruit-bats did not? There’s more to it than the sharpness of the tooth.
And since God needed the animals to be young and healthy on the Ark, they were probably also small. Crocodiles and pythons can be huge, but when they’re young they’re pretty small. And small animals don’t eat as much. That must have been how it was with the dinosaurs. The ones on the Ark were young, small, and didn’t take up much room or eat a lot.
This idea – that the dinosaurs on the Ark would have been young and therefore small – is what we were talking about with Eddie on Sunday.
And after the storm was over God commanded the animals to go out and fill the Earth with their offspring. For young, healthy animals this wouldn’t have taken long at all. Kinda like how we saw animal and plant populations bounce back after Mt St Helens erupted in 1980.
This brings us to an important topic called “succession”: the process where by the ecology of an area can develop either from a disturbed environment e.g. in a forest fire (secondary succession) or from an entirely new one e.g. on a solidified lava flow (primary succession). It shouldn’t be hard to see how this concept would be relevant to the return of life following a global catastrophe.
Some places affected by the St Helens eruption really did “bounce back” quite quickly – these were the places that had not been completely sterilised by the heat of the event and so the much faster process of secondary succession could occur as seeds and other living things survived. Those that took longer did so because the sterilisation meant that they had to begin again from zero – this takes longer. But neither are fully analogous to the devastation after the creationists’ global flood.
Plants and animals can return because they come from somewhere: the Mt St Helens eruption rained destruction over a relatively localised area. But if the whole world has been affected – and in a manner that reduces it to a state that requires primary and not secondary processes – then this process is going to take a whole lot longer. It would take time before large, fast-growing herbivores could be supported by the environment and in the meantime there’s nowhere for them to sit and wait it out.
So even though God had to rid the world of evil with the global flood, he made a way to save people and animals on board the Ark. Including the dinosaurs.
So, there you go: of course dinosaurs were on the Ark. Them and unicorns, at this rate.