How did the dinosaurs go extinct? Well, most people have been told that an asteroid killed the dinosaurs. And here’s an article I found in Discover Magazine claiming that the dinosaurs were “doomed to extinction” long before that large asteroid crashed into the earth and wiped them out.
For decades some scientists have blamed the extinction of the dinosaurs on a crater known as Chicxulub- caused by an asteroid six miles wide supposedly slamming into Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula nearly 66 million years ago. According to this new study, dinosaurs were already in decline for over 100 million years before the impact. It’s interesting to note that this decline was world-wide, and the cause is believed to have involved intense and persistent volcanism for millions of years. Climate change, the rise in sea levels, and the break-up of supercontinents also had an impact.
As a result, when the asteroid struck the earth, the end was near; the dinosaurs couldn’t recover from this cataclysmic event, and they eventually went extinct… well, except for those that just-so-happened to evolve into birds, which are thriving among us to this very day. So we have a dramatic story followed by a fairy tale ending.
As a creationist, however, I haven’t bought into this inventive tale that can’t be substantiated by the evidence. Now for those who do accept this as fact, they would probably say the same about an alternative explanation- and that’s the Biblical account described in Genesis. But I believe the Biblical account provides a much better and more accurate explanation.
Genesis describes a world-wide flood that wiped out all the land animals on the face of the earth. Such an event would have been responsible for the breakup of the continents, and would have led to intense volcanic activity. This is the creationist model, and it can be substantiated by the geologic record. We see dinosaur graveyards testifying to flood activity. We see geologic layers spanning across continents. We find fossilized sea animals on all the highest mountains. There’s evidence of rapid burial of plants and animals. There are sediment layers laid down rapidly across vast distances, and sediment transported across the country. There’s evidence of rapid or no erosion between layers, and many of these layers were deposited rapidly.
It was this event that is mainly responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs. Only the animals and dinosaurs on board the ark would have survived, and those that exited the ark would have dispersed just like every other animal that survived the journey. But they would have lived in a radically different environment.
Therefore the dinosaur extinction (assuming that they have gone completely extinct) would have happened only recently as there are descriptions of dinosaur-like creatures all throughout human history. It’s likely that dinosaurs, as a whole, were unable to adapt to their new environment and climate. Indeed there was intense volcanic activity following the flood, and there was an ice age. As humans populated the earth, dinosaurs would have had a less suitable habitat.
And that’s it. The dinosaur population dwindled following the flood and quietly went extinct over the last several thousand years. They didn’t die out with the bang of an asteroid impact, as some believe. That might make for a dramatic ending (and good movie drama), but it doesn’t account for all the data.
Consider the evidence. If we entertain the idea of an asteroid collision, realize that the dinosaurs didn’t even go extinct for another 300,000 years after the impact. That’s an extremely long time to avoid extinction. If the dinosaurs were to have gone extinct, however, that likely would have happened within decades of the impact when environmental damage would have been greatest… not hundreds of thousands of years later when the damage would have been non-existent for centuries.
Asteroids bombarding the earth are compatible with the flood model, so it’s not a problem if a large asteroid were to hit the earth sometime in the distant past and kill some unlucky dinosaurs, but it wouldn’t be enough to cause a world-wide extinction 300,000 years later. The high concentration of iridium- considered to be evidence of the Chicxulub crater- is more likely to have been caused by volcanic activity (the Deccan traps of India), which is also part of the flood model. In fact volcanism better explains the evidence than does an impact crater, and that’s why there are plenty of scientists who reject the idea that the features were caused by an asteroid at all.
Also consider that there were plenty of other plants and animals that didn’t go extinct. One study showed 52 different species were found in the sediment layers before and after the impact, so this further refutes the idea that an asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs.
So if a global flood is the best explanation for the extinction of the dinosaurs and accounts for the evidence, why isn’t it accepted by mainstream scientists? I think the reason is because many scientists are unwilling to accept a religious supernatural event. Most modern scientists only accept naturalistic explanations, and that leaves no room for an all-powerful God to exist and exert control over his creation. Their only alternative is to come up with a solution that doesn’t involve a supernatural event.
Nonetheless, the evidence is there to support a world-wide flood, and it makes for a much more accurate explanation for the extinction of the dinosaurs.
Pingback: Things I have read on the internet – 30 | clydeherrin
A couple of questions:
1) You stated, “We find fossilized sea animals on all the highest mountains.” How does this show a worldwide flood? We know rapid deposition and burial are needed for fossilization. How then did a little sea-animal, swim all the way to the top of a mountain, and then get deposited upon? Would we have to assume vast and swift uplift of mountains directly after the flood in areas that we previously covered in water?
2) Since we find such vast fossils deposits of dinosaurs and what not, why do we not find any human fossils? Shouldn’t we expect to find at least one? Or of at least some human structure or anything? (assuming at least 4 billion humans – https://answersingenesis.org/noahs-ark/pre-flood-population/)
I think there are two main ways this would happen. First, as you mentioned, in some cases there would be “vast and swift uplift”. Creationists recognize there was an increase in volcanic and geologic activity during and following the flood, in which case new mountains would be formed. Any creatures already present and buried at those locations would be at the bottom of the sediment (or geologic column), while newer burials would be higher up. If a new mountain ridge was formed during the flood, we’d expect sediment to have already covered some of the creatures by the time the land was exposed. As the water receded from the tops, more sediment would accumulate and cover other, lower areas of the mountain. By the time the mountain has been fully exposed, we’ll have all types of creatures buried, most notably shelled creatures like clams.
Any mountains existing prior to the flood that were completely covered. They’d also contain fossilized creatures, although I’d expect those creatures to be of a different mixture than the uplifted mountains. With all the highest mountains being covered, those sea creatures that were unable to survive the abrupt change would have died, and those carcasses settling on the mountains would have been buried by sediment as well. In this case we wouldn’t expect as many as many shelled creatures, except for those caught in turbid waters and mixed with sediment as it drifted.
So I think the real challenge would be identifying which mountains were uplifted during the flood vs. those that were preexisting and coming up with a model. I’ll have to do some research to see how much of this has been explored.
I agree it would be pretty awesome to find evidence of human fossils and civilization that existed prior to the flood. And perhaps someday we will. But why would we expect to find such evidence anytime soon? We don’t know the human population at that time, so we’d have to make certain assumptions, such as population growth estimates. It’s reasonable that the human population was under one billion people. According to the Bible, Noah lived 950 years and had only three children. People lived long life-spans back then, so it’s hard to come up with a reasonable population growth estimate, so assuming a human population of nearly one billion, why haven’t we found anything we could consider definitive?
Well, from a Biblical perspective, we’d have to consider whether God intended for any evidence to be discovered. Still, I’d expect there would be remnants of brick and metal shaped by human hands buried somewhere within the geologic column. But we don’t even know where to begin looking. Is it fair to assume mankind was spread over the entire earth at the time? Probably not. God didn’t give that command until after the flood at Babel. So it’s reasonable that humans were centralized, and that population growth slowed in the years before the flood. If we consider a centralized human population, then it’s reasonable to infer that perhaps the vast portion of that population still lies buried below the ocean somewhere, or simply in a place we haven’t discovered yet. I know that’s not the answer we’d like, but that’s what we have to accept at the moment (rather than simply dismiss it as a myth). But keep in mind that the secular model is faced with the same kind of problem. Assuming there were between 1 million and 10 million people on earth 100,000 years ago during the stone age, then there should be between 4 and 40 billion buried bodies with artifacts. Where are they? So all this is what makes science exciting for both creation and secular scientists. We’re all trying to provide reasonable answers to the public, but since we can’t go back in time to observe everything that happened, we rely only on our best inferences. But with creationists, I think we have an advantage since God has given us hints we can follow.