The orthodox Christian theology of Hadley Robinson

Dinosaurs - The Mystery of the Bones

by Hadley Robinson

Christians have often asked about the existence of dinosaur bones in the fossil records.  What is this all about?

Paleontologists and geologists have attempted to reconstruct the past - a difficult task, to say the least.  They rely on a number of principles, some of which are difficult to establish without question.  One of them is the radioactive decay in the rocks that is used to date them.  There is an ongoing controversy concerning the presence of what are known as Polonium radio halos which, among other things, suggest that the earth's granite formed very quickly - in a matter of seconds rather than over millions of years.  Another principle, uniformitarianism, is also open to question.  This states that all processes that have ever happened have always happened at the same rate.  For example, if the continents currently drift a few inches a year in some direction, they have always drifted at this rate.  Another much more shaky principle is supposedly inherent in evolution:  Some unknown mechanism reverses the universal entropy we see in the cosmos and allows complexity to increase.  Otherwise, things would always demonstrate decay and devolution as is seen in the current universe, e.g. the universe is flying apart at near the speed of light while cooling off.

Suffice it to say, this is not a scientific paper, even though this writer was trained as a scientist in a typical secular college.  On the other hand, we want to briefly discuss what Christians might think about paleontological evidence - the dinosaur bones.

This essay arose because someone asked about the human skulls in the Smithsonian Museum that purport to be millions of years old and appear to directly contradict chapters one and two of the book of Genesis.  It then appears that we would have to greatly modify our views of the Bible in order to bring it inline with evidence of these skulls displayed the Smithsonian.

Let us first consider some elements of our faith.  If we are shaky concerning the rising of Jesus Christ or Lazarus from the dead, then we should stop at this point.  If Jesus' body cells had no blood flowing by them for many hours, at least, and the decay thus induced was somehow reversed, does not this require a far greater exercise of our faith then to suppose that scientists may be mistaken concerning the accurate age of some bones?  Are they actually very ancient or only have the appearance of age?

How about the stinky Lazarus exhumed on the LORD's command? The mystery of the dinosaurs and an ancient earth (more exactly -> death before the Fall) is relatively minor compared to someone having really been dead and then not being resuscitated.  How is there any explanation whatsoever of the process that must have occurred in Lazarus?  Of course, if the literal resurrection is untrue, then we are madmen, determined frauds and liars, and a disgrace to Whoever/Whatever the Creator might really be.

So if the skulls are easier to explain, what might have happened?  Consider that Adam (who must have been a real person  - the first man) was created as a complete human being.  This meant that his teeth and bones were fully formed.  In particular, his epiphyses were completely hard otherwise his bones would bend/break away under the stress that a full grown man would put on them in the course of a day's work.  Adam was 5 minutes old yet he had the evidence of a man who was at least 20 or 30 years old.

Fast forward 5,000 years or so to the Wedding at Cana.  The wine was minutes old but , if it had been chemically analyzed, would have had the evidence of being a year old or more.  This is to say nothing of the Creation which had to be in place for Adam to live.  Trees had to have rings which are evidence of age even though they did not exist a moment earlier.  There had to be soil which is only formed through a process of time and slow decay. Etc.

The Creator of everything is easily capable of bypassing the long process of dirt + water + seed –> sprout –> vine –> fruit –> harvest –> aging -> wine.  Instead, He could do it all in an instant, an easy task for the God who made the Sun, the seed of the grape, the eye and the ear, among other things.

In fact, He made the entire earth with the appearance of age.  It is not a fraud as it was necessary so that Adam and all other creatures could live.

Why the dinosaurs?  This is hard to understand.  Perhaps He scattered these creatures about for a brief time and then left their bones for us to meditate about the End of history and the universe (e.g. Rev. 19, 2 Thess.).  Perhaps He wants us to tremble at the violence and horror of the coming Destruction of earth and the heavens as we know them?  But that is just a guess.

In sum, if we really believe that God raised Jesus from the dead, the rest is much easier to consider.  An old Earth creates some serious doctrinal problems, especially concerning the character and purpose of God, and is also insupportable from the Hebrew text.  The earth looks old because He made it so – an easy task for Him and it was something He had to do.  if our faith hangs on the age of the earth, we are in trouble just the same.  The Resurrection is  - without exception - the most incredible event of history.  If we are to be considered among the dangerous and the crazy, it should be for these reasons alone:  We have hope in a future resurrection and a Kingdom under the authority of Christ Himself.  Christians are not faithful adherents to republican democracy.   We are longing for a King.  That the inhabitants of the asylum appoint their own over themselves is not a comfort.

Dinosaur bones must be tough to discuss because nobody was alive then and we have to rely on a lot of assumptions and circumstantial evidence.  The existence of Polonium radio halos must give us pause that there are some serious gaps in our knowledge of the past.

We see this in the increasingly challenged theory of global warming and its cause.  The covering up of contrary evidence and the doctoring of the earth's temperature history by zealous scientists in England demonstrates that important science is not free from social and political agendas.  Who gains from this theory but those who think government is God and scientists who receive millions in funding from the same?

But if the scientists are largely correct about dinosaurs predating Man, then we, like the dinosaurs, only have a short time on the planet.  On top of that, from a cosmic view, Man is without purpose or future, and is a complete accident.  Human life is no more valuable than that of a single bacteria.  Furthermore, there is no such thing as “evil”, “terror” and “cruelty”.  Where are “lying”, “adultery”, and “fraud” in the geology of the rocks in the Franklins Mountains of El Paso?  Like “God”, they are inventions that are useful for the elite to control the lesser human creatures.  All of these terms do not exist in nature and are an illusion – a fantasy of the mind.  So, it is get whatever you can:  Promote your DNA at the expense of everyone else’s in a great contest that will last a few thousands or millions of years – just a blink of the eye with respect to cosmic time.

Is it worse than this?  When I die, my life (even if it were Caesar’s) does and did not matter.  Soon enough, even any memory of me will be gone in the infinite darkness and eternity of the cosmos.  And so on.

These are far greater problems for the heathen scientists to address.

The very principles they use in science, they do not apply to the social realm.  Even these dark heathen have some sense of good and evil given them by their Creator.  Why their often concern about our faith?  Why do they care?  Where in the rocks does it say, “Care about this or that?”  Stalin’s massacres?  Hitler's?  Pol Pot's?  They lost the contest – but Mao Tse Tung was victorious.  “Evil?”  A relative term and invention of social manipulators….

As Christians, we see proof of this in the heartless cruelty men have exhibited throughout the ages – even some  heathen scientists cringe at it but not all.  The political convulsions this country is going through will only get much worse as there is no common ground to agree on anything except using others to promote my own selfish ends.  There is no submission to God's rule – not even an acknowledgement of it.  Sadly, the character of the people in government is not much different than those in Stalin’s Politburo.  The former are only waiting for their chance….

If we understand the Creation, it should be limited to what He has said about it:  He did it all without any help and put us here to enjoy it awhile.  However, most men have other plans.  As the author of Hebrews explains, we live by faith, do we not?
By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.  – Hebrews 11:3