Walking with Dinosaurs

Discussions on creation beliefs within Christianity, and topics related to creation.
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McMurdo
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Walking with Dinosaurs

#1

Post by McMurdo » Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:10 pm

Evolutionists (and, it appears from this site, old earth creationists) claim that Dinosaurs died out long before we humans came on the scene.

After all, if dinosaurs co-existed with us, there would be evidence wouldn't there? Surely there would be a bank of folk memories, drawings, paintings, book illustrations, writings, legends, some sober and realistic, some exaggerated and fanciful, but all pointing to some huge fearsome creatures. Given that the term 'dinosaur' was coined in the 19th century, other terminology would be used, varying according to the culture.

Well there are! And they run into the thousands from cultures all over the world. Here are some accounts:

St John Damascene, 8th CenturyAD
"Some people contrive that dragons can both take the human form and turn into serpents, sometimes small, sometimes huge, differing in body length and size, and sometimes, as was already stated above, having turned into people, start to associate with them, appear to steal women and consort with them; so we would ask [those who tell such stories]: how many intelligent natures did God create? And if they do not know the answer, we will respond: two - I mean angels and humans... So He created the two intelligent natures; but if a dragon changes its form while associating with people, becoming at one moment a serpent, at another a man... so it follows with all possible clarity that dragons are intelligent beings exceeding men greatly, which has not [ever] been true, and never will be."
"Let them also say who in particular tells about it [a dragon]? For we trust the teaching of Moses, and, more exactly, the Holy Spirit, having spoken through [the prophet]. This [teaching] reads: And God brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them; and whatsoever [Adam] called every living creature, that was the name thereof (cf. Gen. 2:19). Hence, a dragon was one of the animals. I am not telling you, after all, that there are no dragons; dragons exist but they are serpents borne of other serpents. Being just born and young, they are small; but when they grow up and get mature, they become big and fat so that exceed the other serpents in length and size. It is said they grow up more than thirty cubits; as for their thickness, they get as thick as a big log. Dio the Roman who wrote the history of Roman empire and republic, reports the following: one day, when Regulus, a Roman consul, was fighting against Carthage, a dragon suddenly crept up and settled behind the wall of the Roman army. The Romans killed it by order of Regulus, excoriated it and sent the hide to the Roman senate. When the dragon's hide, as Dio says, was measured up by order of the senate, it happened to be, amazing, one hundred and twenty feet long, and the thickness was fitting to the length."
"There is one more kind of dragons; those have wide head, goldish eyes and horny protuberances on the back of the head. They also have a beard [protruding] out of the throat; this kind of dragons is called "agaphodemons" and it is said they have no faces. This dragon is a sort of beasts, like the rest of the animals, for it has a beard, like a goat, and horn at the back of its head. Its eyes are big and goldish. These dragons can be both big and small. All serpent kinds are poisonous, except dragons, for they do not emit poison."


Pliny the Elder (1st century AD)
Africa produces elephants, beyond the deserts of the Syrtes, and in Mauritania; they are found also in the. countries of the Æthiopians and the Troglodytæ as mentioned above. But it is India that produces the largest, as well as the dragon, which is perpetually at war with the elephant, and is itself of so enormous a size, as easily to envelope the elephants with its folds, and encircle them in its coils. The contest is equally fatal to both; the elephant, vanquished, falls to the earth, and by its weight, crushes the dragon which is entwined around it.
The sagacity which every animal exhibits in its own behalf is wonderful, but in these it is remarkably so. The dragon has much difficulty in climbing up to so great a height, and therefore, watching the road, which bears marks of their footsteps when going to feed, it darts down upon them from a lofty tree. The elephant knows that it is quite unable to struggle against the folds of the serpent, and so seeks for trees or rocks against which to rub itself. The dragon is on its guard against this, and tries to prevent it, by first of all confining the legs of the elephant with the folds of its tail; while the elephant, on the other hand, endeavours to disengage itself with its trunk. The dragon, however, thrusts its head into its nostrils, and thus, at the same moment, stops the breath and wounds the most tender parts. When it is met unexpectedly, the dragon raises itself up, faces its opponent, and flies more especially at the eyes; this is the reason why elephants are so often found blind, and worn to a skeleton with hunger and misery. What other cause can one assign for such mighty strifes as these, except that Nature is desirous, as it were, to make an exhibition for herself, in pitting such opponents against each other?
There is another story, too, told in relation to these combats --the blood of the elephant, it is said, is remarkably cold; for which reason, in the parching heats of summer, it is sought by the dragon with remarkable avidity. It lies, therefore, coiled up and concealed in the rivers, in wait for the elephants, when they come to drink; upon which it darts out, fastens itself around the trunk, and then fixes its teeth behind the ear, that being the only place which the elephant cannot protect with the trunk. The dragons, it is said, are of such vast size, that they can swallow the whole of the blood; consequently, the elephant, being thus drained of its blood, falls to the earth exhausted; while the dragon, intoxicated with the draught, is crushed beneath it, and so shares its fate.
Æthiopia produces dragons, not so large as those of India, but still, twenty cubits in length. The only thing that surprises me is, how Juba came to believe that they have crests. The Æthiopians are known as the Asachæi, among whom they most abound; and we are told, that on those coasts four or five of them are found twisted and interlaced together like so many osiers in a hurdle, and thus setting sail, with their heads erect, they are borne along upon the waves, to find better sources of nourishment in Arabia.

St Isidore of Seville (7th century AD)


The dragon is the largest serpent, and in fact the largest animal on earth. Its name in Latin is draco, derived from the Greek name drakon. When it comes out of its cave, it disturbs the air. It has a crest, a small mouth, and a narrow throat. Its strength is in its tail rather than its teeth; it does harm by beating, not by biting. It has no poison and needs none to kill, because it kills by entangling. Not even the elephant is safe from the dragon; hiding where elephants travel, the dragon tangles their feet with its tail and kills the elephant by suffocating it. Dragons live in the burning heat of India and Ethiopia. (St Isidore of Seville, Etymologies, Book 12, 4:4-5

Look at the behemoth, which I made along with you and which feeds on grass like an ox.
What strength he has in his loins, what power in the muscles of his belly!
His tail sways like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are close-knit.
His bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like rods of iron.
He ranks first among the works of God, yet his Maker can approach him with his sword.
The hills bring him their produce, and all the wild animals play nearby.
Under the lotus plants he lies, hidden among the reeds in the marsh.
The lotuses conceal him in their shadow; the poplars by the stream surround him.
When the river rages, he is not alarmed; he is secure, though the Jordan should surge against his mouth.
Can anyone capture him by the eyes, or trap him and pierce his nose?

Job 40


See also Job 41

"Can you pull in the leviathan with a fishhook or tie down his tongue with a rope?
Can you put a cord through his nose or pierce his jaw with a hook?
Will he keep begging you for mercy? Will he speak to you with gentle words?
Will he make an agreement with you for you to take him as your slave for life?
Can you make a pet of him like a bird or put him on a leash for your girls?
Will traders barter for him? Will they divide him up among the merchants?
Can you fill his hide with harpoons or his head with fishing spears?
If you lay a hand on him, you will remember the struggle and never do it again!
Any hope of subduing him is false; the mere sight of him is overpowering.
No one is fierce enough to rouse him. Who then is able to stand against me?
Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me.
"I will not fail to speak of his limbs, his strength and his graceful form.
Who can strip off his outer coat? Who would approach him with a bridle?
Who dares open the doors of his mouth, ringed about with his fearsome teeth?
His back has rows of shields tightly sealed together;
each is so close to the next that no air can pass between.
They are joined fast to one another; they cling together and cannot be parted.
His snorting throws out flashes of light; his eyes are like the rays of dawn.
Firebrands stream from his mouth; sparks of fire shoot out.
Smoke pours from his nostrils as from a boiling pot over a fire of reeds.
His breath sets coals ablaze, and flames dart from his mouth.
Strength resides in his neck; dismay goes before him.
The folds of his flesh are tightly joined; they are firm and immovable.
His chest is hard as rock, hard as a lower millstone.
When he rises up, the mighty are terrified; they retreat before his thrashing.
The sword that reaches him has no effect, nor does the spear or the dart or the javelin.
Iron he treats like straw and bronze like rotten wood.
Arrows do not make him flee; slingstones are like chaff to him.
A club seems to him but a piece of straw; he laughs at the rattling of the lance.
His undersides are jagged potsherds, leaving a trail in the mud like a threshing sledge.
He makes the depths churn like a boiling cauldron and stirs up the sea like a pot of ointment.
Behind him he leaves a glistening wake; one would think the deep had white hair.
Nothing on earth is his equal—a creature without fear.
He looks down on all that are haughty; he is king over all that are proud."



Not conclusive, but this all points to a short span of natural history and less need for an old earth.

McM :eugeek:

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Re: Walking with Dinosaurs

#2

Post by Canuckster1127 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:16 pm

Dinosaurs still exist today in the form of reptiles.

What makes you think it more plausible that these references to mythical creatures are referring to dinosaurs of the past that people walked with as opposed to animals still alive today?

Further, what makes you believe that a belief in an old earth is necessitated by a "need" on the part of those holding the positions you disagree with as opposed to an honest assessment of both natural evidence and scriptural interpretation?
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Re: Walking with Dinosaurs

#3

Post by McMurdo » Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:54 pm

Going to bed now. But I'll answer later.

In the meantime, can you rephrase your second question - perhaps I'm not that bright, but I don't understand it!
Further, what makes you believe that a belief in an old earth is necessitated by a "need" on the part of those holding the positions you disagree with as opposed to an honest assessment of both natural evidence and scriptural interpretation?

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Re: Walking with Dinosaurs

#4

Post by McMurdo » Wed Jan 06, 2010 5:08 pm

What makes you think it more plausible that these references to mythical creatures are referring to dinosaurs of the past that people walked with as opposed to animals still alive today?
How many animals that live today do you know that answer these descriptions?

It is said they grow up more than thirty cubits; as for their thickness, they get as thick as a big log.

When the dragon's hide, as Dio says, was measured up by order of the senate, it happened to be, amazing, one hundred and twenty feet long, and the thickness was fitting to the length.

those have wide head, goldish eyes and horny protuberances on the back of the head. They also have a beard [protruding] out of the throat...it has a beard, like a goat, and horn at the back of its head. Its eyes are big and goldish.

The dragon is the largest serpent, and in fact the largest animal on earth.... it has a crest, a small mouth, and a narrow throat...it does harm by beating, not by biting....it kills by entangling.


Look at the behemoth, which I made along with you and which feeds on grass like an ox.
What strength he has in his loins, what power in the muscles of his belly!
His tail sways like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are close-knit.
His bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like rods of iron.

His back has rows of shields tightly sealed together;
each is so close to the next that no air can pass between.
They are joined fast to one another; they cling together and cannot be parted.
His snorting throws out flashes of light; his eyes are like the rays of dawn.
Firebrands stream from his mouth; sparks of fire shoot out.
Smoke pours from his nostrils as from a boiling pot over a fire of reeds.
His breath sets coals ablaze, and flames dart from his mouth.

His undersides are jagged potsherds, leaving a trail in the mud like a threshing sledge.
He makes the depths churn like a boiling cauldron and stirs up the sea like a pot of ointment.
Behind him he leaves a glistening wake; one would think the deep had white hair.


If animals were made just before humans, and if mans sin affected the whole of nature, so that only then did they begin to hunt and eat each other, just as thorns began to grow out of the ground, (which to me makes theological sense and is strongly implied in the Bible), then what we call dinosaurs must have co-existed with us. All of this points to natural history being short, and perhaps the earth being young.

McM :eugeek:

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Re: Walking with Dinosaurs

#5

Post by Ngakunui » Sun Jan 10, 2010 3:58 am

McMurdo wrote:
Look at the behemoth, which I made along with you and which feeds on grass like an ox.
What strength he has in his loins, what power in the muscles of his belly!
His tail sways like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are close-knit.
His bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like rods of iron.

His back has rows of shields tightly sealed together;
each is so close to the next that no air can pass between.
They are joined fast to one another; they cling together and cannot be parted.
His snorting throws out flashes of light; his eyes are like the rays of dawn.
Firebrands stream from his mouth; sparks of fire shoot out.
Smoke pours from his nostrils as from a boiling pot over a fire of reeds.
His breath sets coals ablaze, and flames dart from his mouth.

His undersides are jagged potsherds, leaving a trail in the mud like a threshing sledge.
He makes the depths churn like a boiling cauldron and stirs up the sea like a pot of ointment.
Behind him he leaves a glistening wake; one would think the deep had white hair.
I might be wrong, but I presumed at first that was describing an Elephant. Really, look at a detailed enough picture of one and it's quite similar. Of course, it's not identical, but parables and poems are never identical to what they're meant to portray.

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Re: Walking with Dinosaurs

#6

Post by Canuckster1127 » Sun Jan 10, 2010 8:11 am

That's right. Speculation that these descriptions are dinosaurs are quite a stretch. Elephants, hippos and crocodiles are consistent with the poetic descriptions.

Further, the key absences of dinosaurs Genesis, the flood account etc. are problematic in the young earth view.

Here's an article on the main page that addresses many of these issues.

http://www.godandscience.org/apologetic ... nDMFsIRKM9
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Re: Walking with Dinosaurs

#7

Post by McMurdo » Sun Jan 10, 2010 4:54 pm

I was interested that the article you refer to skips very lightly over the passages in Job. Not surprising really, as they become problematic to those who believe that these creatures died out. The fact is that the descriptions in Job are absolutely nothing like elephants and crocodiles! I would invite anybody to read for example the passage about the Behemoth and seriously tell me they were elephants. A tail like a cedar? Shields on its back sealed tightly together? Firebrands from its mouth?

I am also interested that you have not been able to explain the huge amount of folklore from unrelated cultures all over the world that in part is is very specific and detailed.

McM :eugeek:

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Re: Walking with Dinosaurs

#8

Post by zoegirl » Sun Jan 10, 2010 5:48 pm

SOunds like a croc to me. Undersides in the mud, scales.

Unless you know of a dinosaur that spews fire?
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Re: Walking with Dinosaurs

#9

Post by Canuckster1127 » Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:57 pm

McMurdo wrote:I was interested that the article you refer to skips very lightly over the passages in Job. Not surprising really, as they become problematic to those who believe that these creatures died out. The fact is that the descriptions in Job are absolutely nothing like elephants and crocodiles! I would invite anybody to read for example the passage about the Behemoth and seriously tell me they were elephants. A tail like a cedar? Shields on its back sealed tightly together? Firebrands from its mouth?

I am also interested that you have not been able to explain the huge amount of folklore from unrelated cultures all over the world that in part is is very specific and detailed.

McM :eugeek:
I have given an explanation. You just didn't like it or accept it. That's a far cry from my not being able to explain something or offer a plausible explanation.

An appeal to speculation as to the source of folklore when there's an absence of physical fossil evidence to place men and dinosaurs together, is especially weak. What physical evidence do you offer that supports your claim?
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Re: Walking with Dinosaurs

#10

Post by RickD » Thu Jan 14, 2010 12:04 pm

Job chapter 41 could be describing a large croc. I still don't see how an elephant or hippo could be described as having a tail moving like a cedar. Even with the exaggeration describing behemoth, the tail still doesn't make sense. Could it be a large creature similar to an elephant or hippo that has since become extinct?

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Re: Walking with Dinosaurs

#11

Post by cslewislover » Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:30 pm

I am curious about dragons myself. It's one of those things that is from all over the world, from all different cultures, going way back. Maybe there was such a creature, though now described more fantastically, that once existed. There are insects and animals today that spit or spew nasty chemicals of various sorts, so maybe there's something to the "fire." I would definitely like to look into this more.
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Re: Walking with Dinosaurs

#12

Post by Canuckster1127 » Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:54 pm

For those interested, I came across this post on another site that deals with these issues pretty in depth as well.

http://www.bibleandscience.com/science/dinosaurs.htm
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Re: Walking with Dinosaurs

#13

Post by McMurdo » Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:35 pm

SOunds like a croc to me. Undersides in the mud, scales.

Unless you know of a dinosaur that spews fire?
Yes. Many dragon legends speak about fire. Here's a quote from 'Beowulf' - an old Anglo Saxon Poem:

He could not enter
for the dragon's flame.
Beowulf was angry,
the lord of the Geats,
he who stormed in battle.
He yelled into the cave.

The hoard-keeper perceived
a man's voice and
didn't plan to ask
for friendship.
Flames shot out
from among the stones,
hot battle-sweat.
The ground dinned.

The hero raised his shield
against the dreadful stranger.
Then the coiled thing
sought battle.
The war king drew his sword,
an ancient heirloom
with edges unblunt.
Each of them intended
horror to the other.

Stouthearted stood that war-prince
with his shield upraised,
waited in his war-gear.
The dragon coiled together,
went forth burning,
gliding toward his fate.


It therefore doesn't surprise me that Job's account also mentions fire.

One more point - depictions of dinosaurs are based on the evidence of fossils - which are the remains of bones and nothing else. They tend to be dull coloured and routinely follow the shape of the fossilised skulls. However, the bone structure of a creature only tells us a certain amount about its' shape. An elephant or dog skeleton, for example, tells us little about the real shape of its' face. It is perfectly conceivable, therefore, that a dinosaur would be bearded, crested, fire breathing and brightly coloured.

Blessings

McM
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Re: Walking with Dinosaurs

#14

Post by touchingcloth » Mon Feb 15, 2010 6:19 am

McMurdo wrote: Look at the behemoth, which I made along with you and which feeds on grass like an ox.
What strength he has in his loins, what power in the muscles of his belly!
His tail sways like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are close-knit.
His bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like rods of iron.

His back has rows of shields tightly sealed together;
each is so close to the next that no air can pass between.
They are joined fast to one another; they cling together and cannot be parted.
His snorting throws out flashes of light; his eyes are like the rays of dawn.
Firebrands stream from his mouth; sparks of fire shoot out.
Smoke pours from his nostrils as from a boiling pot over a fire of reeds.
His breath sets coals ablaze, and flames dart from his mouth.

His undersides are jagged potsherds, leaving a trail in the mud like a threshing sledge.
He makes the depths churn like a boiling cauldron and stirs up the sea like a pot of ointment.
Behind him he leaves a glistening wake; one would think the deep had white hair.
A back like rows of shields, tightly sealed together? Check!
Image

A belly of jagged potshards? Check!
Image

A trail in the mud like a threshing sledge? Check!
Image

Depths churning like a boling cauldron? Check!
Image

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Re: Walking with Dinosaurs

#15

Post by touchingcloth » Mon Feb 15, 2010 6:35 am

McMurdo wrote:Yes. Many dragon legends speak about fire. Here's a quote from 'Beowulf' - an old Anglo Saxon Poem:
...
One more point - depictions of dinosaurs are based on the evidence of fossils - which are the remains of bones and nothing else. They tend to be dull coloured and routinely follow the shape of the fossilised skulls. However, the bone structure of a creature only tells us a certain amount about its' shape. An elephant or dog skeleton, for example, tells us little about the real shape of its' face. It is perfectly conceivable, therefore, that a dinosaur would be bearded, crested, fire breathing and brightly coloured.
Well that's a bizarre line of reasoning; dino skulls don't tell us everything about the creature, therefore it is perfectly conceivable that they breathed fire? Guess it's also perfectly conceivable, then, that they spoke in sonnets and whistled rainbows.

Oh, and you're aware that Beowulf is fictional? Surprised you didn't quote Tolkien's description of the Balrog as evidence of fiery critters...

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