"Look now at the behemoth, which I made along with you; he eats grass like an ox. See now, his strength is in his hips, and his power is in his stomach muscles. He moves his tail like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are tightly knit. His bones are like beams of bronze, his ribs like bars of iron." (Job 40:15-18)
How do dinosaurs fit with the Bible’s history? They certainly existed—their fossil remains are found on every continent. And ancient historical records, including the Bible, chronicle human encounters with large reptiles whose descriptions best match dinosaurs. Could it be that these records show that dinosaurs and humans shared the earth at one time rather than living millions of years apart as evolutionary myth proclaims?
Dinosaurs certainly appear to be extinct now. Those that lived at the time of Noah’s globe-covering Flood drowned or suffocated (except those on board the Ark), as did all land-dwelling creatures with nostrils, according to Genesis 7:22. Fast-moving Flood mud quickly buried some of those outside the Ark. The mud layers covered the creatures’ dead bodies so deeply that scavengers couldn’t reach them, and the mud dried soon enough to preserve their remains as fossils faster than their carcasses could decay. Most, if not all, dinosaur fossil layers also contain fossil water creatures like fish and clams, and this fits the Flood explanation for their demise.
Although researchers have named hundreds of dinosaur species, all of them belong to only about 60 distinct families. These roughly equal the basic dinosaur kinds. That means Noah and his family only had to manage around 120 individual dinosaurs on the Ark. Could they all fit on board a vessel with the dimensions from Genesis 6? No matter how large some dinosaurs grew, the largest dinosaur egg wasn’t much bigger than a football. Even the Argentinosaurus, which could grow into a 120-foot-long monster, could have fit on the Ark if a younger and much smaller representative boarded the vessel. In contrast, many dinosaurs were small even when fully grown. For example, the compsognathids stood about as tall as a turkey. The average dinosaur size was about the same as a bison. One hundred-twenty bison would require a mere corner of one of the Ark’s three spacious decks.
We can infer from the reliable Genesis record that the descendants of the dinosaurs preserved on the Ark traveled from the Middle East to places around the globe. This makes sense when considering the unique post-Flood climate. The Ice Age occurred right after, and because of, the Genesis Flood. At that time the Middle East was tropical and regularly watered by heavy rains. This set up suitable and reachable environments for dinosaurs and other tropical creatures to fill. Various clues—such as dinosaur fossils buried alongside tropical plant fossils and the swampy setting that God describes for behemoth in Job 40—indicate many dinosaurs lived in very wet habitats.
This worldwide dinosaur migration happened only thousands of years ago. Adding the Bible’s time-stamped events from the fall of Jerusalem in 587 B.C. back to the Flood yields a date for the Flood either near 3168 or 2518 B.C., depending on manuscript variations.1 How long did dinosaurs live after the Flood, and why are they not living today?
Although creatures like dinosaurs scattered across Earth’s surface after the Flood, the first few generations of people determined to rebel against God’s command to fill the earth. Instead, they built a tower in Babel and remained in its growing city. In response, God supernaturally compelled them to disperse by confounding their languages. When families eventually migrated to far-flung places, they encountered the dinosaurs that had been there for a few centuries. Writings, depictions, and legends from people groups across the globe memorialized many of those encounters. As humans filled the post-Flood earth, dinosaur numbers would have dwindled due to hunting and loss of habitat as the Ice Age began to wane. The changing climate alone may have ultimately rendered the earth inhospitable to many of these creatures, eventually leading to their extinction. Even so, dinosaurs must have been living at least within the last several centuries, judging by the many tales of human encounters with them.
The sheer number of names given to dragons, or dinosaurs, worldwide builds a strong argument that dragon legends reflect encounters with real creatures. Most languages, either in written or spoken form, have their own unique terms. The word “dragon” here doesn’t necessarily refer to popular images of a bulky, fire-breathing reptile that somehow flies with tiny wings. Rather, it can mean one of the many kinds of post-Flood dinosaurs, or even flying reptiles. Some languages still use words like those shown in this table. Wikipedia lists many more “dragon” names, at least some of which probably refer to actual giant reptiles including dinosaurs.3
Ancient historians described dragons as real, living creatures, listing them right alongside their descriptions of other creatures familiar to today’s readers. For example, in his book Natural History written in approximately 78 A.D., Pliny the Elder wrote that “it is India which produces the largest [elephants] as well as the dragon…and [the dragon] is itself of such enormous size as to envelop the elephants with its folds.”
During that same era, Flavius Philostratus wrote:
The whole of India is girt with dragons of enormous size; for not only the marshes are full of them, but the mountains as well, and there is not a single ridge without one. Now the marsh kind are sluggish in their habits and are thirty cubits long, and they have no crest standing up on their heads.4
Such accounts sprinkle the pages of history. Alexander the Great wrote of a large serpent his army encountered during one of their conquering excursions. The explorer Marco Polo also described one in his logbooks. Although these probably referenced giant snakes and not dragons, they illustrate that giant reptiles once lived where they are long gone today. Bill Cooper’s book After the Flood describes similar accounts from Europe. Cooper relayed a report written in 1484 by England’s first printer, William Caxton, of a singular creature:
About the marches [marshes] of Italy, within a meadow, was sometime a serpent of wonderful and right marvelous greatness, right hideous and fearful. For first he had a head greater than the head of a calf. Secondly, he had a neck greater than the length of an ass, and his body made after the likeness of a dog. And his tail was wonderfully great, thick and long, without comparison to any other.5
The creature thus described matches Job’s behemoth, which had a “tail like a cedar,” lived in a marsh where it ate reeds, and as “the first of the ways of God” was obviously quite large.6
People groups that did not maintain written records nevertheless retain oral traditions of dragon encounters. They describe the dragons’ habitats and habits and provide specific names for the dragons and the long-dead heroes who vanquished them. Towns, hillsides, and ponds across Europe still have old dragon names—such as Drachenfels Castle and the town of Worms in Germany, Grindelwald in Switzerland, Dragon-hoard (near Garsington), plus the Peak District’s Grindleford in England, and many others.
But even more evidence shows that early peoples encountered dinosaurs. Carvings, sculptures, bas reliefs, paintings, mosaics, tapestries, sculptures, pictographs, and petroglyphs all over the world depict dragons, and many of them look like specific dinosaurs. Some of the telling features that help identify these images as dinosaurian include horns, spiky skin flaps along the spine called dermal frills, long tails, long necks, large teeth, and, perhaps most importantly, legs that went straight down from the body. Today’s walking reptiles like crocodiles and lizards have legs that extend out from the sides of the body, then angle down to the ground at the elbows or knees. Dinosaur reptiles’ legs extended down, just as dozens of genuine, ancient depictions show.
Evolutionists assert that such dinosaur-looking artifacts are fakes. However, this objection doesn’t result from a rigorous analysis of the data. Instead, it stems from an argument that goes like this: “Dinosaurs died millions of years before man evolved, making it impossible for ancient men to know what dinosaurs looked like. Therefore, this artifact must be a fraud.” This kind of argument takes as true the very evolutionary history that the artifacts challenge. Ignoring evidence often leads to wrong conclusions.
The late cosmologist and atheist Carl Sagan considered the historical evidence for dragons a serious enough threat to evolutionary history that he tried to explain them in his 1977 book The Dragons of Eden. In it, he speculated that unknown human ancestor primates may have encountered dinosaurs millions of years ago. Supposedly, the “memories” of those terrifying encounters so deeply traumatized those primates that they left indelible, heritable stamps in their genes. Eons later, ancient ape-like human descendants drew dinosaur look-alike pictures from those inherited memories. But no scientific evidence whatsoever suggests that memories can be genetically inherited! Knowing this, many scientists at the time shunned Sagan’s unscientific speculation. But it is equally unscientific for those scientists to assert that myriad dragon legends are all fraudulent without even investigating the historical evidence.
If the Bible is correct that representatives of all land-dwelling, air-breathing creatures were on the Ark, and if it is correct in describing an Ice Age dinosaur in the book of Job, then it makes sense to infer that people encountered (and rid themselves of) the threatening and fearsome reptiles during the centuries after the Flood. They left us dragon legends—written, spoken, painted, and carved—from virtually every ancient culture. Genuine dinosaur encounters best explain the sheer number of dragon descriptions and their similarities across space and time.
Thomas, B. 2017. Two date range options for Noah’s Flood. Journal of Creation. 31 (1): 120-127.
For generations, a large portion of Americans have believed that mankind began only thousands of years ago, not millions. A 2013 poll indicated that this next generation is finally beginning to depart from their forefathers’ creation-leaning beliefs.1 New Gallup results confirm this anti-Bible trend. Meanwhile, rhetoric about this trend reveals confusion over key issues.
The 2017 Gallup poll found that only 37 percent of Americans hold creationist views of human origins, down from 46 percent in 2012.2,3 This trend may reflect a change in generations, as younger Americans who are convinced of human evolution replace their more Bible-minded forebears. What does this trend mean?
Tom Krattenmaker from Yale Divinity School noted in USA Today that although more Americans believe in human evolution, they still identify as Christians. He wrote,
These tea leaves tell us that more people are refusing the all-or-nothing choice between faith and science and opting instead for a third way: Acceptance of the overwhelming scientific evidence for evolution while seeing a divine role in the process.4
This third way leads nowhere, since by definition evolution excludes the divine.
This perception of a divide between faith and science uses deceptive definitions of key terms. Many evolutionists like Krattenmaker define faith as believing as true that which has little or no supporting evidence. They assert that evidence demands our origins from apes and not Adam, while overlooking the fact that faith in evolution biased the way researchers interpreted that “evidence.”
Biblical faith is quite different. It calls on people to trust Christ because of, not in spite of, the “many infallible proofs” that He left for us to discover in Scripture.5
Evolutionists also often misunderstand the meaning of science. They equate science with evolution. Real science investigates repeatable, ongoing processes and answers present-day questions like “What causes gravity?” The kind of evolution that supposedly transformed apes into men does not happen today, so it inhabits the past. Evolution is not science at all.
And those few scientific observations that do reach into the past completely rule out evolution. For example, fossils show stable life forms and no undisputed evolutionary transitions. Also, continual buildup of DNA mutations in every generation limits populations to time spans far shorter than what evolution requires. Last, all-or-nothing systems like hearts and certain protein complexes could never evolve step-by-step since they need all their parts together at once in order to work.6
The core disagreement is about history. Science cannot determine history, despite secular scientists’ confident claims about what they never witnessed, let alone measured.
The supposedly “overwhelming scientific evidence for evolution” is a total sham, just like the false choice between “faith” and “science.” If this next generation could just taste the basics of faith, science, and creation, instead of getting fed an evolution-only diet, then surely many more would side with Genesis—the Words of the One who created mankind.
Researchers shined a laser light on fossil leaves and found some surprising results. Instead of mere impressions of leaves, the fossils turned out to contain original molecules—persisting after millions of supposed years.
Research led by Lund University in Sweden used FTIR to find original molecular bonds still intact inside fossilized leaf wax. The technique detects stretches in specific chemical bonds.
Then the team compared the waxy cuticle that somehow persists in leaf fossils with the same cuticle molecules found in their living counterparts. Many of the scan results showed a match, even after all the years those fossils remained underground. The team published their results in Nature: Ecology & Evolution.1
They scanned leaves from living Araucaria trees—tropical conifers that today grow in New Guinea, Australia, and Argentina—and from fossil Araucaria leaves locked in Cretaceous stone. Only the living leaves had FTIR signatures indicating complex sugars like cellulose, but surprisingly the technique revealed the same alkanes, alkenes, and carbon-based ring structures in both living and fossil Araucaria.
Alkenes have double bonds. These tense bonds react more readily with other chemicals than many single bonds. They have not yet reached what chemists call thermodynamic stability—when they lose their potential to react. How can so much chemical potential persist in leaf molecules that are supposedly millions of years old?
Lund University News wrote, “The [waxy] membrane has been preserved in the fossil leaves, some of which are 200 million-years-old.”2 This age assignment clearly conflicts with short-lived original plant chemical bonds.
The second surprising result came from scan results between several fundamentally different kinds of plants. They found that specific chemical bond signatures signified the same basic plant kinds. For example, fossil and modern Araucariahad unique chemicals not shared with ginkgos. Lead author Vivi Vajda told Lund University,
The results from the fossil leaves far exceeded our expectations, not only were they full of organic molecules, they also grouped according to well-established botanical relationships, based on DNA analysis of living plants i.e. Ginkgoes in one group, conifers in another.
So they didn’t expect to find original organic molecules after supposed millions of years, nor did they expect to find those same molecules in similar plant kinds. It was as though millions of years of evolution never changed these plants’ basic forms or even their basic molecules.
Could ginkgos remain ginkgos and Araucaria remain Araucaria because they have been reproducing faithfully within separately created kinds from the beginning of creation?
The original biomolecules in fossil leaf cuticles point to their deposition thousands of years ago, not millions. Also, biochemical similarities between ancient and modern plants of similar groups show no hint of evolution, but fit just fine with the created kinds of Genesis 1:12.3
Vajda, V. 2017. Molecular signatures of fossil leaves provide unexpected new evidence for extinct plant relationships. Nature: Ecology & Evolution. DOI: 10.1038/s41559-017-0224-5.
Christians often view the Grand Canyon as an icon of Creation and The Flood, but did you know Wisconsin also has an area that is full of compelling evidences of the same? Posted her are a few pictures, and as I have time I will comment on them. An adventurous group hiked near Baraboo on Saturday and learned some fascinating geology correlating with Biblical history.
"Mysterious" potholes at Devil's Lake State Park, WI
Though full of debris from the winter, you can still see the pothole formations in the very hard quartzite. The runoff from the Biblical Flood gives a very solid explanation for their formation. Secular geologist call them "mysterious", but Christians have the Biblical text that gives understanding to the past.
the Evidence? put up a beautiful fossil display at our local public
library last week. Over the years we have collected some pretty neat
fossils found worldwide, and in our fair booths we display them
without shame as evidence for the Biblical Flood recorded in Genesis.
I tweaked our posters to make them more friendly to the library
patrons. In other words , the facts of fossils were spelled out, and
The Flood evidences mentioned, but the Biblical references were mild,
as you can see in the pictures.
the display being impressive, yesterday, after the display being up
less than a week, I received this email from one of the
librarians: Hi Mary,
Our director has asked me to ask you if you would just take out
the display in the bottom right corner with the Bible quote on it, as
our policy states that we cannot have displays that do this:
or political materials which have the primary purpose to effect or
proselytize for a single point of view." You can read
it on our policy page. There have been a few complaints about
it. She didn't really want you to have to take that out, but it
is a board policy - maybe I'll just take out your little business
card too and keep it on my cart in case anyone is interested?
emailed her back asking that she not remove anything until I speak
with an attorney. She immediately wrote back assuring me that she
would not take any of my display down until I contacted her. I then
alerted an attorney from Liberty Counsel. He began to look into the
issue and let me know that their policy is unenforceable given
their practice and the law. This morning the librarian called me
back and told me she talked with the director and board president and
they determined I did not need
to remove or cover any part of my display! Just the idea I was
communicating with an attorney made them think twice about squashing
my free speech.
The library is now going to revisit their display case
policy. I believe it is important to advoate for this, among other
things, language to be included in the policy: "In
carrying out this policy, library staff shall not engage in viewpoint
discrimination on the basis of religious or secular viewpoint."
Through an open records request I found that one patron complained about the display being religious proselytizing. The teen service librarian then took photos of the display and emailed Amy Becker, the director, who then requested I alter my display and take down the Bible verses and the card that identified What's the Evidence? as the sponsor of the booth.
Ever since Dr. Mary Schweitzer's 20051 discovery of preserved original dinosaur proteins and blood cells, many secular scientists have remained skeptical. How could dinosaur fossils retain original organic material after millions of years? A new ancient bird fossil reveals more unexpected original chemicals, adding fuel to the fierce debate within the scientific community.2
Following publication of her original paper,1 some of Schweitzer's critics claimed that what she actually found was contamination from lab analysis or contamination during field collection. Others claimed these proteins were really from modern bacterial activity, and they merely simulated original soft tissues.3
In response, Dr. Schweitzer and her colleagues performed more studies on the soft tissues in question.4,5They even extracted collagen from a tyrannosaur leg bone and found a protein match of about 58% with bird collagen and 51% with frog and newt collagen—evidence these samples couldn't be from contamination. In further support that these are real dinosaur organic tissues, another study examined 89 amino acids extracted from a T. rex specimen, finding perfect matches with some modern animal proteins. Schweitzer's team has essentially demonstrated the "impossible." These dinosaur soft tissues are real!
This debate of original tissues versus bacterial microbes spilled into the study of microscopic pigment indicators, called melanosomes. Previously, scientists used powerful electron microscopes to examine the fibers from the tail of the theropod Sinosauropteryx, finding preserved melanosomes, which contain the pigment melanin.1 Different shapes of melanosomes produce different colors in today's animals. By comparing modern melanosomes to the ones found preserved in the fossils, scientists were able to speculate on the colors of this and other extinct animals. The melanosomes in the filaments/fibers of this Sinosauropteryx specimen indicate chestnut to reddish-brown bands along the tail and possibly the back.6
Another study found preserved melanosomes in feathers from the bird Archaeopteryx, showing a black color, somewhat like a modern crow or raven.7 An additional study of the feathered bird Microraptor also showed melanosomes indicating a black or dark blue color, but these melanosomes were more tightly packed, implying some degree of iridescence.8
More research on fossil ichthyosaurs, mosasaurs, and sea turtles supposedly 55 to 190 million years old has revealed actual preserved skin tissue and melanosomes that indicate a brown-black skin color.9
However, once again critics claim that these discoveries may not be melanosomes after all, but are just microbes that look like melanosomes, since both are similar in size and shape.10 One way to more clearly distinguish between melanosomes and microbes is to find keratin associated with the melanosomes. Keratin is a protein that surrounds modern feather melanosomes. The discovery of melanosomes and keratin together would resolve the dilemma. Since microbes are not found embedded in keratin, both the melanosomes and associated keratin would logically have to come from the fossilized (but not mineralized) bird.
To answer these critics, lead author Yanhoug Pan and co-authors, including Schweitzer herself, examined fossilized bird feathers from Early Cretaceous system rocks in China.2 They examined the feathers under an electron microscope, finding bundles of fibers that looked like keratin, but the team couldn't be sure from observation alone. So they conducted a series of chemical tests on the fiber bundles and the surrounding matrix, finding "strong evidence for the retention of original and phylogenetically significant [a sample substantial enough to compare with living animals] protein components in Eoconfuciusornis."2
Pan's team concluded, "Our work represents the oldest ultrastructural and immunological recognition of avian beta-keratin from an Early Cretaceous (~130-Ma) bird."10 In other words, the melanosomes and keratin found in this ancient bird are clearly real.
Their discovery again demonstrates the presence of preserved original proteins in fossils claimed to be many millions of years old. And yet, the authors offer no testable explanation for this preservation "miracle." Instead, they hypothesize that calcium, possibly mediated by bacterial activity, might have helped preserve the organic molecules. And yet, they found no calcium in the rock matrix surrounding the fossil, leaving any such source of calcium a mystery.10 Their hypothesis is a speculation without substance.
Secular science still has found no viable explanation for how these proteins were preserved. They maintain the fossils are millions of years old, in spite of the contrary data.
I summarized this preservation issue in my book Dinosaurs: Marvels of God's Design, stating, "The finding of actual soft tissue in fossils that are supposedly millions of years old has evolutionists scratching their heads to explain. They are scrambling, trying to come up with 'miracles' of preservation. Many secular scientists cannot fathom that dinosaurs are only thousands of years old because they 'walk in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of their ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart' (Eph. 4:17-18)."11
The case for thousands and not millions of years is growing stronger with each of these new finds.
Pan, Y., et al. 2016. Molecular evidence of keratin and melanosomes in feathers of the Early Cretaceous bird Eoconfuciusornis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1617168113.
In October we were thrilled to take part in a rim tour and Colorado River float of the Grand Canyon with Russ Miller of Creation Ministries and Jay Seegert of The Starting Point Project. Russ stressed over and over again the significance of Red Butte, just south of Grand Canyon. ICR wrote a short article highlighting this significance. Enjoy!
Sixteen miles from Grand Canyon's south rim, a cone-shaped butte rises like a lone sentinel 1,000 feet above the Coconino Plateau floor. Thousands of tourists rush past on Arizona Highway 64 without giving it another thought, yet this humble little hill testifies to a remarkable past.
Red Butte is composed of flat-lying shales of the Moenkopi Formation, overlain by Shinarump Conglomerate of the Chinle Formation. Continuous exposures of these two formations are not found for tens of miles around, yet they occur here. These strata sit on a foundation of flat-lying and resistant Kaibab Limestone, the rim rock for most of Grand Canyon and surface of the Coconino Plateau. A basalt (lava) flow tops the butte, protecting the softer layers below from erosion. Lava ordinarily flows downhill, so how did it get on top? Answer: it flowed onto a surface that was once 1,000 feet higher than the present Coconino Plateau! Strata of the Moenkopi, Chinle, and perhaps other formations were stripped away by erosion. Red Butte stands as the most prominent vestige of this once continuous layer.
The butte's shale slopes tell another story. These shales belong to the Moenkopi Formation, a stratum that can be traced across parts of Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico. Lateral equivalents of the Moenkopi may extend to Connecticut, England, Germany, Spain, and Bulgaria.1 Fossil plants, crinoids, brachiopods, gastropods, bivalves, ammonoids, nautiloids, arthropods, fish, reptiles, and labyrinthodont amphibians have been recovered from Moenkopi strata in the Grand Canyon region.2 To explain this odd assortment of terrestrial and marine taxa, and the persistence of the strata, geologists envision for western North America "a broad, continental plain that was periodically flooded by an ocean."3
A global Flood may provide the framework for a more credible depositional model. During the Flood, sediment-choked waters deposited 1,200 meters of flat-lying "Grand Canyon strata" and around 4,000 meters of Mesozoic strata (seen today atop Utah's Grand Staircase to the north, and Arizona's Black Mesa to the east). The unique vertical movements in the earth's crust during the Flood's retreat4 uplifted the region, and an enormous quantity of soft sediment was removed from its top--a volume far greater than that excavated from Grand Canyon proper.5 Red Butte is a tiny remnant from this vast erosion. When the strata gained sufficient internal strength to stand as near-vertical walls, Grand Canyon itself was incised into the plateau.
Deposition and erosion on such scales boggle the mind, yet they unquestionably took place. This humble little butte challenges geologists to think big. Perhaps this is why the Grand Canyon region fits so well with a global Flood model of earth history.6
Ager, D. 1993. The Nature of the Stratigraphical Record, Third Edition. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Doelling, H. et al. 2000. Geology of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah. In Sprinkel, D.A. et al (eds.), Geology of Utah's Parks and Monuments, Utah Geological Association Publication 28. Salt Lake City: Utah Geological Association, 189-231.
Anderson, P.B. et al. 2000. Geology of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah-Arizona. Ibid, 301-335.
"At thy rebuke [the waters] fled….They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them" (Psalm 104:7-8). The Hebrew text suggests vertical movements in the earth's crust whereby the mountains went up and the valleys went down, allowing the Flood waters to retreat.
Mesozoic strata are conspicuously or nearly absent for an estimated 9,000 square kilometers around Grand Canyon, though they are present to thicknesses in excess of 4 kilometers in the adjacent Grand Staircase and Black Mesa regions. Erosion is estimated to have removed 36,000 cubic kilometers, dwarfing the approximately 4,000 cubic kilometers excavated from Grand Canyon (see Steven A. Austin's book Grand Canyon: Monument to Catastrophe, available at www.icr.org/store).
A tour of the Grand Canyon region will be conducted by ICR scientists April 11 to 20, 2008.
* Mr. Hoesch is Research Assistant in Geology.
Cite this article: Hoesch, W. 2008. Red Butte: Remnant of the Flood. Acts & Facts. 37 (3): 14.
Evolutionary scientists view Earth’s rock layers as a chronological record of millions of years of successive sedimentary deposits. Creation scientists, on the other hand, see them as a record of the geological work accomplished during the great Flood’s year-long destruction of the Earth’s surface. If that is the case, though, why don’t we find dinosaur fossils in the earliest North American Flood sediment layers—why do we find them only in later Flood rocks? The ICR team’s recent examination of sedimentary rock layers across the United States and Canada seems to provide an answer.
Deposition of the earliest Flood sediments (the Sauk, Tippecanoe, and Kaskaskia Megasequences) was thickest in the eastern half of the U.S.—often deeper than two miles! In contrast, the early Flood deposits across much of the West are commonly less than a few hundred yards deep, and in many places there was no deposition at all (Figure 1).
It seems the dinosaurs were able to survive through the early Flood in the West simply because they were able to congregate and scramble to the elevated remnants of land—places where the related sedimentary deposits aren’t as deep—as the floodwaters advanced. I call this high ground Dinosaur Peninsula. In this way, dinosaurs were able to escape burial in the early Flood.
However, later in the Flood (during deposition of the Absaroka and Zuni Megasequences) things changed dramatically. Pangaea, the former supercontinent made up of all of today’s continents, began to break up. This change in tectonics, combined with increasing water levels, caused great changes in the ways that the rock layers were deposited. Violent, tsunami-like waves washed across western North America while virtually no sedimentation was occurring in the East. This is a complete reversal of the pattern observed earlier in the Flood.
Rock sequence data show that more than three miles of sediment rapidly accumulated across the American West during the Absaroka and Zuni Megasequences.1 This apparently overwhelmed and buried the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous dinosaurs that couldn’t escape the Flood. As the waters rose, Dinosaur Peninsula began flooding from south to north. We also find the largest herds of dinosaurs, in the form of dinosaur fossil graveyards, in the Upper Cretaceous system sediments in northern Wyoming, Montana, and Alberta, Canada. It’s as if the dinosaurs were fleeing northward up the peninsula as the waters advanced from the south. By day 150 of the Flood (Genesis 7:24), even the Uplands area to the north, in present Canada, was covered by the floodwaters (Figure 1).
In his book Digging Dinosaurs, American paleontologist John R. (Jack) Horner reported the discovery of a huge dinosaur graveyard—over 10,000 adult Maiasaura in a small area, and yet no young were mixed in with them.2 What could have caused this odd sorting? In a Flood model, this is easily explained: The adult dinosaurs were likely stampeding away from the imminent danger of raging floodwaters; their young could not keep up and became engulfed in some lower part of the peninsula.
More research is being done on the stages of the Flood and the order in which the continents were submerged. But each answer provides new insight into the great catastrophe that forever altered the topography of our world.
The data are taken from stratigraphic rock columns, outcrops, and holes bored deep in the earth to examine the different rock layers. To know the dimensions of megasequences, we have to look at many of these columns across a given area.
Horner, J. R. and J. Gorman. 1988. Digging Dinosaurs. New York: Workman Publishing, 128.
* Dr. Clarey is Research Associate at the Institute for Creation Research and received his Ph.D. in geology from Western Michigan University.