There is a tension between straight-forward reading of the Bible and the Old-Earth, Evolutionary, Naturalistic explanations of life. Because of this, lots of religious people have gravitated towards explanations of the world which discredit evolution and support Biblical Literalism or God-Intervened-Here. Over time, religious people have tended to attach themselves to the more plausible creationist explanations. Sixty years ago, when my grandmother was growing up, she was taught that dinosaur bones were put into the ground to deceive people. (To her credit, she said that explanation didn’t make much sense to her.) The majority of the Creationist movement has since moved away from that ‘explanation’. However, one creationist gives a similar explanation with a new twist: scientists faked all the dinosaur bones. (Which puts scientists in the devil-like role in this new version.) I understand that many Christians are willing to stretch their minds to believe things that discredit evolution and support their religion, but – wow. Here’s what he says in his essay, “Dinosaurs: Science Or Science Fiction“:
When children go to a dinosaur museum, are the displays they see displays of science or displays of art and science fiction? Are we being deceived and brainwashed at an early age into believing a dinosaur myth? Deep probing questions need to be asked of the entire dinosaur business.
This article will discuss the possibility that there may have been an ongoing effort since the earliest dinosaur “discoveries” to plant, mix and match bones of various animals, such as crocodiles, alligators, iguanas, giraffes, elephants, cattle, kangaroos, ostriches, emus, dolphins, whales, rhinoceroses, etc. to construct and create a new man-made concept prehistoric animal called the dinosaur.
What would be the motivation for such a deceptive endeavor? Obvious motivations include trying to prove evolution, trying to disprove or cast doubt on the Christian Bible and the existence of the Christian God, and trying to disprove the “young-earth theory”. Yes, there are major political and religious ramifications.
The dinosaur concept implies that if God exists, He tinkered with His idea of dinosaurs for awhile, then probably discarded or became tired of this creation and then went on to create man. The presented dinosaur historical timeline suggests an imperfect God who came up with the idea of man as an afterthought, thus demoting the biblical idea that God created man in His own image. Dinosaurs are not mentioned in the Hebrew Bible.
Highly rewarding financial and economic benefits to museums, educational and research organizations, university departments of paleontology, discoverers and owners of dinosaur bones, and the book, television, movie and media industries may cause sufficient motivation for ridiculing of open questioning and for suppression of honest investigation.
He talks about supposed anomalies, how only paleontologists were the only people to find the fossils (saying that they were all in on the hoax), and raises scientific questions, like:
[Fossilization] is supposed to involve calcium in skeletal material being replaced, atom by atom, by silica, calcite, pyrite, dolomite, etc., over a long period of time. This goes against the natural law of increasing disorder, entropy. How are all these dead atoms intelligent enough to know what to do and where to go to produce the finished fossil?
The second law of thermodynamics prevents the formation of fossils? I’ve heard of the second law of thermodynamics being misused by creationists, but this is a novel misapplication.
He even attacks the old Creationist argument that Job 40 was referring to dinosaurs (take that run-of-the-mill Creationists!)
And talks about the damaging effects of “dinosaurs are real” education:
State funding of organizations that promote the dinosaur concept could be considered strategic psychological warfare against a state that uses a Christian doctrinal basis for government since the Christian Bible comes complete with the account of God’s creation in the book of Genesis and the genealogy of Jesus.
Then he finishes up with this conclusion:
The possibility exists that living dinosaurs never existed. “Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth” (Mark 9:23).
The dinosaur industry should be investigated and questions need to be asked. I am unaware of any evidence or reason for absolutely believing dinosaurs ever were alive on earth. The possibility exists that the concept of prehistoric living dinosaurs has been a fabrication of nineteenth and twentieth century people possibly pursuing an evolutionary and anti-Bible and anti-Christian agenda.
The past existence of living dinosaurs has not yet been proven. Questioning what is being told instead is a better choice rather than blindly believing the dinosaur story. Issues should be carefully considered for the sake of good science. “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called” (1 Timothy 6:20).
The choice between believing the word of man, the evolutionists, or the word of God, the Bible, is a matter of faith.
I had to wonder if this was some sort of parody of Creationist literature in general. Complaining about how dinosaurs undermine the Bible, and phrases, “The dinosaur industry should be investigated and questions need to be asked.” and “The past existence of living dinosaurs has not yet been proven.” just sounds a little too much like complaints that evolution is undermining the Bible/morality, “evolutionary theory should be investigated and questions need to be asked”, “evolution has never been proven”, or “teach the controversy”. But, it just doesn’t look like a parody to me. Additionally, the same author has a “moon hoax” page where he uses similar rhetoric: “I do not claim that men have not landed on the moon; I was not personally involved in the Apollo space program. I do claim, however, that Apollo moon mission anomalies and inconsistencies exist which have not yet been adequately explained.”
Update: I just noticed that Pharyngula has a short post on Kent Hovind and dinosaurs, wherein Satan confronts Kent Hovind and says exactly what Hovind wants to believe (I thought the devil was supposed to undermine you, not confirm every crazy creationist thought you’ve had). Satan to Hovind (allegedly):
You have also dared to try to take dinosaurs away from me. I have used dinosaurs for nearly 200 years to teach billions of people that the earth is billions of years old and that God’s Word is not true. Your seminar on dinosaurs strikes at the heart of my kingdom. I intend to destroy both your ministry and your reputation for good. Dinosaurs are especially effective for me to deceive children. You are taking children away from me, so I took yours away from you!