I recently watched a very good video called “Behemoths Buried Alive.” The video is a lecture by creationist Michael Oard and it is produced by Creation Ministries International (CMI) I would like to summarize some of the main points of the presentation and comment. It has to do with what happened to dinosaurs in Noah’s Flood. I would recommend the video.
Evolutionists have challenged creationists by bringing up evidence regarding dinosaurs that they see as incompatible with the idea of a global Flood, like the Noahic Flood described in Genesis. One problem with evolutionist’s attempting to challenge creationists on the Flood is that they seldom look at all the relevant current research from creationists. They tend to attack ideas that are not necessarily believed by creationists anyway, or which are simply out of date. Another problem with evolutionists challenges to creationists on the Flood is that Noah’s Flood was a much more complex event than they envision. It is true that creationist scientists do not all agree on every detail about how the Flood took place. Neither do evolutionists agree on every detail about how evolution took place or how Earth’s surface features came about. The facts are often challenging to explain from either point of view. But creationists have made more progress in geology than they are given credit for.
Evolutionists have brought up various facts that give evidence of dinosaurs that were alive in some setting prior to fossils or fossil footprints forming. So the argument is that since the evidence has dinosaurs making footprints it could not have been during a Flood. Evolutionary thinking often views fossils in terms of how dinosaurs normally lived. So though it would have been some local catastrophe that caused the fossils to form, it would not point to a global Flood. Also, since according to evolutionists, the evidence suggests normal circumstances such as dinosaurs laying nests of eggs, it does not suggest a global Flood but just points to occasional events that happened in Earth history, such as volcanic eruptions or impacts for instance.
As an example consider the dinosaur footprints in the Paluxy river, in Texas. There is a long dinosaur trackway of fossil footprints in cretaceous rock South of Fort Worth. There are many other examples of fossil footprint trackways around the world also. The fossil footprints at the Paluxy river are found in sedimentary rock, most of them are large three-toed footprints of Acrocanthasaurus. These footprints are on top of many layers of sedimentary rock that creationists would say formed in Noah’s Flood. So how is it that there were live dinosaurs making tracks in the mud that became these rocks? There are different views on this from creationists. But I suspect many creationists with a geology background would say these footprints were made early in the Flood. Mike Oard argues for this very well I think.
The Genesis account describes 40 days and nights of rain, but that does not mean the Earth was covered in merely 40 days. The entire Flood event, as measured by the time Noah and family were in the Ark, was a bit over a year. Mike Oard takes the view that the peak water depth of the Flood was around the 150 day mark. I think this is possible but I would prefer to put that somewhat earlier in the Flood year. At any rate, this means that it may have taken somewhere between 2 and 5 months for the Earth to be totally covered with water. It has been argued both from geological considerations and even from Biblical details that the water rose in an unsteady, possibly oscillatory manner. There are a number of possible physical causes of this, such as tectonic uplift and subsidence of the continents, lunar tides (which may be more pronounced in a global ocean), tsunamis, and Flood ocean currents. These effects could make waters deposit sediment (mud) on the continent, then the water could retreat, allowing animals not yet dead to temporarily escape the waters, only to be buried later when the water rises again. So before the Earth was totally covered many things could have happened as animals, including dinosaurs, were trying to get away from the rising waters. Dinosaurs and other animals could have survived in areas for some weeks possibly before being finally killed and buried. Oard also says that dinosaurs that left fossil footprints are more likely to be better swimmers. Waters “coming and going” rising in an oscillating manner could also explain the repeating sedimentary rock layers that are common. For example, there may be hundreds or thousands of feet of sedimentary rocks that oscillate between sandstone and clay for instance.
There is also evidence of dinosaur eggs on many places around the world. These eggs and nests are on top of sedimentary rocks that had to have formed in the Flood, yet they are evidence that dinosaurs were alive at least long enough to lay the eggs. Oard makes some good points on the dinosaur eggs. Actual dinosaur nests are relatively rare, compared to the eggs. The eggs are often laid on flat plains where there is no evidence of vegetation around them. In other words the eggs are often found in locations that would not be a good location for a dinosaur to lay it’s eggs. A nest for dinosaur would be a shallow depression so that it would hold moisture to keep the eggs from drying out. Vegetation would also be packed around it. Yet the fossil eggs often do not have intact nests, though there are some nests. Dinosaur eggs are very porous and so if they are not kept moist the embryo will die. Yet the eggs are often found in a circle or half-circle on what was flat ground. This suggests the dinosaurs sometimes were laying their eggs under stress, not in normal conditions.
Then there are a number of examples of bone beds, also called fossil graveyards, where thousands of animals and/or dinosaurs were buried together. What would cause there to be as many as 10,000 dinosaurs to congregate in one area and then be buried together, if not a massive catastrophe? In these bone beds, there are few baby or juvenile dinosaurs. (Juveniles would likely be killed easier and possibly be scavenged more.) The bones do not have evidence that they were exposed to the air or to normal decay for a long time before they were buried. Yet, in some cases, the bones have been broken into many fragments by violent water action and are mixed in mud with other bones and rock. These bone beds sometimes cover a wide area. Well known sites include areas in Montana and Colorado, for instance.
Oard makes a number of other good points. The part on polar dinosaurs is quite good I think. Evolutionists don’t have a good explanation for polar dinosaur fossils because they use the present to try and understand the past. But what if the Earth and the life on it were once very different and it was changed by God’s judgement? Believing that there was once a global Flood makes a lot more sense than most people in the sciences think.