by Wayne Spencer
Lost World: The Movie
The Lost World movie, released in May of 1997, has turned into the most profitable movie ever. The "Lost World" book is very anti-God, has much objectionable language, and explicitly attacks creationism. In the movie, much of the language and antichristian comments have fortunately been removed. Also, there is little reference to evolution. The message of the movie to me is about who God is and who we are. The "bad guys" in the movie are the people of the Ingen company, who want to exploit the dinosaurs for profit by bringing them to San Diego to build a theme park there. The Ingen officials have a great deal of pride and confidence in their ability to capture and control the dinosaurs. The concept of a "lost world" is a distortion of the truth from the Bible. The Earth IS a lost world in the sense that it is different from the world as God first created it. God created a perfect environment for man to live in, but in spite of it mankind became evil and violent. The sin of Adam and Eve affected not only their own lives but nature itself, as described in Genesis chapter three. Thus, we now live in a fallen world that has been affected by disobedience to God and unbelief. It will take much more than clever genetic manipulation and technology to restore what has been "lost" from how the Earth was first made to be. The Bible says God will restore things on Earth in the future to something similar to the original creation. Whether dinosaurs will be a part of that is unknown, but it will be a world where the lion will lie down with the lamb and children can play with cobras. Only the Creator can restore nature to something like it was and only the Creator-God has control over nature. Also, only our Creator (Jesus Christ) can be our Savior, and deliver us from the penalty and power of sin in our own lives.
God's control over nature is one of the main points of the book of Job,
in the Old Testament. We are finite creatures and really quite fragile.
God went into a long discourse in speaking to Job, it's the longest quote
of God anywhere in the Bible. God put Job in his place and Job realized
how unworthy and insignificant his knowledge and abilities were compared
to God. The climax of this long discourse of God is regarding the animals
called "Behemoth" and "Leviathan," which were probably what we now call
dinosaurs. On Behemoth, Job 40:19 says "He ranks first among the works
of God, yet his Maker can approach him with his sword." Then Job 41:8-10,
with God speaking, says the following about Leviathan, which is very relevant
to the man versus beast struggle in the Lost World movie.
Though the movie may be entertaining, parents need to realize that educational and scientific organizations will exploit the dinosaur mania produced by the movie. Special programs for the public in schools, museums, and exhibits will promote evolution to young people. What is the harm in this? It is done deliberately to get a certain set of values and beliefs into the minds of young people. Dinosaurs are thus an important issue because they are used to teach naturalistic philosophy and antichristian values to kids. And this is extremely effective in introducing doubt in young people's minds about the reliability of the Bible. Parents should be aware of this and take steps to expose their children to the creation side, which is much more positive and meaningful. In the creation view of dinosaurs, dinosaurs were good in God's original creation and are specially designed by God, not accidents from natural processes of evolution. They show the greatness and goodness of God, and they certainly do not disprove anything in the Bible. The movie itself may not attack Christianity, but the evolutionary ideas promoted in science teaching does tend to undermine it.
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 over-
powering. No one is is fierce enough to rouse him. Who then is able to
stand against me?
Following is something I wrote a few years ago as a response to the Jurassic Park movie. It is in the form of questions and answers, about the scientific inaccuracies of the first of the two movies. There are excellent materials on dinosaurs available from creation organizations, but the following is just a brief response to issues raised by Jurassic Park. Lost World is based on the foundation of the Jurassic Park movie, so the following points are still relevant.
A Christian Response to Jurassic Park, the Movie
In the summer of 1993 the blockbuster movie Jurassic Park captured the attention of millions. The Steven Spielberg film featured the most life-like and realistic dinosaurs ever created for any movie. The dinosaurs in Jurassic Park were a combination of high tech robots, dinosaur models, and sophisticated animated computer graphics. The story follows very much the book of the same name by Michael Crichton. A wealthy financier builds a dinosaur theme park on a remote island off the coast of Costa Rica. The island possesses amber deposits containing insects and other materials from the time of the dinosaurs. As the story goes, scientists obtain dinosaur DNA from dinosaur blood taken from mosquitos found in amber. The DNA fragments are pieced together using the DNA of living frogs or other animals. They insert the "completed" DNA into a crocodile ova (egg cells), which is then allowed to grow in ostrich eggs. In the movie, the computer expert at the park greedily arranges to steal some of the dinosaur DNA and sell them. But his plan backfires and dinosaurs are allowed to roam loose during a storm. The movie is very intense and suspenseful, and very violent. The best way to describe it may be to say it begins like National Geographic and turns into something like the horror movie Alien.
Following is a Christian and scientific response to the movie from a
creationist point of view. Comments will be arranged in the form of questions
(underlined) followed by answers. Such a movie has such a natural appeal
to kids and young people. Perhaps the following points will help maintain
a realistic perspective on the movie. The movie promotes certain humanistic
and evolutionary ideas through appeal to emotions. There are serious questions
of what is real and what is right and wrong brought up by the film that
should be answered Biblically and in a way that is realistic in light of
1. Could dinosaur blood be preserved inside a mosquito in amber?
Yes, but could that blood help scientists clone dinosaurs? Not a chance.
It is possible that they might be able to obtain fragments of DNA from
blood (though even that is very unlikely). But, to clone an organism you
have to have complete DNA from that organism. In other words, piecing together
the dinosaur DNA using frog DNA would never work. An article by John Morris
of the Institute for Creation Research (Back to Genesis, July 1993) refers
to some recent research reported in Nature magazine Vol. 352, Aug. 1, 1991,
p 381. This research shows that without the built-in repair mechanisms
in a living cell, DNA self-destructs at a very rapid rate so that it could
never last more than about 10,000 years. So, not only does this DNA breakdown
destroy the possibility of cloning dinosaurs, it actually may be evidence
for the earth being young! Even if scientists could find all the necessary
component chemicals from dinosaur DNA, scientists could not successfully
put them together. A writer in the evolutionary journal Natural History
said that trying to reconstruct a complete dinosaur DNA sequence "would
be like trying to reconstruct Tolstoy's War and Peace from a gigantic
bowl of alphabet soup" (David Grimaldi, "Forever in Amber," Natural History,
2. Have scientists cloned animals with present biotechnology? What does it take
to really clone something?
Recently, scientists in England successfully (after many failed attempts)
cloned a sheep. Scientists have cloned frogs by doing the following. Scientists
have taken the nucleus out of a frog egg and the complete DNA from a living
tadpole and placed that DNA into the egg. This tadpole DNA would contain
both sets of information from the two parents. This process has led to
normal frogs from these modified eggs along with some abnormal frogs. But
this is very different from what happened in the movie. To clone a creature
it is necessary to get DNA from two sources--the nucleus of the father
and the mitochondria in the cells of the mother. This means you have
to have a living specimen of what you are trying to clone. So, having
the DNA is not enough, it takes all the complex machinery brilliantly designed
into the cell to produce a living thing.
3. Was the movie accurate about dinosaurs?
The accuracy and realism of the dinosaurs in is simply unprecedented,
but there are a few examples of artistic license that follows the book,
not the truth based on scientific information. And some aspects of the
way dinosaurs are presented in the film are really only the best-guesses
of certain scientists, based on very little information. Real dinosaur
paleontologists such as John R. Horner were consulted for making the movie
and there was a lot of effort and expense put into realism. However, dilophosaurus,
shown as about 5 or 6 feet long in the movie was actually about 7 or 8
feet tall and 20 feet long. The part about dilophosaurus being a spitter
with a cobra-like hood is made up. Such things are not impossible but there's
no way to know about such abilities from studying only fossilized bones.
Also, the movie, like the book, brings together some "popular" dinosaurs
that according to evolutionary science would not actually live during the
Jurassic period, but more during the Cretaceous period (see geologic column
table elsewhere). From a creation point of view, though all the dinosaurs
and humans would have lived at the same time. Dinosaur scientists are now
suggesting that Tyranosaurus Rex may not have been so much of a vicious
hunter as more of a scavenger, eating from carcasses it could find. The
movie probably exaggerates the intelligence of the Velociraptors, and may
exaggerate their size as well. The raptors in the movie would have been
more like the dinosaur Deinonichus. There were other raptors even much
larger than either of these, such as Utahraptor.
4. Should parents allow their children to see the movie?
Parents should definitely not allow young children to see such a movie
since there is too much suspense and violence. If you can understand how
the movie does not represent reality, then the movie could be considered
a very entertaining but serious thought-provoking movie. I personally would
not recommend the movie for anyone younger than high school age. And, it
is not necessarily recommended then either. There is some value in the
film and there is no sex and little or no bad language. But Jurassic Park
was essentially a horror movie, but with an emphasis on scientific humanism
than on the occult. The new movie, The Lost World is also essentially a
To sum up, I would say that no one who sees or has seen the movie should consider it merely entertainment. Jurassic Park promotes a particular world view. Serious questions of right and wrong are raised but not dealt with very much, such as the discussion about whether Jurassic Park should be built just because it could be built. And, there is the idea that science can accomplish great things and people will be able to straighten it all out, even though science creates some problems. The viewer is emotionally manipulated into accepting the idea that birds descended from dinosaurs, though there are no fossil transitions known to give evidence of this. There are little things in the movie that reinforce the evolutionary-materialistic world view, such as the statement "life will find a way." This is in reference to the dinosaurs being able to reproduce when they were not supposed to be able to. We must not allow the emotions evoked by the story to twist our thinking. The greatest value of the movie to a Christian is probably that it helps us appreciate what God created in the dinosaurs, showing His greatness; also, seeing the movie can help us to have a point of contact with nonchristians and others around us to discuss world view issues.
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