A world-class dinosaur fossil — a 30-foot long, meat-eating Allosaurus — takes center stage at a creationist museum. This announcement last April dumbfounded evolutionists. "If you are a creationist — if you believe that God created the world in six days, the Bible is a literal history — then fossils are an awkward thing for you," commented Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. After all, "Fossils are the physical record of living things that died millions of years ago."
Her comments were typical of media reactions. "Humans and dinosaurs together?" she scoffed, and then said that the belief belongs to "the paranoid fringe."
Sadly, most Christians don't even know the truth about dinosaurs. Each year Liberty University, for example, surveys its online students before they take the creation course "The History of Life." Although many of these students grew up in conservative churches and affirm that the Bible is infallible and Adam was real, when asked if "dinosaurs and man lived at the same time," fewer than half strongly agree at the beginning of the course (but that number rises to 85% by the end of the term!).
In a world saturated with claims that dinosaurs prove the earth is millions of years old, Christians need ready answers at their fingertips. Properly understood, dinosaurs aren't "awkward" but our best friends — powerful evidence that Genesis 1–11 is literally true.
Meet "Ebenezer" the Allosaurus
Creationists love science just as evolutionists do. They love dinosaur fossils, too, but creationists love them because they reveal so much about their Creator and His judgment during the Flood.
Every observable fact of God's world, everything we find in the universe — no matter how big or small, including rocks and fossils — displays God's handiwork and makes sense only within the context of His Word. That's why creationists love dinosaur fossils, every one of them. They know that each new discovery may shed light on some of the lingering questions about these amazing creatures—how they lived and how they died — and that's exciting to contemplate.
Take Allosaurus, for example. Although it is the most common large theropod (meat-eating dinosaur) found in the American West and known since the late 1800s, a single, nearly complete skeleton wasn't found until "Big Al" was excavated from Wyoming in 1991. He wasn't fully grown, which is rare, so scientists were able to examine details about bone growth and development. (Among other things, this has the potential to help refine our estimates of how old animals were when they died.)
But many questions remain about allosaurs. Did they hunt in packs? How fast were they? Were they cold blooded or warm? Were they predators or scavengers? How intelligent were they? Every new detail gathered could potentially add insights to these questions, since our clues are so scarce. That’s the nature of paleontology.