When You’ve Heard a Lie a Thousand Times, the Illustrated Truth Can Look “Crazy” at First
Have you ever heard the phrase, “It is easier to believe a lie that one has heard a thousand times than to believe a fact that one has never heard before.”1 Undoubtedly, millions (or billions) of people have heard their entire lives that “dinosaurs evolved and then went extinct millions of years ago—tens of millions of years before humans evolved.” Such (purportedly factual) teachings are then often accompanied by captivating illustrations of all sorts of dinosaurs—but never with any human beings. As we’ve been told thousands (or millions) of times: “Human beings never lived with dinosaurs” (and if you believe otherwise, you’re crazy)!
I suppose, more than any other question that Apologetics Press tackles, we get more criticism from atheists, evolutionists, and even many Christians for our articles and books on, and (especially!) our illustrations2 of, dinosaurs. The impression I have gotten from some through the years is: “How dare you talk about God creating these animals with human beings thousands (and not millions) of years ago. Don’t you know that these animals prove evolution to be true?” Then there have been those puzzling times when Christians have been in full agreement that God indeed created dinosaurs and dinosaur-like aerial and aquatic creatures on days five and six of Creation; but then, the moment that we show an illustration of what that may have looked like, they think we’ve gone mad.
“You can’t show a picture of a dinosaur along with a human being.”
“Wait. I thought you said you believed that God made dinosaurs during the same Creation week in which He made elephants, alligators, and human beings?”
“I do believe that. But such illustrations look crazy!”
“Why do they ‘look crazy’?”
“I’ve just never seen anything like that…. Plus, you don’t just show humans and dinosaurs in the same picture—you show them close together. You sometimes show people killing them or even taming them. That surely never happened.”
“Why do you think that?”
“They were terrifying creatures that humans couldn’t have gotten close to.”
“What makes you think that?”
“Everything I’ve ever read and watched.”
“I would ask that you consider two things. First, remember that ‘it’s easier to believe a lie that you’ve heard a thousand times than the truth that you’ve only heard once.’ And second, ponder on the following evidence. Then ask yourself. What should we believe and teach, and what kind of artwork should we use to illustrate biblical and historical truth?”
Evidence That God Made Dinosaurs Along with Human Beings
1. An omnipotent, omniscient God exists.
If a person does not believe this most-important, foundational truth, talking about the subject of dinosaurs and humans will likely be unproductive. If a person comes to believe in God based upon the evidence for His existence,3 he should consider that God would have the power to create dinosaurs alongside human beings during the Creation week, if He so chose.
2. The Bible is the Word of God.
If a person does not believe this second foundational truth, a discussion of dinosaurs might be somewhat beneficial (if the unbeliever could be shown that the biblical account of Creation, etc. does not contradict true history and science), but the unbeliever would likely be much better served if he were first presented with the evidence for the inspiration of the Bible.4
3. The Bible indicates God made everything in six days (including all animals and humans).
According to Exodus 20:11, “[I]n six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day.” This statement harmonizes perfectly with Genesis 1 and everything else in Scripture. The all-powerful God of the Universe could have created the Universe in any way He desired, in whatever order He wanted, and in whatever time frame He chose. He could have created the world and everything in it in six billion years, six minutes, or in one millisecond—He is, after all, God Almighty (Genesis 17:1). But the question is not what God could have done; it is what He said He did. And He said that He created everything in six days.5 According to the inerrant, inspired Word of God, the Creator made dinosaurs and humans on the same day of Creation. Indeed, at one time in history, they lived on Earth at the same time.
4. The biblical truth that dinosaurs and humans once lived together is supported by history.
Even evolutionists have admitted that people all over the world throughout history talked about seeing reptilian creatures with scaly, hard, elongated bodies; long, serpentine necks; long tails; horned, knobby, or crested heads; some with bat-like wings; and some that went on two legs, while others on four. Although undoubtedly many of these “dragon” stories were exaggerated through the centuries (just as our adrenaline-rushing fishing or hunting stories are often exaggerated), these descriptions of “dragons” sound like dinosaurs or dinosaur-like reptilian creatures. But modern man only began learning about dinosaurs from the fossil record in the past 200 years. How could so many people from all over the world throughout history have so accurately described seeing animals that sound like dinosaurs, if they never actually did? The truth is, biblical history, including the existence of Leviathan in the days of Job (chapter 41), is in perfect harmony with what history has recorded.6
5. The biblical truth that dinosaurs and humans once lived together is supported by physical evidence.
Not only did people talk about seeing dinosaurs and dinosaur-like creatures (referred to as “dragons”) for thousands of years,7 they also illustrated these animals in drawings and carvings found all over the world.8 How could they have illustrated such animals hundreds or thousands of years before modern man ever learned about these creatures from the fossil record? Once again, the evidence supports the biblical truth that God made everything (including dinosaurs and humans) in six days.
6. Dinosaur bones have been discovered with soft tissue in them.
In the last several years, numerous scientists have reported unearthing a variety of dinosaur bones from around the world that contain intact protein fragments, including collagen, hemoglobin, elastin, and laminin.9 Such findings fit perfectly with the Creation model: God created dinosaurs and humans, not millions of years ago, but thousands of years ago, on the same day of Creation.
7. Human beings have interacted with all sorts of animals throughout history, so why is it so hard to believe that they also interacted with dinosaurs?
Draw a picture of a small man riding a 15,000-pound elephant, and no one has a problem with it. Publish a photograph of a woman at Sea World sticking her head inside the mouth of a massive, 6,000-pound killer whale, and most everyone today understands the reality of the situation, however dangerous. Tell your friend about the man at the circus who has tamed lions, tigers, and bears, or that you watched a TV show of a man playing with crocodiles, and that is nothing but old news. After all, Jesus’ brother James wrote 2,000 years ago what his readers knew all too well: “[E]very kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind” (3:7). Yet still, many Christians have a problem with the ancients being pictured next to certain dinosaurs.
Should Apologetics Press refrain from publishing illustrations of dinosaurs and humans together because “it makes us look crazy”? On the contrary, since “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and since the “thousand words” upon which this picture is based are true and extremely relevant to the creation/evolution debate,10 then we believe it is very appropriate (and important) for people to hear and see the truth. May God help us to share the facts fairly, kindly, and humbly, but also boldly. Truth has nothing to fear.
1 Robert Lynd (1921), The Passion of Labour (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons), p. 67.
3 See Eric Lyons and Kyle Butt (2014), “7 Reasons to Believe in God,” Apologetics Press, www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=5045&topic=93. See also Dave Miller, ed. (2017), Does God Exist? (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press), as well as “The Existence of God” section at ApologeticsPress.org.
4 See Kyle Butt and Eric Lyons (2015), “3 Good Reasons to Believe the Bible is from God,” Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=13&article=5089. See also Kyle Butt (2007), Behold! The Word of God (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press) and “The Inspiration of the Bible” section of www.apologeticspress.org.
5 See Eric Lyons (2014), “Creation and the Age of the Earth,” Reason & Revelation, 34:86-94, July, http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1169#. See also Justin Rogers (2015), “Does the Hebrew Word Yom Endorse an Old Earth?” Reason & Revelation, 35:98-100, http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1202. For much more information on this subject, see the Creation vs. Evolution section of www.apologeticspress.org.
6 For more information on dinosaurs, dragons, history, and the Bible, see Eric Lyons (2007), “Historical Support for the Coexistence of Dinosaurs and Humans [Parts 1 & 2],” Reason & Revelation, 27[9-10]:65-68,69-71,73-76,77-79, http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=593; http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=594.
7 Keep in mind that the word “dinosaur” was not coined until the early 1840s by Richard Owen.
8 See Kyle Butt and Eric Lyons (2008), “Physical Evidence for the Coexistence of Dinosaurs and Humans” [Parts 1 & 2], Reason & Revelation, 28[3-4]:17-23,25-31, http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=599; http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=600.
9 For more information, see Brian Thomas (2015), “Solid Answers on Soft Tissue,” Answers in Genesis, https://answersingenesis.org/dinosaurs/when-did-dinosaurs-live/solid-answers-soft-tissue/.
10 Dinosaurs are, after all, the “poster children” of evolution. That is, they are used as much or more than any other animal to teach and promote the errors of atheistic evolution.