When did dinosaurs live? Is there evidence that dinosaurs existed with man? (post contains affiliate links).

Most people aren’t aware of the fact that it wasn’t until 1841 when Sir Richard Owen first termed the word “dinosaur,” (great or terrible lizard).

This means that the term “dinosaur” did not exist in the human vocabulary until 1841—thousands of years AFTER the bible was written.

Not only that, but when dinosaur fossils were discovered in the 1800s, there were very few specimens.

Thus, scientists would reconstruct the skeletons based on the specimens they did have and extrapolate the rest. The attempt of scientists of this time period to reconstruct the fossils into how they imagined they would look is comical in light of what we know today about how they looked.

However, an intriguing thing is that ancient cave paintings, murals, tapestries, rugs, statues, carvings in stone throughout the world dated hundreds, and even thousands, of years ago depict accurately what we only know today about dinosaurs. So, how did these people know how to draw these amazing animals so accurately?

Is it possible that men saw dinosaurs with their own eyes?

I mean isn’t that what artists do? Draw and paint what they see?

It makes perfect sense that they would know what the dinosaurs looked like IF THEY SAW THEM WITH THEIR OWN EYES! And there is A LOT of evidence that this was the case. For example, legends and “myths” from all over the world include stories of sightings of animals that very closely match what we know about dinosaurs.

Haven’t you ever wondered why, out of the 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac, all are REAL LIVING ANIMALS, except the last one, the dragon, which is supposedly fictitious?

We need to be careful when we evaluate evidence. We don’t want to put our pre-conceived ideas into the mix. When we do this, we are often guilty of doing what even “objective” scientists do when they dig up a dinosaur fossil.

Consider the following scenario. A paleontologist discovers a dinosaur fossil in Montana, USA. He or she already “knows” that the dinosaurs lived 65 million years ago. So, the scientist doesn’t bother with the actual dating process. (This is basically what paleontologists do). As a result of this assumption, the scientist uses the date attributed to the fossil to date all of the surrounding finds.

But how do today’s scientists date dinosaur fossils?

Have you ever heard of the term “index fossil?” An Index Fossil is defined as “a fossil that is useful for dating and correlating the strata in which it is found.” In other words, a fossil that has ALREADY BEEN DATED is used to date a like fossil when discovered and dug up.

To save time and money, dinosaur fossils are dated using “index fossils” instead of going through the rigamarole of testing and dating the new fossils when they are discovered.

But, wait a second! Isn’t science supposed to be based on observation?

And what about the index fossils? How are they dated? I did an internet search recently.  I couldn’t find anything from a non-creationist background that explained how the index fossils got their original dates. Another term for you to learn is “circular reasoning.”

Circular reasoning  is defined as “a logical fallacy in which the reasoner begins with what they are trying to end with.”

Applying index fossils as an example. The index fossils are dated based on an assumed age and then the assumed age of the index fossils is used to date new fossils dug up. Index fossils are dated based on rocks they were found in:

Pre-determined Date of Original Rock –>Index Fossil dated based on Pre-determined Date of Original Rock–>Like Fossils Dated Based on Date of Index Fossil.

So, a group of scientists, at some point in time, determined that a particular rock in a particular strata was 65 millions years old. Then the fossil later used as the “Index” Fossil is based on the supposed age of that rock. Thus, the conclusion is that the Index Fossil is 65 million years old.

And the final conclusion is: since the rock is 65 million years old, the index fossil found in that layer is 65 million years old. Thus, the dinosaur fossil found in this layer of rock – must be 65 million years old.

Wait a second! What did they use to date the Original Rock?

That’s circular reasoning for you. That does not sound scientific to me! 🙁

So, what would happen if an honest scientist decided to date their newly found dinosaur fossil and it showed up to be much younger than they assumed it was?

There are several types of dating methods used, one of these is called radioactive carbon dating. C14 is the isotope used because of its instability.

Carbon dating is limited and is only used on “newer” fossils less than 60,000 years old.

This is because C14 has been determined to have a half-life of around 5,000 years.

One half-life refers to the length of time a substance takes to break down by one-half.

For example, if you start with 10 grams of carbon-14, you will theoretically only have 5 grams left after 5000 years, and then only 2.5 grams after another 5000 years, etc.

What this means is that if a fossil is 65 million years old, there would not be any carbon-14 remaining. Unless the specimen has been contaminated. This is why Carbon-14 isn’t used to date dinosaur fossils.

The assumption is made by most scientists today, that since dinosaurs died off 65 million years ago, C14 dating can’t be used.

Have you ever heard of double-blind or single-blind experiments? These blind experiments are conducted to reduce bias either in the experiment population, in the researchers, or both.

Blind experiments are conducted to prevent bias on either side.

For example, when a group of creation scientists decided to have a dinosaur fossil carbon-dated (C14) by the University of Georgia. They did not tell the lab what kind of fossil it was. Thus, a single-blind experiment was conducted. The University conducted the dating without knowing what kind of fossil they were testing. Thus, they were not biased for or against C14 dating, or the results thereof.

When the University of Georgia conducted the tests, the first thing they did was decontaminate the specimen.  They then used radiocarbon (C14) dating to determine the relative age.

Can you guess what the results were?

Based on the amount of C14 found in the dinosaur fossil, the maximum age given by the University was around 25,000 years.

That is quite a bit shorter time period than 65 million years, wouldn’t you say?

Unfortunately, if you were to try to tell an evolutionary scientist about these results, he or she would most likely not accept the test as valid. Instead, he would come up with some sort of alternative explanation for what they would view as  “inaccurate” results. ☹

However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.

Sometimes we need to chip away at an unbeliever’s belief-system foundation, a little at a time, before it will come crumbling down.



In the meantime, my ALL TIME FAVORITE dinosaur/dragon book is “Dire Dragons, untold secrets of Planet Earth.” Absolutely AMAZING book, and where I have gotten most of my examples that I will be talking about soon.

If you ever buy a dinosaur book, this should be the one. This book is a MUST HAVE. “Dire Dragons” discusses the University of Georgia C14 test as well as providing picture after beautiful picture. It begins with the history of the first dinosaur discovery complete with photographs of the first attempted reconstructions by early dinosaur paleontologists.

Also, be sure to pick up a copy of my Paleontologist Kids Dinosaur and Fossil Unit Study.. It is a thorough study of the issue of the age of the earth from a flood geologist versus evolutionist perspective and is complete with an AWESOME Jeopardy game that I made myself! Click here to see it.

Paleontologist Kids Unit Study and Jeopardy Game

Is the Paleo Diet Biblical?

References and Further Reading

Dire Dragons Vance Nelson
Job 40-41
Dragons of the Deep – Carl Wieland

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