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Dinosaurs in the Bible Fri, Oct 06, 2006
A relatively common question people have about/against the Bible and Christianity is this:  "Why doesn't the Bible say anything about dinosaurs?"  I've already proven my ineptitude once before when it comes to dinosaurs, so I'll try to even out my record (or dig a deeper hole) with these ideas: 

1.  Just because the Bible doesn't specifically mention dinosaurs doesn't mean they didn't exist.  The creation story in Genesis 1 isn't very detailed.  It says God created "living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals".  It doesn't mention cats, dogs, bunnies, turtles, or groundhogs.  "Yeah, but those are small, unimportant animals."  True, but it also doesn't mention any huge or deadly animals like lions, tigers, bears (don't say it), elephants, hippos, rhinos, sharks, or whales.  Most other mention of animals throughout the Bible is to cattle and livestock because those were the most important animals seeing that they were treated as currency.  The lack of inclusion of something in the Bible doesn't prove its lack of existence. 

2.  Perhaps the Bible does mention dinosaurs and we've just been overlooking it.  Job 40:15-18 says,
Look at the behemoth, which I made along with you and which feeds on grass like an ox.  What strength he has in his loins, what power in the muscles of his belly!  His tail sways like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are close-knit.  His bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like rods of iron.
If you were to draw a picture with this description, what would it look like?  A brontosaurus!  The footnote for "behemoth" says it could refer to an elephant or a hippo, and the "tail" could refer to an elephant's trunk.  Sure, this is possible.  But I think it's also plausible that this is referring to a dinosaur. 

Another similar passage talks about something called "leviathan".  Job 41:14-21 says,
Who dares open the doors of his mouth, ringed about with his fearsome teeth?  His back has rows of shields tightly sealed together; each is so close to the next that no air can pass between.  They are joined fast to one another; they cling together and cannot be parted.  His snorting throws out flashes of light; his eyes are like the rays of dawn.  Firebrands stream from his mouth; sparks of fire shoot out.  Smoke pours from his nostrils as from a boiling pot over a fire of reeds.  His breath sets coals ablaze, and flames dart from his mouth.
If you were to draw a picture of this description, what would it look like?  A fire-breathing dragon!  The footnote for "leviathan" says it could refer to a crocodile.  Sure, crocodiles have big teeth and rows of shields on their backs, but what about the breathing of fire?  The last crocodile I saw lacked this ability. 

Initially, the thought of a dragon sounds pretty stupid because everybody knows dragons are mythical creatures.  But what if they're not?  Isn't it weird that numerous cultures from around the world incorporated the idea of a fire-breathing dragon into their belief system or mythology?  Why didn't they come up with the idea of a fire-breathing bear or lion?  Why was it a giant green lizard with scales and wings?  And why was the myth of the dragon prevalent in China, Arabia, Greek mythology, Hindu mythology, and Aboriginal Australia?  Can word really travel that far? 

And what about the breathing of fire?  Consider the case of the bombardier beetle, a bug native to Africa.  This tiny animal mixes hydroquinones, hydrogen peroxide, and a few catalysts in its abdomen to produce an explosive reaction that it shoots out its back end for the purpose of self-defense.  This BBC article says that the boiling hot, toxic fluid even lets out a "loud bang on detonation".  So basically, we have a fire-breathing (or fire-shooting) bug.  In addition to this, some scientists believe that certain dinosaurs had an extra chamber in their skulls for the purpose of storing chemicals that could be used for mixing and breathing fire.  With these two ideas, it's not that much of a stretch to conclude that the idea of the existence of a dragon is at least somewhat possible.  Crazy, huh? #religion


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