The recent live debate between creationist Ken Ham and the science guy Bill Nye got me involved in several discussions. One was about dinosaurs, another was about extraterrestrials.
Young-Earth creationists like Ken ham believe that humans and dinosaurs were contempories. Ham's Creation Museum, near Cincinnati, shows dioramas of early man sharing ancient forests with dinosaurs.
These displays make one wonder whether there is any mention of dinosaurs in the Bible, especially in the book of Genesis.
Well, the Bible doesn't mention dinosaurs specifically, any more than it describes DNA, cells, electricity or radiometric dating.
Except for possible sightings of a sea serpent Plesiosaur, the Loch Ness Monster or a Brontosaur in the Congo, everyone agrees that the dinosaurs did die out.
But the creationists still offer some interesting ideas.
It's possible that very few dinosaurs were able to board Noah's Ark.
The Bible does make numerous mentions of a word translated as "dragon" -- this could be a dinosaur, but there isn't anywhere near enough description to justify those dioramas.
The Book of Job (40:15–24) discribes a great beast , called “behemoth,” which could have been a Brachiosaurus, but again, the description in Job is pretty thin.
Ken Ham has colorful explanations on his website.
But except for extreme creationists who ignore (or are clueless about) radiometric dating, science people agree that the first humans did not show up until at least 60 million years after the last dinosaur went into the fossil beds.
Another subject raised, after listening to Biblical literalists like Ken Ham, is the vastness pf the universe. The Bible doesn't describe the solar system correctly, let alone all the stars and galaxies. If the Bible is God's revelation to us, shouldn't there be better coverage of Man's place in the cosmos?
If creationists get such great science from God and the Bible, why was so much science left for us to discover long after the time of the Bible writers?
How about a few revelations to help out with the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI)? Thanks to the KEPLER satellite, we know now that there are plenty of planets. Did God create Man on just this one planet? If so, why is there so much universe? Does God have other creations elsewhere?
Modern creationists talk loudly of their "scientific alternative" to evolution, but there's so little science in the Bible. And more to the point, why must we allow the Bible story from long ago to supercede today's hard-earned scientific knowledge?
Let's stick with real science and leave the creationism behind with Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy nd the Easter Bunny.
I think creationists should drop the dinosaur dioramas and give their museum-goers a revelation that God created life with the ability to evolve.
It was a long struggle to build up our present base of scientific knowledge and get away from a belief system in which everything happens by unpredictable supernatural miracle, instead of by (somewhat predictable) laws of nature. I don't think we should let creationists drag us back to those bad old days, especially when creationist religion has no real scientific alternative to offer.