Dinosaurs fascinate us whether we are young or old. The Jurassic Park movies capture our imagination and make us wonder what it might have been like if humans lived with dinosaurs. Well, it may surprise to find out that evidence exists for the idea that humans did live with dinosaurs! Logical arguments from archaeology point to this as well. Let’s look together at some evidence for the coexistence of man and dinosaurs.
The Genesis of ‘Dinosaur’
The term “dinosaur” was created the 1840s and is attributed to English paleontologist Richard Owen. Derived from the Greek words “deinos” and “sauros”, it literally means “terrible, awe-inspiring, or dreadful lizard”. Prior to this time period, dinosaurs would have been referred to with other words such as dragon, leviathan, or behemoth.
Piecing Together Bones
How do archaeologists or museums know what dinosaurs looked like? Digging up fossils began in the 1800s. When paleontologists dig up fossils, the process consumes large amounts of time and requires great care. Rarely do they find fossils laid out nicely in the form of the original animal. In addition, remains generally consist of 10-30% of the original animal’s bones (with some rare exceptions – amazingly, “Sue,” the Tyrannosaurus Rex in the Chicago Field Museum, has around 90% of the original bones!).
When museums present dinosaur bones in the form of a “complete” animal, they are usually only showing up to 30% of actual fossils. In forming the skeleton, most of the bones are man-made casts to “fill in” the rest of the dinosaur. So how do we know what they look like from so few bones? While guesswork and artistic license play a part in the depictions of dinosaurs, they also rely on clues found in ancient writings and carvings.
Petroglyphs, or etchings of dinosaurs exist in rocks and caves left behind by our ancestors of long ago. The picture to the right from a temple in Cambodia provides one example of an early dinosaur depiction. How would someone know to carve a stegosaurus into rock 800 years ago if dinosaur fossils were only recently unearthed? How could there be any knowledge or evidence of dinosaurs prior to the 1800s unless human beings had lived with dinosaurs? The only logical conclusion for the etchings, drawings, carvings, and paintings depicting dinosaurs prior to the 1800s points to cohabitation of humans and dinosaurs. Ultimately, before a single fossil had been excavated, nobody would have known dinosaurs ever existed if they truly went extinct before mankind came on the scene.
Slay the Dragon
Dragon legends tell of valiant men fighting and slaying dragons. There are writing like The Travels of Marco Polo or Beowulf that describe serpents with legs and claws. In various parts of the world you can find stone carvings that resemble dragons. Evidence exists from Australia, Babylon, China, Egypt, England, North Africa, Sweden, Peru and Utah. For more in-depth analysis, review this article at Answers in Genesis. The preponderance of dragon legends in different cultures across the world provides another clue to the fact that humans lived with and interacted with dinosaurs.
Biblical References of Dinosaurs
Finally, from the Bible, we learn that all land-dwelling animals were created on day 6 of creation. Therefore, dinosaurs were also created on day 6 of the creation week. Check out these passages of Scripture that reference dinosaurs.
“Look now at Behemoth, which I made as I made you; it eats grass like the ox. Look at its strength in its loins, and its power in the muscles of its belly. It makes its tail stiff like a cedar, the sinews of its thighs are tightly wound. Its bones are tubes of bronze, its limbs like bars of iron. It ranks first among the works of God...
The description of behemoth matches that of a Sauropod. No other animal meets all the criteria of a “tail like a cedar” and bones as “tubes of bronze” or limbs like “bars of iron”. For a more in-depth analysis, see this article at Genesis Apologetics. The image from creation.com provides some visual guidance. When comparing the description to a rhinoceros, a hippopotamus, or an elephant, it doesn’t make sense. Only the dinosaur fits the description!
Job 41:1-2, 7-9
1 - Can you pull in Leviathan with a fishhook or tie down its tongue with a rope? 2- Can you put a cord through its nose or pierce its jaw with a hook 7- Can you fill its hide with harpoons or its head with fishing spears? 8- If you lay a hand on it, you will remember the struggle and never do it again! 9- Any hope of subduing it is false; the mere sight of it is overpowering.
This description of a terrible sea creature matches that of a plesiosaur. Again, these passages describe creatures unlike any we see today.
“Son of man, raise a lamentation over Pharaoh king of Egypt and say to him: “You consider yourself a lion of the nations, but you are like a dragon in the seas; you burst forth in your rivers, trouble the waters with your feet, and foul their rivers.
Some versions of the Bible used the word dragon to describe dinosaurs or large sea-dwelling creatures.
In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.
For a more complete listing of Bible translations that use the word “dragon”, read this post.
Humans Lived with Dinosaurs
The conclusion drawn from these logical arguments is that humans must have lived with dinosaurs. Below is a summary of evidence pointing to the fact that humans lived with dinosaurs.
- First, the only way to find carvings prior to the discovery of fossils is if humans saw and lived with dinosaurs. Similarly, it doesn’t make sense to find evidence of human knowledge of dinosaurs before the discovery of fossils.
- Second, dragon legends from different cultures around the world display and depict creatures like dinosaurs.
- Third, the Bible references animals that fit the description of dinosaurs.
- Fourth, the Bible teaches that God made all land-dwelling animals on Day 6 of the Creation week.