Dinosaurs and Dragons… children and adults alike are fascinated by these mysterious monsters. Dinosaurs are known to have been real living beings, while dragons are thought to be mythical beasts – or are they? Dragons and dinosaurs may actually be one and the same. Do a little digging, and you will find a growing body of evidence that dinosaurs and humans were contemporary. Ancient belief in dragons appears to have been nearly universal. It’s entirely possible that accounts of dragons were based on several types of living dinosaurs that remained on the earth long after most had died out.
The World Book Encyclopedia states that: “The dragons of legend are strangely like actual creatures that have lived in the past. They are much like the great reptiles [dinosaurs] which inhabited the earth long before man is supposed to have appeared on earth. Dragons were generally evil and destructive. Every country had them in its mythology.” (1973, vol. 5, p. 265) Scientists agree that legends are almost always based on some fact, not just pure imagination. It cannot be an accident that so many separate peoples around the world tell such stories. Dragon legends can be found in Africa, India, Europe, the Middle East, the Orient, and every other part of the world.
There are references to dragon bones found in China as early as 2,000 years ago. These are thought to refer to bones of dinosaurs. (The word “dinosaur” wasn’t invented until 1841 when an English scientist, Dr. Richard Owens, coined the term from the Greek “deinos” meaning “great or terrible,” and “sauros” meaning lizard.) The first complete skeleton of a dinosaur wasn’t constructed until the early 1800’s, when the science of paleontology – the process of excavating and assembling dinosaur bones – was developed. So how could people living 2000-3000 years ago know exactly what these giant reptilian creatures looked like unless they had seen them in person?
There have been countless artifacts, drawings, carvings, statues, mosaics and depictions from throughout history of Brachiosaurus, Stegosaurus, Plesiosaur, Pterodactyl, Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus and more that look identical to what we see in dinosaur books today. Cave paintings made by Zimbabwe bushmen from about 1500 BC include drawings of an Apatosaurus alongside accurate representations of the elephant and the giraffe. In the American Southwest, petroglyphs that look exactly like dinosaurs and dragons have been found. One remarkable carving on a cliff wall of the Havasupai Canyon in Arizona resembles a T-rex. The Incas even painted and etched stones depicting dinosaurs and men together.
The late Dr. Henry Morris of the Institute for Creation Research is quoted as saying “All ancient nations regarded dragons as real animals, frequently encountered by humans.” Flying reptiles were described by the Greek historian Herodotus, the Greek philosopher Aristotle, and the Jewish historian Josephus. Roman scholar Pliny the Elder wrote about the natural history of dragons, and so did John of Damascus. The memoirs of Alexander the Great tell of seeing a dragon in a cave, and the Greek biographer Philostratus wrote about the existence of dragons. Dragons were especially prominent in the romances of the Middle Ages, and scientific books from the 1500’s record the anatomy and physiology of dragons in great detail. In 1649 there were reported sightings of winged serpents in Europe. As late as 1890 there was a first-hand account of a flying serpent killed in the Arizona desert.
When you visit any natural history museum today, you will see wide-eyed elementary and preschool children (not to mention their parents and teachers) being funneled into an abyss of evolution. Since the time of Darwin, evolutionist presuppositions have always overruled the factual data whenever the two are in conflict, whether it has to do with fossil dating or fossil morphology. Professor W. R. Thompson wrote the following comment in his Introduction to the 1956 reprint of The Origin of Species: “The success of Darwinism was accompanied by a decline in scientific integrity. … This situation, where scientific men rally to the defence of a doctrine they are unable to define scientifically, much less demonstrate with scientific rigour, attempting to maintain its credit with the public by the suppression of criticism and the elimination of difficulties, is abnormal and undesirable in science.”
Even though evolutionists have always used dinosaurs to promote their naturalistic worldview, dinosaurs can also be a tremendous teaching tool for creation once you have key information that is not generally known and is withheld from the public. There is simply too much geological, archaeological, and paleontological evidence to call all of the dragon stories superstition. The popular understanding of the dinosaur era is usually used to discredit the Bible’s teaching of creation and a young earth, but dinosaurs do correspond to what the Bible says. The Hebrew word “tanniyn” meaning dragon appears many times in the Old Testament, as well as the words “leviathan and “behemoth,” both of which refer to great beasts. In most of those instances, the word dinosaur could be easily substituted for dragon. Refute evolutionary thinking while getting excited about the wonders of God’s creation with the following resources!
Dinosaurs and the Bible – http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/1999/11/05/dinosaurs-and-the-bible
Scriptural Evidence: Dinos in the Bible – http://www.genesispark.com/exhibits/evidence/scriptural/
Dragons: Evidence of Recent Dinosaurs – http://nwcreation.net/dinosdragons.html
Dragons or Dinosaurs Study Guide – http://www.dragonsfilm.com/studyguide.html (Download a free Learning Companion for the Dragons Or Dinosaurs DVD – ideal for homeschooling or Bible Study Groups! The Study Guide includes Review Questions, Activities, Related Scripture, and much more!)
Dragon Tales – http://www.knowledgehouse.info/njfkdragon.html
Dragons and Dragon-Slayers – http://www.knowledgehouse.info/njfkdragons.html
Creation Museum – A state-of-the-art 70,000 square foot museum founded by Answers in Genesis near Petersburg, Kentucky. Among its exhibits, the museum features life-size dinosaur models, over 80 of them animatronic (animated and motion-sensitive). Model dinosaurs are depicted in the Garden of Eden, many of them side-by-side with human figures. In one exhibit, a Triceratops and a Stegosaurus are shown aboard a scale model of Noah’s Ark.
Glendive Dinosaur & Fossil Museum – The second largest dinosaur and fossil museum in Montana, and the largest in the United States to display fossils in the context of biblical creation.
Creation and Earth History Museum – Thousands of visitors have taken “A Walk through History” through this 4,000-square-foot museum in Santee, California, which includes a “Dinosaur Garden.”
Creation Evidences Museum – The purpose of “Genesis Park” in Glen Rose, Texas, is to showcase the evidence that dinosaurs and man were created together and have co-existed throughout history. This scientific research facility features a Hyperbaric Biosphere, designed to emulate the conditions thought to exist on the early earth. It provides double atmospheric pressure, enhanced oxygen, and protection from ultraviolet radiation.