Thursday, February 28, 2013

Dawn of the Dinosaurs

Welcome back everyone! I know I say this a lot, but it’s really true: a lot of stuff has happened this week! So let’s start off with updates.

Play rehearsal for the Easter production “The King on a Cross” is really coming along! We have pretty much all the actors we need. All we really need are people to do props and any extras would be great as well. Otherwise, the actors (including me) are practicing our lines so we can get them just right!

If you read one of my articles, you will recall that the movie Jurassic Park fans have been waiting for, Jurassic Park IV is supposed to be coming out next year. While they aren't revealing much about plots, actors or the dinosaurs that are planned to be in the movie, we might have a possible character. Laura Dern, the actress who portrayed the paleobotanist (extinct plant scientist) Dr. Ellie Sattler/Degler (her last name was changed after she got married), has been asked about Jurassic Park IV! In a recent interview with IFC on the 24th of last month, Laura said, "I know a little and it's been ever-changing. It's [Jurassic Park IV] been evolving for many years as Steven [Spielberg] has been considering it so that's all I can say right now." When the IFC asked specifically about whether she'd be in Jurassic Park IV, her response was, "Oh, I don't know. We'll see what they do. Right now we're just focused on our party of this summer." So while we don't know for sure if she'll be returning in the fourth Jurassic Park film, it would be nice to see her facing-off with dinosaurs again! I'll keep you posted on what happens! (Click here for the Laura Dern interview article)

Laura Dern as Dr. Ellie Sattler in the first Jurassic Park film. Will she return for JPIV . . .? (Photo Credit)
A lot of you might be delighted to know that I have successfully taken all of the pictures for the fourth episode (“Asian Marvels”) of my latest stop-motion movie series, Planet of the Dinosaurs! As of Tuesday, I started taking pictures for the next episode: “The Life of a Tyrant Lizard King”, and I think you might be able to guess which dinosaur this episode is featured upon! There is no clip this week, but I’ll be sure to put one on this website as soon as it’s finished.

A screenshot from Planet of the Dinosaurs: Asian Marvels, in which a Guanlong kills an ornithopod and another theropod
Since I am creating a stop-motion movie special on dinosaurs, I thought it would be appropriate to do an article focused on these magnificent animals. Now, you might already know that the area of science devoted to the study of ancient animals and plants such as dinosaurs is called paleontology. Scientists who study them are called paleontologists. Since as far as we know, no living dinosaurs are around today, we get most of our information on these from their fossils – stone copies of long dead bones. For a long time, secular scientists (the ones that believe the earth is millions of years old) have struggled with many questions they had concerning dinosaurs. Today, many people are struggling with the question as to what caused the dinosaurs to become extinct, but one question is commonly overlooked by the general public – where’d they come from in the first place! This is what we are going to look at today.

A pair of Dilophosaurus (Photo Credit)
So what do secular scientists, or evolutionists, say about the dinosaurs beginning? Well, they say that about 230 million years ago, during the Triassic period, lizard-like reptiles such as Euparkeria evolved the ability to run upright. Then as the Triassic period progressed, these reptiles turned into the first dinosaurs. In the evolutionists’ world view, the Triassic period ended around 201.3 million years ago with the Triassic-Jurassic extinction event that wiped out many of the dinosaurs’ evolutionary rivals and as the Jurassic period came, dinosaurs evolved into gigantic proportions such as the long-necked sauropods.

Supposedly, dinosaurs like these Eoraptors are some of the first dinosaurs ever to evolve (Photo Credit)
Now, Creationists (scientists who believe God’s Word, the Bible) on the other hand, instead of using manmade ideas about the history of the earth to determine the evidence we find, they use the Bible to help them unlock the past. According the first book of the Bible, God created everything in a mere six, literal, 24-hour days, contrary to what some Christians will have you believe (see THIS ARTICLE).

1st Day: Space (I’m not referring to stars and galaxies), Earth, Light & Time
2nd Day: Atmosphere
3rd Day: Dry Land & Plants
4th Day: Sun, Moons, Stars, Planets & Galaxies
5th Day: Swimming & Flying Creatures
6th Day: Land Animals & Man

The Bible records these days of Creation in the very first book – Genesis, Genesis 1:1-28 to be precise. So, if you were to ask where dinosaurs came from, the answer is obvious. What day were land animals created on? The answer is: Day 6. Genesis 1:24-25 says, “And God said, ‘Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.’ And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, and all the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

The word “dinosaur”, which was invented by a creationist named Sir Richard Owen in 1841, means “terrible lizard” and is used to refer to large land dwelling reptiles that are now extinct. Since dinosaurs are land animals, this means that dinosaurs were created on Day 6 only about 6,000 years ago! And do you know what was also created on this day? Check out Genesis 1:26-27, “Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’ So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.

Do you realize what this means? Dinosaurs coexisted with people at the exact same time! They were not separated from man by 65 million years, but instead, they lived together. After mentioning this, some people will mention how this would have been bad . . . for the people anyway, because dinosaurs would eat them! But how do they know what dinosaurs ate? A common response would be something like, “Because they had really sharp teeth.” Well, let’s see what the Bible has to say about the original diets of all animals and people back then: “Then God said, ‘I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.” Genesis 1:29.
So are dinosaurs living with people when first created really an issue? Not really because after all, most of the dinosaurs that have been discovered ate mostly or only plants, even after the Fall (we know this because their teeth are simply not designed for cutting through flesh). Only one group of dinosaurs – the theropods – has sharp teeth (and not even all theropods had sharp teeth, some like the therizinosaurs had dull teeth for eating plants). The real question to consider is: Do an animal’s sharp teeth really tell about its behavior? Take a look at the skull below:

Those are some very sharp teeth so it must be a carnivore! Right? Well, actual this is the skull of a giant panda, and it feeds mainly on bamboo. Take a look at the next picture:
(Photo Credits)
This skull has a huge maw with foot-long canines! So it has to be a meat-eater . . . or not! This is the skull of a hippo. Despite living in the water, hippos don’t like eating water plants. Instead, they crawl up out of the water at night to feed on grass. The teeth are used mainly for display and fighting. Here is another animals with sharp teeth that doesn't eat meat:

Fruit Bat Skull
So as you can see, an animal’s sharp teeth don’t tell you how it behaved, or what food it ate, it only tells you the obvious – it had sharp teeth! Did you know that sharp teeth have an herbivorous purpose too? When you cut potatoes, pumpkin, broccoli, lettuce or other fruits and vegetables, you have to use a sharp knife to cut it, don’t you? So those sharp teeth and claws on T. rex, Velociraptor, Allosaurus and etc. would have been perfectly designed for cutting through plants. When God designed these creatures, He was probably preparing them for life later, when something happened to change this Eden.

As we all know, this newly formed world God created 6,000 years ago didn’t last very long. Because soon after God created everything, the first humans, Adam and Eve disobeyed God and they had to pay the price. The point when humans sinned is a time called “the Fall of Man” (or simply “the Fall” for short). Everything was changed after the Fall. Animals, including many dinosaurs, turned carnivorous. We can plainly see this in the fossil record which was formed after the Fall – countless fossils of dinosaurs and other animals have bite marks, wounds from fights, broken bones, and severed necks. Some dinosaurs have even been found with their last meal still inside their stomachs! One example of this is a small dinosaur called Compsognathus; it was discovered with the fossils of a lizard in the abdominal region.

We have evidence that T. rex (left) hunted live Triceratops (right), definitely after the Fall!
The Fall changed just about everything that mankind once knew. Animals and people were going to be different. Perhaps one of the most obvious changes was that death, sickness and pain would be in the world now. Our world has been cursed. However, despite all that bad stuff, there is still beauty and new life and love. This is because even with all the changes that took place at the Fall, we are still living in God’s created, beautiful and amazing world of wonders!

After all that new information, I’m sure some of you might have trouble remembering all this. So here is a recap of what we’ve learned about dinosaurs: dinosaurs were originally created with mankind and the other animals on Day 6 of the Creation week about 6,000 years ago. All animals and people were herbivores and lived in perfect harmony. Once mankind sinned however and some dinosaurs and other animals began eating meat. This is the true “Dawn of the Dinosaurs”! I hope you enjoyed reading this enlightening article as much as I did writing. So until we meet again next week, goodbye for now!

PS: Did you know that God has a plan to completely restore the world one day? Read how you can get into this new world by going to this article and this article.
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PS 6: Do you want to see Laura Dern in the next Jurassic Park movie? Please voice your opinion in the poll I have provided on the right side of the screen.

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