Pharyngula

Just another roadside attraction

I’ve received a couple of shocked emails from people lately, about something called Dinosaur World. It’s a set of three theme parks, in Plant City, Florida, Cave City, Kentucky, and Glen Rose, Texas (that last one probably set off alarm bells already) which feature life-size fiberglass and concrete dinosaurs in a park-like setting. They also have a web site and blog which has some popular appeal: all of the entries in the blog are short descriptions of dinosaurs, with a photo, geared to the level a young child could understand. Here’s an example:

Maiasaura was a large, plant-eating, duck-billed dinosaur. Maiasaura was the first dinosaur that was found alongside its young, eggs, and nests. This suggests that Maiasaura nurtured its young.

When you look through them now, though, you’ll notice something a little ominous: they always make these brief descriptions of their appearance, but they never mention when these dinosaurs lived. There’s a reason for that.

What prompted the flurry of surprised email was that on 25 July, they posted this educational announcement:

At Dinosaur World, we present interesting facts about each dinosaur. Examples include, what they ate and unique charactaristics of each. However, we do have many books in the giftshop including information on creationism. Below is an example.

Why is so little known about dinosaurs? Despite all the new dinosaur discoveries, little is known about the dinosaurs because all information comes from fossils and a lot of “educated guesses” have to be made.

Where did dinosaurs come from? God created the entire universe and everything in it including all animals (Gen 1:20-25; Exodus 20:11; Genesis 1; John 1:3).

Are dinosaurs in the Bible? Dinosaur-like creatures are mentioned in the Bible including “behemoth” and “tannin”. Perhaps the best example is in Job 40.

What were the dinosaurs like? Man and dinosaurs lived together and man were masters over all God’s wonderful creatures. (Gen 1:26, 28) In the first early days, all animals were friendly and under man’s control. None of the animals ate meat or killed. God provided for all. There was no sin, no death, no evil and no disease. It was after the flood that things changed.

What happened to the dinosaurs? The Bible says that a great flood covered the entire earth. All but those on Noah’s ark were killed, including dinosaurs.

Were dinosaurs on the ark? The Bible says one set of every air breathing land animal was on the ark. (Gen 6:12-20; 7:15-16). Young dinosaurs would be small and easier to care for than the full grown ones.

What happened after the flood? After the flood, the earth was very different and temperatures had changed. Some places were very hot and some very cold. Many parts of the world were too harsh for the dinosaurs to live and much harder to find food to feed their enormous bodies. It is not just dinosaurs that have become extinct. In the last 350 years alone, almost 400 species have disappeared. After the flood man also was responsible for killing many animals. The wooly mammoths and mastodons where wiped out by humans.

What about “millions of years old”? Just because something is fossilized does not mean it is millions or even thousands of years old. When conditions are right, a bone can become filled with minerals quickly. The main ingredients are quick burial, water and minerals. Conditions during the flood were ideal for creating fossils.

You can imagine how some people who had no idea felt; they’d been reading the articles to their kids, who are enthusiastic about dinosaurs, and suddenly, boom, they discover that the authors are idiots. And idiots with a religious agenda. There is nothing about any of this nonsense in their About page; similarly, Wikipedia and none of the other reviews on the web mention that this is a creationist attraction. Sneaky!