I remember standing there with giant dinosaur robots hovering over me as if I was an ant. Being there on the set of the first Jurassic Park film was an amazing moment for me as a child and to this day I can remember, in great detail, the ancient animals which were so wonderfully portrayed on movie screens across the world.
As I ventured through high school I learned that dinosaurs were killed off by a massive comet and their ancestors live to this day in the forms of turtles, alligators, and other similar creatures. All these years later my daughter is being taught the same thing but I have a weapon in my arsenal that I did not have then. Dinosaurs: Marvels of God’s Design: The Science of the Biblical Account is a wonderful tool I wish I had during my years sitting under secular science teachers.
Dr. Tim Clarey makes a provocative statement near the middle of this volume that piqued my interest. He says in a single breath, “It [the science behind debates on dinosaurs] is actually a war of worldviews”. That single sentence for me brought the whole book together as I read the overwhelming amount of data which confirms the biblical record we have set before us early on in Genesis.
The science has shown us data that matches almost exactly what the Bible sets before us. The worldview of the scientist is what clouds the outcome. A secular humanist who follows in the tradition of Darwin will come up with a radically different set of theories than the Christian scientist will. The catch is that when scientists say, “science says”, they reveal a fatal flaw in their reasoning. Science doesn’t say anything, scientists do, and those scientists operate from a certain worldview.
To be sure, many of the debates even on the Christian side of things are filled with assumptions and best inferences to the data. An example of this comes early on when Dr. Clarey makes reference to Dr. Henry Morris in saying, “Dr. Morris concluded that only about half the capacity of the ark would have been needed for animal storage. The other half could have been filled with water and food. God designed all the animals as herbivores (Genesis 1:29) and fully capable of subsisting on plants alone.” The food stored on the ark, and required to feed the dinosaurs and all animals would have been only varieties of plants”
Genesis 1:29 certainly makes reference to “every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit, You shall have them for food”, but does that mean only those types of food existed when dinosaurs were roaming? For those holding to the fact that there was no death before the fall this certainly seems to fit.
In rather dry section of the book (chapters 5-9), Dr. Clarey does take a look at the various suborders of dinosaurs and points out the fact that many of the fossil discoveries have shown that these early animals were herbivores. This is observed not only in dental records left behind as a record but in bone structure and a working hypothesis of how the earth was designed according to Bible.
As the book drew towards a close the information grew more interesting as Clarey moved away from describing suborders and on to more pressing issues, like “Dinosaur Biology/Anatomy” (Chapter 10) and “Dinosaur Endings and Extinction” (Chapter 12). Here I found what I was looking for in this volume. How can I turn the narrative of the dinosaurs into an interesting and captivating proof of God’s word to my children? In probably the most important chapter to me, “The Real Story of the Dinosaurs” (Chapter 14) was helpful in really cutting through the weeds of what “science” tells me and what actually happened.
On February 4th, 2015 the data contained in this volume was publicly debated by two heavyweights in their own respect; Ken Ham, CEO of Answers in Genesis, an apologetics ministry dedicated to helping Christian defend their faith, and Bill Nye, the Science Guy. I must admit, growing up with Bill Nye as my mentor in science I was unsure the outcome of the debate. Of course I was on the side of Ken Ham but vestiges of Darwin still hung over me as though I was back in school, sitting behind beakers and Bunsen burners.
The outcome of the debate was rather unimpressive, on both sides, but the issues were there for all to see. The reason I bring the debate up is to say that Dr. Clarey presents the same issues in a more captivating way than I have heard previously. He makes the data sound impressive and captivates his readers with cogent thinking and clear writing. As my children grow older and sit under the distant shadow of Darwin I believe I will be more than equipped to handle whatever challenges are thrown my way. I could not say that without having Dinosaurs: Marvels of God’s Design in my arsenal along with the rest of my apologetic resources.
This small book is a dream for Young Earth Creationists and a direct challenge to not only secular scientists but to those from all walks of life who also hold to an Old Earth Creationist model. Filled with cutting-edge discoveries made by the author himself and based on a solid foundation of scientific research, this volume should be in the hands of parents everywhere.