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Wisdom Teeth: Are they “leftovers” from Evolution?

Most evolutionists believe that humans evolved from ape-like ancestors that had larger jaws and teeth than humans. The story holds that our jaws became smaller over millions of years as we “progressed,” trading our crunching power for brain power, resulting in the present challenge for wisdom teeth to grow in. However, studies over the last few decades have shown that the “evolutionary process” is actually not the best explanation for why many people groups have challenges with their wisdom teeth growing in. Decades of research into this area has now identified a more complicated (and less “evolutionary”) explanation:

Our better understanding of the complex teeth-jaw relationship has revealed this explanation is far too simplistic. Research now indicates that the reasons for most third molar problems today are not due to evolutionary changes but other reasons. These reasons include a change from a course abrasive diet to a soft western diet, lack of proper dental care, and genetic factors possibly including mutations. Common past dental practice was a tendency to routinely remove wisdom teeth. Recent empirical research has concluded that this practice is unwise. Third molars in general should be left alone unless a problem develops and then they should be treated as any other teeth. At times removal is required, but appropriate efforts to deal with problem teeth should be implemented before resorting to their extraction.

An Oxford Medical publication by A. J. MacGregor summarizes 20 years of research on this very topic in a work titled, “The Impacted Lower Wisdom Tooth.” MacGregor states:

Evidence derived from paleontology, anthropology, and experiment indicates very convincingly that a reduction in jaw size has occurred due to civilization. The main associated factor appears to be the virtual absence of inter proximal attrition, but initial tooth size may have some effect. Jaw size and dental attrition are related and they have both decreased with modern diet. Jaws were thought to be reduced in size in the course of evolution but close examination reveals that within the species Homo sapiens, this may not have occurred. What was thought to be a good example of evolution in progress has been shown to be better explained otherwise. [emphasis added]

These developments have led to a better understanding of wisdom teeth that have changed the practice of dentistry. In fact, in an article titled, “The Prophylactic Extraction of Third Molars: A Public Health Hazard,” Dr. Jay W. Friedman points out that wisdom tooth extraction (a $3 billion-dollar enterprise) should not be the default practice for most individuals, but should be only done on a case-by-case basis. Dr. Friedman argues: “… more than 11 million patient days of ‘standard discomfort or disability’—pain, swelling, bruising, and malaise—result postoperatively, and more than 11,000 people suffer permanent paresthesia—numbness of the lip, tongue, and cheek—as a consequence of nerve injury during the surgery. At least two thirds of these extractions, associated costs, and injuries are unnecessary, constituting a silent epidemic of iatrogenic injury that afflicts tens of thousands of people with lifelong discomfort and disability.” He concludes by stating, “Avoidance of prophylactic extraction of third molars can prevent this public health hazard.” For many of the same reasons, the UK even stopped routinely removing wisdom teeth (without solid evidence of required removal) in 1998, after a study at the University of York concluded that there was no scientific evidence to support it.

People groups vary by a number of factors: skin color, hair color and type, eye shape, body size and shapes, and yes, even wisdom teeth. In fact, some people groups (e.g., Mexican Indians) don’t even typically erupt wisdom teeth! On the other hand, nearly 100% of indigenous Tasmanians fully grow in their wisdom teeth. Other people groups are in-between these two extremes (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Global distribution of prevalence of third molar Agenesis (not growing wisdom teeth).

Figure 1 shows a wide variability between various people groups with respect to the percentage of people who don’t grow in their wisdom teeth. One study with 2,482 people also revealed that different people groups even grow in their wisdom teeth at different stages of maturity, with the German population in the middle in terms of the age of wisdom tooth eruption, South Africans the fastest, and Japanese the slowest.

Are some of these people groups more or less “evolved” than others? From a Biblical Creation standpoint, certainly not! They do, however, vary on dietary history, industrialization, food types and production methods (especially in the past), and other characteristics by which people groups sometimes vary.

Orthodontist John Cuozzo has studied this topic extensively in both “modern” humans and Neanderthal fossils. Because Neanderthals had larger brains and jaws than humans (by 10% and 15%, they had plenty of space for their wisdom teeth. Because evolutionists place Neanderthals in the distant lineage of “modern” humans, have humans been “devolving” (by having smaller brains and less room for growing wisdom teeth), or just changing within the pre-engineered adaptability designed by God.

Dr. Cuozzo studies have led to the discovery that children are maturing much faster today than in the past: “… three or four hundred years ago a child took 13 years to reach the stage that our children today do in 9 1/2 to 10 years. This points to a rapid maturation today.” Dr. Cuozzo reasons that wisdom teeth need more space than can develop in our shortened jaw growth period, and that children are taller (and mature earlier) today because of improved early nutrition—not evolution. His research has led him to the reasonable conclusion: “This is not from a process of evolution, but devolution… The de-generation and reduction of complexity of the human body is what is really happening…This, of course, is due to the fact that Adam fell and we have been suffering and groaning under the curse resulting from this fall ever since.”

Students ask: “Do we really have leftover parts?”

Evolutionists from Darwin onward have claimed that the human body is a ‘museum’ housing many useless “leftover” parts from our evolutionary past.1 These parts, called “vestigial organs,” are believed to have once served functional purposes in our evolutionary ancestors, but these functions have since been lost due to evolution.

Some of the most popular examples of “vestigial organs” include the so-called “tailbone,” believed by some to be a leftover tail; the appendix. supposedly a relic from the digestive system of our plant-eating ancestors; and wisdom teeth, which the long, jutting jaws of our ape-like ancestors could accommodate, but are often prevented from growing correctly in short-faced humans. But the truth is that none of these are really ‘useless’ leftovers! All of them serve a designed purpose in our bodies!

The “tailbone,” more correctly called the coccyx, is not actually a leftover tail, but serves as the end-point of the spinal cord. It is also the anchor-point for six important muscles that form the pelvic diaphragm, which supports many of your organs—without this important bone, your insides would literally fall out!1

Image credit: Blausen.com staff. “Blausen gallery 2014”. Wikiversity

In the past, an appendectomy—the removal of the appendix, a small worm-like tube structure near the junction of our large and small intestines—was a common surgical procedure. After all, the appendix could become infected with a disease known as appendicitis, and it was thought that it served no useful function in the body. However, scientists and doctors today know that the appendix serves a role in the immune system, first as a lymph organ during the early years of life, and second, by acting as a “safe house” for good bacteria in the large intestine.1,2 

Wisdom teeth, like the appendix, have a Fall-caused tendency to degenerate and cause problems in life, but just because an organ can cause problems doesn’t make it useless or a ‘bad design’! While some people’s wisdom teeth never develop, others simply do not have enough room in their jaws for the teeth to grow, so they become ‘impacted,’ meaning that they are blocked from growing into place by the other teeth. However, when there is enough room for them, wisdom teeth function as a perfectly-good set of third molars.3 It may be that God designed humans with these teeth to be used in chewing vegetation (man’s original diet, cf. Genesis 1:29).

In the late 19th century, one evolutionist named Robert Wiedersheim put together a list of 86 supposed ‘vestigial’ organs, which he believed were evidence of evolution. However, every one of these supposed ‘leftovers’ have since been shown to have a purpose in our bodies1—exactly what we would expect to find if our bodies were created by an all-wise Creator God!

So, while evolutionists may want to find design-flaws or useless leftovers in our bodies, when we do more careful study, we find that we are truly, “ … fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” (Psalm 139:14)

 

Free Resources for Further Learning:

Creation v. Evolution Book—Chapter 9: Vestigial Structures

Video – Vestigial Organs—Evidence for Evolution? 

Vestigial Organs—Evidence for Evolution?

Setting the Record Straight on Vestigial Organs

 

References:

1Menton, David. “Vestigial Organs—Evidence for Evolution?” Answers in Genesis. Answers in Genesis, 7 July 2014. Web. 29 Dec. 2015. <https://answersingenesis.org/human-body/vestigial-organs/vestigial-organs-evidence-for-evolution/>.

2Bergman, Jerry. “Chapter 9: Vestigial Organs” in Dan Biddle, ed., Creation v. Evolution. 2015. Genesis Apologetics, Inc. Available here: https://genesisapologetics.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/592/2015/12/Creation_v._Evolution_20161.pdf.

3DeWitt, David. “Setting the Record Straight on Vestigial Organs.” Answers in Genesis. Answers in Genesis, 28 May 2008. Web. 29 Dec. 2015. <https://answersingenesis.org/human-body/vestigial-organs/setting-the-record-straight-on-vestigial-organs/>.

Christmas and What It Means to Be Human

Over the past few months, as we have been looking at the supposed evidence for human evolution, we have seen how the evolutionary story of our origins devalues human life by making us little more than animals. On the other hand, we have also seen how the Bible’s account of origins gives great meaning and value to our lives, since it tells us that we are made in the image of our Creator.

The psalmist expresses wonder at God’s view of humans in Psalm 8:3-5, when he writes, “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.”

The amazing truth that we learn from the Bible is that God didn’t just create us; He also cares for us deeply, so much so that He entered into His own creation to become “a little lower than the heavenly beings,” to provide a way of salvation for His beloved creatures.

As Paul wrote in Philippians 2:5-8, “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

Image credit: Answers in Genesis.

What makes human beings truly special? In addition to being the only creatures created in God’s image, the only creature that God ever became in order to redeem is…a human being! God didn’t ever take on the flesh of a chimpanzee, a gorilla, “Lucy,” or any other creature; just human flesh!

You see, although humans are truly special creatures, we also have a problem—a huge problem. We are the only creatures that were created with the ability to have fellowship with His Creator, however, that fellowship was forfeited by our ancestor Adam’s rebellion. As Romans 5:12 explains, “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.”

We have all broken God’s commands—we’ve lied, stolen, had hateful thoughts—all of which God has seen and will judge. The penalty for sin is having God’s righteous wrath poured out on us in Hell, but the good news of Christmas is that God has provided us with a substitute. God sent His Son, Jesus, to earth to be born as a man, to live a sinless life, and to die on the Cross as the perfect, spotless sacrifice for sin. We broke God’s law, but Jesus paid our fine. Three days later, He was raised to life again, and now He offers you the forgiveness of all your sins and the gift of eternal life.

How can you have your sins forgiven and receive the gift of eternal life? According to the Bible, you must repent (meaning to turn from your sins) and put your trust in Jesus for salvation. As Jesus explains in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Have you repented and trusted in Jesus as your Savior? If not, make this the year that you discover the true meaning of Christmas and become a member of God’s family!

~ Merry Christmas from Genesis Apologetics!

Top image credit: Answers in Genesis.

Update on Genesis Apologetics 12-Part Video Series

Last week was very busy for our Genesis Apologetics video team! From Monday to Friday, the Roy (Creation Quest) and Justice (Awesome Science Media) families were hard at work directing and recording all 12 episodes of our video outreach series refuting the 11 pillars of evolution teaching in public school textbooks. Our actors, John and Madyson, did an awesome job bringing the scripts to life with their incredible acting skills.

 

We have been blown away by how the Lord has graciously provided, brought all of the people involved together, and caused this whole last filming week to work together for His glory! We are so excited to see how the Lord will use this project to reach public school students across our state and nation with the truth of creation.

As this project goes into production, will you please join with us in prayer, that the Lord would use this project for His glory and to open the eyes of young people to the truth of creation, and that He would use them to reach their friends and families?

Students ask: “Does the fossil record support evolution or creation?”

Everybody loves fossils. In my experience, fossils are one of the best ways to captivate an audience. Unfortunately, fossils are almost always presented within the context of evolutionary ‘history.’ In fact, California public-school students in 7th and 10th grade are taught that fossils are a major ‘evidence’ for molecules-to-man evolution.

Recently-sighted ‘crusty’ type of nautilus. Nautilus fossils are found in some of the supposedly ‘oldest’ rock layers, appearing essentially the same as their modern relatives; a classic example of a ‘living fossil.’ Image source: Smithsonian.com.

Such claims are somewhat puzzling however, because, as the 7th grade Focus on Life Science textbook, states, “If gradualism [evolution over long periods] is correct, the fossil record should include intermediate forms between a fossil organism and its descendants. However, there are often long periods in which fossils show little or no change. Then quite suddenly, fossils appear that are very different.”1

As was highlighted in our last blog post, transitional forms are virtually absent from the fossil record, with only a few highly-disputed candidates uncovered in the 150 years since Darwin predicted them. As a result, scientists have been forced to accept one of three positions, 1) evolution did not occur,2 2) fossilization is rare, so perhaps these ‘transitional forms’ were just not fossilized,3 or 3) evolution happened in quick spurts, so that no record of change is preserved in the fossils.4

The obvious problem with positions 2 and 3 is that they are driven by a lack of evidence. They assume that evolution is true in spite of the facts. Although fossilization is uncommon, fossils are not. A large percentage of living animals have counterparts in the fossil record,5 some of which are so similar to their fossil relatives that they are termed ‘living fossils.’

Examples of ‘living fossils’ include dragonflies, horseshoe crabs, coelacanths (fish), crocodiles, tortoises, chambered nautilus, and many others.6 Living fossils are found in every part of the geologic column, a puzzle to evolutionists who maintain that evolution occurred over millions of years as a result of slow, gradual change.

In fact, the only real change observed in the fossil record is variation. For example, although paleontologists observe incredible variety in size, shape and design patterns of fossil ammonites, they are all easily recognizable as ammonites; we do not find ammonites evolving into anything other than an ammonite.

Molecules-to-man evolution is not supported by the fossil record. Instead, evolution is merely a paradigm that is imposed on the fossil record, and from which evolutionary interpretations are derived. When this paradigm is removed, however, it becomes clear that the fossil record supports that each kind of animal and plant was created separately with potential for limited variety; exactly what the Bible teaches: “And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:25)

Free Resources for Further Learning:

Evolution Exposes: Earth Science – The Fossil Record

Creation: Facts of Life – Fossil Kinds

Living Fossils: Portraits of the Fossilized Past

Bibliography:

1Coolidge-Stoltz, Elizabeth. Focus on California Life Science. Boston, MA: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008. 240. Print.
2Many former-Darwinists, including members of the creation science and Intelligent Design movements, have been led to this conclusion.
3The position taken by Charles Darwin himself and those who favor a gradual account of evolution.
4A view of evolution known as punctuated equilibria, which was promoted by Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould.
5Werner, Carl, and Debbie Werner. Evolution: The Grand Experiment: The Quest for an Answer. Green Forest, AR: New Leaf, 2014. 86. Print.

Students ask: “Has the ‘missing link’ been found?”

 In his book Origin of Species, Darwin wrote, “The number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed on the earth, [must] be truly enormous…Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.”1

"Lucy" as she appears on pages 14-15 of 6th grade California textbook History Alive! The Ancient World.

“Lucy” as she appears on pages 14-15 of 6th grade California textbook History Alive! The Ancient World.

Over a century after Darwin, evolutionary paleontologist David Raup wrote, “In the years after Darwin, his advocates hoped to find predictable progressions. In general, these have not been found — yet the optimism has died hard, and some pure fantasy has crept into textbooks.”2

Examples of this “pure fantasy” can be seen throughout the pages of 6th, 7th, and 10th grade California textbooks. Pages 14 to 23 of the 6th grade history textbook History Alive! The Ancient World illustrates the supposed progression from ape-like creatures to humans, claiming evidence from various fossil discoveries around the world, including “Lucy” (Australopithecus afarensis), Homo habilis, Homo erectus, Neanderthals, and Homo sapiens (Modern humans).3 Likewise, the 10th grade textbook Miller & Levine Biology teaches students that fossils linking whales to land mammals4, birds to dinosaurs5, and land-dwelling animals to fish6, have all been unearthed. Such claims are accompanied by flashy drawings fleshing out what these ‘in-betweens’ might have looked like (see picture above).  

However, all of these supposed ‘links’ have been questioned on scientific grounds by other evolutionists. As Senior Paleontologist of the British Museum of Natural History, Colin Patterson, wrote, “I will lay it on the line—there is not one such fossil for which one could make a watertight argument.”7

Some may imagine, based on similarities between these creatures and those to which they supposedly link, that these fossilsreally are Darwin’s ‘intermediate varieties.’ “But such stories are not part of science, for there is no way of putting them to the test,” Patterson responds.7 Just as someone could line up a fork, ‘spork’, and spoon, and claim to have found an evolutionary progression, such stories about fossils are only imaginative speculation based on a prior commitment to evolution.

So, even after 150 years of fossil discoveries since Darwin’s book, “the most obvious and gravest objection” to evolution still stands, and the ‘missing link’ is still…well, missing!

Free Resources for Further Learning: 

The Links Are Missing

Tiktaalik and the Fishy Story of Walking Fish 

Bird Evolution?

Whale Evolution? 

Are There Apemen in Your Ancestry?

References:

1Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species (1859; rep., New York: Avenel Books, Crown Publishers, n.d.).

2Raup, D. M. “Evolution and the Fossil Record.” Science 213.4505 (1981): 289. Print.

3Frey, Wendy, John Bergez, and Amy Joseph. History Alive!: The Ancient World. Palo Alto, CA: Teachers’ Curriculum Institute, 2004. 14-23. Print.

4Miller, Kenneth R., and Joseph S. Levine. Miller & Levine Biology. Boston, MA: Pearson, 2006. 467-467. Print.

5Ibid, 762-767.

6Ibid, 760-761. 

7Colin Patterson, quoted from personal communication in Sunderland, Luther D. Darwin’s Enigma: Fossils and Other Problems. San Diego, CA: Master Book, 1984. 88-90. Print.

Students ask: “Is man just a ‘highly-evolved' animal?”

Science textbooks like Miller & Levine Biology use the fact that humans are classified as mammals in the primates group to argue that we are related to chimpanzees, gorillas, and gibbons, leading many to believe that man is only a “highly-evolved” animal.1

Humans alone have the ability to commune with their Creator though faith in His Son, Jesus

Humans alone have the ability to enjoy a loving relationship with their Creator though faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.

Although the inventor of the classification and naming system for living things, Carolus Linnaeus, did classify humans as mammals and primates, he was also a committed Bible-believing creationist who held that mankind was distinctly created by God separate from the animals.2 The reason why he classified humans as mammals and primates in particular is simply because we share many physical similarities with other creatures, especially monkeys and apes.

It is not hard to understand why Linnaeus did this; every time we visit the zoo, we love watching monkeys and apes as they display their humanlike behaviors and abilities, often in humorous ways. However, we also recognize that humans are special.

Although we share much in common with animals, what sets us apart is how God describes humankind in Genesis 1:26-27, “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

Being created in God’s image, humans alone are capable of rational thought, scientific discovery, building complex structures and devices, communicating using spoken and written language, practicing medicine and surgery on each other, composing music, creating works of art, and most importantly, enjoying a loving relationship with his Creator through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. And it was for mankind alone that God sent His Son to come and pay the death penalty that we deserved for breaking God’s law, providing the way for us to live with Him forever.

Free Resources for Further Learning:

Are Animals Different From People?

Made in God’s Image Video

God’s Image: The Difference-Maker

References:

1Miller, Kenneth R., and Joseph S. Levine. Miller & Levine Biology. Boston, MA: Pearson, 2006. 766-767. Print.

2Jerry Bergman, Ph.D. 2014. Carolus Linnaeus: Founder of Modern Taxonomy. Acts & Facts. 43 (11).

Students ask: “Is human and chimpanzee DNA really 98-99% the same?”

One of the “holy grails” of evolution is the claim that humans share 98-99% of their DNA with chimpanzees. Based on this evidence, the 10th grade California textbook Miller & Levine Biology confidently states that, “Recent DNA analyses confirm that, among the great apes, chimpanzees are human’s closest relatives.”1

dna_study_wide

Humans and chimps are actually only 70% similar genetically, not the often-claimed “98-99%.” Image credit: icr.org

However, what is not commonly told is the fact that such numbers were gained using very unscientific means; “cherry picking” the data. Only segments of the DNA shared by chimps and humans were compared, so naturally, they would be very similar.2

It actually makes good sense from a creation-design standpoint for humans to share similar DNA with other creatures, for the obvious reason that man does many of the same things that animals do. For example, our bodies digest food, breath air, fight disease, and so on.

However, when the full genomes are taken into account and compared, the similarity number falls dramatically. As more recent research by both creationists and evolutionists has revealed, humans and chimps are only about 70% similar genetically; a far cry from the common 98-99% statistic promoted by secularists.This poses a huge dilemma for evolution, since this means that around 1 billion letters of DNA out of the total 3-billion in the human genome would have to be accounted for by random mutations and blind natural selection in only around 7 million years since humans and chimps last shared a common ancestor!5

The biblical account of the creation of man in the image of God, separate from the animals (including chimps) is a much better explanation for the complex genetic codes of humans and chimpanzees than evolution.

Free Resources for Further Learning:

Chimp DNA Video

Human and Chimp DNA—Nearly Identical?

The Myth of 1%

Chimp-human DNA Similarity: What Does It Really Mean?

References:

1Miller, Kenneth R., and Joseph S. Levine. Miller & Levine Biology. Boston, MA: Pearson, 2006. 767. Print.

2Tomkins, J. 2012. Journal Reports Bias in Human-Chimp Studies. Acts & Facts. 41 (6): 6.

3Jeanson, N. 2013. Does “Homology” Prove Evolution? Acts & Facts. 42 (9): 20.

4Tomkins, J. 2011. Evaluating the Human-Chimp DNA Myth—New Research Data. Acts & Facts. 40 (10): 6.

5Tomkins, Jeffery P., Ph.D. “Chimp DNA Mutation Study-Selective Yet Surprising.” Chimp DNA Mutation Study-Selective Yet Surprising. Institute for Creation Research, 25 June 2014. Web. 10 July 2015. <http://www.icr.org/article/chimp-dna-mutation-studyselective-yet/>.

Students ask: “Is the evolutionary ‘tree of life’ real?”

Did you know that California public-school science textbooks teach that humans are cousins to…worms?

Diagrams in both the 7th grade Focus on Life Science1 and 10th grade Miller & Levine Biology2 textbooks display a ‘family tree of life’, illustrating the path of evolution, from ‘simple’ invertebrates (at the ‘trunk’) to all the varieties of living creatures on earth, including human beings (the ‘branches’).

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 8.49.55 PM

The evolutionary ‘tree of life’ vs. the biblical creationist ‘orchard of life’. Image credit: www.answersingenesis.org.

Genesis clearly teaches that all life forms, including plants and animals, were all created ‘after their kind,’ therefore, living things can only reproduce more of their own ‘kind’. This is what is scientifically observed in nature; dogs produce varieties of dogs, roses produce varieties of roses, and so on.

So, why do evolutionary scientists arrive at the conclusion that all living creatures are related? It is not the evidence that leads one to believe this, but rather the assumptions used to interpret the evidence. Evolutionary scientists begin with two major assumptions that affect the way they see the relationships between plants and animals:

  1. All living things evolved from a ‘simple’ common ancestor.3
  2. Features shared between different creatures (physical patterns, genes, etc.) are evidence that they are related.4

Neither assumptions are provable, and they often lead evolutionary researchers to unacceptable (by their own standards) conclusions. For example, bats and dolphins share a very similar gene for echolocation, yet bats are supposed to be closely related to shrews, while dolphins are supposedly close relatives of deer.5

So, how should Bible-believers respond? First, we need to recognize the folly of ‘connecting the dots’ between living things, understanding that any group of objects can be arranged in a ‘family tree’ based on similarities. For instance, one could create an evolutionary ‘tree of vehicles’, drawing the lineage of the car, truck, and tank back to a ‘simple’ farm-tractor ancestor. Of course, we know that each of these vehicles was created separately, although they share many similarities, to fulfill a specific purpose.

We know from the Bible that God created all living things ‘after their kind’ on Days 3, 5, & 6 of Creation Week, each fully functional and ready to ‘fill the earth’. With this starting point, we see that the same logic applied to man-made objects also applies to God’s creation. Instead of interpreting similarities as evidence for relationship, we see them as examples of the common design patterns that God has used to enable His creatures to fill their environments, in the same way that human designers use similar designs to accomplish various purposes.Equipped with this understanding, we can approach the natural world with a sense of awe at all that the Creator has made.

Free Resources for Further Learning:

Evolution Exposed: Classifying Life

What Grows on Evolution’s Tree?

In-depth: Darwin vs. Genetics: Surprises and Snags in the Science of Common Ancestry

References:

1Coolidge-Stoltz, Elizabeth. Focus on California Life Science. Boston, MA: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008. 415. Print.

2Miller, Kenneth R., and Joseph S. Levine. Miller & Levine Biology. Boston, MA: Pearson, 2006. 742. Print.

3Ibid, p. 525.

4Ref. 1, p. 225-226.

5“In Bats and Whales, Convergence in Echolocation Ability Runs Deep.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 Jan. 2010. Web. 30 June 2015. <http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100125123219.htm>.

6Guliuzza, Randy J. “Similar Features Show Design, Not Universal Common Descent.” Clearly Seen: Constructing Solid Arguments for Design. Dallas, TX: Institute for Creation Research, 2012. 24-25. Print.

Students ask: “Are dinosaurs evidence of millions of years?”

Dinosaurs are back in the news with Universal Picture’s recent theatrical release of Jurassic World. As to be expected, this long-awaited sequel to the Jurassic Park trilogy presents the standard view of dinosaurs as established fact; dinosaurs and humans were separated by millions of years, and never crossed paths.

Kachina Bridge Dino

A petroglyph under Kachina Bridge in Utah closely resembles a sauropod (long-necked) dinosaur.

However, God’s Word teaches that the Lord created heaven, earth, the sea, and everything in them “in six days.” Genesis 1 tells us that land animals were created on the sixth day, alongside the first humans, Adam and Eve. Thus, according to a straightforward understanding of Scripture, man must have walked alongside dinosaurs (land creatures). Also, because death didn’t come into the world until Adam sinned, no living creatures (i.e. dinosaurs) could have died out before humans existed.

Of course, this clearly contradicts the prevailing theory that dinosaurs died out millions of years ago. However, before we accept the oft-made claim that ‘science contradicts the Bible,’ we need to ask, “How and why did scientists come to this conclusion?”

Dinosaur fossils were originally declared to be millions of years, not because of radioactive dating, but because of a belief that rock layers were formed over long periods of time. As a result of this belief, the fossils found in the rocks, like dinosaur bones, were assigned to an ancient ‘period’ of earth history, the “Age of Reptiles.”

However, there is much scientific evidence that has been discovered that suggest that there really never was such a time when dinosaurs ‘ruled the Earth’ before humans:

  1. Most dinosaur fossils are found in mass graves like that at Dinosaur National Monument in Utah/Colorado. Secular paleontologists are beginning to realize that many such dinosaur ‘graveyards’ could not have been the result of slow buildup of sediment and bones over millions of years, but are the result of the catastrophic death of hundreds of dinosaurs and the quick burial of their remains in mud and sand. This picture fits very well with the account of the Global Flood in Genesis.1
  2. Within the last decade, scientists have discovered dinosaur bones containing original soft-tissues and biological materials, including bone cells, blood vessels, red blood cells, and collagen, all of which are known by scientists to only last several thousand (in some cases up to one million) years, but cannot possibly survive 65 million years.2 This should cause us to seriously reconsider the accepted secular timeline of history.
  3. Nearly every culture on Earth has very similar records of giant, fearsome reptiles called ‘dragons,’ which have been depicted on pottery, cave walls, mosaics, and other artifacts. Many of these closely resemble dinosaurs, whose fossil bones have only begun to be understood for the last 200 years.3Details from these records and artifacts include skin, behavior, habitat, internal anatomy, and diet, which could not have possibly been gleaned by encounters with exposed fossil bones by ancient peoples, a popular evolutionary ‘explanation’ of these records. The only explanation left is that ancient peoples must have seen dinosaurs alive before their (recent) extinction.

Far from proving it wrong, the scientific evidence clearly confirms the Bible’s account of the history of man and beast, including the dinosaurs!

Recommended Resources:

Dinosaurs & Dragon Legends Video

Still Soft and Stretchy

Dinosaur National Monument in Utah

Double Decade Dinosaur Disquiet

References:

1O’Brien, Jonathan. “Dinosaur Disarray.” Creation Magazine Apr. 2012: 28-31. Print.

2Catchoole, David. “Double Decade Dinosaur Disquiet.” Creation Magazine Jan. 2014: 12-14. Print.

3Nelson, Vance. Dire Dragons. Red Deer, Alberta: Untold Secrets of Planet Earth, 2012. Print.