AIG: Why Were Dinos Saved on the Ark?

They’re answering the mail again at Answers in Genesis (AIG), one of the major sources of young-earth creationist wisdom. AIG is the online creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia.

AIG’s offering today is Feedback: Dinosaur Extinction. The question AIG received is somewhat amusing:

Why would god have Moses save the dinosaurs on an ark, when they ended becoming extinct later. Why go to all the trouble? either your god can’t see the future or your god isn’t too bright. Which is it?

AIG’s answer is long and tortuous, so we’ll have to skip a lot of it. First, they politely correct the questioner by pointing out that it was Noah who built the Ark, not Moses. Then they attempt to explain the dinosaur problem. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us and scripture references omitted:

There are a couple of correct ideas in your comments. First, since dinosaurs were land-dwelling, air-breathing animals, then they would have been saved on the Ark. Second, you imply that God should have known that dinosaurs would become extinct. This is true. God knows all things — past, present, and future — so He certainly knew about all the various animals that would eventually go extinct.

So the question remains: Why save the dinos if he knew they would soon be extinct? Why crowd the Ark with all those doomed species? What difference would a few million more drowned animals mean to a deity who was killing almost all life on Earth? Let’s read on:

Before covering some of the problems with your specific objection, let’s consider the topic of extinction from an evolutionary worldview. First, on what basis could an evolutionist say that extinction is “good” or “bad”? After all, extinction would just be the natural order of things — over millions of years animals evolve and eventually die off — and if there is no absolute standard of morality, then “good” and “bad” are merely relative terms.

We know the difference between good and bad, and we can spot a bad attempt to change the subject. Answer the question! Why save the dinos when they were soon to go extinct? AIG continues:

The dilemma you present is, technically speaking, an example of the logical fallacy known as bifurcation. You suggest that there are only two options: either God can’t see the future or He isn’t too bright. However, there are other legitimate options. Since God does know all things, including the future, He is infinitely intelligent, so the options you suggest are too limited. Perhaps God didn’t want them to go extinct at that time, or maybe He didn’t want them to go extinct directly by His judgment.

Or maybe he forgot that he had planned their extinction. Or maybe he wasn’t paying attention to the Ark’s passenger list. Or maybe he likes extinction events, so he was saving the dinos’ demise for his later pleasure. Here’s more:

As for the actual reason God told Noah to bring the animals on the Ark, the Bible only tells us that it was “”to keep them alive with [Noah]“. Notice that He didn’t say anything about preserving them after the Flood. Once the animals disembarked, we are not given too many details about what happened to them. We know they scattered throughout the earth. Some of them have survived and thrived, while others have gone extinct for various reasons.

Answer the question! AIG continues:

So why didn’t God step in to prevent certain animals from going extinct? Well, His ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts higher than our thoughts. So if He doesn’t tell us His reasons for doing something, we can only speculate based on what we know of His character.

This should be fun. Here’s another excerpt:

We know that God does not always protect us from the consequences of our decisions. He did not prevent Adam and Eve from eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and He did not stop David from committing adultery with Bathsheba, although many people think He should have. If God followed this type of “logic,” then we would live in a bizarre world.

Oh, and Genesis doesn’t describe a bizarre world? On with the article:

Should He temporarily suspend gravity when a person attempts to commit suicide by leaping from a high place, or must He prevent car crashes through any means necessary? Let’s take this a step further. Maybe He should prevent any harm to any person. Perhaps He should suspend gravity whenever a little girl is about to fall down so that she doesn’t scrape up her knee. Should He prevent us from eating food that may not be entirely healthy? This type of thinking quickly removes any semblance of freedom we may have.

Ah, it’s because of freedom that the little girl is allowed to scrape her knee. How wonderful! Perhaps the dinos’ extinction was a demonstration of their freedom. AIG’s speculation continues:

However they died, the fact that so many animals have gone extinct shows us that God does not prevent such an event from occurring. We believe they died off for many of the same reasons that other animals fail to survive: hunting, natural disaster, diseases, changes in habitat, etc. But since God has given man dominion over the creatures of the earth, the extinction of animals reflects negatively on us rather than on Him. Ultimately, all of the death that has ever happened (both humans and animals) is a consequence of man’s sin.

Ah, it always goes back to Adam & Eve. Here’s more:

We do agree at one level with those who blame humanity for the plight of endangered animals. Extinction truly is man’s fault, but not necessarily for the same reason claimed by these people. Rather, the death of any creature can ultimately be traced back to Adam’s sin. So extinction is our fault, and the fact that God preserved any people or animals at the time of the Flood demonstrates His mercy.

We’re the bad guys and the planet-killing Flood demonstrates God’s mercy. Now we come to the end:

He created a perfect world and we are the ones who wrecked it. The fact that He allows sinners like you and me to continue living testifies to His grace and mercy. We have rebelled against Him and deserve His justice, which is far worse than extinction because it involves eternal punishment. However, in His love and mercy, Jesus — the Son of God — came to die on the Cross. He bore the punishment for our rebellion and promises to save all who call upon Him.

Getting back to the original question: Why save the dinos on the Ark if they were soon to go extinct? Somehow we missed AIG’s answer. Perhaps it’s in there somewhere, but we just didn’t see it.

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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19 responses to “AIG: Why Were Dinos Saved on the Ark?

  1. I would think this question would be right up their alley. Isn’t religion supposed to answer the “why” questions?

  2. I think he did answer the question. It was “I don’t know why he put them on the ark. But their extinction was man’s fault.” Which has to be one of the weirdest claims ever to come out of AiG.

    I think Ham must make up these letters. I would like him to answer the question of why God created the thousands (possibly millions) of species of animals and plants (both marine and land-dwelling) that he knew would only last a couple of thousand years at most. Why do that? Per Ham, he created them knowing they would go extinct, and further, he would blame their extinction on man because Adam ate a piece of fruit from a tree he placed in the garden, which he also knew Adam would eat.

    Why Christians claim their god is loving and merciful is beyond me.

  3. Doctor Stochastic

    If God knows everything, why are there Bosons?

  4. ddeane@gmail.com

    Because dragons. Duh.

  5. “Because dragons. Duh.”

    Sorry, didn’t mean to put my email in there.

  6. Now you know why the likes of AiG is not to be trusted and not to be believed. They avoid questions like this because this exposes the flaw behind their fairy tale world of dinosaurs and men together.

  7. Yes Virginia, there is a malignant, genocidal, megalomaniacal monster at the center of the Noah myth, and it’s not the velociraptor! His foresight and omniscience is a moot concern though, because He’s fictional, like most storybook bogeymen. So you needn’t attach any lifelong fear or irrational guilt about the supposed transgressions of a nonexistent couple in a magic garden. Now put your bathtub ark away and get ready for bed.

  8. Ceteris Paribus

    Why won’t AIG just tell the kid the simple truth?

    Which is that dinosaurs are extinct because World Net Daily outed Barney, the purple dinosaur, for being gay.

    http://www.wnd.com/2005/01/28336/

  9. Charles Deetz ;)

    I can almost hear Father Guido Sarducci saying “God, he works in mysterious ways”.

  10. Charles Deetz ;)

    Ed, are you giving Hambo a pass by not asking why God would create so many transitional animals only to have them go extinct?

  11. Charles Deetz ;)

    And one more observation … Hambo’s argument that man has dominion over earth goes directly against anti-global-warming christians who believe that God would never let such a thing happen. Is God in control, or is man?

  12. >”Is God in control, or is man?”

    Don’t rock the boat Ark Charles. The last time that happened, a unicorn fell overboard.

  13. closing my @#$@#$!! tag again.

  14. Charles, I think of every animal that survives long enough to have offspring as a transitional animal.

    @Tomato Addict – the link is great!

  15. So instead of giraffes sticking out of your toy bath tub ark it should be brontosauruses?

  16. Dragons are dinosaurs. They had to live long enough to get into our legends. Without dragons, no The Hobbit, no Lord Of The Rings, no Earthsea. Life wouldn’t be worth living.

  17. No Puff the Magic Dragon, no Bruce Lee Enter the Dragon, no Dragon Ball Z, because if we can imagine it, it must be real.

  18. techreseller

    Gotta love the Onion. I would love to send that to some creationists I know to get their reaction. Poe’s law and all.