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.
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