Creationist Wisdom #589: Dinosaurs and Dragons

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Thompson Citizen of Thompson, Manitoba. It’s titled Dinosaurs, dragons and millions of years. The newspaper has a comments section.

Unless the letter-writer is a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. But today we’ve got a preacher — or something similar. It’s Richard Sheppard, described as the Group Leader of the Thompson Seventh-day Adventist Church. Excerpts from the Group Leader’s letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

I love dinosaurs! I love watching movies about dinosaurs, hearing about dinosaurs, and reading about dinosaurs. Dinosaurs are my thing! Now, “How,” you may ask, “can a Creationist like yourself who denies evolution believe in creatures that science has proven to have existed millions of years ago?”

Silly question, but here’s the Group Leader’s answer:

First of all, I’d like to point out “science” could never prove that anything happened millions of years ago. Science is knowledge derived from observation, experimentation, etc. You can’t observe what happened millions of years ago; you can only believe in it. Contrary to the accepted view of dinosaurs, science and the Bible say lots about dinosaurs that contradict the viewpoint of millions of years.

You’re hooked, aren’t you? Let’s read on:

According to the Bible, flying creatures were created on day five and all land animals on day six. Exodus 20:11 assures us, “[I]n six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is.” If God made everything in six days, Adam must have seen dinosaurs! Think about it — you’ll see I am right.

Verily, the logic is undeniable. He continues:

So, does historical scientific evidence give evidence that dinosaurs and man have lived together? Surprisingly, yes. Consider a few points: Dragon legends exist in every culture around the world. The Bible even mentions dragons. The descriptions of these creatures in legend have been embellished to some degree but, basically, the common characteristics of these creatures are that they are large, reptilian beasts; some fly, some walk; some are carnivorous and frightening, while some are vegetarian and friendly.

There are also legends and drawings that describe flying horses, winged lions, mermaids, centaurs, etc., but the Group Leader selectively ignores all of those. Here’s more evidence:

Herodotus, who lived around 400-484 B.C., wrote about “winged serpents” whose wings were like a bat’s, and he also wrote of creatures he called “ibises” that were much larger than these who killed them (see Herodotus, Histories, vol. 2, para. 75, 76). …. Additionally, today, in Papua New Guinea, there are reports of pterodactyl-like creatures that terrorize local villagers.

Beowulf, a historical figure who is sometimes thought of as legendary, wrote in the famous story of Beowulf and Grendel the Dragon, how a village in which he was residing at the time was terrorized by a large bipedal carnivore that had arms with little use with claws on them, and a mouth with large sharp teeth.

Beowulf wrote Beowulf? Okay. Then we’re given even more evidence:

Large amounts of Carbon-14 are found in dinosaur fossils, which should be beyond trace in something 90,000 years old. Mary Schweitzer and her team have been the discoverers of many dinosaur fossils with fresh bone marrow, blood cells, hemoglobin, etc. Smithsonian Magazine has published her findings but has stated that her findings have been “hijacked” by Creationists. Modern animals and modern birds are found in dinosaur-era rock layers.

Astonishing! Oh, we’ve discussed the Mary Schweitzer findings in Dinosaur Fossils Found with Hot Red Meat? Moving along:

This is one of many areas where the general theory of evolution is the biggest, and most foolish hindrance to scientific research.

Yeah, the general theory of evolution is a hindrance. Presumably, the special theory of evolution isn’t quite so bad. Now brace yourself, because here comes a whole catalog of creationist clunkers:

Why don’t you ever hear the above pieces of historical and scientific evidence talked about in public schools or universities where the theory of evolution reigns paramount? Why do public school textbooks support evolution with “evidence” that has either been severely misrepresented or entirely fraudulent (e.g., Haeckel’s embryos, “vestigial organs,” horse evolution, Java man, Piltdown man, Nebraska man, Archaeopteryx, etc.).

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! But wait — it gets even better:

Watch Dr. Kent Hovind’s Creation Seminar for more information [link omitted].

The only thing the Group Leader left out is Jack Chick’s Big Daddy? And now we come to the end — the material in brackets is from the newspaper:

Paul warned us in his First Epistle to Timothy (1 Timothy) 6:20 to beware of “oppositions of science falsely so called [lit., “pseudo-science”].” We would do well to heed his warning!

That was quite a letter! We are pleased to include it in our collection.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

21 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #589: Dinosaurs and Dragons

  1. So Adam must have seen bacteria, neutrinos, the back side of the Moon.

  2. How long until someone claims dragons efficiently disposed of the waste aboard the ark with their fiery breath,,, It only makes sense really.

  3. Diogenes' Lamp

    Beowulf, a historical figure who is sometimes thought of as legendary, wrote in the famous story of Beowulf and Grendel the Dragon, how a village in which he was residing at the time was terrorized by a large bipedal carnivore that had arms with little use with claws on them, and a mouth with large sharp teeth.

    Oh Jibbers Crabst. Grendel was not a dragon and did not have “arms with little use.” The poem explicitly describes Grendel sneaking into the viking hall and seizing a sleeping full-size Viking with his claws and dragging him away.

    Grendel was humanoid. His mom wwas a water dragon. Perhaps he was adopted… the alternative is not pretty.

  4. Boy, does dinosaur-loving Richard Sheppard ever get Beowulf’s dragon wrong! Just as wrong as the authorship of the poem and Beowulf’s status as a historical person.

    The dragon flies and ignites houses with its fiery breath. The best way to explain these details is to consider they are traits of adders exaggerated to monstrous proportions in the process of folk transmission. The snake’s ability to glide smoothly and silently along without limbs becomes flying; the burning sensation of its venom gets generalized to flame-throwing. Never does the poem mention limbs on the dragon, neither hind legs for bipedal running nor tiny arms in battle. In fact, the poem refers to the dragon as a “wyrm,” a name applied in Old English to slithery legless creatures in general. When Beowulf enters its lair, its defensive posture is to coil.

    If Sheppard wants to use the dragon in this poem as evidence that humans and snakes have coexisted on earth, well, okay. Not dinosaurs, though.

  5. Sometimes it becomes readily apparent which brand of creationist Kool-Aid someone swallowed. In this case it is obviously Kent Hovind. The introduction of the letter “I love dinosaurs!” is something that Hovind says all the time. Obviously he mentioned Hovind by name but in particular with Hovind you get a lot of verbatim parrotting, which is what you see here. (Another case was YouTuber “VenomFangX”, and of course Eric Hovind who is plying the family’s ministry while daddy awaits his August release.)

  6. Diogenes, humanoid Grendel was the first monster Beowulf slew. Both he and his mother were Norse water-trolls. She was Beowulf’s second adversary. His last monster, and the one that did him in, was the dragon I described above.

    Sheppard needs to go back to Genesis and fit water-trolls into the Hebrew creation story, which he no doubt claims is historical, though often thought of as mythical.

  7. Garnetstar

    Dinosaur fossils do *not* have detectable C14 in them, because many have no carbon in them at all. Carbonates are the only carbon-bearing mineral, many dinosaurs fossils are, like most of the earth’s crust, silicates.

    There’s a creationist who once measured the amount of C14 in the varnish with which he’d covered a dinosaur fossil, and proclaimed how it proved the fossil’s young age. Perhaps that is what the writer is referring to.

  8. This dude has been reading or talking to the Great Hambone.

  9. Derek Freyberg

    Oh boy, citations to both “Dr.” Felonio and the Arkster in the same piece – how more credulous can you get?

  10. Garnetstar, that’s not really “once.”

    If you look through the history of creationists “disproving” radiometric dating, it’s basically a litany of preparing samples in exactly the wrong way, sending them for the wrong tests, and cheering when the results come back in their favour.

    It’s like dumping a can of paint into a mass spec, turning it on, and saying that the resulting smoke and flames is proof that paint is magical.

  11. The title of the column is “Spiritual Thoughts” yet I did not see one smidgeon of evidence there occurs anything resembling a thought in Richard’s head.

  12. Meanwhile, back in Kentucky Ark country, the big boat is on it’s way and will hold all the dinosaur and dragon kinds the world has ever seen! Here’s an update story:

    Noah’s big biblical boat being built as Kentucky attraction

    http://news.yahoo.com/noahs-big-biblical-boat-being-built-kentucky-attraction-013606357.html

    But we best be on the lookout for republicans in Congress who just might want to fund this project rather than NASA, EPA, or other government agency doing real work but which republicans deny the usefulness and applicability of the results they come by.

  13. @DavidK
    Ask anybody what Noah’s Ark was, and they are sure to mention that it was sea-worthy and contained lots of animals, if not anything else. Maybe that it was wooden.
    What is being built in Kentucky is a building on land, not an “ark”, and will not be dedicated to holding lots of animals, and is only mostly wooden (or is it only token wooden)?

  14. Dave Luckett

    This nitwit’s drivel is one flat, straight lie after another. Granted, he probably doesn’t know he’s retailing lies, but that’s the true evil of it. He’s completely ignorant of everything he twaddles about, from paleontology to poetry, and he’s got a lawnmower mind hauling an eighteen-wheeler load – but he’s a preacher of some kind, so he gets a thousand words in the the local rag under the heading “spiritual thoughts”. (Me, I think that description should be applied to philosophising while consuming much hard liquor, but no…. The Greeks called it a symposium, but they did it with wine, which might be less depressive, in the quantity required.)

    “Spiritual thoughts,” my aching back. That’s religion in hippy beads, and in this case also a piece of tinsel to cover the fact that a small-town rag is prepared to give an additional pulpit to a local Bible-thumper – which is to say, an additional privilege. This is religious propaganda. Where’s the feature entitled “secular thoughts”, eh?

    That these aren’t “spiritual thoughts” is patently obvious, of course. They’re neither thoughts nor spiritual. They’re unthinking lies about material reality. But he gets them into the local paper because of who he is.

    That’s the true evil, like I said. This loon has no clue about what he’s on about, but he’s not only licenced to spread ignorance, he’s privileged in the means to do it, solely because he’s a preacher-man. Gaaah!

    I see no comments yet. I’m torn, a little. If there are none at all, the reason might be that nobody, not even the locals in Thompson, Manitoba, read his nonsense. But I’d hate to think that even in the Manitoba backwards… oops, that should read “back woods”… there is nobody who can give the rev a heads-up. And tell him exactly what it’s up, as well.

  15. Gosh, another Gish! I’m totally worn out just reading his mountain of manure.

  16. If God made everything in six days, Adam must have seen dinosaurs!

    Why? Genesis says that God planted a garden in the Eden region. Why would anyone have dinosaurs in a garden reserve?

    A garden isn’t a pasture so one wouldn’t want a herd of cows there, let alone a bunch of grazing dinosaurs. (Do YECs ever think through their claims before stating them as absolute truths? [Rhetorical question alert.] And how many ecosystems/habitats do they think were in that garden? And why assume that Adam saw every variety of animal? They will say that Adam had seen every animal when naming them–but this is another situation where overplay words like “all” and “every” and ignore how they are actually used.)

    This is a good example of how Sunday School flannel-graphs, posters, and coloring sheets convey various traditions that aren’t in the Biblical text.

  17. If you look through the history of creationists “disproving” radiometric dating, it’s basically a litany of preparing samples in exactly the wrong way, sending them for the wrong tests,….

    Yes, and what did the “creation scientists” do when they finally had in hand the kind of big grant money they always whine about? A rare research grant estimated somewhere between $1.2 and $1.7 million dollars was squandered on their silly R.A.T.E. Project–where they yet again did exactly what Dweller42 described: illustrated how to botch radiometric dating in every way possible. What did they “discover”? Surprise surprise: “We found that radiometric dating is flawed!”

    Seeing how they always complain that foundations don’t give them big grants for “creation science” research, why doesn’t Ken Ham allocate just a fraction of his $165+ million destined for the Ark Park to endow Research Professor chairs for full-time scientists? Why doesn’t he want to produce at least ONE “creation science” discovery to “prove” that it is real science?

  18. First of all, I’d like to point out “science” could never prove that anything happened millions of years ago. Science is knowledge derived from observation, experimentation, etc. You can’t observe what happened millions of years ago; you can only believe in it.

    Of course, by this logic, the same is true of what happened thousands of years ago.

    Gruppenfuehrer Sheppard apparently scorns forensic science in favor of legends about dragons and bogus claims of “evidence” of humans and dinosaurs living together. (“Flintstones, meet the Flintstones, they’re a modern Stone Age family. . . .”)

  19. Garnetstar

    dweller42, you’ve ruined my faith in humanity. I had naively hoped, despite all the evidence that our SC posts here, that only one creationist was that downright stupid.

    Sigh, another illusion dashed…..

    (As an aside, I have had students who actually did things rather like dumping paint into a mass spec. But none ever concluded magic, I suppose they were not creationists.)

  20. Mary L. Mand

    Science can certainly see millions of years in the past. The Hubble telescope is giving us great views of stars and galaxies that are so far from us, some of the light it sees is millions of years old.

  21. As far as the distinction between “historical science” and “observational science”, here is the way that I see it:
    First of all, it is an arbitrary distinction that science-avoiders make up on their own authority as a desperate move when faced with what even they realize is overwhelming evidence for “deep time”.
    If they are going to insist on this, then they have to acknowledge that they are not allowed to make any inferences about the past, such as “fine tuning for life” of the constants and laws of physics; any reasonable or common-sense extrapolations on the bare “eyewitness testimony” of the Bible – no “micro-evolution of kinds”; and even “how do they know that I wasn’t there”!
    It is not only distance in the past which is remote from “direct observation and repeatable”. There are things which are remote in distance, places which we couldn’t have reached before the space age, yet no one could reasonably that we didn’t know about laws of planetary motion in 1920. Likewise there are things too big or too small, too fast or too slow, or too difficult or dangerous. If one stops to think about it, it is in the knowledge of the “remote” which shows the power of science.