Are dinosaurs alive today?
Where Jurassic Park went wrong!
by Robert Doolan
note: the author has since retracted his claim about the Illustrated
London News report on the living pterosaur, since new evidence shows
that it was a hoax. And in late 2005, John Whitmore wrote that the
early reports of 'unfossilized' dinosaur bones were overstated, as
recent analysis shows that they should be referred to as 'fossilized' (
'Unfossilized' Alaskan dinosaur bones? Letter to the Editor, Journal of
While movie mogul Steven Spielberg prepared
for the premiere of his US$50 million blockbuster dinosaur film
Jurassic Park in early 1993, equally spectacular dinosaur-type news was
flowing in from around the world.
From China there were claims
that more than 1,000 people had seen a dinosaur-like monster in two
sightings around Sayram Lake in Xinjiang.1
From Scotland came
the latest Loch Ness monster sighting: Mrs Edna MacInnes reported on
June 24 that she had seen a 15-metre-long creature with a neck like a
giraffe in Loch Ness.2
From Canada, Professor P. LeBlond of the
University of British Columbia told a meeting of zoologists about the
many sightings of 'Caddy'—short for Cadborosaurus—around the British
Columbia coast and as far south as Oregon. The remains of a three-metre
juvenile 'Caddy' have actually been found in the stomach of a whale.3
been a big year for monsters. Russian scientists were startled to find
remains of dwarf mammoths on Wrangel Island, off the Siberian coast,
which they said were living only 3,700 years ago.4 And British explorer
Colonel John Blashford-Snell returned from an isolated Nepalese valley
in March with photos of living creatures which looked something like
mammoths or extinct stegodons.5
Whether it's Spielberg or
stegodons, 'Nessie' or 'Caddy'—dinosaurs and such creatures are on news
reports and in conversations everywhere. And because most people have
heard only the evolutionary viewpoint about these creatures, it is
important that Christians know how to respond to the evolutionary
Take Jurassic Park for instance. The plot revolves
around a quirky billionaire who sets out to recreate dinosaurs from DNA
extracted from a blood-sucking insect which had dined on dinosaur and
had then been trapped in amber (fossilized tree resin).
are then genetically recreated for the tycoon's dinosaur theme park.
But the dinosaurs break out of control, escape from the park, and start
feasting on passing vehicles.
People around the world have been
asking if scientists could really resurrect these robust reptiles from
DNA extracted from a preserved insect allegedly more than 100 million
The answer is No!
Despite the hype, Jurassic
Park is fiction. Scientists have not yet found dinosaur DNA in any
amber-preserved insects. But if they did, even evolutionists admit that
the DNA, a notoriously unstable molecule, would be too degraded to
carry a complete dinosaur genetic blueprint.6
In fact, Oxford
molecular biologist Bryan Sykes admitted in the journal Nature that the
rate at which DNA breaks down in the laboratory is such that 'no DNA
would remain intact much beyond 10,000 years.'7
That is enough
to kill the theory. But, in addition, reconstructing the genetic
blueprint of an extinct creature poses seemingly insurmountable
problems. Molecular geneticist Russell Higuchi compares the task to
'finding an encyclopaedia ripped into shreds and written in a language
you barely comprehend, and having to reassemble it in the dark, without
using your hands.'8
About four million fragments would have to be linked in the correct order—without knowing what that order was!
despite what you hear about multi-million-year-old insects being found,
DNA in them means the insect can be only thousands of years old at
most. And how to bring the creature back to life is something science
today has no idea how to do—a fact overlooked in Jurassic Park. Dinosaur sightings
could real dinosaurs be living today? What about all the reported
sightings? If dinosaurs died out more than 60 million years ago, as
evolutionists propose, then there can't be any convincing evidence for
their living today, or even in recent times.
fresh, unfossilized dinosaur bones have been found. In 1987, a young
Inuit (Canadian Eskimo), working with scientists from Memorial
University, Newfoundland (Canada), on Bylot Island, found a bone which
was identified as part of a lower jaw of a duckbill dinosaur.9
1981, scientists identified dinosaur bones which had been found in
Alaska 20 years earlier. The bones had been so fresh that the geologist
who had found them thought at first they must have been bison
bones. They have now been identified as belonging to horned dinosaurs,
duckbill dinosaurs, and small carnivorous dinosaurs.10
course, don't stay fresh very long—certainly not for millions of years.
These discoveries clearly indicate that dinosaurs were around recently.
It is possible too
that some of those huge flying reptiles, the pterosaurs, also survived
Noah's Flood and lived into recent times. The Illustrated London News
of February 9, 1856 (p. 166) reported that workmen digging a
railway tunnel in France last century disturbed a huge winged creature
at Culmont, in Haute Marne, while blasting rock for the tunnel.
The creature was described as
livid black, with a long neck and sharp teeth. It looked like a bat,
and its skin was thick and oily. It died soon after. Its wingspan was
measured at 3.22 metres (10 feet 7 inches). A naturalist 'immediately
recognised it as belonging to the genus Pterodactylus anas', and it matched the remains of known pterodactyl fossils.
Indians have stories of creatures they call 'thunderbirds', the
description of which resembles that of a pterosaur. It is possible that
the reason they can describe and draw these creatures is because their
ancestors saw them.
Less conclusive perhaps, but not necessarily
to be dismissed, are modern claims of sightings of dinosaur-type
creatures. Yet even among these there seem to be credible witnesses.
scientific attempts to verify the existence of dinosaurs today have
centred around the remote jungles of the Republic of the Congo, in
central western Africa.
Several scientific expeditions have
taken place there, with the help and sponsorship of the Congolese
Government, in an effort to verify reports of previously unidentified
animals. One of these animals, known to the local natives as
Mokele-mbembe, fits the description of a small plant-eating dinosaur.
Dr Roy P. Mackal, from the University of Chicago, has led some of these
trips through the harsh, humid, swampy environment of the Congo. He has
written a book about his excursions, which includes summaries from
other researchers who have been on expeditions to the Congo's Likouala
New species identified
Mackal says that a giant
turtle and a monkey-eating bird have been identified with some
certainty as living in the Likouala swamps. An unknown species of large
crocodile also seems to inhabit the area.
If this is where
things were left, there would be general agreement that these are
exciting discoveries for science, and that more research would be
worthwhile. But Dr Mackal also reports sightings of other unidentified
creatures, including Mokele-mbembe, which he is fairly convinced is a
small sauropod dinosaur.
This is where less open-minded
scientists switch off. But Mackal has support from other scientists and
researchers who say they have seen evidence of Mokele-mbembe on their
expeditions. Some have been on these nerve-racking dinosaur hunts
several times. As Mackal says, he would 'not endure extreme hardship
and danger, even risk my life, to pursue a dream with no basis in
Biologist Marcellin Agnagna is another trained
scientist who officially reported seeing Mokele-mbembe. He said that on
May 1, 1983, he and members of his party came across a Mokele-mbembe in
the Congo's remote Lake Tele.12 It had a wide back, a long neck, and a
small head. The front of it was brown, and its back appeared black. It
was in the shallow water of the lake, and the length visible above the
waterline was about five metres (16 feet).
Agnagna said, 'It can
be said with certainty that the animal we saw was Mokele-mbembe, that
it was quite alive, and, furthermore, that it is known to many
inhabitants of the Likouala region.'
It is therefore possible
that at least one type of dinosaur may be living today. If it is
indisputably accepted after further investigation, it would not be the
first time that creatures which evolutionists had thought had died out
millions of years ago have actually been found alive.
But it is important to distinguish between fantasy, feasibility, and fact.
Park, though seemingly based on high-tech real science, is fantasy.
Tests show that DNA would not last much more than 10,000 years,
certainly not millions; reconstructing the genetic blueprint of such
long-gone creatures is overwhelmingly complex and is probably
impossible; and getting life back into those molecules or cells is
something which science today has no idea how to do.
feasibility of the idea that some dinosaurs may still be alive has a
little more support, although at this time we would have to say it is
The fact, however, is that creationists are in a
better position than evolutionists on these matters. Whether you
consider the DNA aspect or the fresh dinosaur bones aspect, the
evolutionary idea of millions of years does not look credible.
when you consider the complexity involved in the genetic code—and that
the fossil record shows no dinosaur evolution—the God-honouring
conviction that dinosaurs and all other life came about through
supernatural creation looks very convincing indeed.