Paul Taylor comments

Paul Taylor
Paul Taylor

The BBC have recently reported a study showing that many dinosaurs have been named several times. Research carried out by Professor Michael Benton of Bristol University has shown that this double-counting of dinosaur species may be as high as 50%.

Dr Benton says: "In Victorian times, palaeontologists were keen to name new species, and in the excitement of the great 'bone wars' for example, from 1870 to 1890, they rushed into print with new names for every odd leg bone, tooth, or skull cap that came their way. Later work, on more complete specimens, reduced more than 1,000 named dinosaurs to 500 or so."

This is a remarkable admission that the estimate of the number of dinosaur species is much too high. So when evolutionary scientists make fun of creation scientists, suggesting that the Ark couldn't have fitted all the dinosaurs in, we need to remember that, quite often, a new fossil discovery has led to the possible unjustified publication of a new dinosaur species.

Moreover, Noah would not have taken two of every species of dinosaur on the Ark - just two of every kind. Like other animal groups, such as cats (lions, tigers etc), there were probably kinds of dinosaurs. For example, maybe some of the different therapod dinosaurs were part of the same kind. In this way, we can see that the number of animals Noah needed on the Ark was much smaller than the evolutionary scoffers like to think. In fact, the number of all land animals and birds, including dinosaurs, was probably about 16000 kinds - so there would be just over 32000 animals (allowing a few extra for the clean kinds).

Professor Benton is interested in the naming of dinosaur species, because he is studying how they evolved. According to the BBC website, "he tries to understand how this famous animal group changed and diversified over almost 200 million years". What the BBC does not comment on is the speculative nature of timescales such as 200 million years. Benton's comment sheds some light on the dilemma. "There's no point somebody such as myself doing big statistical analyses of numbers of dinosaur species through time - or indeed any other fossil group - if you can't be confident that they really are genuinely different". His work involves statistics - and it involves estimates of time. As we have frequently shown on our website, estimates of time are entirely presuppositional - remember that the idea of carbon-dating fossils is a mythy. No fossils are dated by carbon-dating - they are dated by estimates based on their position in the geologic column, which in turn can only be estimated by supposing the sedimentary rocks were formed according to evolutionary processes.

What this story emphasises is the speculative nature of so-called evolutionary evidence. There is no need for the Christian to feel brow-beaten by such pseudo-scientific reports in the popular media. CR

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