Dinosaurs are among the most successful land animals ever to have existed. They roamed the earth for more than 150 million years. 1
This is the claim stated from many of the dinosaur books that populate the world. When a dinosaur book is opened, the study of the geologic timelines in the book contains the tracing of millions of years. The theory of millions of years has been approved by many scientists and is considered scientific fact. However, the scientific method for determining scientific truth concludes that you have to go by figure 1.
If a hypothesis or theory does not adhere to the above principles then it can not be supported with scientific conclusions. On the other hand, if a theory can be supported and follow along with the scientific method then it can be accepted into the scientific community.
These timelines, however, that exist in dinosaur books easily come to the conclusion that millions of years is part of the dinosaur identity. These timelines, and their three consecutive eras, are listed below with their Millions of Years Ago (MYA): 2
- Triassic – 245-218 MYA
- Jurassic – 218-157 MYA
- Cretaceous – 157-65 MYA
These three categories are the timeline that many scientists use in their exploration of dinosaurs. The three periods are listed below, with their descriptions and attributes.
1. Triassic – 245-218 MYA
The Triassic period, according to many paleontologists, starts with the dinosaurs in 20 million years. This means, that the dinosaurs came into being in the 228 MYA range. Eoraptor is considered the first dinosaur to have roamed the earth. After some evolution the Eoraptor’s ancestors, such as Erythrosuchus, became other dinosaurs. This was the first step in dinosaur history, according to many paleontologists.
2. Jurassic – 218-157 MYA
The Jurassic time period is probably the most popular of the three eras. It contains some of the most famous and revolutionary dinosaurs in the world. According to evolutionists these dinosaurs were some of the fiercest and they have been made very popular by movies, such as Jurassic Park 1-3. The Jurassic era had some very famous dinosaurs.
3. Cretaceous – 157-65 MYA
The Cretaceous era lasted the longest in the evolutionary timeline and contains many dinosaurs that people are familiar with. Many say that the end of the Cretaceous, 65-67 MYA, was the end of the dinosaurs as we know them.
These time periods are based off the analysis of fossils by evolutionists. These dates, they say, can be determined by the law of uniformitarianism. They say that the rock layers we see have developed over millions of years. They then give these rock layers dates according to the rate of modern rock development.
They then look up these layers and find the dinosaurs in the different layers, and then propose that the dinosaurs must have lived millions of years apart and together. When they find all these dinosaurs in the rock layers they assume that they must have lived through all the millions of years along with the rocks that formed with them. So, the argument would go as follows:
- It takes a long time for rock to accumulate today.
- Therefore it took a long time to form rocks MYA (uniformitarianism).
- Dinosaurs are in the rocks as fossils.
- Therefore dinosaurs lived MYA because of the dates of the rocks.
According to the scientific method the argument for uniformitarianism would proceed as outlined in figure 2.
Charles Lyell, in 1830-1833, published a three-volume book series on the Principles of Geology. In his famous work he proposed that the rate of rock building and rock erosion at the present-day should be applied to the geologic stratum. 3
According to Lyell, there have been few catastrophic events that would have shaped land marks like Grand Canyon. His books were based on other scientist’s conclusions at the time. Lyell found it realistic to say that the earth is millions of years old because of the slow process of rock layering.
Today we observe the same thing as the erosion of rock and the building of it can take a very long time. However, contrary to Lyell’s theory, the time variable of rock formation can change rapidly.
In May 18th, 1980 Mt. Saint Helens exploded into what is known as the most popular and devastating eruption to ever come from North America. By completely destroying hundreds of miles of wildlife and land, this volcano is stark proof against uniformitarianism.
On May 18th and the days following Mt. Saint Helens sent mudflows that stretched out for 17 miles. 4 These mudflows eventually stopped and settled. When they are observed they show the very same thing the Grand Canyon has shown us for centuries; rocks can form quickly with catastrophic events.
These mudflows had settled in layers just like the rock layers we see today in places like Grand Canyon, cliff shorelines, etc. But, these mudflows weren’t just a few feet deep; they were over 60 feet deep!
Also, when an animal, plant, or human is fossilized there is a process that has to occur in order to be able to preserve the bones. They are listed below:
- Enough water and pressure (sand doesn’t fossilize things)
- Rapid burial (in order to cover bones completely)
- Enough time to fossilize (a couple of years at least)
However, when we search the uniformitarianism view we find that rocks supposedly take millions of years to form. And, when we observe how slowly rocks form, outside of catastrophes, we can trace the rock layers back millions of years. But, something uniformitarianism doesn’t answer is the fact that catastrophes strike the earth extremely often.
When an animal dies it begins to decay, but, when an animal is buried quickly by mud, or other fossil-making material, it is safely guarded from scavengers, decomposers and the such.
Therefore, when a dinosaur fossil is found the only explanation is that the dinosaur died and was buried rapidly with mud or other, wet material, or it was buried alive with the same materials.
Conclusion to uniformitarianism:
Uniformitarianism is beginning to be rejected, even by leading evolutionists. The fact that catastrophes happen and change plains into canyons is proof enough that something is wrong with uniformitarianism.
1 Barrett, Paul. National Geographic Dinosaurs. Washington D.C. 1999. Print. Pg. 12. April 2nd, 2012
2This list’s ages might differ slightly from others.
3 Mortensen, Terry. The New Answers Book 2: Chapter 11. Green Forest, Arizona. 2008. Print. Pg. 114.
4 “Saint Helens, Mount.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica 2007 Deluxe Edition. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2012.