Wednesday, May 13, 2015

What Does Finding Dinosaur Skin Suggest?

If one day you entered an otherwise empty and remote cave and found inside an average sized candle burning, to solve the mystery of its origin what questions would your mind immediately ask about the duration of its flame? Wouldn’t you first ponder how long such a candle should last? Or, would your mind drift first to question if there was something special about the candle that enabled it to continually burn for millions of years? Which of the two questions sounds worthy of consideration? Probably everyone would say the first question is a good one and the second question is absurd. But, apparently when it comes to finding dinosaur flesh, archaeologists find the form of the second question to be the only worthy one.

This week it was announced that a team of archaeologists working in Alberta, Canada had unearthed a fossil fragment of a duck-bill dinosaur (hadrosaur). However, this is no ordinary fossil fragment. It was yet another fossil with preserved skin attached. That’s right – preserved, intact dinosaur skin. This was not fossilized skin but actual skin that had been preserved without being frozen or mineralized. In reaction, the assigned scientific teams are trying to answer how the fossil remained intact for around “70 million years.” In their bias, they assume that there must be something special about this fossil and/or the area where it was found. But, are these the right questions to be answering? Is it possible that there are other questions worth exploring? Could it be that there is a bias that is prohibiting us from asking and answering possibly the right questions? Might I suggest that we attempt to answer a more revealing question? We should be asking, “How long could actual dinosaur skin tissue like this possibly last?”

Like candles, we know probably everything there is to know about how long reptilian skin tissue should last. The rate of decay of the proteins that make up reptilian skin is widely known. In fact, there is no mystery left on the subject. And, unlike candles which can be blown out and re-lit, the rate of decay of such skin tissue is relentless after death. The truth is that such exposed skin would not last millions of years, but would become dust in a matter of only thousands of years in similar conditions. Instead of noticing that the fossils obviously look young, they deny the obvious in favor of the ludicrous. Could it be that these fossils look young because they are young? But, that would require that we ultimately agree with ... God. And, under no circumstances can we ever do such a terrible thing, can we?

This is not the first time we have discovered dinosaur tissue that has not decomposed under similar conditions. In fact, we have found similar tissue several times. And, every time we find it, the obvious suggestions are never suggested. But, what do these findings suggest? They suggest that these fossils are not millions of years old. They suggest that these fossils are only thousands of years old. They suggest that the assumptions around the age of the Earth and the universe are probably flawed. They suggest that the shorter ages implied in the Bible are actually supported. They suggest that we should have been trusting God the whole time. They suggest what even many Christians today fail to suggest – that we can rely upon the Bible over the sin-preserving bias of foolish men.

Mankind is on a relentless march to excuse their sin. This march must inevitably deny God and the things that He has said regarding the origin of our sin. But, 1 John 1:8-10 says, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” If you believe in God and see this evidence but refuse the obvious answer over an answer that has not yet been offered and at best is mystery while at worst is fiction, you might be aligning with those who deny God or call Him a liar. Think twice before you do. In fact, think as many times as you need to in order to open your eyes.

Instead, Christian, see this evidence and be encouraged. While so many more are blind to the truth of their sin and its origin, at least you can see the truth and be forgiven. That is not only worth celebrating, but as our means of celebration, we should share this evidence of the truth of the Gospel. After all, now you know something more that is worth sharing.

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