Creation Science

Creation Science Rebuttals

Institute for Creation Research News Report

Rewriting the Last Dinosaur's Tombstone


By Greg Neyman

© 2009, Old Earth Ministries

First Published 12 June 09


     Since I began covering creation science issues six years ago, I have noticed many examples of how the young earth ministries twist and manipulate the data to make it more impressive to their readers.  As case in point, the article "Rewriting the Last Dinosaur's Tombstone," by Brian Thomas of the Institute for Creation Research, is a classic example of how young earth ministries mislead their readers.1

     To fully appreciate this review, I suggest that you first read the claims of Mr. Thomas on the ICR website, and then read the review below.  You can view the article by clicking here.




     As Thomas notes, the last of the dinosaurs supposedly died out about 65

 million years ago (the actual date of the extinction is put at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary, or K-T Boundary, which is 65.5 million years ago, or 65.5  Ma).  Then he reports on a researcher, James Fassett, who has discovered "considerable evidence" that dinosaurs lived into the Paleocene Epoch.  Fassett found hadrosaur fossils in the Ojo Alamo Sandstone, which dates from 65 to 55 Ma, including evidence that they were deposited in this sandstone when they died.  According to Thomas:


The “problem” is that this sedimentary layer and the fossils it contains have independently been shown to be Paleocene rocks that supposedly range from 65 to 55 million years in age.


     Thomas then talks about the evidence against them being reworked fossils, which presents no problems.  Thomas finally concludes that evolutionists will have to change their extinction story (supposedly to 55 million years ago).  The picture at the top of the story shows a tombstone, which reads...



65   55

Million Years Ago


    The article leaves the distinct impression that dinosaurs became extinct about 55 million years ago.  However, if you look at the research of Fassett, this is not an accurate date at all.  Thomas is off by 10 million years!  First, you have to go back to Fassett's first study in 2002, which concluded that dinosaurs lived up to 1 million years into the Paleocene, or until 64.5 million years ago.2  The new study, however, revises this date, using the same C29 magnetochron as a guide. 

     What does this mean?  Throughout earth's history, earth's magnetic field  has reversed many times.  Geologists have broken down the periods into magnetochrons.  The Cretaceous/Paleocene boundary falls within the C29 magnetochron.  Within C29, there is an "n" portion and an "r" portion, standing for normal polarity and reversed polarity.  Geologists can examine rocks, and based on the orientation of grains within the rock, they can determine the polarity, and more specifically, the point in time when the polarity changed. (Click to view the Geologic Time Scale with Magnetochron divisions, on the Geological Society of America website).

     According to Fassett's new study (the entire study is online here), the base of C29n within the Ojo Alamo Sandstone has an age of 65.118 Ma.  Fassett examined the location of the youngest Paleocene dinosaur fossil in relation to this base, and determined the age of the youngest dinosaur as being about 65 Ma.  Thus, the dinosaur is still a Paleocene dinosaur, but it shows that dinosaurs only lived about 500,000 years into the Paleocene.3  In reality, even though the dinosaur bones are Paleocene, the tombstone should be left at 65! 

     What is amazing is that Thomas must have read the research of Fassett to write his article, so he must have known that the youngest dinosaur was 65 Ma, and not 55 Ma as he claims.   He reports the age of the last dinosaur to be the age of the top of the Ojo Alamo Sandstone, even though the dinosaur fossils are near the bottom of the sandstone.  As you can plainly see, he must have willfully ignored the data, and reported the wrong dates to his readers on purpose.  Such deception is common within young earth creationist literature, and has kept me quite busy over the last six years.

     In case you are wondering, some geologists have always thought that  dinosaurs survived into the Paleocene, but fossil evidence has been lacking.   It makes sense that some struggled to survive after the cataclysmic events of the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary.  To discover that some survived up to 500,000 years is not a surprise at all.  


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1  Rewriting the Last Dinosaur's Tombstone, by Brian Thomas, ICR.  11 May 2009




     If you are not a Christian, and you have been holding out on making a decision for Christ because the Church always preached a message that was contrary to what you saw in the scientific world, then rest assured that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, and you can believe in Christ and receive salvation, while still believing in an old earth.  Click here for more.


    Are you a Christian who believes in young earth creationism?  Now that we have shown the many difficulties of the young earth creation science model in this and many other articles, how does this impact your Christian life?  If you are a young-earth creationism believer, click here.

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