Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Genesis and the Demise of the Dinosaurs, by Joel D. Klenck

The theory held by many creation scientists is that the majority of dinosaurs perished during the global Flood and the ice age that followed. Joel Klenck's article argues that most, if not all of the dinosaurs perished before the Flood, in the period after the Fall.

(This review is by Marko Malyj, of the article published in Creation Research Society Quarterly Journal, Volume 46, Number 3, Winter, 2010, http://www.creationresearch.org/crsq/abstracts/Abstracts46-3.htm).
{Original version of this blog post with all pictures is available at http://umarko.blogspot.com/2010/03/article-review-genesis-and-demise-of.html}.

Klenck's argument hinges on an analysis of word usage for different kinds of terrestrial animal groups throughout the Bible. Six high-level animal groupings are mentioned:

1. Birds, or ohf in the Biblical Hebrew.
2. Creepers and swarmers, referred to interchangably by the words remes and sheretz. This broad group includes insects, spider, snails, small reptiles, and small mammals.
3. Behemah, which is usually translated into one word as "cattle" in most Bible translations, but which actually covers all mammals larger in size than hares.
4. Beasts of the Earth, called chayat ha'aretz and behemat ha'aretz. This group includes the mysterious "Behemoth" of Job 40:15-24.
5. Beasts of the Field, called chayat ha'sadeh and behemat ha'sadeh. This includes nachash, translated as snake or serpent, and tannin, which can be translated as dragon, serpent, or monster (Isaiah 43:20). In Isaiah 27:1, "Leviathan" is described as both nachash and tannin. In the beasts of the field group, Klenck includes the dinosaurs.

The Beasts of the Field are the main focus of Klenck's analysis. "From Creation to the Fall (Genesis 1:1-3:24) there is much mention of the beasts of earth and beasts of the field.... In Eden, God first mentions the beasts of the field and brings these kinds to Adam to be named (Genesis 2:19)."

But the most cunning of all the beasts of the field was the serpent (Genesis 3:1), who came under the possession of Satan, and tempted Adam and Eve into falling from God's grace. "The Fall had a tremendous negative impact.... God cursed the ground (Genesis 3:17). God allowed thistles and thorns to spread throughout the earth (Genesis 3:18). Sin and death entered the world (Genesis 3:19, 4:8; 1 Corinthians 15:22; Romans 5:12, 14).... Genesis 6:10-13 states that all flesh became corrupted, and the earth was filled with violence. Finally after the Fall, carnivory began."

God also cursed the serpent. This is described "with future-tense verbs: 'You shall go on your belly, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life' (Genesis 3:14). These verbs strongly suggest that, before God cursed the serpent, it was not crawling on its belly or eating the dust of the earth".

Klenck's theory is that in cursing the serpent, God also "allowed most of the beasts of the field and earth to go extinct, with the exception of the kinds that crawled on the ground and ate the dust of the earth". Snakes and crocodiles have survived. But God condemned the fearsome dinosaurs, many of them now carnivorous, to a quick extinction before the Flood, so that they would not pose a mortal danger to the race of men.

As evidence, Klenck points to the language of the Flood account. Throughout the account, when God speaks to Noah, or when Noah interacts with the creatures, the birds, behemah, and remes are mentioned, but not the beasts of the earth and field. And after Pentateuch (the first five books of the Old Testament), "beasts of the earth and field are noted in mostly prophetic texts associated with the destruction of the enemies of God, divine punishment, and hell."

Klenck's final summary is that "God dispatched the beasts of the field and earth because they could be more readily possessed by evil spirits, these possessions would augment their abilities, and because their physical size, speed, cunning, and communication ability would have jeopardized the survival of Adam and his descendents." He thus makes a compelling case for the demise of the dinosaurs before the Flood.

(Article review by Marko Malyj)


  1. I read this article and it was excellent. It reminded me of the Adrienne Mayor's Fossil Legends of the First Americans (2005) but Klenck took it to another level. It was very good. He also made the case for earlier destructions, before the Flood, for the dinosaurs. This fits in nicely with nearly all paleontological data. It was strong work.

  2. I dont fully agree with Klenck's thesis because of historical data. Historical accounts and oral traditions from around the world and archeological artifacts testify to man cohabitating with dinosaurs well after the flood of noah. There is even evidence that some dinosaurs are still alive in the most remote places on earth.

  3. There is no evidence of dinosaurs living today "in remote places". "Evidence" of historical dinosaurs mostly represent forgeries or representations of exposed paleontological remains (e.g., Mayor's thesis). Dinosaurs and man cohabitating? There is no evidence for this anywhere. Where are the dino bones in archaeological deposits? Klenck just published "Genesis: Ancient Taxonomies and the Demise of the Dinosaurs." I really enjoyed this book and it made much sense tying in Biblical descriptions and paleontological data.