As I was driving into New Mexico the other day, I saw billboards for the Mesalands Dinosaur Museum in Tucumcari. For some reason, I had never equated the Land of Enchantment with dinos, only Native Americans and UFOs.
Interestingly, though, dinosaurs have been on my mind lately for two reasons: climate change and Creationists. According to science, about 248 million years ago, a massive extinction occurred that wiped out 95% of species leading to the Triassic Period. The cause/s could have included global cooling, the formation of the super-continent Pangaea, or numerous volcanic eruptions. Some amphibians and reptiles survived the disaster and began their ascent into dinosaurs.
These enormous creatures subsequently dominated the planet for 200 million years through the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, surviving the splitting of continents and formation of oceans before being wiped out by a comet or meteor colliding with Earth.
Creationist Christians, however, believe that dinosaurs were created on Day 6 of Creation Week, as told by Genesis 1:24. Further to that, Genesis 6:19 indicates that Noah put a couple of them on his Ark with the Flood killing and burying the rest of the beasts in the sand and sediment. This model would put the giants on the planet 6,000 years ago alongside humans.
Back in 1999, the BBC did a six-part, ground-breaking, record-setting documentary series called Walking with Dinosaurs that has now become a live, touring show complete with animatronic specimens. Maybe the Creationists should check it out and see if they think cohabitation is even possible, let alone likely. You know, experience firsthand a 36-foot tall dinosaur roaming and roaring and then figure whether that Noah could've coerced one onto a big wooden boat.
I don't mean to pooh-pooh anyone's heartfelt beliefs, but I'm going with science on this one.