There is no scientific way to determine how long dinosaurs have been extinct. In fact, there is no scientific way to determine how long anything has been extinct. Nevertheless, the idea that dinosaurs have been extinct for approximately 65 million years is taught as fact in many science books, museums, and television documentaries.
Dinosaurs are not the only animals that are taught to have ancient extinction dates. Evolution Scientists have “calculated” extinction dates of millions of years for many other animals (and plants).
It is important to realize that Evolution Scientists only claim to have one method1 for determining how long something has been extinct. This method was used to come up with the 65 million-year extinction date for dinosaurs as well as the extinction dates for all other long-extinct animals and plants.
How well has the extinction method worked for Evolution Scientists? Read on…
Consider the Coelacanth fish: Students were once taught that Coelacanths went extinct along with dinosaurs, at about 65 million years ago.2 Eventually schools quit teaching this because Coelacanths were discovered alive off the coast of Madagascar. This single discovery proved that their extinction method can be off by at least 65 million years.
Also consider the Wollemi pine tree: Students were once taught that this tree went extinct about 150 million years ago. Eventually schools also quit teaching this because Wollemi pine trees were discovered alive in Australia. This discovery proved that the extinction method can be off by at least 150 million years.
In both cases their one and only extinction method failed miserably.3 It is significant that these two massive errors were discovered only because Coelacanths and Wollemi pines were still alive. But what if they had recently gone extinct? Then there would be no live ones to find. If that was the case, Evolution Scientists would have continued teaching their erroneous extinction dates of 65 million and 150 million years because that is what the extinction method calculated.
At this point you might be wondering about the published extinction dates of other plants and animals4 since they were all calculated the same way. Could some (or all) of those extinction dates also be way off? What about dinosaurs? The only way Evolution Scientists “know” that dinosaurs have been extinct for 65 million years is by their one and only extinction method… the same method that was proven to be off by 65 million years for Coelacanth fish and off by 150 million years for Wollemi pine trees.
Although unsettling to some people, there is currently no scientific way to determine how long dinosaurs have been extinct.
References and Notes for Chapter 12:
1. In their one and only extinction method, Evolution Scientists take fossils that they believe to be among the last of a species to have lived, and then use Radiometric Dating to indirectly date the fossils by correlating dates from associated rock layers. The fossils are indirectly dated because in most cases the fossils themselves cannot be dated. Furthermore, the only rock that can be directly dated by Radiometric Dating is igneous rock. Therefore, igneous rock layers are dated by Radiometric Dating, and then correlated to the rock or sediment in which the fossils were found.
The only fossils that can be directly dated by Radiometric Dating are the rare fossils that still contain original organic material. In such cases, a type of Radiometric Dating called Carbon Dating can be used. However, Carbon Dating can only date back thousands of years due to the relatively short half-life of radiocarbon. Not even Evolution Scientists would claim that Carbon Dating could date something that is millions of years old because all the radiocarbon would have decayed away after only thousands of years. When a fossil does contain original radiocarbon, that alone indicates that the fossil can be no more than thousands of years old.
2. Coelacanths were only known by their fossils, but their fossils are relatively common.
3. Since it has been proven that the extinction method can be off by at least 150 million years, one or more assumptions used in the method must be flawed. Two major assumptions in the method are the following:
a) The fossils used to determine an extinction date are close in age to the last of the species to have lived.
b) The dating methods used are reasonably accurate.
There is currently no way to determine how much of the massive error was due to each assumption. (This is discussed in more detail in Chapter 13: Radiometric Dating)
4. There are many other plants and animals for which Evolution Scientists have calculated extinction dates that later had to be revised by millions of years. Coelacanth fish and Wollemi pine trees are the most famous examples, but only because they were both found alive.
Extinction dates have never been proven for any plants or animals. Although many plants and animals are extinct today, we currently have no scientific way of knowing how long any of them have been extinct.
ADDITIONAL NOTES ON DINOSAURS:
* The late Carl Sagan was a famous Evolution Scientist who was once voted the “Smartest Man in America” by the readers of Parade Magazine (August 1992). Sagan was a Professor at Cornell University for most of his career. He was the narrator and co-author of the television series “Cosmos” which heavily promoted Evolution and was shown in more than 60 countries. In his Pulitzer Prize winning book “Dragons of Eden,” he addressed the phenomenon that some ancient cultures had stories/descriptions of dinosaur-like creatures (i.e. dragons). Most Evolution Scientists ignore this phenomenon because according to their assumptions and beliefs ancient cultures could not have known what dinosaurs looked like. Evolutionary Dogma dictates that dinosaurs went extinct millions of years before people evolved into existence, and that it was not until the 19th century that scientists were able to reconstruct images of dinosaurs from fossils by using sophisticated modern techniques.
Although most Evolution Scientists ignore the phenomenon, Sagan was an exception. Instead of ignoring the evidence, he proposed an evolutionary explanation for how ancient people could have known what dinosaurs looked like. The following quote is from pages 140-142 of his book:
“The pervasiveness of dragon myths in the folk legends of many cultures is probably no accident. The implacable mutual hostility between man and dragon…is strongest in the West…But it is not a Western anomaly. It is a worldwide phenomenon. Is it only an accident that the common human sounds commanding silence or attracting attention seem strangely imitative of the hissing of reptiles? Is it possible that dragons posed a problem for our protohuman ancestors of a few million years ago, and that the terror they evoked and the deaths they caused helped bring about the evolution of human intelligence? …Could the pervasive dreams and common fears of “monsters,” which children develop shortly after they are able to talk, be evolutionary vestiges of quite adaptive- baboonlike- responses to dragons and owls?”
If you read more context in his book, you will see that Sagan is suggesting that although he does not believe people were on the Earth with dinosaurs, he believes our ancestors were. According to Evolution our ancestors alive at the same time as dinosaurs were small rodents. Sagan suggests that the rodents who survived to eventually evolve into us were those who developed instincts (by a multitude of mutations in their DNA) of what dinosaurs looked like and how they sounded. This allowed our rodent ancestors to run and hide when hungry dinosaurs came around, thus giving our ancestors a survival advantage. These surviving rodents supposedly evolved into us, which would include their brains evolving into our brains. Sagan further suggests that the instinctive images and sounds of dinosaurs survived in DNA through many generations as rodents evolved all the way into humans. He refers to these inherited instincts as “evolutionary vestiges” imbedded deep in our subconscious. Thus, he suggests that it is no accident that “the common human sounds commanding silence or attracting attention seem strangely imitative of the hissing of reptiles.” He even goes so far as to suggest that the reason young children have dreams and fears of monsters is because of these inherited vestiges in their brains.
You might be wondering why a highly respected Evolution Scientist as Sagan would propose such a preposterous theory. But as he said, “The pervasiveness of dragon myths in the folk legends of many cultures is probably no accident.” His theory was an attempt to explain the phenomenon within the bounds of Evolutionary Theory. At least Sagan did not ignore the phenomenon as do most Evolution Scientists.
Of course, there is another possible explanation for the phenomenon: Perhaps ancient people saw dinosaurs. Evolution Scientists reject this possibility out of hand because it would violate the Evolutionary Dogma that dinosaurs went extinct more than 60 million years before humans evolved into existence. But as I explained above there is no scientific way to determine when dinosaurs went extinct. Evolution Scientists think their Extinction Method proves that dinosaurs have been extinct for about 65 million years, but they ignore the fact that their Extinction Method can be off by at least 150 million years.
** In 2004 soft tissue was discovered in the remains of a dinosaur. This was both surprising and embarrassing to Evolution Scientists because they had always taught that soft tissue decays away in no more than a few thousand years after death. And yet, here was soft tissue from a dinosaur that according to Evolutionary Dogma had been dead for at least 65 million years. At first some Evolution Scientists denied the authenticity of the discovery, but soon more samples of soft tissue were found in other dead dinosaurs. Eventually almost all Evolution Scientists came to accept the findings. One might think that this would make Evolution Scientists doubt their dogmatic extinction date of 65 million years for dinosaurs. Absolutely not! This possibility was never considered by Evolution Scientists. Instead, they concluded that soft tissue must be able to last at least 65 million years instead of only a few thousand years as previously taught.