Answering “Questions Christians Can’t Answer” #8 – Dinosaurs?

Dinosaur Fossils

R. E. Pucket was a faithful Christian for much of his life. However, as he began to expand his reading and investigate arguments against faith, he became convinced that faith was irrational. This impression was strengthened by the fact that Christians with which he interacted largely told him that he should believe for belief’s sake, and that faith trumped rationality.

Pucket now spends a significant amount of time interacting with born again Christians who he feels are trying to convert him and win his soul. He rebuffs these attempts by presenting arguments that seem to stymie these Christians who in turn make vague appeals to “God’s Plan” and blind faith. 

In his article, “Top 50 Questions Christians Can’t Answer” on Yahoo voices, Pucket lists out some of the arguments he has found that Christians seem to have no rational, logical answers for, and invites the readers to inspect their faith in light of these questions. Says Pucket: 

“Don’t get me wrong, they will have an answer for them. You will find, however, that their answers have no basis in verifiable fact or evidence whatsoever, and will be largely based in their blind faith forsaking all reason.” 

This series of articles will examine all fifty of Pucket’s questions, five per article, and offer responses to these questions. One preliminary comment is in order: 

A variety of the Christian views that Pucket attacks in these questions are held by a very specific sect of Christian believers, and by no means characterize the whole of Christian views. The questions also occasionally make broad statements which either mischaracterize Biblical teachings, or are backed up with no supporting evidence. Where these mistakes are made, the responses are largely aimed at correcting these mischaracterizations. This is not to say that the attack has no merit, but the attack would need to be re-worked to fit a proper representation of that belief. 

Finally, it is worth noting that the questions are sometimes phrased in highly emotive or sarcastic forms. These articles will attempt to respond to the fundamental objection being raised, rather than the tone in which they are presented, however the questions themselves will be presented in their original form. 

Source

8 – How is it that the bible explains the earth to be 6,000 to 8,000 years old when we know that dinosaur bones are at least 65 million years old? This isn’t the only example of our planet’s age by any means, either.

This is not a claim the Bible makes. The concept that the earth is 6,000 years old was a rough calculation made in early centuries based on the genealogical information given in the Bible. As stated in a previous answer, Bible scholars (both Christian and Jewish) are not in agreement about the time-spans in the early chapters of Genesis, nor are genealogies an accurate way of determining spans of time.
In addition to this, the accuracy of fossil dating is somewhat suspect. Fossils are generally dated based on how far down they are in the sedimentary layers. This is based on the broad assumption of the rate at which sedimentary layers are laid down, something which cannot be conclusively proven. There are a number of Christian scholars who argue that a world-wide deluge such as described in Genesis would cause sedimentary layers and fossilized animal and plant life to accumulate at an extremely rapid rate, making fossil dating somewhat deceptive. Given the fact that geological and fossil dating AND the epochs within the Bible are difficult to accurately date, this objection is tenuous at best.

It should also be mentioned that Christians range in opinion regarding the age of the earth and the nature of the fossil record. Christian opinions range from Young Earth Creationists (which this question seems to be primarily aimed at) to Old Earth Creationists (which would allow for the kind of time frames the fossil record indicates) to Theistic Evolutionists (which would have no problem with the fossil record or assumptions of evolution). When one takes into account that the fundamentals of Christian belief may stand no matter what the age of the earth is or what the fossil record says, this kind of objection looses its teeth entirely.

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