So many kids love dinosaurs! Dinosaur toys, t-shirts, and costumes have captured the imagination of kids for generations. Many parents are unsure about how to engage their children in conversations about dinosaurs from a biblical worldview.
Below is a list of frequently asked questions that kids may ask about dinosaurs. These answers will hopefully equip you to respond in a way that remains consistent to God’s Word.
Important note: Within Christian circles, there is a wide variety of viewpoints related to the age of Earth and the particular details revolving the existence of dinosaurs. These are considered “non-essential” doctrine and it’s okay if Christians disagree on the specifics here.
In fact, these questions provide an opportunity not to teach, but rather to dive into the mystery of God’s creation. There’s no way we can know everything: God is really big and we have a very limited perspective.
FAQ's about dinosaurs:
1. Can I believe in dinosaurs and believe in the Bible?
There is room for interpretation when trying to conclude whether or not the existence of dinosaurs is consistent with God’s creation of the universe. The exact timeline is up for debate, but you do not have to downright deny the existence of dinosaurs in order to stay true to your Christian convictions. The creation story in Genesis is real, but it’s not a science textbook.
2. How long ago did dinosaurs live on the Earth?
There are two primary views about the age of the Earth: an "old-Earth" and "young-Earth" perspective.
The “young-Earth” viewpoint takes the 6-day creation account in Genesis to be literal. Young-Earth creationism concludes that the age of the Earth is less than 10,000 years old. This take presumes Adam and Eve did indeed roam the Earth alongside dinosaurs.
The “old-Earth” viewpoint does not take the 6-day creation account in Genesis as literal and views the “days” of creation as simply a non-specific passage of time before the next “day” begins. In other words, the days of creation don’t refer to 24-hour “days”, as we know them today. This leaves room for potentially millions of years to exist between the days of creation and present day. Thus, one would conclude dinosaurs were indeed on the Earth 65 million years ago.
3. Did dinosaurs live on the planet before or after Adam and Eve?
Dinosaurs lived before Adam and Eve. God also created plants and animals before he created man and woman. And there is much more to the story. Scientists have learned about fossils, anatomy and genetics – and are continually learning new things about God’s creation. Get excited! It’s mind-blowing to explore how God designed nature! And we will never fully understand it.
4. How/why did dinosaurs become extinct?
At some point, dinosaurs ceased to exist for reasons we aren’t sure about. Some say it was an asteroid, others think it was a giant volcano that caused the dinosaur's extinction. Either way, it’s important to remember that animals are different than humans in that they were not made in God’s image and are not made to live eternally (forever). Animals don’t sin and therefore, death is natural for them.
5. Did people evolve from dinosaurs?
In a sense, evolution is real. Evolution refers to the genetic change with a species, or a "kind", of animal. Genes are very small pieces of our body. They are so small that we cannot see our genes. Genes carry information that make up who we are and what we look like. These genes change in species over a long period of time.
Many Christians disagree that evolution causes one kind of animal to change, over time, into an entirely different kind of animal. For example, a dog cannot evolve, or turn into, a horse (even over one billion years). These Christians believe this type of evolution contradicts Scripture and sound science.
6. Are there any dinosaurs in the Bible?
Maybe. There might be a reference to dinosaurs in the book of Job, chapter 40. In this narrative, a “behemoth” is mentioned, which many consider to be a possible description of a dinosaur.
1. Resource for kids: PBS Kids Dinosaur Field Guide
2. Book for kids: National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Dinosaurs
3. Book for kids: The Dinosaur book from the Smithsonian
4. Resource for kids: 12 Frequently Asked Dinosaur Questions
5. Answers in Genesis is an organization that promotes young earth creationism. Regardless of your take on the age of the Earth, you may find some useful additional resources available on its website.
5. Biologos is a leading organization that promotes theistic evolution. Theistic evolution says that God created the world in such a way that evolution was destined to happen as God’s plan unfolded.