This article needs no introduction.
T. Rex was a vegetarian
The idea of sharp-toothed vegetarian dinosaurs is actually a remarkably common belief in the Young Earth Creationist (YEC) community and has fairly sound creationist logic behind it. If you take a literal interpretation of the Bible then it’s the only thing to conclude after reading Genesis 1:29-30:
Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground — everything that has the breath of life in it — I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.
Before the fall, all creatures were vegetarians. Only after Adam and Eve were exiled from the Garden did things become corrupted and animals began eating each other. So, if you believe that man and dinosaur lived side-by-side, as many YECs do, then T. Rex would have to have been a vegetarian. The laughability of this conclusion appears completely lost on some, who write, “With those massive teeth, it’s still a mystery as to exactly what type of vegetation T. rex ate.”
God is just fucking with us
Not all YECs believe that man and dinosaur lived at the same time. Some believe dinosaurs never existed at all. This explanation also makes sense if you look at that T. Rex skull and think “that would definitely eat me,” so there’s no way humans and dinosaurs could have co-existed. And if humans and dinosaurs didn’t live together on a young Earth, then dinosaurs never existed at all.
But then how to explain all the dinosaur fossils we’ve found lying around? Simple, God put them there to test our faith. In their universe, God created everything mature and thereby aged up the Earth to give it the appearance that it was older. Referred to as the Omphalos hypothesis, it first appeared in the 19th century, but has fallen out of favor as people are probably uncomfortable with God being a prankster.
Nowadays, the more popular explanation for the dino-haters is that Satan was responsible. He’s the one who put those fossils there as a way to tempt mankind away from God. This explanation makes more sense, unless you believe that…
Dragons are real
Or were real in the sense that people in the middle ages actually did fight them. That’s according to famous and felonious creationist Kent Hovind, who argued that dinosaurs were not only brought aboard the Ark, but that they’re still alive today. His evidence rests on accounts of dragons and sightings of the Loch Ness Monster. He also points to a dictionary definition from 1946 which hilariously describes dragons as “now rare.” Pro-dino creationists will also cite Biblical evidence for the mega-lizards by referencing the word “behemoth” in the text.
Light acts drunk
Believing in a Young Earth means rejecting every piece of evidence that everything’s been around an extremely long time. But YECs are mainly concerned with just evolution rather than rejecting science altogether. That creates a serious problem when astronomers tell us that we can see stars that are thousands of light years away, much less millions of light years away. They don’t dare challenge the astronomer’s method or conclusion because that shit was settled centuries ago, so they are often left groping in the dark for an answer.
First, they said that God created light from distant stars and galaxies in-transit, meaning that he created the light in space on its way to us. This explanation is bonkers because it implies that God was creating things like a first-year engineering student about to switch majors. Creationist website, answersingenesis, also agrees that it’s nonsensical. Instead, they propose the much more grounded idea that maybe light just used to be faster. In their view, light from those distant stars simply sped up until it got to us and is now constant.
Incest created everyone otherwise we’d be clones
This might seem like an obvious one, but the creationist explanation is interesting nonetheless. As Adam and Eve were the only two people, creationists acknowledge that there was incest and that it was an accepted practice early on. However, God did design incest to produce mutations that would lead to defects over time. After the fall, incest assured that humans would degenerate more and more.
This explanation also implies that if Adam and Eve never left the garden, then humans would have all been clones. Eve was already a clone of Adam, having been created from his rib and any of their offspring would have inherited the exact same genes. Of course, those clones would also have to participate in incest (or rib removal) to produce more people, but it’s also implied that mutations would not occur before the fall.
OK, admittedly, they don’t call it that, but it’s the only conclusion to draw given how they describe the situation. The argument arises in response to the logistical challenges of Noah’s Ark. How did he cram two of every animal onto a boat? The response is that Noah did not bring pair of every animal on the Ark, only a pair of every kind of animal – one pair of monkeys, tiger, elephant, whatever. It was only after the flood that these animals repopulated the Earth and radiated out into the different species we see today.
Now, the flood supposedly happened around 4,000 years ago which means that’s how long that pair of monkeys would have to reproduce to create the diversity of the species we see today. The internet tells me a monkey has an average age of reproduction of about 5 years so that means that we’re looking at 800 generations of monkeys to produce this kind of change.
There’s a scientific consensus that primates evolved over 65 million years. Packing that kind of evolutionary change into just 4,000 requires some insanely rapid speciation. With that pace, we would be able to actually witness speciation of new birds and rodents in our lifetimes. We don’t.
YECs will often make a distinction between microevolution, changes within a population, and macroevolution, change across species. Many YECs accept microevolution, yet outright reject the idea of one species becoming another species. Their Ark explanation uses that distinction to attempt to draw the boundary between the two.
One thing to take away from these ideas is that at some point, science and religion are incompatible. YECs like to create a pro-science persona for themselves, because as much as they reject the results of science, the argument over science’s usefulness ended a long time ago. But they’re also not being facetious about their devotion to science which is why we have Creation Science, which seeks to support a literal Biblical interpretation with science. The incentives of discovery for science, just aren’t there though. Creationists already know the answer, the science just serves a PR purpose, an appeal within the dominant epistemology. And these ideas show the result when two fundamental approaches to understanding the universe prove incompatible. Creationists don’t just have to re-explain evolution with their own science, they have to re-explain all of science.
The other lesson in all this is of course that when you work within a theory, holes are bound to appear – it happens with all our scientific theories too. But when you have a religious theory, where the conclusion is already drawn, you get sucked into having to make increasingly ludicrous arguments, instead of just discarding the theory in favor of a better one. If you hold that the Earth is 6000 years old, then your arguments create bizarre implications that require bizarre explanations to keep them at bay. Science, with a choice of multiple hypotheses, has the luxury of rejecting ones that prove self-contradictory or fail basic testing.
Finally, this isn’t supposed to be an indictment of YECs, but to show how their logic can lead to fairly absurd conclusions. Indeed, each of these ideas follows pretty sound logic when certain premises are taken as true, i.e. the existence of dinosaurs and people being alive since the beginning of time means that dinosaurs and people lived at the same time. Often the greatest threat to YEC is it’s own logical conclusions. While everything on this list is believed by creationists, everything on this list is also rejected by other creationists, who realize the silliness of the conclusions.