Dragons or Dinosaurs?
Cloud Ten Pictures, 85 minutes www.cloudtenpictures.com
Young-age creationists think that dinosaurs coexisted with human beings before the Flood, and some believe that ‘prehistoric’ reptiles may even have survived into recent times. These intriguing claims are investigated in this new DVD, which ties in with a book of the same name by executive producer Darek Isaacs.
This is a well-produced documentary, although in my opinion it would have benefited from being a bit shorter. The main disappointment for me is that most of the scientists interviewed are not experts in the fields most relevant to the subject matter.
It would have been good, for instance, to have had contributions from palaeontologists or herpetologists — even scholars in mythology, folklore and the interpretation of ancient artefacts.
Another problem faced by a documentary like this is that, suggestive though the stories and legends of dragons are, they are ultimately inconclusive and unlikely to persuade the truly sceptical.
Medieval stories of encounters with dragons may provide evidence of a persistent tradition that had some basis in fact, but I am not convinced they demonstrate the survival of dinosaurs into historically recent times. It is more probable, I think, that dinosaurs were only ever present in small numbers after the Flood and died out soon afterwards.
There are also legitimate questions over some statements in the DVD. Doubt has recently been cast on the ‘sauropod’ petroglyph at Kachina Bridge, Utah, for example.
Another interviewee says that the famous series of horse fossils has been ‘soundly discredited’, but other creationists accept it as real and think it represents post-Flood diversification within the horse kind. And was Isaac Newton really a Bible-believing Christian? A theist, certainly, but his views seem to have been anti-trinitarian.
The DVD makes some helpful points concerning the necessity of rapid burial for the formation of most fossils, and it will help the viewer to understand how dinosaurs and their fossil remains are explained from a creationist perspective.
There is also some useful material on radiometric dating methods and the discovery of soft tissues and red blood cells in dinosaur bones. The production ends by pointing people to the good news about Christ. In short, this DVD raises some fascinating questions, but probably won’t change many minds.