Dinosaurs of Eden by Ken Ham is blatant misinformation for children

r/Creation - Dinosaurs of Eden by AiG is blatant misinformation for children

Author: Ken Ham (published, July 2020)

Dinosaurs of Eden is a children’s book published (July 2020) by AiG. The book is full of misinformation. In the book, Ken Ham makes numerous hypothetical claims but softens them with ambiguous adverbs (like “maybe” or “perhaps”). All the while, Ham attempts to portray him as the expert on dinosaurs. He is in the know and he understands the Bible. Without a doubt, any child reading his book will believe that the hypothetical suggestions (the “maybes” or “perhaps”) are intended to be truthful.

Below, I highlight the 5 most glaring examples of deception in the book:

1. Dinosaurs of Eden distorts the truth about dinosaur paleontology and diversity

Ken Ham compares paleontologists and geologists to the doubting scoffers of 2 Peter 3: 5-6. He argues that “They don’t WANT to believe.” (his emphasis, p. 53). He then references God’s fierce judgment. So he sets a tone for the young reader- “believe in the contemporary scientific dinosaur paradigm at your own risk. Mess up and believe in millions of years and God will get you.”

Earlier, Ham writes,

“Scientists have made up over 600 names of dinosaurs but there were probably less than 50 kinds of dinosaurs. Many names are given to a piece of bone or a skeleton in a different country or a different size dinosaur…at most 100 dinosaurs were on Noah’s ark.” (p. 29)

The author implies that scientists are simply arbitrarily naming bits of bone or adding names to dinosaurs of different sizes. His suggestion is plainly false. His statement misrepresents the thorough process which paleontologists follow to name a new species. It also misrepresents the diversity and differences within various “kinds” of dinosaurs. Most puzzling. He contradicts his own published data! In Dinosaurs of Eden he states that there were probably 50 dinosaur kinds. On an AIG post from 2000, he states that there were probably 55 dinosaur kinds. But on this 2018 presentation at the Ark Encounter, Georgia Purdom states that there are between 60 and 80 dinosaur kinds!

Those numbers are literally double from what AiG presented in July 2020. Did we somehow lose half of the dinosaur kinds in a year?

r/Creation - Dinosaurs of Eden by AiG is blatant misinformation for children

Screenshot from Aig video

Another example of misrepresenting dinosaur research is on p. 45-46. Here, Ham presents a hypothetical interview between a “secular scientist” named Mr. Scientist and a child. After a series of questions about animal extinction, the child asks Mr. Scientist a challenging question.

Q: Well then can you tell me what happened to the dinosaurs?

A: Dinosaurs! What happened to them? We don’t know! We haven’t really got a clue! It’s a mystery! They died out millions of years ago!

Of course, for many decades there was lack of consensus about the various factors into dinosaur extinction. But even laypeople know that scientists did have a clue- lots of clues. And over the last ten years, studies of the Chixiclub crater have provided a strong, strong case for dinosaur extinction as a result of an asteroid. I’m sure that most people are aware of the theory, but if not here is a Smithsonian article and a NOVA video that document the recent core-drills that were done in the crater. Although other YECs may disagree with the asteroid extinction theory, some accept it was a part of the global flood disaster. And regardless, no YECs believe that scientists say that they have “no clue” how dinosaurs went extinct.

2. Dinosaurs of Eden claims that dinosaurs and humans coexisted within the last 4,300 years as recently as 1405 AD (possibly even the present!).

Ham believes that dinosaurs were created on Day 6 of the universe, roughly 6,000 years ago. Also, humans were made on that day. Then all dinosaurs diversified over 1,500 years. Then 4,500 years ago a global flood destroyed all but a remnant (50/55/60/80??) kinds of dinosaurs. But, Ham doesn’t think that dinosaurs went extinct. He attempts to show that dinosaurs persisted throughout history alongside humans- possibly even into the modern era.

First, Ham suggests that the story of St. George “maybe” was a true story about a knight killing a dinosaur (see image below). The Welsh flag which has a dragon is another “proof” in support of this theory. ( p. 10)

Ham suggests that there is “LOTS of evidence that dinosaurs lived with man during the past 4,300 years.” (p. 33-34) For example, he suggests that descriptions of a dragon in 1405 A.D. England were likely a dinosaur. Specifically, he suggests Dilophosaurus or Cryotophosaurus.

He suggests that a Utah Indian petroglyph is a sauropod (fully debunked by P. Senter here). In reference to the sketchy petroglyph, Ham states clearly, “evolutionists won’t accept the obvious- Indians saw dinosaurs!” (p. 34).

Later, he suggests that it would not surprise him if the mythical Mokele-Mbembe of Congo folklore is a living dinosaur. Possibly a sauropod. He implies that a seismosaurus or some small population of sauorpod continues to live in 2020. No evidence exists for this claim. At all.

Another example, of dino-human coexistence, is his Tower of Babel description. Ham states. “As people dispersed (across the world) they likely took some of their favorite animals with them. Perhaps some took dinosaurs.” Suggesting that humans had animals in some fashion captive. (p. 43)

In summary, the”LOTS of evidence” that Ham provides proving dino-human coexistence are stories from mythology, cryptozoology, and unsourced fictional accounts.

r/Creation - Dinosaurs of Eden by AiG is blatant misinformation for children

p. 10- St. George killing a “dragon”

2. Dinosaurs of Eden reads modern discoveries of paleontology onto Old Testament Scripture.

Ham quotes Isaiah 27:1 …” and he will slay the dragon that is in the sea.” And Psalm 74:13 …” you broke the heads of the sea monsters on the waters.”

He states that they were, “probably the great sea reptiles like mosasaurs or Plesiosaurus.”

He then states that Isaiah 30:6 …” and the flying fiery serpent” may be a reference to flying reptiles like Pteranodon.

Ironically on the same page, Ham quotes Proverbs 30:5- “Every word of God proves true.”

Ham ignores the context of the Bible verses that more closely align with serpents or snakes. He also ignores the fact that no Jewish scholars, or Christians for the past two thousand years imagined that those verses referred to dinosaurs, marine reptiles, or pteranodons. He does not provide any alternative explanation and lays a foundation that will be confusing for a child. For a full explanation of biblical usage of “Leviathan and flying serpents” read here.

3. Dinosaurs of Eden claims that dinosaurs were all created vegetarian

Ham argues that dinosaurs like T-rex were created vegetarian, not carnivorous. To do so, Ham compares T-Rex teeth to Pandas and Marine Iguanas. Ham essentially conflates all from canine teeth that appear sharp. He completely ignores paleontology, physiology, basic dentition, and the study of microwear on tooth enamel. The most egregious comparison is when he notes that even children need a fork and sharp knife to cut up vegetables like carrots and potatoes. (p. 17) For the most detailed rebuttal of his theory see this article: Dino-Dang: The Melon Rex Myth; Senter

5. Dinosaurs of Eden lies about research on dinosaurs and feathers

r/Creation - Dinosaurs of Eden by AiG is blatant misinformation for children

Ham equates feathers with evolution

Some may argue that the prior four examples are not intentionally deceitful. However, the final example cannot be understood in any other way.

Ham writes,

**”**Evolutionists believe dinos evolved into birds. Once, they found a fossil with feathers on it in China. If such a fossil really existed they would say it is a transitional form. But when they studied it closely they found out it didn’t have feathers at all…A different fossil that actually had feathers was found to be part of a bird fossil that had been glued together with a part of a dinosaur one!” (p. 49)

Ham then states,

“Many evolutionists believe blindly that the Bible is not true and God doesn’t exist. They go so far as to say that the hummingbirds you see at the feeder are actually living dinosaurs.” (p. 49)

He even uses 1 Corinthians 15: 39 to try and illustrate that birds and reptiles do not share the same “flesh.”

r/Creation - Dinosaurs of Eden by AiG is blatant misinformation for children

p. 49

The other examples in this post were irritating, but the deceit of Ken Ham in this section is blatant. Ham uses the example of the fraudulent archeoraptor fossil (that was disproved by other “secular scientists”) to cast doubt on the existence of feathered dinosaurs. He injects atheism and anti-theist attitudes towards the Bible into a conversation about dinosaurs and feathers. His intentions are clear, you cannot believe in the Bible and believe that dinosaurs had feathers. He is wrong.

Ham ignores the fact that many YECs are open to the idea. Popular young YouTube Guzman1611 has a video with YEC Dr. Matt McClain here that describes dinosaurs and feathers. There is a 2018 YEC article on Dinosaurs and Feathers here that argues for feathered dinosaurs. Phillip Senter used YEC baraminology here to show dinosaurs were feathered. The YEC biologist whose work he cited is Todd Wood. You can read Todd Wood’s response here. Todd Wood does disagree with Senter’s conclusion that dinosaurs and birds are related phylogenetically, BUT he still believes that dinosaurs had feathers. See Wood’s blog post here.


Why would Ham write such a misleading book- for Children! I think it relates to his views of culture and Christianity. Notice the divisive ideas Ham inculcates in his readers. People who believe in millions of years have no faith. People who believe in evolution do not fear God. People who “trust” science and not God’s word are your enemies. Throughout the book, “evolutionists” and “secular science” are referred to as “They.” His language communicates the idea that the people who think dinosaurs went extinct 65 million years ago are against God and against the Bible, and against the truth. It is us against them.

Ken Ham uses short snippets of Bible quotes as a blunt instrument throughout the book. Ham cherry-picks Bible verses that often have ZERO relationship to the subject within the original context of the Biblical narrative. The Bible is treated as a book of propositional facts. Sadly, Ham’s book teaches a child to look at science with suspicion and, perhaps, even resentment. Ham wants the debate to remain distinctly divided. He has no patience for a Christian worldview that is informed, complimented, or integrated with 21st-century science.

Conservative Christian historian Mark Noll laments the milieu of YEC and science in his book, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. Noll notes that the strategies of YECs confuse the ongoing dialogue between Christianity and empirical science. His book documents the evolution of Western evangelicalism over the last 100 years. I find his assessment of YEC and it impact on young Christian minds to be an apt closing to this post. Please read:

Creation science has damaged evangelicalism by making it much more difficult to think clearly about human origins, the age of the earth, and mechanisms of geological or biological change. But it has done more profound damage by undermining the ability to look at the world God has made and to understand what we see when we do look. Fundamentalist habits of mind have been more e destructive than individual creationist conclusions. Because those habits of mind are compounded of unreflective aspects of 19th-century procedure alongside tendentious aspects of fundamentalist ideology, they have done serious damage to Christian thinking (p. 196).

tldr; Ken Ham watched too many episodes of The Flintstones growing up

Chalicotheres are problems for YECs

Chalicotheres are Perissodactyls. Perissodactyl is the scientific name for odd-toed ungulates. Odd-toed ungulates are animals like horses, rhinos, and tapirs that are hooves, but put all of their weight on their third toe in the middle.

Chalicotheres are unique animals. But they are not like some bizarre lemur that has adapted to an island environment. Chalicotheres are a Super Family- meaning there are three different families of chalicotheres. Or in YEC terms – chalicotheres represent three different kinds. AiG is aware of chalicotheres. In fact, they wrote a blog post in 2014 about the animals. They even feature a model chalicothere at the Ark Encounter!

r/Creation - Chalicotheres are problematic for YEC

Noah feeding a chalicothere

Paleontologists discovered the strange mammals back in the late 19th century. But ever since the 2000’s paleontologists keep finding more and more fossils of chalicotheres. The animals are found in a variety of environments, on almost every continent, and across a wide range of strata. See fossil info here. So where is the problem for YECs?

First, ALL chalicothere fossils are post-flood. Even if you think that the flood boundary is in the late-Cenozoic (which has problems), they are all post-flood. Even the AiG blog post admits that they are post-flood animals. YECs assume the Ice age occurred in the 250 years after the flood.

This is a lot of info, so let me be specific with the problems chalicotheres present for YEC:

  1. Two chalicotheres disembarked from Noah’s ark 4,400 years ago in Mesopotamia. Then in the next 250 years, chalicotheres diversified into dozens of species, spread out across the entire world, into a diverse array of habitats, and then suddenly died. All of them. Without a single one surviving. And presumably without any human ever getting to see one of these creatures. There are hundreds of chalicothere fossils all over the world. If fossilization (after the flood) is so rare, how many chalicotheres were alive? Hundreds of thousands? Millions?
  2. Some might argue that the Ice Age wiped them out. But not all chalicotheres would have been impacted by The Ice Age because according to this Ice Age Map the chalicotheres in Africa and Asia would have been fine.
  3. Chalicotheres were found in China, Germany, Greece, Pakistan, Kenya, Florida, California, Texas, South Africa, Mongolia, Mexico, Ethiopia. All OVER the world. But the only fossils we have are buried in sedimentary rock after the flood. What fossilized all of these animals? YECs admit that the global flood didn’t bury ANY of the hundreds of chalicothere fossils.
  4. YECs like to point out the problems with dinosaur fossils that have been discovered with soft-material. But why haven’t we found ANY soft material in the chalicothere fossils? They were all buried in the last 4,100 years or so.

tldr; big slothy horse makes it seem like earth longer than 6,000 years old

The Dino-Dilemma for YEC: Creation Conference Papers from 2018

The company line for YEC organizations like AiG, ICR, and the neglected step-child CMI, is that dinosaurs and birds are distinct “kinds.” Dinosaurs are reptiles. Birds are birds. Period. But, behind closed doors, Ark museums, and YouTube, are lengthy, creation-science journal articles, that say otherwise. Here is a brief overview of dinosaurs and birds in YEC literature.

Phillip J. Senter is an Orthodox Christian and a vertebrate paleontologist who specializes in dinosaurs. He is a gleeful foe for YEC science. He recently published a book called Fire-Breathing Dinosaurs that dismantles the theory that dinosaurs could breathe fire, using science. Senter also contributes regularly to Skeptical Inquirer to discount YEC theories. In 2010, he took the research of YEC scientist Todd Wood on baraminology (Multi-Dimensional scaling, statistics, etc.) Senter than applied the YEC scientist’s methods to dinosaurs and birds, where he successfully proved that some groups of dinosaurs overlapped with birds. Part 1 Senter Part 2 Senter

AiG responded with an article downplaying the methods that Todd Wood used. Dr. Wilson describes his “discomfort” with the conclusions of statistical baraminology here. However, throughout the 2010s Liaoning and other Chinese fossil hotspots continue to turn up birdlike dinosaur fossils. Wood and others begin to argue that it is possible God made some dinosaurs with feathers and that they might be related. AiG maintained its hard stance. See Here. But some highlights:

Complicating matters even further is the fact that true birds have been found among the Liaoning province fossils in the same layers as their presumed dinosaur ancestors.

Having a true bird appear before alleged feathered dinosaurs, no mechanism to change scales into feathers, no mechanism to change a reptilian lung into an avian lung, and no legitimate dinosaurs found with feathers are all good indications that dinosaurs didn’t turn into birds. The evidence is consistent with what the Bible teaches about birds being unique and created after their kinds.

But…here is where it gets interesting. In 2018, the International Conference on Creationism had two papers submitted which explored the relationships between dinosaurs and birds.

Dinosaur Feathers Reconsidered

While many creationists may be skeptical of inferring feathers when there are no feathers preserved, these predictors have proven to be an effective indicator of the existence of feathers.

Troodontids are remarkably bird-like dinosaurs. They were lightly-built and had large brains.

While most reports of feathers have come from theropod dinosaurs, they are not exclusive to them. While rare, filamentous integument has been documented in ornithischians.

While we have found that feathered dinosaurs could be broken into multiple created kinds, and others have found that birds can be broken into multiple created kinds, we could not find a way to separate theropod dinosaurs and birds overall into two groups based on their anatomy. Traditionally, creationists have considered dinosaurs and birds to be two discrete groups, easy to separate and identify. To most people, dinosaurs and birds appear to be vastly different animals. However, such a distinction can only be maintained by “cherry-picking” non-birdlike dinosaurs for comparison. For instance if sparrows, eagles, and flamingoes are compared with Triceratops and stegosaurus. A much different picture appears if we compare birds to the theropod dinosaurs.

The second paper is Dinosaur Baraminology and shares many of the similar conclusions, though not as potently put forward. It appears that the scientists who work behind the scenes for the various creation ministries are well-aware of the prevalence of feathered dinosaurs and their birdlike similarities. AiG has drawn a pretty big line in the sand with dinosaurs and birds, but they may move the goalposts. Perhaps the Ark Encounter will display a feathered theropod and use it as an example of the “common design” in animals.

tldr; YEC scientists KNOW that dinosaurs have feathers.

YEC views that have changed over the last 40 years

YEC has evolved over the last 40 years.

1. The geologic column is generally accepted as accurate The most influential YEC book (perhaps 2nd to the Bible) is The Genesis Flood by Whitcomb and Morris. Back in the ’70s, the authors were keen on discrediting the standard geologic column as a uniformitarian heresy. However, decades and many, many oil drills later, YECs now accept the geologic column (though not the ages).

2. Biologic diversity is a result of natural selection. Decades ago, natural selection was only supported by “evolutionists” or “secularists.” But even Answers in Genesis now incorporates natural selection into their theories. One of the Ark Encounter’s zoologists explains at 11:03 on video YouTube video made during the quarantine. Also, it is worth noting that in the video around the 2:15 mark, the AiG speaker states that there were about 6,800 animals on the ark. Those 6800 animals diversified into what species exist today (and those who are extinct). Contrast that with p. 69 of The Genesis Flood where the authors argued no more than 35,000 individual vertebrates were required to be on the ark.

3. Not all fossils are a result of Noah’s Flood
YECs know that the flood boundary is a crucial part of their theory. Where the floods end in the geologic record determines what animals died during Noah’s flood and which were created afterward. The problem is that YECs cannot decide where the global deluge starts and stops according to the rocks. Some argue that it is at the K-Pg boundary, but many YECs claim it is much later in the fossil record in the late Cenozoic. Well..there are those outliers that claim it is at the Lower Carboniferous.
Of course, either way- later Cenozoic or K-Pg boundary creates a dilemma. Unlike Ken Ham’s claim that a global flood means millions of fossils buried in rock all over the world, we also have lots and lots of fossils that were made in the 4,400 years since.

4. “Statistical Baraminology” has blurred the lines between kinds
Statistical baraminology was championed by the YEC biologist Todd Wood and retired vet turned baraminologist Jean Lightener. Statistical baraminology plots data sets of animal morphology and groups animals together. YECs have concluded that there is a lot of similarity between birds and theropod dinosaurs; see here. Paleontologist and YEC critic Phillip J. Senter has used baraminological methodology to show birds are dinosaurs. Also, YEC scientist Todd Wood has been heavily criticized for his work that shows an overlap between Austropolethicus and Homo sapiens. Not to mention the Ark Encounter video where the AiG zoologist admits that synapsids are mammal-like reptiles. Also, according to this article, dinosaurs might have had feathers.

5. Radiometric Dating is accurate for “relative dating
Given the countless amount of YEC hours spent debunking radiometric dating, this should come as a surprise. In a 2018 paper, the leading geologist of YEC (Andrew Snelling) admits on p. 3 of this paper the following. “Some of the minerals found in the supergene weathering zones of ore deposits can be date using the Ar/Ar radioisotope method. It could be argued that the method is unreliable and so cannot provide absolute dates. However, when it is carefully used it can still provide relative dates anchored to the biblical parameters for subdividing and dating the rock record.”