JEFFERSON CITY – “Should I care about the book of Genesis?” is the question Tommy Mitchell hopes to answer. His simple reply: a resounding yes.
Mitchell is a medical doctor who works with Answers in Genesis, a Kentucky-based ministry that aims to provide a biblical reply to questions many have about the creation of the world and evolution in particular. Mitchell was at Concord Baptist Church here April 15 and 16 and offered rebuttals to so-called scientific refutation of a literal six-day Creation, a literal worldwide flood and a non-evolutionary look at dinosaurs.
Mitchell said many Christians believe in “theistic evolution,” which is the idea that since God is omnipotent, He could have easily caused man to evolved from – to use Mitchell’s term – “reorganized pond scum” over millions of years instead of six literal days of creation. While he said he doesn’t doubt their salvation (he believed this way several years after his own conversion), it is a very slippery slope.
“This book is true from the very first verse,” Mitchell said, holding up the Bible. “There’s a danger when you compromise. If foundation is destroyed, there’s nothing left standing. Every major doctrine in Christianity directly or indirectly goes back to Genesis. Everything from the very idea of sin, to forgiveness to marriage. Paul and Jesus in the New Testament both referred to Gensis in its historical context. Many believe it’s a myth or a fable, but Genesis is real history.”
Mitchell’s discussion of dinosaurs – interspersed with clips from the hit movie Jurassic Park – was a crowd pleaser.
“People like dinosaurs,” he said. “If there’s one thing the world can use to steal the hearts and minds of our kids, it’s dinosaurs.”
He said that many parents simply don’t know any biblical response to questions about dinosaurs, so they tell their children they aren’t real or are a myth. He says this is denying physical proof of their existence while there is no reason their existence and extinction need to be seen as contrary to a biblical worldview.
“Dinosaurs obviously were real,” he said. “We have fossils of many, many kinds of dinosaurs and I hope we find many, many more. What we need to do is find out what they really tell us as opposed to what we want them to tell us. Where should all our learning, including about dinosaurs, begin? The Bible. What we see in God’s world agrees with what we read in God’s Word. I can look at the world through that biblical lens and it really does make sense.”
The fossil record, Mitchell said, does not show intermediate species that would confirm evolution. Instead, the fossil record shows individual species reproducing according to their own kind, just as in the opening chapters of the Bible. Scientific theories and “educated guesses” that point to dinosaurs evolving into modern day reptiles or birds are still merely guesses.
Why don’t we find the word dinosaur in the Bible?
“It’s a new word that didn’t exist until Sir Richard Owen invented it in 1841,” Mitchell said. “The most common version of the Bible, the King James Version, wasn’t completed until 1611. Of course it’s not going to appear in the Bible.”
What does appear, particularly in Job 40, is a lengthy description of a beast called “behemoth,” with a tail that “sways like a cedar” and bones that “are tubes of bronze” and “limbs like rods of iron.”
“Can I say ‘behemoth’ equals ‘dinosaur?’” he asked. “No, but I can say there is not a creature in our present understanding that fits our understanding better than a sauropod dinosaur.”
But what happened to dinosaurs? Science textbooks teach they went extinct millions of years before man due to climate change, asteroid strike, volcanos or some other catastrophe.
“They died,” Mitchell said. “What happened to the dodo? It died. What almost happened to the American bald eagle? It almost died. We lived in a fallen, cursed world. Things die. There is evidence that meteors hit the Earth; there’s no one that argues that. But there’s no evidence that this is why dinosaurs went extinct.”
Mitchell explained that a literal world-wide flood like that found in Genesis could explains mineral found thought to be linked to a large meteor.
He also argues that almost all dinosaur fossils could have been caused by the flood, but that since two of every animal were on the Ark with Noah, at least some survived, however briefly.
He referred to a popular exhibit at the Creation Museum in northern Kentucky, that depicts man and dinosaurs walking together.
“The world uses dinosaurs to say we’re just rearranged pond scum,” he said. “We use them to reinforce belief in the perfect Word of God.”