I remember when I was a kid reading about the dinosaurs. Back then, I was being indoctrinated into the belief that dinosaurs lived millions of years ago, and became extinct millions of years before homo sapiens evolved. I remember reading that scientists thought perhaps a meteor impact blocked out the sun, drastic climate change, and other theories.
Since then, I have come to trust in Jesus Christ, and in His Bible, which gives the history of the earth as being only about six thousand years old (6127 to be exact). I believe the Bible teaches the dinosaurs were created on days five and six, and that man was created on day six. So humans lived at the same time as the dinosaurs. I believe that whatever dinosaurs were alive at the time Noah built the ark would have been represented on the ark as well.
But there are no dinosaurs alive today (other than crocodiles, alligators, Komodo dragons, iguanas, etc). And so the question remains: what happened to the dinosaurs?
My personal belief, in short, is this: we hunted them to extinction.
Why do I believe this? Look at ancient history. Most cultures have references to large lizards in their history. From Chinese dragons to St. George and the dragon, to ancient maps (“Here there be dragons”) and Beowulf.
From this I gather that the last large dinosaur died out within the past four hundred years. I think that they used to be common knowledge, and then, after they became extinct, they turned into “myth”, or “everybody knows they don’t exist.” Think about it: it would only take a few generations removed from the last person who saw one alive before people began to doubt that they ever actually existed.
Why did we hunt them to extinction? That’s simple. Imagine there were dinosaurs around today. Giant creatures capable of doing incalculable damage to people and property roaming the countryside. Well, today we would probably try to save them, eco-warriors that we are. But 400 years ago? If a large animal is threatening your family’s life or livelihood, that animal has to die.
For one final note: look at the endangered species list. What animals feature prominently? Elephants. Rhinoceros (aka “unicorns”). Whales, Tigers, Lions, Grizzly bears. All the largest and most ferocious animals are listed as endangered, because people have a tendency to kill them.
So what happened to the dinosaurs? We did.