Paleontology and Creationism Meet but Don’t Mesh

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Paleontology and Creationism Meet but Don’t Mesh

PETERSBURG, Ky. — Tamaki Sato was confused by the dinosaur exhibit. The placards described the various dinosaurs as originating from different geological periods — the stegosaurus from the Upper Jurassic, the heterodontosaurus from the Lower Jurassic, the velociraptor from the Upper Cretaceous — yet in each case, the date of demise was the same: around 2348 B.C. “I was just curious why,” said Dr. Sato, a professor of geology from Tokyo Gakugei University in Japan. For paleontologists like Dr. Sato, layers of bedrock represent an accumulation over hundreds of millions of years, and the Lower Jurassic is much older than the Upper Cretaceous. But here in the Creation Museum in northern Kentucky, Earth and the universe are just over 6,000 years old, created in six days by God. The museum preaches, “Same facts, different conclusions” and is unequivocal in viewing paleontological and geological data in light of a literal reading of the Bible. In the creationist interpretation, the layers were laid down in one event — the worldwide flood when God wiped the land clean except for the creatures on Noah’s ark — and these dinosaurs died in 2348 B.C., the year of the flood. “That’s one thing I learned,” Dr. Sato said. The worlds of academic paleontology and creationism rarely collide, but the former paid a visit to the latter last Wednesday. The University of Cincinnati was hosting the North American Paleontological Convention, where scientists presented their latest research at the frontiers of the ancient past. In a break from the lectures, about 70 of the attendees boarded school buses for a field trip to the Creation Museum, on the other side of the Ohio River.
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