Forum on Dinosaur Eggs, Nests, and Tracks
Dinosaur Eggs, Nests and Tracks:
Evidence for or against the Noachian Deluge?
Edward C. Lain and Robert E. Gentet
© CRSQ 40:117-118
Empirical evidences of fossil dinosaur eggs, nest sites and billions of tracks are compelling evidence for geologic events other than the Noachian Deluge. These physical records, however, in no way contradict nor discredit the Genesis account of the Noachian Flood. Rather, the scriptural account mandates a creation/geologic model that allows for time indicators both pre- and post-Flood.
The Fossil Evidence
Dinosaur eggs were first discovered in southern France in 1859. Since then at least 170 different localities, particularly in Argentina, China, India and Mongolia, have yielded abundant egg fossils. For example: "With an estimated 2,000,000 eggs in 1000 km2, the Xixia Basin, in Henan Province, China, is one of the premier sites for dinosaur eggs in the world" (Zhenya, 2003).
In addition, embedded within the geologic record, nesting sites have often been found associated with the eggs in many locations world wide. It is not the purpose of this paper to summarize the volumes of material that has been written on dinosaur eggs and nests or their distribution (see Carpenter, et al, 1994; Carpenter, 1999). At some of the nesting sites there is fossil evidence that some of dinosaur eggs hatched and sufficient time passed for the young to reach a length of around three and a half feet (Horner, 1988, p. 113).
Further complications to placing these remains into the Flood event are found at some locations where there are nest sites at more than one stratigraphic level. Horner made a significant discovery:
...in the area of the Willow Creek, Anticline, Teton Country, Montana. There is one lower horizon and two upper horizons. In the lower horizon, eight nesting sites were found, two of which contained babies (Horner, 1979). The two upper nesting horizons have also yielded skeletal remains. On all three horizons there are desiccation cracks, indicating that the surface was exposed for some time before being covered with sediment (University of Bristol Earth Sciences).
Dinosaur tracks by the billions have been discovered world wide in over 1500 locations and like the nesting sites have been found some times in multiple layers at the same site (Lockley; 1991, Lockley et al 1995; Carpenter et al, 1994). Nest and egg sites, as well as fossil foot print sites, are always found on top of hundreds and even thousands of feet of strata. Clearly, many, many geologic events had already occurred in the areas where the eggs, nests, and footprints are found embedded within the local geologic record. In addition, a study of regional and structural geology shows most of these fossils were (or still are) covered over by yet more hundreds or even thousands of additional feet of strata!
Many creationists have acknowledged these numerous in situ fossils. A classic early paper on fossil nests and eggs was by Garner (1996). While the authors may take exception to the time element (post-Flood) given by Garner for these fossil evidences, the thrust of his paper remains convincing and strong. Garton (1996) has given an excellent paper on tracks of dinosaurs and of many other types of animals.
The Scriptural Account
The Genesis account of the Flood shows the Deluge was continuous and violent, the very opposite of tranquil conditions needed for nest site construction, egg-laying, incubation, and maturation of hatchlings:
"...on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights...Now the flood was on the earth forty days. The waters increased and lifted up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. The waters prevailed and greatly increased on the earth, and the ark moved about on the surface of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth, and all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered. The waters prevailed fifteen cubits upward, and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved on the earth: birds and cattle and beasts and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man. All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, all that was on the dry land died...Only Noah and those who were with him in the ark remained alive. And the waters prevailed on the earth one hundred and fifty days (Genesis 7:11-12, 17-24, New KJV).
The Biblical picture of the Flood is horrendous in every aspect! The sky continually pours down torrential rains for 40 solid days. Huge water reserves under the earth are released. The waters continue to rise steadily until all the earth is covered with water. No land areas remain above water at the end of the 40 days.
That all the earth was covered by water by the end of the first 40 days of the Flood is very important. There simply is not enough time in the Flood for the events depicted by the eggs, nests, and foot prints to occur. In addition, the waters prevail on the earth for 150 days. Indeed, that is the nature and purpose of the Flood–to destroy all air breathing life. Nothing in the biblical record suggests that the rain or the rising waters slackened at any time. Rather, the account stresses just the opposite: "The waters prevailed and greatly increased on the earth...The waters prevailed exceeding on the earth...." To suggest otherwise changes the Deluge into a more tranquil event than Scripture describes and creates embarrassing scenarios for creationists.
While long million of years time intervals are not needed to explain the multiple nest site levels, their existence is still quite significant. The dinosaurs were able to return to the same area even after events had buried the previous nests. This set of circumstances indicates intermittent, local disturbances and does not fit an incessant, worldwide, violent Deluge as described in Genesis. The chaos of the Flood would not have afforded opportunity for building even one nest site layer along with time for incubation, hatching, and subsequent growth of the young. How could multiple nesting cycles possibly happen within the Genesis Flood Event?
Could the Flood have caused formation of all the underlying strata? If so, after the flood deposited hundreds or even thousands of feet of fresh, wet strata, dinosaurs then built nests, laid and incubated eggs, watch them hatch and guarded the hatchlings while they grew–all while Flood waters were continually rising! While it is not known how long it took dinosaurs to incubate their eggs and, in some cases, for a hatchling to reach a length of 3.5 feet, clearly the short 40-day time span of the Flood excludes any possibility of it happening within the Flood.
The Bible makes it abundantly clear that at the end of 40 days the entire earth was already covered with water. The Deluge timeframe clearly does not "track" with the dinosaur nesting cycle. The Deluge was an event that destroyed and eroded large sections of what had been deposited by previous geologic activity. The destructive power of the Deluge can be clearly seen throughout the American southwest in prominent features such as buttes and mesas bearing stark testimony to the enormous erosion that took place. Vast areas of the landscape have been denuded of their once former extensive deposits.
And it is in such American West strata that many of the remains of dinosaur eggs, nest sites, and foot prints are found in supreme abundance. This would seem to comprise compelling evidence that much geologic activity had already occurred during the long, pre-Flood cursed earth between Adam and Noah. This pre-Flood period had sufficient time to allow for burial of in situ time indicators of eggs, nests and tracks.
In addition, it must be remembered that while dinosaur tracks are limited to "Mesozoic" rocks, other animal tracks also appear in rocks from practically all the geologic "periods" of the "Paleozoic" and "Cenozoic" rocks. (The CCC young-earth, geologic model recognizes geological "Periods" as ecologic systems, not strict world wide time periods as envisioned by the evolutionists.) The reader is urged to review this important aspect of the CCC model (Gentet, 2000).
CRSQ: Creation Research Society Quarterly.
CENTJ: Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal