Dinosaur FossilsQUESTION: What can we learn from dinosaur fossils?ANSWER:
Dinosaur fossils make evident that giant reptilian creatures once roamed the Earth. The fact that we do not see these creatures alive today suggests that they have gone extinct, though there are hundreds of alleged sightings from remote areas of the world that have cryptozoologists disputing the universality of dinosaur extinction. In general however, most people tend to think of dinosaurs as “once upon a time.”
Scientists believe they can determine approximately when various species of dinosaurs died out by looking at where their fossils appear in the fossil record. The Law of Superposition says that older strata layers should be found below newer layers, unless something subsequently disturbs this arrangement. The question is, how much time passes between the deposition of each layer?
The reigning geological paradigm, known alternatively as “uniformitarianism” or “neocatastrophism,” conjectures that the strata layers represent long epochs of time. Altogether the fossil record is supposed to span billions of years. This paradigm is accepted by the majority of scientists and taught in schools. There is however some descent among a growing minority of scientists. These scientists reject the majority consensus on evidentiary grounds, including geological and anthropological evidences. Dinosaurs may not have lived so long ago.
Dinosaur fossils actually tell us very little on their own other than that giant lizards once roamed the Earth. The fossils must be interpreted within the context of a broader paradigm. Depending on your presuppositions, the fossils can be interpreted one way or another.