Last week, Answers in Genesis’ Ken Ham created a spot of controversy when he tweeted these pictures from a new exhibit at the Ark Encounter theme park:
Naturally, these photos garnered immediate attention. Of particular interest was this one, which shows a dinosaur entering a coliseum filled with humans:
My response to these images is likely very different from most others’ response. When I saw these images, I was profoundly disappointed in Ham’s lack of imagination. Look, I grew up in an evangelical home, I read every Answers in Genesis book I could get my hands on, heck, I even got Ham’s autograph after seeing him speak at an event. I was fourteen. It was the highlight of my year. And no, that is not sarcasm.
One of Ham’s most common talking points is that Adam and Eve were created perfect, and that the human body has degraded from there, through mutations etc. In other words, their brains—their intelligence—was far superior to that of ours. That meant, Ham said, that we could not even imagine what technology they might have had before the flood. We should not assume they were primitive or backwards.
My youthful imagination soared. Could they have created technology similar to computers—or even, more advanced? Perhaps they had a completely different form of airplane, or even more advanced technology—hovercrafts? Everything they created was completely obliterated by the flood, of course, but given their superior intelligence, it could have been anything. What technological secrets did our ancestors have that was forever lost to the flood? Clean energy, perhaps?
I spent hours imagining it.
And in the face of these endless possibilities, Ham gives us … dinosaurs in coliseums.
The utter lack of imagination here is staggering—and somehow disappointing. What is the point of engaging in a level of biblical literalism that conflicts with all of our modern understandings of the ancient world if you’re not willing to take it all the way? Our pre-flood ancestors were essentially just prot0-Romans? Seriously? Out of all the possibilities—their advanced intelligence, the possibilities of completely different types of technology, wiped out by the flood—we get dinosaurs in coliseums?!
This actually seems like a fascinating opportunity for pre-flood fan fiction. I mean, come on! Anything you or I might come up with would have to be better than dinosaurs in coliseums.
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