We might think that the world is a cruel place now, but millions of years ago the dinosaurs lived in a world without mercy, "a freakish, hellish nightmare world drenched in the blood and gore of violence, death and destruction" inhabited by "abnormal, grotesque creatures and monstrosities" hellbent on destruction. It was a world invented by the Devil himself, according to Damien Royce and Jason Zolot, the authors of Did God Destroy the Dinosaurs?
While millions of dinosaur lovers everywhere delight in their gigantic proportions and sometimes comical physiognomies, Royce and Zolot are deeply disturbed by them. "Even a cursory examination of the facts," they write, "produces the distinct feeling that something was just not right with the dinosaurs and the related reptiles of the air and sea. It is as if they were not of this world and did not belong in it. It is as if they were travesties of Nature, monstrous caricatures of other creatures and of life itself--the result of some obscene joke played by some perverted prankster." It was the most perverted prankster of all, Satan, who created these travesties and, in his insatiable perversity, became one himself.
The authors, horrified at this bizarre scenario, are more than the saurophobic Satan-bashers that they seem to be. They are also theologians who take the time to carefully argue their case, with due consideration to science, as well as the history of religious beliefs. Their inevitable conclusion--that Satan created the dinosaurs and that God destroyed them--is a reconciliation, they claim, between science and the Bible. More sophisticated than evangelical satan-bashers, Royce and Zolot borrow freely from Gnosticism, Zoroastrianism and Paganism to form a Christian heresy that features an obsession with dinosaurs.
The authors attempt to appeal not just to Bible-believers, but also to more objective readers. They fail, however, because they have a grossly unrealistic view of science. To them, science isn't supposed to leave any unanswered questions. That paleontologists are not unanimous on the cause of the dinosaurs' demise means, to them, that science has failed. The fact that there are disputes, they think, gives them license to declare open season on the entire problem. And in the end, they consult their Bibles for a definitive answer; science offers them only provisional explanations and shifting theories whereas holy scripture serves up the TRUTH.
The existence of dinosaurs fossils puts Creationists in a quandary. What are they supposed to make of these creatures who obviously didn't make it onto Noah's Ark, and who didn't warrant so much as a footnote in the Bible? And to make matters worse, the scientists tell them that these fossils are many millions of years old, while their God tells them that the earth itself is only about 6000 years old. The problem is an embarrassment for them, but their solutions are even worse. Some Creationists say that God actually planted dinosaur bones to test the faith of believers.
Royce and Zolot come to the rescue, pointing out that the dinosaurs did indeed exist. "The eloquent testimony of the fossil record and the divinely inspired words of the Bible," they say, "seem to be mutually excludable and reciprocally irreconcilable." They conclude, however, that "in fact they are not." Taking biblical interpretation to new extremes, they find the solution to this massive quandary in between the first and second sentences of Genesis.
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was without form and void." These first two sentences of the Holy Scriptures seem transparent enough; little do modern-day Jews and Christians suspect that they are hiding monumental history. The real meaning of this passage can be found only by referring back to the original Hebrew. Royce and Zolot inform us that what the second sentence really says is, "The earth became chaotic and in confusion," the salient point being the word "became" which shows that the chaos and confusion happened a lot later than creation of the Universe. Furthermore, they assert, God is never the author of waste and confusion. Therefore, not only did the chaos happen a lot later than the creation, but it wasn't even God who caused it. The mainstream Judeo-Christians, in their ignorance, think Genesis 1 is an account of the creation of the Earth, when, in fact, it's an account of the repair of it, after a big accident. And in between the creation of the Universe and the Chaos, between the first two sentences of the Holy Bible, lived the dinosaurs.
Their story begins before the beginning with the "God family." (In the original Hebrew "God" is plural.) Only one member of the God family--Jesus Christ--created the Universe itself. The entire family then created angels, giving them "free will" so that they could help out in the care and completion of the Universe. God's favorite angel was Lucifer, who acquired special duties and powers. He became a kind of sub-contractor for Creation, as God probably had better things to do. God's fatal error was to give Lucifer the exclusive power to create life. It was then only a matter of time before he was transformed into the bad, rebellious Satan, creator of the dinosaurs.
Royce and Zolot speculate on the circumstances of the awful event.
... The Universe must have teemed with life, wondrous and beautiful in its many varieties. But then Lucifer began turning into Satan by beginning to tamper with the creation of life. Perhaps it started initially as an amusement or a prank or diversion for himself, or perhaps to impress or to entertain the lesser angelic beings who lacked his power to create life. What Satan had realized was that not only could he create life, he could also destroy it! For his amusement, Lucifer-turned-Satan introduced the reality and the curse of death to the living, something God had never intended...Satan was joined by other naughty angels in his diabolical amusements and in a major rebellion intended to overthrow the God family as rulers of the Universe.
... Satan turned Earth into a freakish, hellish nightmare world drenched in the blood and gore of violence, death and destruction, an obscene parody of what God had intended. ... His bloodlust became insatiable.
Lucifer abused his creative powers by creating a planet with a steamy, wet, tropical climate, a planet populated by dinosaurs, sea reptiles, flying serpents and other abnormal, grotesque creatures and monstrosities. ...
This story cannot be found within the tenets of mainstream Christianity. Only hints of it can be found within the secret doctrines of the Gnostics, or in Pagan mythology. "This animating power of Lucifer (turned Devil)" write Royce and Zolot, "was so disconcerting and disturbing to the ancient Biblical scholars and scribes, who were well versed in Gnostic secret doctrines, that all overt traces of it were, evidently, consciously purged from the Bible." But subtle clues remain for those willing to dig them up. For example, Biblical references to "Satan's seed," as well as passages about the Rahab, the Leviathan and the Behemoth are all really passages about Satan's creation, the dinosaurs.
Pagan myths contain less veiled references to Satan's creation. They depict a world, parallel to our own, inhabited by grotesque beasts and monsters, which, to Royce and Zolot, are representations of the dinosaurs. "Perhaps the most horrible of all [evil mythological] creatures" they write, "was the Medusa. Most interestingly, the description of Medusa resembles that of certain dinosaurs or sea reptiles."
Most telling of all, are the clues found within Zoroastrianism, a forerunner of Judeo-Christianity. The authors quote Bullfinch's account of the Zoroastrian creation story.
... Ormuzd created man and supplied him with all the materials of happiness; but Ahriman marred this happiness by introducing evil into the world and creating savage beasts and poisonous reptiles and plants. In consequence of this, evil and good are now mingled together in every part of the world and the followers of good and evil...carry on incessant war. But this state of things will not last forever. The time will come when the adherents of Ormuzd shall everywhere be victorious and Ahriman and his followers be consigned to darkness forever.Ahriman is Satan and the "savage beasts" are dinosaurs. Though this passage tells the story quite clearly, its source is a "dead" religion. There are also living remnants of the truth in Judeo-Christianity. The most graphic remnants reside in the Book of Revelation, which Royce and Zolot read as God's belated answer to Satan's fun and games:
The heavens were completely cleansed--at least for awhile--of the rebellious demonic host... God cast Satan down to Earth, then destroyed the dinosaurs and set about the renewal of the world. Satan was deprived of his power to create in the physical realm, but he retained his power to manipulate life. Not all of Satan's creation was destroyed at this time. Certain areas were permitted to retain their hot, steamy climate and certain abnormal creatures like sharks and crocodiles were permitted either to exist or to arise through his genetic engineering.Finally, we are up to the second sentence of Genesis. The Earth became void and without form, chaos and confusion.
Royce and Zolot interpret the Book of Revelation as a graphic depiction of this chaos and confusion, when "hail and fire mingled with blood," and "a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea."
And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.Thus, "the great 'comet' or 'meteor' which devastated Earth 65 million years ago and put an end to all dinosaurs," they write, "was none other than Satan himself being thunderously hurled towards Earth, confounding and destroying the whole ecosystem of the planet!"
And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.
And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth.... (Rev. 9: 1-3)
When the dinosaurs were destroyed, the Earth was finally habitable for humans, though certain areas retained their "old hot, steamy, tropical and semi-tropical climate," inhabited by "vile and savage creatures like crocodiles and alligators, puny cousins of the dinosaurs and sea reptiles, but no less deadly and bloodthirsty."
Even after his vile creations were destroyed Satan still wouldn't give up. He sabotaged God's first plan for paradise on Earth, Eden, and continues to wage war with God even to this day. Though he lost his power to create life itself, he still has the power to "genetically engineer" evil versions of already existing plants and animals: poison ivy, venomous snakes, saber-toothed tigers and vampire bats, as well as harmful bacteria and viruses such as syphilis, AIDS, smallpox and polio.
Sightings of the Loch Ness Monster and other similar creatures are proof that Satan is attempting to create his favorite creatures again. But the specimens are doomed due to the demise of his powers; this accounts for the difficulty which many people have in actually seeing the Loch Ness Monster.
But Satan has no such difficulty in creating weapons of mass destruction, which he'd like us to use against ourselves. Instead, say Royce and Zolot, we should use them against Satan's brood:
Man already has the potential to eradicate all crocodiles and alligators from the wild, and indeed from existence. And man can already launch the expurgatory war against sharks, piranhas, lamprey eels and other vile creatures of Satan's menagerie. To date, man has chosen to eradicate from the wild only one member of Satan's brood--smallpox. ... Under the guise of the generally laudable and beneficial conservation mentality of maintaining the balance of nature, man has unwittingly included the conservation of Satan's lifeforms.Their final message is: Beware of those who take pity on wolves and crocodiles; they are dupes of Satan! God is already destined to wrest the Earth from Satan's grip, destroying "his seed" once and for all. Nuke 'em, for then you will be fulfilling God's will!
© 1995 Donna Kossy