Live Coelocanth swimming in the water

The Bible Book of Genesis – Geology, Archaeology, and Theology – Part 16

Genesis 7 & 8: The Cataclysmic Deluge Account – Post-Flood Evidence – Part 2

If the Bible describes dinosaurs then it would make sense that other historical documents and legends would do the same, just as flood legends and accounts have been handed down. The key is looking for accounts of Dragons and monsters, rather than Dinosaurs, as we know that “Dinosaur” is a word that is less than 200 years old. So what does ancient history outside the Bible tell us about dragons?

Dragons or Dinosaurs? Myths or Eyewitness Accounts?

Other historical sources
  • Herodotus [1] (written late 5th Century BC)

In his histories, there is a section describing the practices of the Egyptians, such as their embalming of cats, and crocodiles. Herodotus then goes on to write “I went once to a certain place in Arabia, almost exactly opposite the city of Buto, to make inquiries concerning the winged serpents. On my arrival I saw the back‐bones and ribs of serpents in such numbers as it is impossible to describe: of the ribs there were a multitude of heaps, some great, some small, some middle‐sized. The place where the bones lie is at the entrance of a narrow gorge between steep mountains, which there open upon a spacious plain communicating with the great plain of Egypt. The story goes that with the spring the winged snakes come flying from Arabia towards Egypt, but are met in this gorge by the birds called ibises, who forbid their entrance and destroy them all. The Arabians assert, and the Egyptians also admit, that it is on account of the service thus rendered that the Egyptians hold the ibis in so much reverence. The ibis is a bird of a deep‐black colour, with legs like a crane; its beak is strongly hooked, and its size is about that of the land‐rail. This is a description of the black ibis which contends with the serpents. The commoner sort, for there are two quite distinct species, has the head and the whole throat bare of feathers; its general plumage is white, but the head and neck are jet black, as also are the tips of the wings and the extremity of the tail; in its beak and legs it resembles the other species. The winged serpent is shaped like the water‐snake. Its wings are not feathered, but resemble very closely those of the bat. And thus I conclude the subject of the sacred animals.”.

The following picture is that of a Sea snake called Stokes Sea Snake. Add a pair of bats wings to the centre of the body and you have a flying serpent or dragon.

Herodotus also mentions that huge serpents were found in the western desert of Libya, along with Lions, elephants, bears, asps (snakes), and horned asses (unicorns).

With that in mind let us now look at an account from Josephus, a Jewish historian of the 1st century AD.

  • Josephus account of Moses and flying serpents and Ibis’ (written late 1st century AD)

The account given in Antiquities of the Jews, Book II, Chapter 10, paragraph 2, concerns him acting as a Prince of Egypt against the Ethiopians. (This was before his flight to Midian). He takes an army across the desert and also takes with the army, baskets of Ibis to protect the army from flying serpents. The account reads “But Moses prevented the enemies, and took and led his army before those enemies were apprized of his attacking them; for he did not march by the river, but by land, where he gave a wonderful demonstration of his sagacity; for when the ground was difficult to be passed over, because of the multitude of serpents, (which it produces in vast numbers, and, indeed, is singular in some of those productions, which other countries do not breed, and yet such as are worse than others in power and mischief, and an unusual fierceness of sight, some of which ascend out of the ground unseen, and also fly in the air, and so come upon men at unawares, and do them a mischief,) Moses invented a wonderful stratagem to preserve the army safe, and without hurt; for he made baskets, like unto arks, of sedge, and filled them with ibes, and carried them along with them; which animal is the greatest enemy to serpents imaginable, for they fly from them when they come near them; and as they fly they are caught and devoured by them, as if it were done by the harts; but the ibes are tame creatures, and only enemies to the serpentine kind: but about these ibes I say no more at present, since the Greeks themselves are not unacquainted with this sort of bird. As soon, therefore, as Moses was come to the land which was the breeder of these serpents, he let loose the ibes, and by their means repelled the serpentine kind, and used them for his assistants before the army came upon that ground.”[2]

Further, when referring to the account recorded in Exodus 7:9-13 quoted above Josephus said the following in Antiquities of the Jews, Book II, chapter 13, para 3, “Now when the priests threw down their rods, they became serpents. But Moses was not daunted at it; and said, “O king, I do not myself despise the wisdom of the Egyptians, but I say that what I do is so much superior to what these do by magic arts and tricks, as Divine power exceeds the power of man: but I will demonstrate that what I do is not done by craft, or counterfeiting what is not really true, but that they appear by the providence and power of God.” And when he had said this, he cast his rod down upon the ground, and commanded it to turn itself into a serpent. It obeyed him, and went all round, and devoured the rods of the Egyptians, which seemed to be dragons, until it had consumed them all. It then returned to its own form, and Moses took it into his hand again.”

  • Pliny the Elder – Natural History (written circa 70AD) [3]

Ibis: In Book X (10) the Natural History of Birds, effectively confirmed the accounts of Herodotus and his fellow historian Josephus when he wrote the following: “The Egyptians also invoke their Ibis against the coming of Serpents.” [4]

Pliny also wrote about the horned asses or unicorns (which today is also considered mythical like dragons by most people).

Unicorn: In Book VIII (8) “But that the fiercest animal is the Monocerotem (Unicorn), which in the rest of the body resembles a horse, but in the head a stag, in the feet an elephant, and in the tail a boar, and has a deep bellow, and a single black horn three feet long projecting from the middle of the forehead. They say that it is impossible to capture this animal alive.”

Pliny also had something to say about dragons. It seems duels between dragons and elephants were well known.

Dragons:

In Book VIII (11) “ELEPHANTS are bred in that Part of Africa which lieth beyond the Deserts of the Syrtes, and also in Mauritania : they are found also among the Ethiopians and Troglodites, as hath been said: 2 but India produceth the biggest: as also the Dragons, which are continually at variance and fighting with them ; and those of such Greatness, that they can easily clasp round the Elephants, 3 and tie them fast with a knot. In this Conflict they die together ; that which is overcome falling down, and with his Weight crushing the one that is twined about him.”

In Book VIII (12) “The Dragons guard against this by en-tangling its Progress first with their Tail; the Elephants undo those Knots with their Hand : but the Dragons put their Heads into their Snout, and so shut out their Breath, and tear the tenderest Parts.”

In Book VIII (13) “In Ethiopia there are produced as great Dragons as in India being twenty cubits long.) [5]

Dragon Legends, etc

In a previous part of this series of articles, we examined Flood legends from around the world. We found the flood legends to come from around the world and consistency of main points. Are there legends of Dragons from around the world, rather than localized perhaps in one continent? If there are do they agree on the main points? The answer to both questions is actually, Yes. They are found on every continent. There are also typically a land dragon, a flying dragon, and a water dragon.

North America:

Angont, for example, is a legend of a giant dragon of the Huron Indians. It was said to inhabit lonely and desolate places in lakes, rivers, caves, and forests.

Thunderbird is the name given to a class of gigantic bird in the traditions of most Native American people in North America, from Alaska to Dakota and elsewhere. For example, the Inuit of Yukon-Kuskokwin Delta in Alaska have the Tinmiukpuk which is a monstrous, predatory bird that is described as a vast creature but resembling an eagle with huge talons. It preys upon caribou and other animals, which it can swoop down on and lift easily into the air and take back to its mountain haunt. If there are no caribou, then it will prey upon any unwary, isolated humans in its territory. It is called the Waukheon by the Sioux and Waukkeon by the Dakota Native Americans. It was called Thunderbird because it was said to arrive just before storms of thunder and lightning.

Memphremagog is a lake monster from the Abenaki Native Americans of Quebec. Its description is that of a vast, dark-green and part serpent, part horse, and is said to devour swimmers in the Lake.

Europe:

Elbst is a water monster from Switzerland. It was first reported in 1584 up to 1926. A description given (among others) was that of a long serpentine creature with a large head and four feet with claws, much like a dragon. It was said to inhabit a lake near Lucerne called the Selisbergsee. It was also said to leave the water at night and raid the herds of sheep in the adjacent Alpen pastures.

Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster of Loch Ness, Inverness-shire, Scotland, UK. This is one of the world’s most famous mysteries. The description is usually of a huge body, often serpentine, with humps or undulations out of the water for up to 30 feet with a head like that of a dragon. The first recorded sighting is circa A.D. 690 in a hagiography by Adamnans of Saint Columcille. There were several reported sightings in 1933 when a road running near the Lochside was opened. There have been periodic sightings and the occasional photograph, since then but various searches have failed to prove or disprove its existence.

Seljordsorm is a similar lake monster in Norway, sighted first in 1750, and more than 100 times since, the last being 1986.

OilliePheiste from Ireland. This is a huge water monster in the traditions and legends of Ireland. It has been described as a type of amphibious “worm” or dragon. It was recorded in early times. It ate cattle and was said to live in Loch Dearg in County Donegal. There was a claimed sighting in 1954 in Lough Fadda in western Ireland.

Dragon of St Leonard’s Forest, Sussex, UK. This was reported in August 1614, by a certain John Trundle, who told of great destruction and havoc around the town of Horsham. It was said to eat and kill both cattle and men.

Scitalis was the name given to a type of winged dragon with only two front legs and the head and the tail of a serpent, with a multicolored skin (iridescent?), and mentioned throughout Europe in ancient texts and medieval bestiaries (descriptive accounts of animals) of Europe.

Sjoorm is the name of a great sea serpent from Norway. They were born on land and as they grew bigger they went into the water. Its existence was a common belief until the late 19th century.

Africa:

Mokele-Mbembe or Groot Slang or Iriz Ima, West African Coast. This was a marine monster resembling an elephant with a single horn on its head and a tail like that of a crocodile or scaly serpent. It was said to live in the cliff caverns of the Congo coastline and attacked and upended boats.

Ethiopian Dragon. These were described as extremely huge and 35 feet long with either one or two pairs of wings. They were good hunters and mainly lived on preying on Elephants.

Pamba is the name of a water monster in Lake Tanganyika, Tanzania, that can engulf a canoe and the fishermen aboard.

Asia:

Apalala. This is from Peshawar, Pakistan, where Buddhist legend has a terrifying water serpent or dragon named Apalala which inhabited the source of the River Swat and terrified the area until it was tamed and converted by Buddha.

Lung, China. No discussion of dragons would be complete without the Lung a general term for the class of dragons in the legends of China. They are described and drawn with a scaly serpentine body, with four legs each with 4 huge claws, a long sinuous tail, and a head resembling a giant lizard. The nostrils breathed smoke or fire. It also is well known that the Chinese have a 12-year cycle of animals. They are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster (Chicken), Dog, and Pig. Why, when all the others are animals we still know about today, would they have included only one mythical animal? The next year of the Dragon will be 2024 starting on 10th February 2024. This cycle based on the Chinese Zodiac, has been in existence since the 5th Century B.C. around 2,500 years.

Bujanga is a huge winged creature or dragon that dwells in the jungles and forests of West Malaysia and Java.

There are numerous other legends. A good source for brief descriptions is “Giants, Monsters, and Dragons” by Carol Rose where most of the above descriptions were summarized from.[6]

In conclusion, even if some of the Dragon stories are giant constrictor snakes, or crocodilian reptiles, the larger majority of these accounts cannot just be written off as fiction. The following points occur frequently:

  • Large size – e.g. preying on elephants. (Today, only lions occasionally prey on baby or severely injured elephants)
  • Frequently described as resembling giant lizards often with a scaly serpentine body.
  • Frequently described as breathing smoke or fire (as the description in Job 41).
  • Usually, they are equally at home in the water and on land.
  • Sometimes they are described as water monsters, usually still serpentine in shape.
  • Sometimes they are described as having bat-like wings.
  • They usually avoided human company, but some did prey on humans.
  • Their prey appeared to be the largest animals in their vicinity whether it be elephants, cattle, or sheep.
  • They laid eggs which both modern reptiles and ancient dinosaurs are known to do.
  • More than one species of dragon is described.

Furthermore, as shown by the examples above, these descriptions are found on every continent, just like the flood legends. They are not the result of local superstition and show remarkable similarity just like the flood legends.

How one views all the information above depends very much on one’s worldview or outlook.

If one accepts the prevailing view held by many, i.e. that dinosaurs and other such reptiles died out 65 million years ago, and that man evolved from apes and hence was much more susceptible to fear of unknown creatures, then there is no room for dinosaurs living with mankind. Furthermore, all these accounts would have to be put down to wild exaggerations.

On the other hand, if one views ancient man as possibly being more intelligent than those alive today, because of living longer and being closer to perfection, then the weight of circumstantial evidence, only some of which is discussed above, would surely support the possibility that some saurid (dino-, itchyo- and ptero-) kinds did survive the flood. However, most, if not all, probably finally became extinct as the world population grew and they were killed off by man. There are many creatures that have gone extinct in the last few hundred years, the best known perhaps being a flightless bird known as a Dodo. In older times, the European Lion, North American Mastodons (mammoths), Australian Giant Kangaroos, South American Giant Ground Sloths, Elephant Birds of Madagascar.[7] Such a view would not contradict the Bible or its teachings. Moreover, by the same token, it would provide an explanation for what the Bible records, and what stories and accounts have been passed down through history throughout the world, and it does not require dinosaurs to have survived 65 million years.

The likelihood is that the legends of Dragons are accounts of Dinosaurs that survived until perhaps the Middle Ages or later times.

Documented Living “Fossils”

No discussion of fossils would be complete without a quick examination of the so-called living fossils. These are living things that were believed to be extinct millions of years ago and in recent decades have been found alive virtually identical to fossils said to be millions of years old. What follows is just a small selection. All argue for the ages given by geologists and evolutionists as being seriously exaggerated.

Stromatolites

These are first found in the Pre-Cambrian rocks, allegedly over 550 million years old. Cyanobacteria (looking identical under the microscope to living cyanobacteria) growing in mats had calcium carbonate precipitated over them forming layered stromatolites. This process of the formation of stromatolites can still be seen happening identically today, for example in Shark Bay, Western Australia as the following pictures demonstrate.

Stromatolite from Pre-Cambrian Strelley Pool Chert, Pilbara Craton, Australia.[8]

A picture containing outdoor, sky

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Stromatolites being formed in Shark Bay, Western Australia.[9]

Coelocanth

Fossil coelacanths are mainly found in the Permian rocks which are given a dating of 295 million years ago to 252 mya by mainstream geologists. In the UK these rocks are found as the New Red Sandstone seen along the coast of Devon near Dawlish, and Oddicombe, near Torquay. The oldest known fossil coelacanth is allegedly 410 million years old and was thought to have become extinct in the late Cretaceous period around 66 million years ago. That is, until 1938, when they were rediscovered off the coast of South Africa. They are now known to live in the West Indian Ocean, off the Comoros Islands, and the coasts of Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, and Madagascar, and of course the South Coast of Kwazulu-Natal province of South Africa. There is another small group off the coast of Sulawesi, Indonesia (found in 1998). The following pictures allow the reader to appreciate how similar the fossil is to its close living relative.

Fossil Coelocanth

Fossil of Coelocanthus ganulatus, named by Louis Agassiz in 1839, [10]

Live Coelocanth swimming in the water

Live Coelocanth, off of Pumula, KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, South Africa, 2019 [11]

Wollemi Pine, Wollemia nobilis

These were thought to be extinct until 1994. Fossil specimens of its genus are found throughout Australia, New Zealand, and Antarctica in Cretaceous Period sediments, allegedly 140 mya to 65 mya. The youngest fossil is from Tasmania (given a dating of 2 mya). The Wollemia nobilis was placed in its own genus, and is found in remote narrow steep-sided sandstone gorges in the Wollemi National Park in New South Wales, Australia. Fewer than a hundred trees are known to be growing in the wild. It has been nicknamed the ‘dinosaur tree’ because fossils of close relatives are found during the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods which are the main geological periods where dinosaurs are found. The following picture shows how identical the discovered trees are to the fossils found.

A picture containing indoor

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Fossil Wollemi pine leaf with a matching live cutting. [12]

A potted tree in a garden

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A cultivated cutting of a Wollemi Pine. [13]

Ginkgo, Ginkgo biloba

Fossils almost identical to living Ginkgo are found from the middle Jurassic period onwards, although similar fossils related to Ginkgo are found earlier in the early Permian period. Ginkgo may be familiar to many because of its use in traditional Chinese medicine and now Western herbal remedies. However, it contains many compounds which are highly allergenic, and so it is not recommended or used by the mainstream medical profession. Just as with the other living fossils, the fossils are all but completely identical to their living close relatives today.

Fossil Ginkgo Leaf from Eocene Period, McAbee fossil beds, British Columbia, Canada. [14]

A close up of a plant

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Modern Ginkgo leaves in summer [15]

Conclusion:

What is the likelihood of bacteria, plants, trees, and fishes remaining unchanged for millions and even hundreds of millions of years as required by the theory of evolution? However, if the fossils were created by a worldwide catastrophic deluge, and representatives survived this deluge either inside or outside Noah’s Ark, then it is reasonable to conclude that their survival unchanged over just a matter of close to 4,500 years is entirely possible.


References:

  1. P136-137 Histories of Herodotus (p141-2 pdf)

  2. Pdf p388 Complete Works of Josephus pdf. Antiquities of the Jews, Book II, From the Death of Isaac to the Exodus out of Egypt, Chapter 10, para 2. Josephus – Antiquities of the Jews – Book 2 – Online Ancient Witness (wordpress.com)

  3. from plinysnaturalhis00plinrich.pdf (archive.org) https://ia800703.us.archive.org/3/items/plinysnaturalhis00plinrich/plinysnaturalhis00plinrich.pdf

  4. Pdf p686 plinysnaturalhis00plinrich.pdf (archive.org) https://ia800703.us.archive.org/3/items/plinysnaturalhis00plinrich/plinysnaturalhis00plinrich.pdf

  5. Pdf p490 from plinysnaturalhis00plinrich.pdf (archive.org) https://ia800703.us.archive.org/3/items/plinysnaturalhis00plinrich/plinysnaturalhis00plinrich.pdf

  6. https://archive.org/details/giantsmonstersdr0000rose It can be “borrowed” electronically free of charge from this link.

  7. https://ourworldindata.org/extinctions#quaternary-megafauna-extinctions

  8. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Stromatolithe_Pal%C3%A9oarch%C3%A9en_-_MNHT.PAL.2009.10.1.jpg Specimen is in Museum de Toulouse, France. Used under CC BY-SA 4.0. licence. Photograph by Didier Descouens.

  9. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Stromatolites_in_Sharkbay.jpg Photograph by Paul Harrison. Under Licence CC BY-SA 3.0 <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/>, via Wikimedia Commons.

  10. By Ghedoghedo – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18960442

  11. By Bruce A.S.Henderson – Fraser, Michael D.; Henderson, Bruce A.S.; Carstens, Pieter B.; Fraser, Alan D.; Henderson, Benjamin S.; Dukes, Marc D.; Bruton, Michael N. (26 March 2020). &quot;Live coelacanth discovered off the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, South Africa&quot;. South African Journal of Science. 116 (3/4 March/April 2020). doi:10.17159/sajs.2020/7806 © 2020. The Author(s). Published under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence., CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=88732486

  12. https://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/Science/Our-work-discoveries/Germplasm-Conservation-Horticulture/Wollemi-Pine-Conservation-Program , and

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-05/wpt-wollemi-pine-tree-fossil-1/11765826?nw=0

  13. By LordValatar – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=89405244

  14. By User:SNP(upload to en:wikipedia) ; User:tangopaso (transfer to Commons) – English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6532895

  15. By James Field (Jame) – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3707381

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