Do dinosaur fossils provide evidence of the global flood?
Application: Paleontological evidence provides support for the historic accuracy of the global flood recorded in the Bible.
In this L.I.F.E. Lesson, Dr. Bob visits Glendive, Montana and discovers a Triceratops skull. He also visits with Shana Baisch, the ranch owner who found another Triceratops on the same property that demonstrates flood sediments.
When fossils are discovered, the implication by paleontologists is that the remains are discovered within one sediment layer, and therefore can be placed clearly in one dated deposit. The truth in the field is often something different. The triceratops, named Shane, discovered at the Baisch Ranch in 2017 is one example. It was extracted from multiple sediment layers of varying types. Non-biblical geologists place these layers thousands or millions of years apart, and yet the skull penetrates these multiple layers with no sign of having been exposed for years, let alone millennia.
Fossils that bridge multiple layers are called polystrate fossils. The most common examples are trees, and have been a challenge to scientists that claim the layers represent millions of years. But our visit to Glendive, Montana gave us the opportunity to see that this is not an uncommon occurrence with dinosaur bones either. The more consistent explanation for this occurrence is the Biblical one: these animals perished in the global flood, and multiple sediment packages were deposited on them as successive ecosystems were inundated with flood waters, and had their sediments spread over vast areas in the deposits we now observe across the globe.
Fossil Digging at the Baisch Ranch
In May, 2022, The Flood Museum participated in a dinosaur dig expedition in Glendive, Montana. The dig was on the Baisch Ranch. We were guided by Shan Baisch. It was rough climbing over the rugged hills. Everywhere we looked there were signs of dinosaur bone weathering out of the sediments. Layers on layers of sediment were visible. Only an experienced eye could identify the layers that held the evidence we were after.
We were excited to discover a triceratops skull on the first day. Two horns were discovered protruding from the ground on a ledge. Further excavation determined that they were still attached to the skull, and a large portion of the frill was intact. Multiple bones have been recovered for this triceratops, named "Jericho."
We were excited to be a part of this expedition with scientist, Dr. Mark Armitage from the Dinosaur Soft Tissue Research Institute. He has been doing extensive work on dinosaur soft tissue, and found the triceratops horn featured in his article in Microscopy Today and Is Genesis History on this ranch. It revealed soft, elastic tissue, bone cells, nerve cells and blood vessels. All indications of a much more recent demise for this animal. We have been fortunate to be involved in several of Dr. Armitage's lab workshops, identifying dinosaur soft tissue in triceratops, nanotyrannus, dimetrodon, and others. We also observe indications of death by drowning in the coagulated blood canals in most dinosaur bones recovered from this site and others. This is a sign of Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC), which is present in all the bones we observed.
Hell Creek Formation
This part of Eastern Montana sits on the Hell Creek Formation. During the global flood, this area was a highland where dinosaurs tried to escape the rising flood waters. As the dinosaurs tried to escape the waters that continued to rise, in many cases they were trapped in valleys. When they could run no further, the flood waters buried them, along with the sediment loads they carried. It was in this area that they ran out of places to run, and were trapped by the flood. Some of the animals were subjected to incredible forces as the waters carried their remains further into the valleys. In many cases the skeletons were disarticulated from the force, and "Bone Beds" are often discovered that are a mixture of multiple specimens, and multiple types of dinosaurs, all mixed together. Finding a full, articulated, skeleton is a real treat.
There is clear evidence of the global flood in these deposits and of the destruction of multiple ecosystems, successively inundated with flood waters. The Breien Member of the Hell Creek Formation represents the intrusion of marine deposits into this formation. Although non-Biblical geologists claim this deposit is terrestrial, the Breien Member of the Hell Creek Formation contains evidence of marine influences and mixing throughout. The Fox Hills Formation directly below the Hell Creek is a marine deposit, and the Cannonball Member of the Fort Union Formation above the Hell Creek is a marine deposit as well. 95% of the dinosaur fossils found throughout the Hell Creek Formation in south-central North Dakota, occur in close association with the Breien Member, providing support for the Biblical flood narrative. In fact, nearly all dinosaur fossils were located in marine rocks.
Nearby Makoshika State Park was given its name by Lakota Native Americans. It means "land of bad spirits" and is because of all of the dinosaur bones they saw there. There were triceratops skulls everywhere. Later settlers called the rock formations Badlands because nothing would grow here and there was no grass for cattle to graze. In the 1800's the area was known to paleontologists, who would take “trainloads” of fossils away to museums.
Another great find from this site is the triceratops, Maple. We are blessed to have the fibula from Maple in our museum collection. This triceratops was discovered in a canyon and required extraction by helicopter.
With the help of fellow rancher Clayton Phipps, Maple was successfully extracted in 2019. Like Shane, Maple was discovered in association with multiple sediment layers. This is consistent with a death as a result of the global flood.
Finding a specimen such as Maple is only the beginning. The excavation is difficult work, in a difficult environment. The use of rock hammers, chisels and shovels are required to remove the overburden (the material above the fossil layer), but the fine work of bone extraction is accomplished with brushes, dental picks, small knife blades and screwdrivers. It takes hours and days to successfully extract a specimen like Maple. And then it must be carefully transported.
To do so often requires a plaster cast that is reinforced by wood or metal. This provides rigid protection for transporting the specimen to a preparation lab. The fibula from Maple in our collection remains wrapped it its protective plaster cast.
Ruth, the Edmontosaurus
Just as we were preparing to depart, several pieces of bone were discovered weathering out of the hillside. Further examination by Shana Baisch and her team revealed a remarkable Edmontosaurus skeleton. First a jaw, then tail and neck vertebrae, leg bones, pubis and ribs were discovered. This specimen is largely intact. It was named 'Ruth' in honor of Ruth Armitage, Dr. Armitage's wife.
Once exposed the bones deteriorate quickly. This is further evidence of the fragile nature of these bones, and the recent timeframe for their burial. They are largely still bone, with soft tissue still present.
As we spend time with the ranchers and professional paleontologists in the field, one fact becomes very apparent. Those who are digging every day for these fossils know that they are the result of the flood, they also recognize God's hand in the creation of the world. It is very exciting to spend time with our "hands in the dirt," gaining this testimony of the awesome power of God.
"And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein [is] the breath of life, from under heaven; [and] every thing that [is] in the earth shall die." Genesis 6:17
“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that [were] on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15
"Look at Behemoth, which I made along with you. He feeds on grass like an ox. See the strength of his loins ." Job 40:15-18
"For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." Matthew 24:38-39
Dr. Bob interviews Dr. Mark Armitage