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04 Dec 2014 Q&A Comments (1)

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How did the dinosaurs become extinct if death didn’t enter the world until the Fall?

Full Question

If we are to believe that the earth wasn’t created in seven literal days but over millions of years, how do we reconcile the theology of death entering the world because of original sin? For example, how could animals such as dinosaurs (some carnivorous) have lived prior to the fall of man and then become extinct if death hadn’t entered into the world until the first man sinned?


Scripture is talking about human death. Nowhere does it suggest the notion that the animals were created to be immortal. Only humans were given immortal souls. When death entered creation as the result of the fall, it was human death. So the fact that animals may have died before the fall does not conflict with Scripture.



  1. Tom Rafferty Reply

    The question of whether Genesis is talking about ALL death or just human death due to Original Sin is open to question, thus, I will not go there. While I am against “Young Earth Creationism”, Answers in Genesis does adequately defend a literal interpretation of Genesis by even New Testament writers. Although there has been historical agreement on some metaphorical passages, the Bible WAS essentially interpreted literally by the Church throughout most of its history until it no longer could push away the findings of science.

    Given the above, and the fact that humanity evolved from other humanoid species through a life and death cycle, it is unreasonable to accept that there were only one pair of humans who started our species, Homo Sapien Sapien, much less that they were immortal before a single act of disobedience.

    To the open-mined, questioning person, all of the Bible clearly is a fictional work by humans attempting to understand a scary world without the benefit of science.

  2. Peter Spasic Reply

    Does that mean the Catholic Church accepts evolution as the means by which all living things developed? If so, did man also evolve from earlier primates? And when did the first man and woman (created/evolved in the image of God) appear? Which two offspring of the earlier primates became the first humans capable of a “fall”? That would mean God intervened at some point in the evolution of man. Then the earlier primates would also have suffered death – but not a spiritual death because they were soul-less.. If Jesus stated that it was “in the beginning” that God declared them a married/joined couple I wonder if He had in mind their immediate (non-human) parents. Or, were the first two humans really created/formed by God? So many questions if we accept the evolutionary explanation of origins…
    By the way, it is noteworthy that there are many depictions (sculptures on temples, etc) of dinosaur-like creatures existing alongside humans.

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