Friday, August 16, 2013

HuffPo: Creationist Darek Isaacs Calls Dragons Real, Says They Lived In Biblical Times

Sometimes I just want to crawl under the desk and hide.  Welcome to the public face of Christianity: the young earth creationists.  HuffPo is running a story on an interview with Derek Isaacs, listed as a creationist author and filmmaker, in which he argues that dragons lived with humans and are extensively mentioned in the Bible.  Meredith Bennett-Smith writes:
In an interview with Christian talk show Creation Today posted to YouTube on Wednesday, Isaacs says that dragons are real because the Bible says so.

As a so-called Young Earth Creationist, Isaacs is guided by the scientifically discredited belief that the Earth was created by God several thousand years ago. (Scientists believe the Earth came into being about four billion years ago.) In addition, he believes in biblical inerrancy--the belief that the sacred book contains no errors.

"The Bible speaks about dragons,” Isaacs told the show's hosts. "Our authority -- everything we do, we have to measure by the word of God. That is what I believe. So we have to go to the Bible, and the Bible speaks about dragons."
"Scientifically discredited." That is one way of putting it.  Nevermind that there is no archaeological or fossil evidence of "dragons" whatsoever.  Here is the video:

He comments that 2000 years ago, people would have understood the lethality of dragons. Despite never having seen one? Where were they?  If real, honest-to-goodness dragons were actually around, they would have been mentioned in every single book of the bible.

It has been argued by some creationists that dragons were, in fact, dinosaurs.  Some dinosaurs were thirty tons and eighty feet long. Others were fast, killing machines.  If all of the dinosaur remains in the rock record were the result of the flood and represent the carcasses of animals living during bible times, the Holy land would have been overrun with them!

The other problem is that the flood story predates the dragon references in the Old Testament AND the book of Revelation, so there would not have been any dinosaurs running around at this point, anyway.  But there are larger interpretive problems here.

The word "dragon" in Hebrew is Tan-neem, which means large creature.  In many verses in the Old Testament, it clearly means the Nile Crocodile.  For example:
"Speak, and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself. But I will put hooks in thy jaws, and I will cause the fish of thy rivers to stick unto thy scales, and I will bring thee up out of the midst of thy rivers, and all the fish of thy rivers shall stick unto thy scales." (Ezekiel 29:3-4 KJV)
In the New Testament, the word "dragon" refers to Satan:
"And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him." (Revelation 12:7-9 KJV)
 It is pretty clear that this set of verses does not describe a reptile with arms and legs. It describes a monster in theological terms.

This is yet another example of flat-earth Christianity, where there is no interpretation done on the part of the reader. Revelation is only one-way and we are not to question how to read the scriptures.

Consequently, what seems obvious using even a cursory read of the Bible is completely lost on people like this.  Further, it is no surprise from whence this kind of nonsense emanates

As Christians, we cannot afford to behave irresponsibly like this.  It is incumbent on all of us to think intelligently about our faith and understand its cultural context and history.  The statements of Derek Isaacs just make Christians look ignorant.


  1. "2000 years ago, people would have understood the lethality of dragons" may actually even be true, but the same people would also have believed in the lethality of falling off the edge of the world.

  2. There is at least one young-Earth creationist who freely admits the evidence for evolution. Todd Wood is a professor at the Center for Origins Research at Bryan College who has authored or co-authored about half of the papers published by the Creation Biology Society. Dr. Wood is a six-day creationist who readily admits that evolution is a very strong scientific theory. However, he chooses to reject it based entirely on his faith in the Bible as being scientifically accurate. He doesn’t claim that the evidence for evolution is lacking or that science is faulty, and he calls out the idolatry of many young-Earth creationists in using a denial of evolution as an apologetic tool. Lest I be accused of quote-mining, I encourage you to check the referenced link and read the entirety of his article. Here is Dr. Wood’s statement:

    “Evolution is not a theory in crisis. It is not teetering on the verge of collapse. It has not failed as a scientific explanation. There is evidence for evolution, gobs and gobs of it. It is not just speculation or a faith choice or an assumption or a religion. It is a productive framework for lots of biological research, and it has amazing explanatory power. There is no conspiracy to hide the truth about the failure of evolution. There has really been no failure of evolution as a scientific theory. It works, and it works well.

    “I say these things not because I’m crazy or because I’ve “converted” to evolution. I say these things because they are true. I’m motivated this morning by reading yet another clueless, well-meaning person pompously declaring that evolution is a failure. People who say that are either unacquainted with the inner workings of science or unacquainted with the evidence for evolution. (Technically, they could also be deluded or lying, but that seems rather uncharitable to say. Oops.)

    “Creationist students, listen to me very carefully: There is evidence for evolution, and evolution is an extremely successful scientific theory. That doesn’t make it ultimately true, and it doesn’t mean that there could not possibly be viable alternatives. It is my own faith choice to reject evolution, because I believe the Bible reveals true information about the history of the earth that is fundamentally incompatible with evolution. I am motivated to understand God’s creation from what I believe to be a biblical, creationist perspective. Evolution itself is not flawed or without evidence. Please don’t be duped into thinking that somehow evolution itself is a failure. Please don’t idolize your own ability to reason. Faith is enough. If God said it, that should settle it. Maybe that’s not enough for your scoffing professor or your non-Christian friends, but it should be enough for you.”

    This is a stance which I can respect to some degree because it doesn’t lie about the evidence; yet if carried to its conclusion, it still implies that God Himself is a deceiver. Did God create the universe in six days, a few thousand years ago and plant the avowedly ample evidence for an Earth that is billions of years old and the diversification of life through evolution? Which theological position is more troubling, that creation scientists are deceivers or that God is a deceiver?

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  4. I believe that you are correct about carrying this to its logical conclusions. I have written about this in the past: . Interestingly, Todd has requested a meet-and-greet sometime in September. He is not far away from me, in Dayton, TN and it would be a fun trip to make.