On April 16, the Discovery Channel in America aired a so-called “documentary” on dinosaurs. What makes this program different from the recent spate of dinosaur programs is that it features animatronics and other fancy technologies, but even more interesting than that is the great deal of evolutionary speculation presented as fact to its viewers.
“Walking with Dinosaurs” was originally broadcast on BBC-TV in England, where it was a huge hit—over 12 million viewers tuned in for each of the six episodes. The Discovery Channel rebroadcast the episodes on Sunday, April 16, over a 3-hour time period. Because of the recent success of the Discovery Channel’s documentary on mammoths last month (the most-viewed TV program in U.S. cable-TV history), this dinosaur program promises to be just as successful.
Children’s toys associated with the program—such as “beanies,” dinosaur figurines, and 3D puzzles—will all be used to indoctrinate young people in an evolutionary view of dinosaurs. (For what the Bible and true science say about dinosaurs, order Ken Ham’s fascinating book The Great Dinosaur Mystery Solved!)
There is much to criticize regarding the “science” behind the “Walking with Dinosaurs” documentary. (In fact, the word “documentary” is used to describe something that is “documented” with primary source material as much as possible—and “without fictionalization” as Webster’s says—and this highly speculative TV series certainly comes nowhere near that definition.) For example:
Although many TV reviewers gushed at the program’s animatronic wizardry, it should be observed that some of the creatures appear “stilted,” and that the special effects don’t quite match up with what was seen in movies like the Jurassic Park sequel The Lost World. Indeed, such animation can cost many thousands of dollars per second, so it appears as if the TV producers have gone the less expensive route than that taken by big-budget Hollywood moviemakers.
“Walking with Dinosaurs” is so full of speculation and special effects that it might be better described as a Hollywood movie disguised as a so-called “science documentary.” In fact, dinosaur expert Angela Milner of the prestigious Natural History Museum in London told Time magazine (October 18): “I fear that fact and fiction will get mixed up … we really don’t know whether some of the behavior is correct.”
Dr. David Norman of Cambridge University told USA Today (November 1) that the program “purports to be factual, but actually it fudges the truth … its blending of fact and fiction goes too far.”
The six episodes are propaganda pieces for evolution as much as they are a way to present the fascinating topic of dinosaurs. The producers of the programs are certainly aware that in the United States, almost one half of Americans believe in the creation account of origins, and that the creation happened within the last 10,000 years. Because that scenario is so contrary to evolutionary dinosaur history, the Discovery Channel/BBC appears to be intentionally using this series to promote a worldview that is anti-biblical.
At least most secular articles on dinosaur history use tentative words like “if,” “could have,” “may,” etc., which only makes the program’s dogmatism even more glaring. For example, when you read newspaper articles about so-called “feathered dinosaurs” (which have so far been shown to be untrue), the careful reader will notice many tentative words; on the other hand, this documentary avoids conditional and subjunctive terms, and merely presents everything it says as absolute fact.
At least we can be somewhat encouraged that many evolutionists have recognized this major flaw in the TV program. Perhaps through their criticisms, more integrity can be restored to the study of dinosaurs, including the proposed sequel already in the planning stage.
The Bible can offer a far better explanation of the history of the dinosaurs. AiG has many resources available (books, videos, etc.) that present dinosaurs in a biblical light.
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