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Dinosaur Challenges and Mysteries Hardcover – November 1, 2011
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"Oard demonstrates that creationist scholarship can stand up to the secular academic monopoly, showing that truth does not depend on the number or funding level of researchers, but on timeless reliability of God's revelation." --John Reed, Ph.D. (Geology)
About the Author
Following two years in the US Navy, Michael Oard earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in atmospheric science from the University of Washington. He was a research meteorologist for six years at the University of Washington and published several research articles in journals an technical monographs of the American Meteorological Society. Mr Oard later joined the National Weather Service as a weather forecaster. He retired in 2011 after 30 years of service and does full time research, writing and speaking in creationist earth science.
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Oard knows his stuff. No other dinosaur book with which I am familiar compiles and organizes so much diverse and up-to-date dinosaur fossil information. Each chapter presents a dinosaur mystery,like why egg "nests" were buried in what became rock formations with no vegetation, or why billions of dinosaur tracks were deposited onto perfectly flat supposedly desert sands.
Following the clues was like reading an extended episode of CSI, only this mystery was real. It all pointed to Chapter 8. That's where the mysteries were solved, with a little help from biblical history. Fully referenced, with helpful appendices and full-color illustrations and photographs throughout, Dinosaur Challenges and Mysteries (which might have instead been titled, "Dinosaur Mysteries Solved")has become the most treasured of my dozen or so dinosaur books.
In this book Michael Oard takes a careful look at the evidence. He shows that much of what is presented as hard fact is in reality interpretation. For example, the alleged 'young dinosaurs' associated with a nest could have been embryos from smashed eggs. Supposed clutches of hatched eggs might in reality have been laid in haste and scavenged. Abundant 'gastroliths' (stones ingested by dinosaurs to aid digestion) might simply be stones polished smooth by water transport (rather likely, considering they are rarely found with dinosaur remains!). He also corrects misconceptions about the Flood. We should not imagine a relentlessly rising water level. The Genesis account, and geological investigation, point to great seismic unheavals in the earth's crust which would have resulted in a complex pattern of flooding with areas deluged, drained, then reflooded, perhaps multiple times. These briefly exposed flood sediments would have been open to surviving animals (including dinosaurs), perhaps running across them in panicking herds, perhaps scavenging eggs laid in haste by stressed animals. Dr Oard shows that in many respects this type of interpretation fits the data better than conventional millions-of-years explanations.
The BEDS hypothesis (BEDS = Briefly Exposed Diluvial Sediments) is new, and as the author says there is much work to be done and some of his interpretations may be modified or even abandoned as new data comes in. But the book is an excellent start to a new and exciting area of research.