Dragons are reptillian or snake-like creatures that share many characteristics with dinosaurs and may well be the same creatures. The World Book Encyclopedia declares that: "The dragons of legend are strangely like actual creatures that have lived in the past. They are much like the great reptiles [dinosaurs] which inhabited the earth long before man is supposed to have appeared on earth." . Dragons are usually evil and associated with Satan, however, in the pagan belief systems of Asia, dragons tend to be regarded as divine creatures. Some creation scientists have postulated that the differing nature of dragons in the west and east may be because after the Great Flood, predatory, carnivorous dinosaurs tended to migrate westward, whereas large, plant-eating dinosaurs tended to migrate east from Mt. Ararat. The folk memories of sea serpents such as the Loch Ness monster, Ogopogo, Gaasyendietha and Argont are likely inherited stories of encounters with dinosaurs. Some creation scientists have suggested that dragons, as dinosuars, died out around the end of the ice age. However, that can not account for later encounters with dragons. Nevertheless, dragons are now either extinct or extremely rare.
The ancient Greeks knew of dragons as evidenced in the Illiad and Philostratus described dragons in India. Dragon-like creatures are mentioned in the Bible in Job 26:13, Isaiah 27:1 and Genesis 1:21 where it is known as leviathan. Many Christian saints have also encountered dragons, particularly as dragon-slayers. The most famouse being Saint George but also Saint Mercurialis, the first bishop of the city of Forlì, Saint Julian of Le Mans, Saint Veran, Saint Crescentinus, Saint Margaret of Antioch, Saint Martha and Saint Leonard of Noblac.
Dragons and Modern Science
Modern science does not accept ancient accounts of seeing dragons, instead categorizing dragons as mythical, being loosely based on creatures such as snakes. This has been contested on the basis that snakes do not have legs like dragons, nor do they grow nearly as large as dragons.
Modern psychology and paleontology offers us one explanation; the features of the majority of dragons are a chimeric combination of several different types of animals that prehistoric man had to fear. Birds of prey, big cats, and large reptiles being among man's chief competitors in prehistoric times, it is theorized that the dragon was an amalgamation of these animals as a remnant of instinctual memories.
In Popular Culture
Dragons are popular in science fiction movies and fantasy role playing games, Dungeons and Dragons being an example.
- ↑ Quoted in What about the Dinosaurs?, CreationScience.com
- ↑ "In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea."(Isaiah 27:1)
- ↑ Unlocking the secrets of creation by Dennis R. Peterson
- ↑ The Genesis Flood by John C. Whitcomb Jr.