For Young Paleontologists: To Dig or Not To Dig—That is Never the Question -- By: Gary A. Byers
BSP 13:3 (Summer 2000) p. 94
For Young Paleontologists: To Dig or Not To Dig—That is Never the Question
The sciences of archaeology and paleontology are sister fields of study. They do very similar work, and the two words mean almost the same thing.
Archaeology comes from two Greek words (archae = old and ology = study) and means the study of old things. Paleontology comes from three Greek words (paleo = old or ancient; ontos = thing; ology = study) and means the study of old or ancient things. So the words archaeology and paleontology are almost identical in meaning. Both fields also involve digging, the logical place to find the old things they study. Yet there are some basic differences between the two disciplines. I work as an archaeologist, and archaeologists dig in the dirt down to bedrock looking for remains of human civilizations. Paleontologists begin digging in the bedrock, and generally look for dinosaur (Greek = terrible/lizard; the name given to the unusual creatures from which these bones came) bones and fossils (Latin = dug/things).
Yet, even these definitions do not tell the whole story, because in the dirt and among the remains of human civilizations we also find fossils. I have shells and even a leaf imprinted in a rock from our dig site on the mountains of Israel. So not all fossils are found imbedded in bedrock.
Also, while seldom mentioned by evolutionists, remains of humans and human activity have been found embedded in bedrock along with dinosaur bones. Since the top layers of bedrock beneath the dirt were apparently laid down by Noah’s Flood, we should expect remains of both men and dinosaurs together.
While our disciplines are different, both archaeologists and paleontologists dig for ancient remains. We both work slowly and carefully, measuring, recording, drawing and photographing what we find and exactly where we find it. Unfortunately, most archaeologists and paleontologists do not accept the Bible as true and do not realize how their finds relate to the Bible. More Christians are needed in both fields; maybe you will feel called by God to join us.
BSP 13:3 (Summer 2000) p. 95
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