First, we need to make a correction. If we said that it was the fourth day when the dinosaurs roamed the earth, we were incorrect. We should have said the fifth day, which is in keeping with the Genesis account (Genesis 1:20-23).
In regard to the age of the earth in general, as well as the time frame of each of the six “days,” there is disagreement not only among scientists, but also among Bible Students.
In relation to the time that man has been on the earth (about 6,000 years), the earth is very old. Scientists used to think the earth was about 100 million years old. They now theorize that it is about 4.5 billion years old. We quote from Wikipedia:
“The moon, as another extraterrestrial body that has not undergone plate tectonics and that has no atmosphere, provides quite precise age dates from the samples returned from the Apollo missions. Rocks returned from the moon have been dated at a maximum of around 4.4 and 4.5 billion years old. Martian meteorites that have landed upon Earth have also been dated to around 4.5 billion years old by lead-lead dating. “Altogether, the concordance of age dates of both the earliest terrestrial lead reservoirs and all other reservoirs within the solar system found to date are used to support the hypothesis that Earth and the rest of the solar system formed at around 4.53 to 4.58 billion years ago.”
The above having been said, we do not know how old the earth actually is. Genesis, chapter 1 gives us God’s account of its creation in “six days.” These “days” were obviously very long periods of time and could have been of varying lengths as well (billions, millions or thousands of years).
Were dinosaurs on the earth in biblical times? No, they were not. Although dinosaurs roamed the earth for thousands and thousands of years, by the time God created Adam, they were long gone. However, evidences of their existence are found on every continent, including Antarctica. Scientists theorize that dinosaurs became extinct about 65 million years ago, millions of years before many of the mammals that we are familiar with today came into existence. Scientists disagree as to whether dinosaurs were destroyed by a giant asteroid or by volcanic eruptions or other cataclysmic occurrences.
How do dinosaurs fit in with the biblical creation account? They fit in very well, since we believe that they were part of God’s creative work during the “fifth” day. Their existence was purposely planned by God to be a benefit to man at a much later date as a source of fossil fuel. Since scientists believe that dinosaurs have been extinct for approximately 65 million years, they were definitely not on the scene when Adam was created 6,000 years ago.