But given that he believes that the universe is about 7,000 years old, he posits that dinosaurs became extinct relatively recently.
"If we go back a thousand years, we probably had these so-called dragons roaming the earth," Mastropaolo told BI. "But they couldn't be called 'dinosaurs' because that word hadn't been invented yet."
Radiometric dating indicates that some dinosaur fossils are about 65 million years old, but Mastropaolo believes that the technique is " grossly biased, not valid, unreliable, and uncalibrated."
He said that before the mid-19th century, dinosaurs were identified with a different name such as dragon, behemoth, or Leviathan.
"You have some historical accounts of who killed the dragon," the former biomechanics professor said. "In the book of Job, he talks about Leviathan having a tail like a cedar tree. When you try to make an animal with a tail that big, then you're in the process of creating something like one of those big dinosaurs in ancient times."
As for how human beings were able to survive in the same neighborhood as a Tyrannosaurus rex, Mastropaolo said that humans beings would have been able to trick them.
"Human beings were smarter the further back we go in time because they have been less degenerated by the pollutants that we've been putting into the air, water, and soil," he said. "T. rex … could be herded into a blind canyon and have rocks dropped on their heads from above. And they'd soon be done in."
Furthermore, Mastropaolo believes that they could even have been domesticated the "way we have domesticated cattle and elephants."
"I can't imagine that they wouldn't be able to do it with [a dinosaur]," he said. "We know that animal husbandry goes back thousands of years. Why not? If people found out that there was a dinosaur that they were able to feed and domesticate, why not expect that they used that knowledge to better their standard of living?"
Nearly half of Americans claim, like Mastropaolo, to believe in a literal interpretation of Genesis.
According to t he National Academy of Sciences, rejecting the evidence regarding the age of the Earth "would mean rejecting not just biological evolution but also also fundamental discoveries of modern physics, chemistry, astrophysics, and geology."
More From Business Insider
- 15 Of The Coolest Science Fair Projects You've Ever Seen
- Sarah Silverman Tweeted A Weird Question About Peeing, And We Found The Answer
- 35 Science 'Facts' That Are Totally Wrong