The artwork itself isn't half bad, veering more towards the cartoonish end of the illustration spectrum. Dispensing with the work done during the first half of the dinosaur renaissance, the dinosaurs are all depicted as scaly, thoroughly reptilian creatures (unless you count birds as dinosaurs). As Gish's ideas are cartoons themselves, this approach is altogether fitting. For instance, the following page reveals the "deep, dark secret" that scientists don't have any pterosaur ancestors as evidence of evolution's wrongy-wrongness. The mascot of this is a sort of half-dinosaur, half-pterosaur bastard of a Wuzzle. I hesitate to use the word "guarantee," especially in a science like paleontology, but I guaran-damn-tee that the lineage leading to the pterosaurs didn't concoct anything like this Mesozoic straw man. Gish's house is probably populated by a great horde of straw men. He's probably never lonely.
Maybe we'll never find a nice lineage of proto-pterosaurs (if that sort of thing is your bag, I'll point you in the direction of Mr. Ed). This could be for many reasons. Maybe they evolved in upland areas where fossilization was rare. Who knows? No one ever will if we just stop looking. But rest assured that the theory of evolution does not rest on the thin hope of finding every extinct creature.
Next we have a dromaeosaur who, considering the fall of Man, has taken up carnivory. Interesting how one person's choice can lead to such widespread gustatory upheaval. Here, she munches on a gazelle bone as a Biblical version of Muldoon walks by in the background, unaware. Clever girl, indeed.
The book also deals with the Great Flood, AKA the Dinosaur Killer. The geological evidence against this doesn't simply make more sense. It's laughably overwhelming. It's like arguing that beef makes a better burger than cabbage. The flood is a perfect example of an idea that's so wrong it's not even wrong. Mind you, the foundations of the modern science of geology were laid by scientists who were firm Christians. This isn't some atheist fairy tale; it's a body of knowledge built by rigorous minds impartially weighing and arguing the evidence. In this way, science forges robust theories of how nature works. People aren't perfect, so science can't be, either. But it's a remarkably dextrous way of describing the world, constantly open to revision to fit observations made possible by new technology. The constant back and forth of science, cherry-picked by creationists as evidence of discord or corruption is a strength of science, not a weakness.
I hope you're prepared for the next one, because it is absolutely freakin' awesome. Last year's Discovery Channel series Clash of the Dinosaurs briefly discusses the unsupported idea that lambeosaurine hadrosaurs like Parasaurolophus might have used subsonic waves to deter predators. A wild hypothesis, to be sure, but nothing compared to Gish's flame-throwing Parasaurolophus.
Gish gussies it up with sciency phrases like "defense mechanism," and compares this to the chemical weaponry of bombardier beetles. Full speed ahead and damn plausibility! Gish writes:
God has given many animals living today very specialized and effective defense capabilities that have nothing to do with teeth or claws. If the fossil skeletons of a skunk, porcupine, or electric eel were dug up by a scientist who had never seen a living animal, would he have any idea that these animals had unique defense mechanisms?Ah, yes. Parasaurolophus breathed fire because... there's no evidence for it. How else are we to read this? Parsimony, Duane.*
Gish is the master of a debating tactic which has come to be known by his name: the Gish Gallop. Using this technique, creationist debaters spit out such a flurry of nonsense mixed with jargony words and Biblical references that the opponent realizes that it's an impossible task to answer them all, and thus appears to be hammered by truth. The reason this works is that science wears restraints that creationism doesn't: facts. Science can't just adhere to attractive ideas. It has to examine them critically and build a body of knowledge out of repeatable observations and logical deductions. It's not perfect, but science holds itself accountable. The creationist isn't so shackled.
This is how ideas like the fire-breathing Parasaurolophus pop up. Creationist debaters know that science delivers the goods, and has earned, generally speaking, a good reputation. Thus, as they attempt to derail science, they try to sound as much like it as possible. If you're going to say that Leviathan was a dinosaur, fine. Just say it was T. rex, the one your audience is guaranteed to know about, and be done with it. It's just as likely as Parasaurolophus, whose nasal ornamentation offers no additional support for such an absurd "defense mechanism."
In other words, admit that you've made a choice to set aside a scientific worldview (less charitably, to believe in magic) and stop forcing dinosaurs to play this ridiculous role of shoring up your mythology.
* Regarding porcupines: in the right conditions, it is fully plausible that porcupine quills would be recorded in the fossil record, which we know is so much more than bones and claws. Advances in technology have opened up all kinds of exciting new avenues of inquiry. Granted, this book was written before the avalanche of feathered dinosaurs came out of China - you know, those supposedly imaginary "transitional forms" between small theropods and birds.
Update: Check out the comments below to links for the Stupid Dinosaur Lies posts on this title and others. Also added excerpt from the book on Michael Barton's kind suggestion.