Human and Dinosaur Tracks Together – Chimaeras and Fakes – Part 6

Creationists jumped all over the Archaeoraptor chimaera. Then they came up with this piece of carved artwork (Fig. 1, and others) they claimed was genuine. It appears on the Creation Evidence Museum website masthead. It’s a crying shame when these Christians associate themselves with acts of deception like this. They make all Christians look bad. Luckily we have scientists like Glen Kuban who fight the good fight for the rest of us.

Figure 1. The Alvis Delk print purporting to show a three-toed dinosaur intersecting with a human print. IT was "discovered" near the Paluxy River in Texas, a  Cretaceous locality.

Figure 1. Click to enlarge. The Alvis Delk print purporting to show a three-toed dinosaur intersecting with a human print. It was “discovered” near the Paluxy River in Texas, a Cretaceous locality. Both prints show evidence of being carved and neither conform to known anatomy. Note the extreme depth of the human medial toe. No pad impressions appear in the dino track, as shown in figure 2 and it lacks good morphology.

Poor Creationist artistry is the giveaway.
The human big toe is too deep and too short. The dinosaur track has no pad impressions and extends through several layers, rather than compressing them. There is no displacement of sediment from either track.

Glen Kuban has made an extensive study of the Paluxy River tracks. Here’s his take on them. The Alvis Delk Print is reported on here. Kuban reports, “a number of its features are so unrealistic that some have described it as cartoon-like. To be more specific, the hallux (big toe) of the “human” print is exceedingly deep compared to the rest of the print. The lesser toe depressions are on a plane considerably higher than the rest of the print, and jut out at an unnatural angle. The middle three toe marks are also unusually long (or overly separated from the ball area).  Also, the margin of the print lacks the “mud up-push” and other evidence of deformation usually seen on distinct prints. In the 1970’s, Glen Rose resident Wayland “Slim” Adams, explained to a group of creationists how his uncle George Adams, who carved human tracks on loose blocks and sold them to tourists during the Great Depression, usually did start with existing (but not human) depressions. George’s granddaughter recently confirmed this, as well as her grandfather’s use of acid to blur chisel marks.(Kennedy, 2008).”

Figure 2. Conmparing the alleged theropod track to a genuine theropod track. Poor Creationist artistry is the giveaway.

Figure 2. Conmparing the alleged theropod track to a genuine theropod track. Poor Creationist artistry is the giveaway. From Glen Kuban’s website, referenced below.  The A/B line intersects the claws of digits 2 and 4. Digits 1 adn 5 do not make impressions.

Then there are problems with the purported theropod track, too. Kuban reports, “a number of the Delk print’s features conflict with those of typical “Acro” tracks. A series of odd holes appears to run down the length of the middle toe and into the main body of the track. Moreover, the digits on the Delk print show little if any indications of individual digit pads which are normally detectable on real dinosaur tracks with such a distinct outline. However, it does resemble a number of other likely carvings that were made decades ago, as well as some that have come out of the Glen Rose and Stephenville area in more recent years, and which were sold to tourists.

“Unlike real tracks that show deformational lines corresponding to the print depression, the subsurface features of these loose tracks were truncated by the depressions, strongly indicating a carved origin.”

References (from Glen Kuban’s web site)
Baugh CE 2008.  Creation Museum website article: “Alvis Delk Cretaceous Footprint article here
Darrell E 2008. “Fred Flintstone waded here: Hoaxsters ready to teach creationism to Texas kids” Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub blog here.
Godfrey L 1985. “Footnotes of an Anatomist,” Creation/Evolution, Issue 15, Volume 5, Number 1 (Winter 1985)
Hurd G. Stones and Bones website blog.
Juby I  2008. “Examining the Delk Track,” August, 2008 website article.
Kennedy B  2008 (Aug 10), Fort Worth Star-Telegram“Human Footprints Along with Dinosaur Tracks?”
Ketcham RA and Carlson WD 2001. “Acquisition, optimization and interpretation of X-ray computed tomographic imagery: Applications to the geosciences.” Computers and Geosciences, 27, 381-400.
Kuban GJ 2006. On the Heels of Dinosaurs. Website article here
Kuban GJ and Wilkerson G 1989. The Burdick Print at here.
Lines D 2008. web links here
May D 2008a Rock-solid Proof? Mineral Wells Index. On line version
May D 2008b. One Step at a Time. Mineral Wells Index. On line here
Snelling AA., 1991. Website article here Originally published in: Creation 14 (1):28-33, December 1991.

Support for the Alvis Delk track is here and here.

Glen Kuban’s Paluxy track page is here and here.

The “Truth” About Dinosaurs [Creationism Tour Comes to Town]

There is creation-based touring dinosaur show that came to my town this weekend. It’s called ‘The Truth About Dinosaurs‘ and you can see the gist of it here on YouTube, presented by Dr. G. Thomas Sharp (Fig. 3).

Billboard for The Truth About Dinosaurs at Harvester Church in St. Charles, MO, USA.

Figure 1. Billboard for The Truth About Dinosaurs at Harvester Church in St. Charles, MO, USA.

The odd thing is there were dinosaurs all over the platform (stage) leading to what would be the altar (but there is no altar in modern churches). Now the platform is where the band (singers, guitars, drums, etc.) plays. The specimens were all from North America (Albertosaurus, Edmontosaurus, Triceratops and Pteranodon). The last of which I recognized was made by my own hand. It was the Triebold specimen. Later it was explained to me that ALL the specimens were purchased from Triebold Paleontology.

Dinosaurs in church from the 'The Truth About Dinosaurs' traveling show.

Figure 2. Dinosaurs in church from the ‘The Truth About Dinosaurs’ traveling show. Red lights add to the drama. That’s Albertasaurus and Triceratops on stage.

Dr. G. Thomas Sharp (photo from a few years ago), the speaker for The Truth About Dinosaurs.

Figure 3. Dr. G. Thomas Sharp (photo from a few years ago), the speaker for The Truth About Dinosaurs.

I have to agree with Dr. Sharp’s opening remarks. He said that all of us (as individuals) approach data with a personal bias, whether religious or secular (in other words, supernatural or natural). And therein lies the great divide. It cannot be breached. So long as Creationist not only prefer, but insist upon supernatural processes governing prehistory, then no amount of natural logic or processes will persuade them. Any arguments against all the animals coming to Noah’s ark (like the pesky problem of oceans separating Australia and the Western Hemisphere from the Middle East) are quickly dismissed by supernatural explanations. “God brought them to the ark.” Not sure where all the water came from to cover Mt. Everest, then disappear, all within a year? “God did that, too.”

What is particularly distressing is their reliance on the terms “could be,” “might be,” and “we should keep an open mind toward” with regard to various animals like the Yeti and various sea monsters in cryptozoology. They also have glommed on to Mary Schweitzer’s claims of soft tissue preservation in T-rex and similar PlosOne claims in a mosasaur.

Dinosaur man footprint. Note the layers in the dinoprint which means it was carved out rather than compressed, ignoring the lack of pad impressions and the poor morphology knowledge of the sculptor. Embracing falsehoods like this have no place in a religious institution.

Figure 1. Dinosaur man footprint. Note the layers in the dinoprint which means it was carved out rather than compressed, ignoring the lack of pad impressions and the bad anatomical knowledge of the sculptor. Embracing falsehoods like this have no place in a religious institution and make Christianity look bad.

I asked about footprints relating to Mokele-mbembe and I was shown a purported human footprint overprinted with a theropod track. Both were obviously carved by a poor anatomist as the print cut through several layers, rather than compressing several layers of sediment. The morphology of both carvings were also impossible to believe. Look at the depth of that big toe!!

What do Creationist believe?
Creationists insist on a literal translation of Genesis 1 in which the first man and woman were created a day or two after animals 4600 years ago. They also tend to ignore Genesis 2 in which man was created before the animals and later woman was formed from a rib). I wondered if that means dinosaurs were gone within the first 2000 years. No, pictures of dragons in medieval images bring them up to the Middle Ages before their extinction, according to Dr. Sharp’s entourage.

Figure 4. Sculpture supposedly of Stegosaurus, according to Dr. Sharp. A closer look reveals ears and bad stegosaur proportions. This is more likely a baby Sumatran rhinoceros and the "plates" are decorations or leaves.

Figure 4. Sculpture supposedly of Stegosaurus, according to Dr. Sharp. A closer look reveals long ears and bad stegosaur proportions. This more likely represents a baby Sumatran rhinoceros and the “plates” are decorations or leaves. An unfortunate coincidence.

The church was packed (I went on Saturday at 5 pm, with two more services due for Sunday morning). The kids swarmed the stage. Even grownups had the pictures taken against the specimens. It was a real crowd-pleaser.

I think everyone bought into Dr. Sharp’s arguments and rhetoric. Certainly this represents this particular church’s dogma. No question and answer period followed (this was, after all, replacing the sermon), but a Sunday evening adult class was held with the promise of a q & a. Unfortunately, Dr. Sharp waxed on about Mt. St. Helens and how catastrophes can do as much damage in a day as otherwise over a thousand years. Nothing about dinosaurs, unfortunately.

My take
Having written a book on the evolution of humans from bacteria on up (From the Beginning), I’ve been interested in what Creationists have to say on the subject. I’ve been told that stars further from us than 5000 light years were created with their starlight already in progress, on its way to Earth. Creationist appear to cling to any rumor that supports their cause and reject everything from the geological column to transitional taxa that does not support their cause. They make up the rest. They do believe in micro-evolution (the sort that creates different breeds of dogs, for instance), but to them, there’s no time (only 4600 years) to go beyond that. So there’s no macro-evolution in their beliefs.

Getting back to my original theme, so long as Creationists embrace supernatural agents in their “Science” there can be no changing of their minds through logic. There can be no meeting of the minds. Heck, if regular paleontologists are constantly at loggerheads, there is nary a hope for arguing with or persuading a Creationist.

I would hope that modern paleontologists would never stoop to the level of creationist tactics, but, alas, they do so again and again in order to protect their trusted paradigm (without testing it). Still no archosaurs come close to pterosaurs, yet still pterosaurs are included in archosaur studies. Still no pterosaurs have been found with a wing membrane attached to the ankle.

It’s sad when well-meaning Christians promote and cling to obvious fakes and call it “The Truth.” It’s also inappropriate for religion to get into the realm of science and vice-versa.

For those who believe in the gospels, Christ himself was all about “evidence” as he turned water into wine, healed the blind, multiplied bits of bread and fish and calmed the storms, all before large audiences. I appreciate what has been discovered about the Shroud here and here. Unfortunately, none of these “miracles” can be repeated (although the Shroud examiners have taken things further than anyone expected). That’s why these miracles are considered in the realm of religion (faith based on one source), not Science (lack of faith, in other words: testing from a variety of sources).