The location where the so called +quot;human+quot; and dinosaur footprints occur together

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The location where the so called "human" and dinosaur footprints occur together is Paluxy Creek in Texas. Following are extracts from a letter in Scientific American, June, 1983. from Wm. Stansfield, Biological Sciences Department, Cal. Polytechnic State University. "Creationists would like to demonstrate that certain fossils are in the wrong order...one of their prime pieces of 'evidence' in this regard has been the alleged existence of human footprints and the tracks of dinosaurs side by side ...[at the] Paluxy River near Glen Rose, Texas. "Some of the dinosaur footprints were of such poor quality and/or so exten- sively eroded that they could be mistaken by lay people for 'giant man prints.' Some of these 'man prints' have distinct claw marks protruding from what creationists call their 'heel.' Wann Langston, Jr., a Texas paleontologist, noted that these so-called human footprints have their instep along the outside edge rather than in the middle. "Some ten years ago a film titled 'Footprints in Stone' was made about the Paluxy River tracks by Films for Christ Assoc. of Elmwood. Ill...the film- makers decided to highlight the less obvious features such as 'toes' and 'sides'...Laurie R. Godfrey, a physical anthropologist at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, has shown that the 'man prints' all but dis- appear when the superimposed images are eliminated. She observes that in other frames the 'man print' was only a part of a larger depression, or that the shellac seemed to connect erosional depressions... "According to Fredrick Edwords (sic?), editor of the journal _Creation/Evol- ution_, 'Last summer Dr. Godfrey led a research team to the site and dis- covered that the alleged human trackway showed no consistancy. Many of the creationists' 'best' trackways featured irregular stride lengths and 'prints' that changed size and even direction with every step...Geologist Steven Schafersman discovered that worm burrows were largely responsible for the 'toes' on some of the prints...'" ****************************************** (And another article, this one reprinted w/o permission from the _Skeptical Inquirer_, Summer 1986) A terrible thing is starting to happen to those fossilized "human footprints," the ones supposedly found mingling with dinosaur tracks along the banks of the Paluxy River in Texas. John D. Morris, head of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), reports in the January 1986 issue of his publication *Impact* that "due to an unknown cause, certain of the prints once labelled human are taking on a completely different character." The most significant change is that "in almost each of the prints in the trail, three large "toes" have appeared, similar to nearby dinosaur tracks. He supplies an illustration contrasting the original appearance of the prints (perfectly human) with how they look now: very much like dinosaur tracks. Skeptics may wonder why this "unknown cause" started acting up just recently, since the supposedly human footprints seemed to have been unchanged in the more than four thousand years since the Flood in which all the dinosaurs drowned. If this "unknown cause" doesn't stop soon, people may conclude what Morris and his colleagues have been calling "human footprints" were nothing but dinosaur tracks all along. Morris all but admits this, concluding that "it would now be improper for creationists to continue to use the Paluxy data as evidence against evolution." ICR has since retracted their claim that the "footprints" are real. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ >I've seen other riverbeds in other states and countries cited as well, >which is one of the classic markers of urban folklore. >Can anyone shed some light on this? This is one even the creationists were eventually embarassed about. Some, such as Walter Brown, have even taken it to the other extreme and declared that they never claimed such a thing (creationists apparently can never resist another lie). Unfortunately for him, there were tapes of a local Ontario TV show in which he said the Paluxy River tracks were excellent evidence for creationism. And, while the creationists have officially disclaimed it now, that doesn't prevent them from still using it when they don't think they're going to get called on it, or keeping it in their literature. A special on Nova showed the tracks to everyone - the "human" tracks had three toes and the uneroded tracks showed webbing. Here's what Dr. James Kennedy had to say on the James Ankerberg show in the fall of 1987. The taped episodes of this show, in which Dr. Kennedy spews his unending bull completely unopposed, are distributed by the Ankerberg ministry: "What you alluded to was a discovery in the Paluxy River near Glen Rose, Texas. I saw a movie they made about it [ Probably "Footprints in Stone ". They found what looked like chicken tracks at first, but then you could see they were much bigger - they were Tyrannosaurus tracks. And there were these human tracks that were in this rock. Now at one time this rock was mud when these people and creatures were walking in it - clear human tracks, clear dinosaur tracks. At once place one of these men... by the way, there were two kinds of human tracks. There were normal tracks about our size and there were giant tracks. They estimated that the person was about nine and a half feet tall that had these particular tracks. He had a six-foot stride when he was walking in mud. Then he sort of got up on his toes and started running. He had a nine-foot stride. Now that was a big man! And at one point this dinosaur track comes right on top of this human track. You get an idea of perhaps what he was running from! And you have those tracks in another place... and they're looking into them very carefully and they're going to do some very careful work on the other footprints that are there. And I think if they can actually convince the scientific community, it's going to throw their whole chronology into a cocked hat." Okay, as you've guessed, Kennedy is full of shit here. The Paluxy River tracks were one of the most popular of creationist claims. However, Milne and Schafersman refuted it in 1983, Cole and Godfrey did so in 1985, and Godfrey and Cole again in 1986. (Keep in mind that Kennedy is claiming this in late 1987). First, the Paluxy tracks which are from the Lower Cretaceous, are not even Tyrannosaurus. T. Rex is found only in the Upper Cretaceous. Apparently it was the only dinosaur Kennedy could think of at the time. Some of the alleged human tracks have claw marks and webbing, and the tracks have sizes, shapes, paces, and strides which are completely characteristic of dinosaur tracks. The tracks are too narrow for human feet. Other alleged human tracks are fake carvings. They don't show any of the features you'd expect from a human print, and they have mysteriously changed in the past few years, after supposedly being unchanged for millions of years... Others had been artificially darkened to make them appear more human. Changes of coloring around some of the tracks made the dinosaur nature of the tracks so conclusive that even Henry Morris, one of ICR's liars surpreme, write in creationist journal "Impact" number 151 that "The 'Impact' article in this issue is different from our usual feature [no kidding, a creationist admission of error is almost unheard of], in that it raises questions about the well-known association of fossil human and dinosaur tracks in central Texas. Although the evidence is inconclusive, it must be recognized that a number of fossil tracks formerly regarded as probably mantracks now seem to show features which are best interpreted in terms of some unidentified two-legged reptile [it's called a dinosaur, Hank] or other animal. Further studies are under way, but creationists should not, at least for the present, cite these particular footprints as evidence against evolution." The whole affair gives the creationist movement in a nutshell. A previously unheard of nine-foot species of man with two narrow feet is the "obvious" explaination. Fakery in the film, which was then widely circulated. Numerous scientific findings regarding the prints from 1981 to 1986 completely ignored, no interest in newly appeared color distinctions, and retreating from the claim only when they looked like complete fools. Kennedy's promotion of the Paluxy fraud over a year after all the evidence received wide coverage, and over half a year after Morris's letter just continues the tradition. Although it is rather unique that they admit in print that they are wrong. If you want to look into it yourself, the following articles are informative: Godfrey, Laurie and Cole, John (1986), "Blunder in Their Footsteps," Natural History 95, 4-12 Hastings, Ronnie (1985) "Tracking Those Incredible Creationists," Creation/Evolution No. 15, 16-36 Hastings, Ronnie (1986) "Tracking Those Incredible Creationists - The Trail Continues," Creation/Evolution No. 17, 19-27 Hastings, Ronnie (1985) "New Observations on Paluxy Tracks Confirm Their Dinosaurian Origin," Journal of Geological Ed. 35, 4-15 Hastings, Ronnie (1987b) "Tracking Those Incredible Creationists - The Trail Goes On," Creation/Evolution No. 21, 30-42 Milne, David H. and Schafersman, Steven D. (1983) "Dinosaur Tracks, Erosion Marks and Midnight Chisel Work (But No Human Footprints) in the Cretacious Limestone of the Paluxy River Bed, Texas," Journal of Geological Ed. 31, 111-123 The titles of some of them might give some insight as to how scientists viewed the creationists in this instance, after a while. Rather stupid and malicious idiots.

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