Human Footprints Footprints, footprints.and you thought it stopped with Paluxy. Well, Jame
Footprints, footprints...and you thought it stopped with Paluxy.
Well, James Monroe (Dept. of Geology, Central Michigan University,
and an OR contributor; see vol. 7, no. 2, Fall/Winter 1984) has
"tracked down" several other reports of anomalous prints, which he
discusses in his recent paper, "Creationism, Human Footprints, and
Flood Geology" ( Journal of Geological Education , 35: 93-103, 1987).
He writes (in the abstract):
Human footprints in geologically ancient strata would indeed call
into doubt many conventional geologic concepts. However, a study
of the human footprint photographs and literature reveals that
the "evidence" consists of real but misrepresented human
footprints, misidentified animal tracks, petroglyphs, and oddly
shaped concretions. Futhermore, the logical implications of the
footprint evidence have not been considered thoroughly in the
broad context of the creation model, and especially in terms of a
world-wide catastrophic flood.
Monroe concludes that some creationists writers "may be
justifiably criticized for the way in which "evidence" is
reported," and [f]rom much of the creationist literature cited in
this article, it appears that with the exception of [William]
Rusch...creationists really do not care much about science or
scientific evidence except insofar as it supports their belief
system" (p. 101).
We'll agree that many creationists may be as uncritical as Monroe
argues, but disagree--strongly--that it follows that all
creationists are indifferent to the quality or logical bearing of
the empirical evidence. Such a judgment would be akin to condemning
all evolutionist for Piltdown, or Haeckel's frauds.
While you're in the Journal of Geological Education, don't miss
"Current Issues in Evolutionary Paleontology" (Vol. 35: 80-85,
1987), by Erik Scully (Dept. of Biological Sciences, Towson State
University). The paper is a good summary of current debates in
paleontology, and has a very useful bibliography.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank