To: Dr Pepper 930516 22:32:00 Subject: +quot;Mantracks+quot; DR PEPPER to ALL, 051293, re:

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From: Scott Faust To: Dr Pepper 93-05-16 22:32:00 Subject: "Mantracks" DR PEPPER to ALL, 05-12-93, re: "Wilder-Smith" > The last two days the radio show "The Bible Answer Man" has feature > one A. E. Wilder-Smith. [...] > WS [...] still promotes Paluxy. A caller on the show [...] tried to > tell his father about Paluxy and his father had said he had friends > who had gone there and taken ir photos of the prints, and the claws > were clearly visible. [...] > WS responded that just recently the tracks had shown changes, a result > of iron in the rock changing state from ferrous to ferric. In situ? > Wow! Anyway he said that that yes, claw marks were now showing, but > what do you expect? Clearly the best way for a human to cross a muddy > marsh was to step in the dinosaur prints so the human prints would be > superimposed. And there was plenty of analysis done that clearly > distinguished between the human and dinosaur prints, including showing > all five toes. > > Anyone know anything bout this person? I know that his claims about the Paluxy are bovine excrement. Although its been several years now since I have bothered to go back, I've visited the Paluxy sites many times (its about a 2 hour drive from where I live, in Denton, Tx, north of Dallas and Fort Worth). The tracks that were being referred to in your radio show were clearly those of the Taylor Trail, which is actually in the stream bed and can only be exposed for close study by sandbagging or during a drought. I had the good fortune to visit the site several times in the company of Ronnie Hastings and Glen Kuban during a drought in 1988 when the stream bed ran completely dry at the site. Hastings and Kuban are both amateurs, but have done quality work on the dinosaurs trackways of the Paluxy. They eventually convinced most informed creationists that none of them can be positively identified as human. Hastings is a math and physics teacher from Waxahachie, Texas who got tired of hearing about Paluxy "mantrack" claims from Mel and Norma Gabler and other anti-evolutionists, and decided (about 1982, I believe) to go down and have a look for himself. Kuban is a computer programmer from Ohio. Kuban is actually an evangelical christian, and first went down to the Paluxy about 1980 hoping to verify that human tracks were present! Kuban's examination of the tracks and trackways described in the creationist literature he had read soon convinced him, however, that the tracks were dinosaurian. The tracks of the Taylor Trail, though, were of an unusual type. In contrast to the typical short and wide birdlike tridactyle prints, these were elongate and vaguely oblong (and thus their identification as those of "giant" humans). Kuban hypothesized that the dinosaur that made them had been walking plantigrade (flat footed), such that the heels of the prints were made by the dinosaur's metatarsals. Dinosaurs normally walk digitigrade, with only the "balls" of their feet and toes in contact with the ground. By 1984, when there was another drought, Kuban had introduced himself to Hastings and the two were working together. When the Taylor Trail was exposed that year a coloration phenomena was first noticed. The dinosaur that made the trail was walking upstream, and the erosion and spalling of the tracks' infilling material had apparently been greater toward their posterior. Repeated exposure was apparently causing a change in the color of the remaining infilling material (possibly due, indeed, to a higher iron content, though I am not up on the geochemistry) such that the "giant human" prints were now sprouting clear, tridactyle, dinosaurian toes. This phenomena has apparently continued, and the reddish brown infilling stood out very clearly and sharply against the white dolomitic limestone when I saw the site exposed in 1988. Kuban tried to get prominent creationists who had touted the mantrack claims to view the site while it was still dry, but did not succeed. A year or two later, however, (I don't recall exactly when) he was able to get John Morris, whose book _Tracking Those Incredible Dinosaurs and the People Who Knew Them_ was the source that originally inspired Kuban to go to the Paluxy, and Paul Taylor of "Films for Christ", who discovered the trial and featured it his film _Footprints In Stone_, to visit the site. The tracks were viewed through the bottom of an empty aquarium pressed into the water. Kuban then spent several hours in a nearby hotel room with the mantrackers -- the "heathen" Hastings having discretely absented himself -- answering their objections one by one (and doubtless over and over), showing them photographs and other evidence he had collected, and repeatedly forcing them to confront the evidence they had seen. It took a lot more effort than should have been required, but eventually Morris and Taylor would retract their claims (for the most part, and not without some fussing and backsliding particularly from Morris) and agree to withdraw the book and movie. At one point, in fact in his "retraction", Morris darkly hinted that evolutionists might have painted the colorations onto the tracks with acid. This was refuted, however, by the fact that it was clearly not possible to paint sharp edged features onto the limestone in this manner, and by cores taken at the margins of the colorations and inside the tracks showing that the coloration was a phenomena of track infilling material. (Morris let these claims drop after taking core samples, but never to my knowledge explicitly retracted them or said publicly what he had seen in his cores.) O.K. With all that background we now coming, in a moment, to the claim that your Wilder-Smith was repeating, a "reinterpretation" of the Taylor Trail. Associated with the new claim are Texas creationists Carl Baugh and his associate Don Patton. Carl Baugh owns and operates the "Creation Evidences Museum" near the Paluxy River. "Dr." Baugh is a particularly unctuous charlatan who is always waving a batch of diploma mill degrees. (Kuban, Glen J. 1989. "A Matter of Degree: Carl Baugh's Credentials." _National Center for Science Education Reports_. 9(6):15-20.) Baugh is also a boob who is known for making rather, ah, eccentric claims. Just as one quick example among many: a neural spine in his museum which looks to have come from a large fish is identified as the horn of a dinosaur that Baugh has named "unicerisaurus" (or something like that, i.e., after "unicorn"). Baugh interprets the surface where the base of the spine sits on top of the vertebral column as indicating a joint that allowed his dinosaur to fold this horn into the back of its head like a jackknife! Don Patton (not to be confused with the velikovskyite creationist Donald W. Patton) founded a Dallas/Fort Worth area group called the Metroplex Institute for Origin Science (MIOS) which has supported and promoted Baugh's "research" and claims. Patton seems to share Baugh's penchant for adding dubious letters to the end of his name. When Patton appeared at the 1989 National Conference on Biblical Origins in Dayton, TN to present the new Taylor Trail claim, the printed program implied that he had at least four degrees from three different schools. Patton made no attempt to correct this "mistake" publicly, but admitted to Kuban that he has -no- degrees, though he claims to have taken many undergraduate courses in geology. I haven't kept up with MIOS for several years, but for a long time he allowed its members and others to believe that he had a Ph.D. candidacy in geology from Queensland Christian University in Australia. This school, however, is a diploma mill owned by the Australian creationist Clifford Wilson. (See Kuban's article on Baugh's credentials.) Baugh and Patton now concede that the tracks of the Taylor Trail are dinosaurian, but have claimed since late 1988 that there are human tracks -inside- the dinosaur tracks. They suggested the theory that Wilder-Smith repeats -- that the human was purposefully stepping inside the dinosaurs tracks to improve his traction in a slippery mud. This is patently absurd. If you are on a slippery surface you must take very small steps to keep from slipping. You certainly don't take dinosaur sized strides! Furthermore, there are no accentuated heel strikes to indicate such behaviour. Indeed there is little or nothing besides legerdemain and wishful thinking to indicate the presence of these supposed human tracks. Kuban writes the following in an article refuting the claim. (Kuban, Glen J. 1989. "Retracking Those Incredible Mantracks." _NCSE Reports_. 9(4): Having intensively studied the Taylor Site since 1980 (and as recently as August 1989), I can testify that none of the Taylor Trail tracks (or other tracks on the site) contain clear human features [...] In fact, the new "man track" claims are not really new, but are simply variations on the old, thoroughly refuted claims. What Baugh and Patton are now claiming as human prints are merely vague or ambiguous features within the largely infilled metatarsal segments (soles and heels) of the dinosaur prints -- essentially the same depressions previously misinterpreted by various creationists as human prints. It should also be emphasized, as Kuban notes in passing above, that the Taylor Site tracks are still partially infilled, and not just in the region of the toes (where most of them are still completely infilled). In Other Words, the supposed human prints are not in the bottom of the dinosaurs prints, but are -in- the infilling material. How these tracks were able to form without a difference in composition between the substrate and the infilling material is a mystery that Baugh and Patton don't seem to address. Kuban describes it in his article, but I was also at the 1989 creationist convention in Dayton, Tennessee to hear Patton's presentation on this claim. It seemed to me that it come off poorly even to this creationist audience. Some of the most impressive -seeming- evidence that Patton offered was a series of photographs of the tracks with what looked like topographic lines imposed on them. Patton showed how these indicated the outlines of the alleged human prints. But only under determined questioning did it come out that the "topographic" lines were drawn -freehand- by an artist friend from -two dimensional- projections of the prints! There were also attempts to revive this "new" Taylor Trail claim at one or two other creationism conferences, but they seem to have fallen flat also.


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