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The so-called ‘Taylor trail’

The so-called ‘Taylor trail’

Since the 1930s, dinosaur tracks have been known from the bed of the Paluxy River, near Glen Rose, Texas. What makes these tracks so controversial are claims that as well as the footprints of dinosaurs, there are unmistakably human footprints in the same strata. Even creationists admit that some of them are fakes. In some of the ‘man tracks’, it is possible to make out traces of toes to the side of the ‘foot’, which suggests that they are nothing more mysterious than highly eroded three-toed dinosaur tracks. Some also show claw marks at the ‘heel’ of the print, which is another feature typical of a dinosaur footprint but not of a human footprint. In at least one footprint sequence, there is the inexplicable coincidence that dinosaur tracks and ‘human footprints’ alternate.

The Paluxy River ‘man prints’ may resemble human footprints superficially, but they lack the anatomy of real human footprints. Furthermore, dinosaurs and humans are of very different size and weight, but in the Paluxy River, tracks made by some undisputed dinosaurs and supposed humans are sunk to the same depth in the rock, which suggests that both types were made by creatures of the same general weight; there are tracks, made by different dinosaur species sunk to different depths. In the same way, the distances between footfalls of those tracks made to the same depth are spaced the same distance apart, showing that they were made by creatures with similar stride lengths.

Close-up of the tracks

Close-up of the tracks

The creationist explanation for how the two sets of tracks are found together does not quite match the scenario they propose. The creatures that made the tracks were supposed to have been running from the rising waters of the Great Flood. However, there are several thousand feet of water-deposited sedimentary rock beneath the footprints and several thousand feet on top of them, both of which ought, according to creationist beliefs about geology, have been deposited by the waters of the same Flood the creatures were fleeing. To have produced this sequence, the base rock would have to be deposited by an early ‘high tide’ of the Flood, which then receded long enough for the dinosaurs and humans to run across the valley and leave their tracks, subsequently covering them with a tidal wave that sealed them with a layer of mud, without damaging them. This sequence would have been repeated on numerous occasions, as the dinosaur and ‘human’ tracks appear in a number of superimposed layers. The biggest problem with this, of course, is the question of where the creatures had remained hidden during the early stages of the universal flood if they were rushing to higher land later. But logic never got in the way of religious dogma…

The tracks were investigated by Glen Kuban in the 1980s, whose investigations showed that the tracks are not human footprints. The supposed “manprints” were made by the same three-toed dinosaurs: they appear to be human because only the middle toe is visible. In a number of cases, “manprints” have subsequently eroded to show their true origin. The TalkOrigins website has a very detailed sub-web dealing with the ‘manprints’.

55 Responses to The Paluxy River ‘footprints’

  • In my opinion somethingh must be in those stories abuot big humanoids and dinosuars.

  • Yttevya says:

    I visited the Paluxy River several times as a child, as my mother’s parents lived near by, and my mom had grown up in that area, as well. Shown here are clearly tracks of dinosaurs which I remember, and my memory records very well-defined dinosaur tracks, as well. However, there is a problem with these photos being the only ones presented! I remember seeing human footprints as well whenever I walked along the limestone. Why are these images omitted from this page? By the way, I never to undergo religious indoctrination, attend churches, that sort of thing, although I did visit various institutions in many religions with friends, from stupa to synagogue to cathedrals to churches. On my own, I’ve participated in Native Ceremonies, meditation, and have studied Anthropology as well as researched mystical third eye initiations into the Logos, Word, Amen, Om, Am, Tao, Sound Current, etc… held in common in every generation and spanning many cultures, basically, that have been recorded from Pythagoras to present day. I have European and First Nations ancestry on both sides of my family, my mother Kiowa and my father Wicomico, (back to Captain John Smith and Chiefs William Tapptico I and II) and we all have quite high IQs, my father having been urged to join Mensa. So, please make no assumptions that I am biased in any way in my reporting. Actually, it is perplexing to me that Creationists can make claims involving human and dinosaur footprints fitting into their limited world-views. Don’t the most extreme claim that we have been around for only a few thousand years? This, to me, is not a religious debate. I look forward to finding more anomalies, and, already, many have been discovered.

    • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

      I think that the biggest problem believers in the Paluxy River ‘manprints’ have to deal with is the way that the prints change over time. They are in a river bed and subject to water erosion. Things that initially look vaguely human have been shown to have eroded slowly from three-toed dinosaur tracks.

      I don’t want to present a photograph heavy page, which is why I have shown only a small selection. There are plenty of other sites, such as the one linked to above, that give many more.

      The Creationist desire to have humans and dinosaurs living together is to show that the earth is young. These creatures aren’t the remains of animals living millions of years ago, because in their view the earth cannot be so old, but because they aren’t around today, then they must have been destroyed in Noah’s flood. Finding human remains alongside dinosaur remains would prove to Creationists that their views are right. The fact that they never are, except in cases of mistaken identity like this or outright fraud, as has been shown in some instances, shows that humans and dinosaurs never co-existed.

    • Jeff says:

      Yttevya, have you considered the impact of your writing on the reader? When you list a litany of religious experiences and other ceremonies you’ve participated in and go on to say that you have a high IQ and that others have a “limited worldview”, you sound more than a bit presumptions and completely pompous. These sorts of statements cause you to lose credibility, and nothing you say afterward is taken seriously.

  • Sony Sinatag says:

    It is highly obtuse to conclude that “The Creationist” is necessarily a “young-Earther that believes humans walked with dinos”. While there are undoubtedly many believers that hold to a ‘strict English transliteration’ of the Old Testament, there are an ever increasing number of believers that ardently oppose such conclusions based on ancient Hebrew text. While we do agree that life could not have spontaneously emerged through a purely Darwinian evolutionary processes (Darwinian evolution cannot explain the beginning of life, only changes within existing life, and that, only on the micro level: as agreed with by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins) our similarities stop there (with regard to physics, geology & biology).

    • Douglas says:

      I would like citation/s supporting your assertion about macro evolution and especially Dawkins agreement “Darwinian evolution cannot explain the beginning of life, only changes within existing life, and that, only on the micro level: as agreed with by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins”. There are numerous examples of so-called macro evolution in the fossil record starting with Archeopterix 2 years after Darwin published. As an example of a transitional animal the entire genus of amphibians don’t do a bad job portraying species that possess characteristics of two distinct species – the necessary state for macro-evolution to be supported. After all, macro-evolution is simply micro-evolution set upon a longer time scale. It is counter intuitive to suggest that a theory that explains change over a long period cannot explain change over a very long period. I think you would find that Dawkins does in fact support that assertion from Darwin’s theory…

  • Pingback: 'intelligent design' - Page 10

  • Glen Kuban says:

    I’m the “Glen Kuban” referred to in the article. I have been doing on site study of the Paluxy tracks and related controversies for over 30 years. I am glad the article referred to my work, but disappointed that instead of accurately summarizing my conclusions, it perpetuated some old misconceptions about the tracks, including the idea that they are due to “middle toe impressions” of dinosaur tracks. I never said such any thing; that is an old speculation by Texas paleontologist Wann Langston which is not borne out by on site research (Langston no loner holds this interpretation). As I explained in my articles, and the intro at my site, the alleged human tracks involve a variety of phenomena. The majority are forms of elongate, metatarsal dinosaur tracks, made by bipedal dinosaurs that sometimes impressed their metatarsi (heels and soles) as they walked. When the digit impressions of such tracks are subdued by mud-backflow or secondary infilling, a somewhat human shape often results. Other alleged “man tracks” including purely erosional features (often selectively highlighted to encourage human shapes), indistinct marks of undertain origin, and a smaller number of doctored and carved tracks (most of the latter occurring on loose blocks of rock). To contrary to the impression left in the article, the alleged human tracks do not involve only a single phenomena, and none are middle toe impressions of dino tracks. A few individuals such as Carl Baugh, Don Patton, and Ian Juby, continue to promote the Paluxy “man tracks” or alleged human tracks in Mesozoic or Paleozoic from other localities, but such claims are not considered credible by either mainstream scientists or major creationist groups. When examined thoroughly and carefully, the Paluxy tracks provide no evidence for young-earth creationism, and instead further support the many lines of evidence that indicate that the earth has had a long and complex history. Thank you for allowing me to make these clarifications. For more info please see my Paluxy site at http://paleo.cc/paluxy.htm

  • smp says:

    Evolution does not propose to explain the “Origins of Life”. It is simply the mechanism that provides for the level of diversity after biological origination.

    Also, I am pretty sure that if your belief in God hinges on a distant culture’s mythical interpretation of the origins of man: YOU ARE MISSING THE POINT.

  • tony says:

    What concerns me is the way science now emulates the medival church….you cannot challenge Dogma. I’m not agreeing with creationists, I can think of many explainations for these footprints. Fakes, mistakes Aliens, or time travellers…. man and dinosaur in the garden of eden wouldn’t be my first thought, but I’m not discounting out of hand.

    • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

      I don’t understand your analogy. How does science emulate the medieval church? There is no dogma, proposed from on high and enforced by an inquisition, that forces adherents to believe things against the evidence. While there may be a reluctance to abandon long held theories, they do eventually crumble under the weight of contrary evidence. Contrast that with the medieval attitudes to scripture still held by creationists: no amount of contrary evidence will ever permit them to abandon their belief in the literal truth of biblical narrative.

      As for the Paluxy footprints, if a single genuinely human footprint were to be identified among the many preserved there—and, to date, none has—scientists would have to account for it.

  • Glen says:

    Tony, you don’t have propose wild explanations like aliens or time travelers to account for the Paluxy “man tracks.” As I explained earlier, I and others have done thorough on-site studies, and found that the alleged human tracks relate to several different misidentified phenomena–the three most common being metatarsal dinosaur tracks with infilled or mud-collapsed digits, erosional markings, and loose carvings. Please visit my website for more details: http://paleo.cc/paluxy.htm

  • Ryan says:

    Well i dont know what to think of these foot prints, i think its interesting, i’d have to see them in person to really make a decision, 72% of scientists have admited they know scientists that fudge the books to make a point so who is fudging who knows… thats why articles like this are hard to judge with out being there in person.

    As far as creation and the age of the earth, biblical world views can be of an old earth that was refurbished (gap theory stuff) or even a young earth, biblical thinkers are not in a box as it seems some people here think. Not all biblical students or scholars think people and dinosaurs existed in the same time either. But as far as saying that people believe “dogmas that are forced” on them which go against all logical thought, that is a sad misrepresentation and a way understudied opinion based on force fed modern dogmas.

    The fact that we cant even explain how a earth that is hundreds of millions of years old and has signs of life existing those millions of years back could even support such life with a sun that was hundreds of millions of years younger and smaller, that is a problem… and the idea that the atmosphere was thicker has holes, a guy from NASA did a study recently on ancient fossil rain drops that showed from the impressions that rain fell at the same speed just about making the atmosphere almost identical to todays atmosphere. Its a mystery… and not only that the oceans show signs of only being thousands of years old not millions, the sea shores show signs of being thousands of years old… not to mention the only thing that says the earth was millions of years old is carbon dating which is hardly acurate, lets be honest. A study was done a few years ago where volcanic rocks made from a explosion that was days old where taken to MIT and other “top carbon dating” colleges to evaluate the ages with carbon dating and not only where they 100,000′s of years off from each other, no one even guessed close to days old. So i think we should ALL (biblical scholars or non) be more careful talking like we KNOW exactly what we are saying when we really dont have much accuracy at all honestly… thats why this argument still lives, people dont know much, yet we talk loud and confident so people believe us… the “science dogmas of ancient earths with little suns supporting huge life” or dinosaurs found in sediement layers that are in wrong periods for that dinosaur that are ignored… there are soooo many anomalies in the world just dont act like you know it all, you dont. Faith is faith, and dogmas are dogmas, few things are known 100% and we dont argue those things, the rest is a good a guess as any if your studying.

    So yes, people who believe in evolution and ancient earths and all that are still faithing in their evidence they think makes their story, though there are holes they are aware of but dont share out loud. And honestly they force feed people more then the church, creation isnt even allowed to be taught in school so people dont have a choice but to be force fed one idea and not be told the holes in it and let people decide for themselves, its like brainwashing and its sad. If “agnostic science” is so confident let the schools teach anything and let people know about the strengths and weaknesses of each, perhaps we will make great thinkers… … but what society really wants great thinkers when sheep are so easy to round up huh?

    • irony says:

      Reply
      The catholic church is the true sheep herder and they never try to hide it. Jesus the shepherd, the people his flock. Just wanted to help brings your creationist argument full circle…

    • lujlp says:

      Studies Show 99% of all percentage based statistics are made up on the spot

    • helena says:

      Ryan, in amongst everything else you say that . ‘A study was done a few years ago where volcanic rocks made from a explosion that was days old where taken to MIT and other “top carbon dating” colleges to evaluate the ages with carbon dating and not only where they 100,000′s of years off from each other, no one even guessed close to days old.’ You can’t carbon date rock. it is inorganic. carbon 14 is absorbed from the atmosphere by living things, ie plants and animals, and once they die decays at a known rate, By measuring how much is left it is possible to estimate the period the animal or plant died. Rocks do not live and die, sorry.

    • Weesha says:

      Well put, I absolutely love your logic and was just thinking exactly that the other day. It’s frustrating to have to decipher through all the hoax when the puzzle has so many pieces in the first place.

  • Dale says:

    I have an issue with this quote:
    “Furthermore, dinosaurs and humans are of very different size and weight, but in the Paluxy River, tracks made by both dinosaurs and supposed humans are sunk to the same depth in the rock, which suggests that both types were made by creatures of the same general weight.”
    This is just not the case. Whatever made these tracks obviously had different size feet. If both creatures weighed the same, the small prints would be deeper than the large prints. It is simply the same as a person walking in regular shoes as compared to walking in snow shoes. Since both prints sank to the same depth, one could assume that they had the same weight per square inch of foot area, but could not possibly be the same weight. The strata depth to which both prints sank could also have been more dense than the upper layers.

  • Glen says:

    The discussion about track depths starts with the false assumption that the Paluxy tracks are all about the same depth. Actually they vary greatly in depth from barely impressed to over a foot deep. and this is the case for both large and small tracks or both theropods and sauropods. Also, track depth depends on several factors, including the consistency of the sediment (softness, moisture content, etc), weight of the animal and foot size and shape, etc. Furthermore , some tracks that are shallow now were originally deeper, but have become shallower through erosion or infilling. By the way, a new paper on the Paluxy tracksites based on field work by myself, James Farlow, and others is now available on the web (I will be linking it to my Paluxy website soon): http://geoserv.ipfw.edu/~farlow/files/Farlow%20et%20al%202012%20Paluxy%20River%20tracksites.pdf

    • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

      It’s always good to see a real expert, who has done more work on the tracks than any armchair creationist pundit, providing genuine data! Thanks.

  • Julie Barker says:

    This just proves to me more personally that the earth has indeed 3 earth ages. Which the Bible does in fact account for. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth period. And then it became void. (the word “was” translated back is became) In various places throughout the Bible it discusses this. Even in Job when God was describing the Behemoth which could only be a dinosaur. There is no other creature that has a tail like a cedar tree and whose nose can’t even be snared. He was talking about the first earth age.

  • Ioan Lightoller says:

    Interesting. I am no expert but could there have been later species that had tracks similar to dinosaurs but were not? Or could there have been some survival of small dinosaurs post-Chicxulub? I personally don’t understand how humans and even small dinos could have co-existed at any point unless the survivors were herbivores. Especially since most mammals for a fair while after the impact would have been small creatures since small creatures tend to weather this sort of thing better (think Permian extinction). I just haven’t seen much evidence that dinosaurs survived the necessary 60 million years or so for primates to evolve then for the chimpanzee/human split.

    Just a question for anyone who wants to field it. I understand that in Cambodia there is a very clear carving (which I have seen, though not in person) of what looks to me like a stegasaurus. Any thoughts on this? My assumption (and yeah I know I shouldn’t assume but…) is that they may have found stegasaurus fossils and extrapolated what the animal would have looked like in life. Any thoughts on that? Or on the carvings of Ica, Peru? For those not familiar with them, a professor in Ica has a huge collection of stones carved with clear, fairlyl accurate carvings of humans and dinosaurs together and again, the depections are pretty accurate of stegasaurus and triceratops. Also in (I believe) Chichen Itza is a paintinnd in one corner is what clearly looks like a raptor. I don’t believe anything as fanciful as humans and dinos walking the earth together, but it would be interesting to speculate where all these various depictions came from. Personally, I think the ancients may have been better at figuring out what a creature might have looked like, given sufficent skeleton to work with, than we might want to give them credit for. Like I said, I just find this all interesting.

    • Glen Kuban says:

      Ioan, if you had visited my Paluxy website at http://www.paleo.cc/paluxy.htm (I’ve left the link a number of times) you’d have found detailed articles that deal with the issues you raise, including a long article on the alleged Cambodian stegosaurus statue. In short, there is no convincing evidence that it, or other ancient art shows real dinosaurs, excepting of course birds (now classified as feathered theropod dinos by most paleontologists). Even the major creationist group AIG has admitted that there is no compelling evidence of human/dinosaur cohabitation, and yet they still believe in it and foster the idea–evidently primarily due to religious rather than empirical and scientific reasons. You also seem to have some basic misunderstandings about the Paluxy evidence and earth history in general, as indicated by your opening question. There is no reason to propose non-dinosaur “dinosaur-like” creatures as the makers of the Paluxy “man tracks,” since those that are real tracks are consistent with metatarsal-impressed dinosaur tracks with subdued digits. Others are not even real tracks, but carvings, erosion marks, or other misidentified phenomena. I don’t mind people speculating on a topic, and asking questions is fine, but generally its best to try to get familiar with the existing literature and work on a subject first. Thanks.

    • Amelia says:
  • Glen says:

    Sony, while there are many “old earth” creationists, virtually all those who made claims about human and dinosaur tracks in the past (the subject of this thread) were “young earth” creationists (YECS). And I think you’re wrong about Dawkins. I believe he holds that life indeed did arise from geo-chemical processes in the past. There is also increasing evidence as to how this came about. See for example:
    http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2009/08/-harvard-team-zeroing-in-on-how-life-arose-from-nonliving-molecules.html

  • PaulGL says:

    Obvious fact: Even if humans and dinosaurs had existed at the same time, it would not have been for very long. Homo Sapiens would have been the main course in Dino’s diet!

  • PaulGL says:

    The opinion that the ‘days’ in the 6-day Genesis account were 24-hour days is unscriptural and theologically incorrect; because time periods were not assigned to the luminaries until the fourth day. Young-Earthers are dogmatic religionists who do God a great disservice by making Christians appear illogical and ignorant.

  • Jim says:

    Julie; the passage in Job does NOT say the behemoth had a tail like a cedar tree. The passage was describing the MOVEMENT of the tail, not its physical structure. Go read it again. Read the whole passage (Job 40: 15-24). If you do your homework, you’ll see that the dinosaur AIG and others say is being described would never fit under the type of tree (lotus tree) mentioned there. The dinosaur Ken Ham and the rest are describing stands 90 feet tall. The lotus tree grows to about 30 feet. The passage, in its entirety, is probably describing an elephant, which fits just nicely with the description (and under a lotus tree).
    Btw…the “tail” mentioned in this passage may not be referring to the tail at all. It’s uncertain what part of the anatomy is being described from the Hebrew text. I won’t be crude here and explain what many Hebrew scholars believe is the correct translation.

  • Glen says:

    Jim is right. YECs have not accurately portrayed these passages. Julie, before you continue spreading dubious claims about Biblical dinosaurs, please read my essay on the topic at:
    http://paleo.cc/paluxy/behemoth.htm
    I’d also like to point out that if non-avian dinosaurs existed only a few thousands years ago, they’d undoubtedly be clearly and frequently described and depicted in countless ancient texts and illustrations, not just a handful of dubious ones. Claims of dinosaurs in petroglyphs and other ancient art do not stand up to close scrutiny. Please see: http://paleo.cc/paluxy/behemoth.htmut

  • MaximRecoil says:

    Jim says:

    “If you do your homework, you’ll see that the dinosaur AIG and others say is being described would never fit under the type of tree (lotus tree) mentioned there. The dinosaur Ken Ham and the rest are describing *stands* 90 feet tall. The lotus tree grows to about 30 feet.”

    Well it is a good thing that behemoth lied down then, isn’t it?

    Job 40:21 He *lieth* under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens.

    Also, which sauropod stood 90 feet at the shoulders? The popular Apatosaurus (“Brontosaurus”) stood about 12 or 13 feet at the shoulders, and about half that when lying down.

  • Glen says:

    MaximRecoil,
    Regardless of whether the animal could fit under a lotus tree, there is no compelling evidence that the verses in Job refer to dinosaurs. The main argument that some creationists use to argue for behemoth being a sauropod is the verse supposedly indicating that it had a tail as large as a cedar tree. However, the verse doesn’t refer to the tail’s size, but it’s movement. For more analysis showing that the verses very likely refer to modern animals, please see: http://paleo.cc/paluxy/behemoth.htm

  • MaximRecoil says:

    Glen says:

    “The main argument that some creationists use to argue for behemoth being a sauropod is the verse supposedly indicating that it had a tail as large as a cedar tree. However, the verse doesn’t refer to the tail’s size, but it’s movement.”

    Aside from a person on this thread, who is claiming that the verse indicates that it had a tail as large as a cedar tree? The verse says “He moveth his tail like a cedar”. I don’t think anyone knows exactly what that is supposed to mean, but from the context I always got the impression that he moves his large tail with a lot of force. If it said, “He moveth his head like a boulder”, one would envision a large head moved with a lot of force. Neither cedar trees nor boulders move on their own, but they can be moved with a lot of force, and once in motion they carry a lot of momentum.

    But regardless of that, the overall context suggests something larger than life, far more impressive than any creature on Earth today. Additionally, in the very next chapter, another critter is described in the same context of belittling Job, i.e. Leviathan, and this critter was described as breathing fire and smoke, you know, like a “dragon”. I don’t believe for a moment that something as ho-hum as an elephant (or hippo, or whatever) is being decribed as a preeminant example of a mighty and powerful land animal, while following it up with something as spectacular as Leviathan for a water animal. Behemoth should be as impressive as Leviathan, because the context surrounding both of them is the same, and an elephant doesn’t cut the mustard when compared to a fire-breathing sea dragon.

    By the way, I’m only discussing interpretation of the biblical narrative here, not its implications with regard to history.

  • Glen says:

    MaximRecoil,
    I get the impression from your response that you have not read my article that already addresses most o what you wrote. Did you? When you talk about the idea that Leviathan seems unlike any animal on earth today, do you give due consideration for the possibility of poetic or metaphoric language, that may not be all literal? After all, the Bible mentions unicorns too.

    Glen

    • Amy Joy says:

      I can see why it would be impressive for God to tame a hippo that just won’t stop swinging his penis like a cedar branch. That sure sounds big and scary to me. Those ancient pre-Hebrews sure had a way with their poetry.

      I really don’t care how old the earth is. It is what it is. I want to figure out what really happened down there.

      The problem, Mr. Kuban,is that they keep finding new tracks along the Paluxy. Old Joe Taylor made a latex mold of a very human-like footprint that went down through the middle of an acrocanthosaur track – immediately after the limestone layer was peeled back on July 3rd 1997. I made the first cast of the track from that mold he made, and I put my foot down in that cast. The woman who made it must have been about a size 9 1/2, and shoot… my heel fit. My toes fit. I could feel where her toes slid down into the mud. I felt like I had just stepped back in time, my foot matching the print of another woman who had lived long ago.

      Another print Joe molded the year prior, after uncovering it in front of a Japanese camera crew, I made casts of that one too. The human tracks were significantly, clearly more shallow than the dino tracks, and the dino track half a foot away showed no evidence of infill. Plus, there are other tracks in that trackway obviously made by the same human. Same strong second-digit impression. Human-like toe impression.

      So. My bottom line is I want to figure out what the real deal is.

      I don’t want any agendas, creationist or otherwise. I want people to just be really honest and try to figure out what’s really true. Mr. Kuban, you don’t strike me as being remotely objective in the matter.

      Hippo penises. Seriously?

  • MaximRecoil says:

    Glen,

    Your article is entirely an attempt to make the descriptions of Leviathan and Behemoth fit the real world as you believe it to be. For example, there is nothing in the context which suggests that the description of the physical characteristics of Leviathan are metaphorical or poetic, but you believe that there is no “plausible evidence” for such a creature in the real world, so you suggest that it is metaphorical or poetic. This is a case of confirmation bias.

    Let’s say that fire breathing sea dragons were an undisputed historical fact, and they even exist today; they have one at Sea World named “Clyde”. In such a case, obviously no one would suggest that the description of Leviathan’s physical characteristics was not literal.

    As I said, I’m only discussing interpretation of the biblical narrative here, not its implications with regard to history, so whether or not fire breathing dragons or anything else existed in the real world is irrelevant.

  • Glen says:

    MaximRecoil,
    Whether or not fire breathing dragons exist is not relevant Yes, it’s very relevant, for the same reason that it’s relevant that unicorns don’t exist when we are interpreting Bible verses referring to unicorns. In fact, that there is no credible evidence for non-avian dinosaurs in historic times is a relevant consideration in interpreting these verses. However, even aside from that, the argument that Behemoth is a sauropod is STILL not the best interpretation for all the reasons I noted, and in regards of Leviathan, the only way it could be literal is if you believe in fantastic fire breathing sea monsters, and if you believe that, I’m sorry, but it’s a bit childish. At best the Biblical passages are ambiguous as to what specific creatures are referred to, so there is no basis in young earth creationists insisting they refer to dinosaurs. By the way, are you a creationist?

  • MaximRecoil says:

    Glen,

    “Whether or not fire breathing dragons exist is not relevant Yes, it’s very relevant, for the same reason that it’s relevant that unicorns don’t exist when we are interpreting Bible verses referring to unicorns.”

    No, it isn’t relevant, as what does or doesn’t exist in reality has nothing to do with reading comprehension. First deciding that X didn’t exist, therefore ancient text regarding X must be metaphorical or otherwise non-literal, is putting the cart before the horse. Differentiating between literal and non-literal text is strictly a language exercise. Here we have a story featuring God and Job, and God is belittling Job by pointing out how insignificant he is compared to himself. He describes very impressive things that he is responsible for, things far beyond human capabilities, and sarcastically asks Job if he can do these things that he obviously can’t do. This context alone suggests that the things being described are intended to be literal, else they would be senseless (i.e. you can’t illustrate your vast superiority to someone by giving examples of things that don’t exist). Additionally, the context suggests things much greater than hippos/elephants and crocodiles. Humans can handle those creatures; they aren’t a big deal. People have domesticated elephants and used them as work animals and transportation for ages. People have killed all of those animals as well, countless times. In other words, they are not impressive/formidable enough to fit the context.

    “Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook?”

    Now substitute “crocodile” for “leviathan”. Job could then simply reply, “Yeah, actually I can, and if a hook doesn’t work, a spear or a sword makes quick work of crocodiles.”

    “and in regards of Leviathan, the only way it could be literal is if you believe in fantastic fire breathing sea monsters, and if you believe that, I’m sorry, but it’s a bit childish.”

    False. What I do or do not believe is irrelevant (see above). The description is clearly intended to be literal. The implications of that = a different discussion. For example, does the text being literal *necessarily* mean that fire-breathing dragons existed back then? No, not *necessarily*. So what does it mean/imply? It could mean/imply various things.

  • Glen says:

    Amy, your attempt to dismiss my work as biased is as ironic as it is unfounded, considering that not only was I open to finding human tracks, but hoping to do so. I was at the time trying hard to make YECism work, and bought into a lot of their claims. It’s only after a lot of hard field work did I realize that the vast bulk of evidence did not support that view, and after further Bible study I also concluded it was not even well founded Biblically.
    As far as Joe Taylor’s involvement in the Paluxy, I supposed you see no bias in his work, even tho he’s a committed young-earth creationists, and has worked with some of the most disreputable and extreme YECs and man-track promotors, such as Carl Baugh.
    Your assertion that deciding whether a verse is literal or nonliteral is strictly a language exercise is not a view held by most scholars. Many agree with my view that common sense dictates that we also consider scientific and historic evidence. One could readily conclude that the earth were square and flat from the Bible (since it often refers to its “four corners”) if you didn’t allow scientific evidence and common sense influence your interpretation. You also seem to be talking out of both sides of your mouth, suggesting that descriptions of fire breathing beasts must be literal, but that it doesn’t necessarily mean that such beasts existed. Well, then, what else could a literal description imply? You say evasively that it’s for another discussion. We don’t need a drawn out discussion – but please at least tell us how those verses can be literal without the beasts ever existing.

  • Glen says:

    I’d like to further address Amy’s assertions about the tracks involving Joe Taylor and your Paluxy visits. You wrote:

    “The problem, Mr. Kuban,is that they keep finding new tracks along the Paluxy.

    Who is “they?” The major creationist groups (ICR, CRS, AIG, etc) stoped endorsing the prints years ago, and both ICR and AIG have specifically asked their followers not to use the Paluxy tracks as evidence against evolution. The few individuals who are still actively promoting them (mostly Carl Baugh, Ian Juby, Don Patton) are widely regarded as disreputable and lacking in credibility.. That Joe worked with Baugh and Patton, who have been known to misrepresent and manipulate evidence, does not bode well for him or the reliability of any depressions he or you made casts of. However, if you think some are real, then you (or they) should do what any legitimate scientists does: rigorously document and publish the work.

    Amy continued,
    “Old Joe Taylor made a latex mold of a very human-like footprint that went down through the middle of an acrocanthosaur track – immediately after the limestone layer was peeled back on July 3rd 1997.

    If you are referring to the alleged print I think you are, then it’s very unimpressive. It was on a course, friable surface, not in a normal striding sequence, and lacked proper bottom contours. It was also evidently “excavated” by Carl Baugh, who widely kown not makjing exaggerated claims, and to engage in questionable excavation practices, including selective prying and gouging at ambiguous depressions (under the pretense of cleaning them) to encourage human like shapes and features. I and others have personally watched him do these things, and they are even visible in one of his early videos, entitled, “Enemies Survived Together for a While”.
    If the evidence was as you say, then why hasn’t it been properly published, even in the creationist press? Certainly you can’t claim creationist publishers are biased against the human track claims.

    Amy also write:
    I made the first cast of the track from that mold he made, and I put my foot down in that cast.

    I take that to mean you were not actually on the track site?

    ” The woman who made it must have been about a size 9 1/2, and shoot… my heel fit. My toes fit. I could feel where her toes slid down into the mud. I felt like I had just stepped back in time, my foot matching the print of another woman who had lived long ago.”

    These kinds of annecdotal reports and subjective appeals do not constitute proper scientific documenation. Without a rigorous journal article, we can’t even be sure what specific depression you are talkng about, what exactly it looked like, whether it was in a natural trail, etc. However, the few alleged print I’m aware of on the Baugh/McFall ledge that were inside or overlapping Acro tracks did not have proper bottom contours, and did not look very natural. Whether your foot more or less fits or feels good in one of them is not how tracks are scientifically or reliably assessed. Again, if you have convincing evidence of genuine human prints, then your or one of your associates should publish a rigorous report demonstrating it, with complete measurements for every marking, clear photos, and accurate site maps. That’s what credible scientists do. Indeed, it’s remarkable that while claiming to have found some of the most earth-shattering geologic finds of all time, the finders haven’t even bothered to take the important steps that competent scientists do even when documenting more mundane finds. .

    Amy continued, “Another print Joe molded the year prior, after uncovering it in front of a Japanese camera crew, I made casts of that one too. The human tracks were significantly, clearly more shallow than the dino tracks, and the dino track half a foot away showed no evidence of infill. Plus, there are other tracks in that trackway obviously made by the same human. Same strong second-digit impression. Human-like toe impression.”

    If they were so obvious, then again, where is the rigorous documentation?
    What matters is not whether some Japanese crew filmed these markings, or your anecdotal accounts, but whether they were properly excavated and published. I’ve done that with my Paluxy work, and explained why I found no convincing evidence of genuine human prints. I don’t think it’s too much to ask that you, Joe, or anyone else who disagrees to back up their claims in a similarly rigorous manner. .

    By the way, if you like I’d be happy to meet you (or anyone else reading this) on the sites the next time I am there (probably this summer), so we can view and discuss the evidence in person.

    As far as your criticism of my article about alleged dinosaurs in Job. You can make sarcastic comments like “Hippo penises, really?” if you like, but the Hebrew words in question (and the one for “stones” can in fact refer to animal genetalia, and from the context it is a plausible interpretation. In fact, some Bible commentators think it the most likely. And yes, the dimensions for the Hippo organ are as I reported, so that ancients being impressed with them is not so ridiculous.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Behemoth

    Note that I claimed that we can be sure what specific animals the verses in Job refer to, but that when all the words, context and evidence is taken into consideration, they fit modern creatures at least as well as dinosaurs. Most Bible scholars agree. YECs who insist otherwise often overlook or ignore most of the arguments and evidence for non-dinosaur interpretations. If you are not a creationist, I don’t know why you’d seem to so glibly dismiss then and appear to defend the YEC interpretion..

  • Glen says:

    I don’t understand the question about other species with dinosaur like feet. The Paluxy tracks were made during the lower Cretaceous, when many dinosaur species existed. Many mistaken for human tracks are metatarsal (heel-down) tracks with digits obscured by infilling, mud-collapse, and/or erosion (while others are carvings), as explained and illustrated on my Paluxy web site. And while it’s not relevant to the “man track” controversy, there were species with dinosaur like feet that existed past the Cretaceous – they’re called birds. In fact, today paleontologists regard birds as not only the descendents of dinosaurs, but actual dinosaurs themselves – a clad of feathered theropods to be more precise.

  • helena says:

    Dear Glen, next you will be telling me there are no fairies at the bottom of the garden!
    Thanks for the links – not yet followed up but there for another day.

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  • Glen says:

    Ryan,
    Have you carefully read the articles at my Paluxy site? http://paleo.cc/paluxy.htm Even the largest creationist group, AIG, acknowleges that there is no compelling evidence for human and dinosaur cohabitation. What they don’t tell you, and which is a huge problem for their position, is that there also is no fossil evidence of any other kind of large modern mammal (no horses, cows, deer, elephants, camels, etc etc) anywhere in the entire Paaleozoic and early Mesozoic, when there should be countless millions by YEC models. Please do more research, and you’ll find that the evidence is not nearly as equivocal as you believe, but is overwhelmingly in favor of conventional geology and paleontology. By the way, what are these supposedly out of place dinosaur fossils that you referred to? I’ve spent years investigating alleged reports of supposed “anomalies” touted by YECs, and not one has stood up to close scrutiny. Thanks.

  • republibot3 says:

    Here’s the problem as I see it: There’s basically three groups here. There’s scientists who insist on the scientific method being adhered to literally, and they’re absolutely right to do so. Then there’s believers (like me) who totally accept the scientific method and its conclusions, but we still believe in God, and recognize that the Bible and other scriptures are probably not intended to be taken 100% literally. Then there’s the third group who are horrified by both of the other groups: Scientists and Theistic Evolutionists alike.

    This third group insist on a literal interpretation of scripture, and hence have to reject science even when it doesn’t even remotely apply to theology. For instance, a school I attended insisted the sun was NOT nuclear, because to admit otherwise would mean it would exist for far too long to justify a 6000 year old universe. That’s crazy! The Paluxy river guy has extrapolated that the earth had an ice shell (“A crunchy candy coating” I call it) held up by air,a nd that the breakup of this caused the flood. A disturbing number of people believe this lunacy.

    But you know what? As hilariously ignorant as that is, it’s not really their fault. You can’t blame illiterates for their illiteracy if they never had the opportunity to learn. Likewise, the ignorance aren’t really responsible for their ignorance if there’s no one willing to show them a better way.

    I think the failing is mine – myself and people like me – who have basically failed to try and teach our fellow believers that God and Science are not mutually exclusive, and make them less fearful and reactionary. Honestly we should have been doing this for the last sixty years or so, but we didn’t. And still aren’t.

    It’s a shame.

    • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

      I agree with you. There is good patristic authority for not taking the Bible literally. St Augustine of Hippo pointed out that it made Christians appear foolish to non-Christians if they insisted on the literal truth of every statement in the Bible, such as Balaam’s talking ass, rather than understanding the allegorical meaning behind it.

      Your third group plays the No True Christian card against theistic science, a variety of the No True Scotsman fallacy. It is a fallacy, no matter how insistent they are on their own narrow interpretation of scripture and they need to be pulled up on this by your first two groups whenever they try to use it. The hardest part is getting them to see that your second group does not consist of “apostates” and that your first group is not entirely “atheist”: they really don’t like to have that pointed out and will retreat back into their No True Christian fallacy.

  • Glen says:

    Republicbot3, I agree with some of your comments, but can’t see how you can say literalists cannot be blamed for their errors, because they “never had the opportunity to learn,” or that “we” should have been doing more to educate them. Please speak for yourself. I and others have spent much of our lives researching and writing on these issues, and in my case, directly countering creationist claims. Moreover, there are literally thousands of books, websites, documentaries, classes, and other resources readily available to anyone who cares to learn about evolution and earth history, as well as specific creationist claims. Can more be done? Of course. But to imply that not much has been done or written to counter YECism is nonsense. In my view, those who do not avail themselves of these resources, and continue to spread misinformation in the name of God, whether well intentioned or not, are “willfully ignorant.”

  • Douglas Young says:

    Re: Evolution Issue & Evolution Deniers – Another illustration of Evolution Denial – Simple Mathematical Relationships on Graph Paper…. (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojQtfU5W_mE for others)

    Just as a small set of points on a sheet of graph paper can suggest a linear or curvilinear relationship is present sufficient that the spaces between the points can be inferred. Evolutionary Theory simply describes the relationship present on the graph paper from systematically observed known points and allows inference about the spaces between the measured points. Evolution deniers however, proclaim that if the first possible source point (start of all life) on the linear relationship on the graph paper cannot be shown then the relationship on the graph paper doesn’t exist. Then they deny the relationship exhibited by the points on the graph paper and proclaim there needs to be special intervening points (‘missing links’) measured between the points already on the graph paper for a relationship to be evidenced. When some of those intervening points are found for different graphs, then they even deny that there are or ever were points or graph paper in existence, or claim the points on the graph paper is a conspiracy, or scribble all over the graph paper and proudly stand back like a toddler proud of his first pooh in a toilet, and proclaim “see, that’s a relationship of the points on the graph too – so your relationship is false,… ngah ngah”. ‘Evolution deniers’ can be understood as typically (easily 98% plus) ignoring mountains of published evidence (reading), going to any of hundreds of encyclopedic museums (looking/observing), or speaking with well-formed logic based on evidence (thinking or reasoning), so of course, evidence is meaningless to them. It doesn’t even cross their minds that the evidence on display supporting Evolution in large university-affiliated museums alone, constitutes a small fraction of one percent of what the museum will have in storage that also supports Evolution. While Evolution deniers have a bad habit of personalizing the debate and attacking the character of those that see the clear relationship of measured data points, they usually do so as a technique of obscuring the evidence and diverting the debate to unrelated issues of character when they are threatened by the relationship that is so easily seen by many observers. They do this tactically yet fail to see what their conduct expresses about their character rather than their Evolution-embracing adversaries. Evolution deniers commonly rely on faith alone because to review the evidence is threatening or because Paul said in scripture to ignore those that speak of anything contrary to the Christian message he described, or both, so the best they can do is just defiantly pretend that data points and a relationship among them doesn’t exist. But we know it does.

  • Douglas Young says:

    Re: Evolution Theory & Evolution Deniers – Christians are almost pathological deniers of many things over their history. Why should Evolution be any different?

    Theory of Evolution deniers act a bit like holocaust deniers or those that deny there was ever more than a few Christians sent to the lions in ancient Rome. One Italian author won a presidential medal in Italy in the 1970′s for a book that rewrote history to deny persecution of Christians in ancient Rome. I have wondered how Christian Evolution deniers would respond to such a denial. Would they lock-up the author the way they locked up Galileo for the rest of his life because his theory and the evidence was uncomfortable? But that was just one of thousands of instances of Christian denials of facts they felt uncomfortable about that was clearly evidenced in the historical record ranging from disputed parentage by popes or the number of assassins employed by a pope (Julius had 1 full time by knife and 1 part time garroter) to the incredible number of mere traditions different Christian denominations falsely claim to have a scriptural basis (eg. King David ‘danced’ and Christ drank wine), to the justifications for tithing (such as the doozy of “either tithe or God will take it from the congregation in medical bills”), to the “I didn’t touch the choirboys” denial. It appears that Christians have a very developed habit of denying things that spans millennia and denomination that others see extremely clear evidence about. It should come as no surprise to anyone that Christians deny yet another well-evidenced idea, theory or fact such as Evolution. Denial is an automatic and well-honed Christian reflex when they are threatened. Although they would deny it, Christians haven’t had the same intensity of denial when it came to assertions that were not true. There is seemingly a clear positive correlation between the intensity of Christian denial and the truth of what they deny. Some of the better evidence supporting Evolution sadly is the history of rampant denials embodied in the Christianity of those that deny it.

  • Paul Baylis says:

    Bad archaeology? More like bad and dishonest reporting. You’ve chosen to show prints that probably ARE collapsed dinosaur prints. Show the prints where actual toes and the full foot structure is apparent.

    • Glen says:

      Paul, the only tracks with distinct toes are the handful of unnaturally shaped prints on loose slabs that have been acknowledged even by many creationists to be probably carvings. None of the alleged human tracks in the Paluxy show natural shapes with distinct toes. John Morris (author of Tracking Those Incredible Dinosaurs) admitted this years ago, which is why ICR stopped printing the book, and why Paul Taylor (involved in the filming of Footprints in Stone) pulled the movie from circulation. If there were good evidence of human tracks at Paluxy, why would they do this, and why would ICR, AIG and other creationist groups recommend that the tracks not be used as evidence against evolution? You can imagine if you like that I was biased in my work (even tho I first went to Paluxy as a creationist, and so any bias was FOR not against the human track claims), certainly ICR, AIG and other YEC groups would love for there to be real human tracks at Paluxy. If you still think we are all wrong, and there really are clear human tracks in the Paluxy, please present your evidence. I’d be careful before relying on material from the few YECs still promoting the claims, such as Carl Baugh or Don Patton, who have long histories of unfounded claims, and are considered disreputable unreliable even by most YEC leaders. I’m especially offended that you used the term “dishonest” in regards to my work, as I have taken great pains to carefully document and support everything I have written, based on years of first hand field research. How much field work have you done? Bottom line: if you have convincing evidence of any clear, natural tracks in the Paluxy, please present it. Otherwise, I think readers can see that I am not the one making unfounded claims.

    • Glen says:

      Paul, I take it from your comments that you think humans and non-Avian dinosaurs lived together (with all other life forms) only several thousand years ago. If so, why do we not find countless thousands of large modern mammal fossils in and before dinosaur fossils? Instead, find no one well established example– no
      pre-Cenozoic remains or footprints of any human, ape, dog, cat, cammel, bear, horse, elephant, titanothere, deer, bovine, sheep, manatee, seal, whale, dolphin, etc etc. YEC claims they were all living at the same time as dinosaurs and pre-dinosaur creatures, when Noah’s Flood occurred. And why are the fossils of each geologic period different from those before and after, in consistent order and evolutionary patterns throughout the world. None of the common YEC explanations (ecological zonation, hydrologic sorting, or differential escape) even begin to explain the major patterns, and in many cases, only make it worse. For example, any hydro sorting would tend to sort dinosaurs and large modern mammals such rhinos and elephants together. In terms of differential escape, YECs would have to believe that maple trees, watermelons, and sunflowers could outrun dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals. In terms of eco zonation, why do we not find in any Cambrian or lower Paleozoic strata even bottom dwelling modern boney fish, or modern crabs, and instead find trilobites and armored fish? I could go on, and this is not even touching radiometric dating, for which the “RATE” team had no plausible answer. They admitted that massive amounts of radio decay is recorded in the geologic record and suggests long ages, but instead of facing the implications of this, ended up concluding that God must have miraculously accelerated nuclear decay rates, then miraculously protected the earth and everything on it from the massive heat that would generate, without any logical explanation (let alone any scientific or Biblical evidence) for either. If one is going to invent arbitrary, extra-Biblical miracles whenever compelling scientific data cannot be explained, then “scientific creationism” is anything but scientific.

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