Those Alleged Human Footprints Mixed with Dinosaur Tracks in Paluxy, TX

I came across this well written essay today on the Paluxy River foot prints. For those who’ve never heard of them, the site purportedly shows evidence (via co-mingled foot prints and dinosaur tracks) that humans and dinosaurs lived at the same time. Consequently, it has achieved near canonical status with young earth creationists. The essay linked above is written by a young earth creationist — John D. Morris, son of Henry Morris — for the ICR website (Institute of Creation Research). It’s honest — and so it’s valuable. As Morris points out, the notion of human foot prints among dinosaur tracks is highly dubious and, basically, wrong. As I’ve said many times before (and I believe in a Creator and creation), doing bad science or falsifying data are unethical or unfortunate “strategies” in a creation apologetic. Morris is to be applauded for his honesty and research here. Here’s an excerpt:

Due to an unknown cause, certain of the prints once labeled human are taking on a completely different character. The prints in the trail which I have called the “Taylor Trail,” consisting of numerous readily visible elongated impressions in a left-right sequence, have changed into what appear to be tridactyl (three-toed) prints, evidently of some unidentified dinosaur. The changes in the impressions themselves are mostly confined to lengthening in the downriver direction. The most significant change, however, is that surrounding the toe area. In almost each of the prints in the trail, three large “toes” have appeared, similar to nearby dinosaur tracks. These toes, typically, are coloration phenomena only, with no impressions, in most cases. Frequently the “mud push up” surrounding the original elongated track is crossed by this red coloration. The shape of the entire track, including both impression and coloration, is unlike any known dinosaur print.

Morris discusses all four trails known from the river bed that are part of this controversy. He writes toward the end:

In view of these developments, none of the four trails at the Taylor site can today be regarded as unquestionably of human origin. The Taylor Trail appears, obviously, dinosaurian, as do two prints thought to be in the Turnage Trail. The Giant Trail has what appears to be dinosaur prints leading toward it, and some of the Ryals tracks seem to be developing claw features, also.

For a peer-reviewed study of erosion and dinosaur tracks (just an example of what Morris is talking about), click here.

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