Footprints

“…and he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand”

This, of course, is taken from an overtly sappy (even by Christian standards) poem meant to inspire the faithful.

The footprints that are of more concern to voters in America, though, are footprints that are claimed to be seen by Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin and to fuel her belief that the world is only 6,000 years old. Footprints that purportedly show humans and dinosaurs walking side by side, perhaps going on a nice little stroll together, picnic basket in hand.

These footprints are near the Paluxy River outside of Glen Rose, Texas. If you do a Google search for it you’ll be hard pressed to find any site that isn’t run by a creationist yipping for joy claiming them as irrefutable proof in their theologically necessary young earth hypothesis.

If you go to the Paluxy River, you will see these prints. But are they what they appear to be? They “human” footprints fall into two categories:
1- Dinosaur tracks that resemble giant human tracks
2- Out right frauds carved by a local resident

The dinosaur tracks, once looked at closely (that is, without your head in a Bible) are tridactyl (three toed) footprints that had sediment washed into the toes. This is known as the Taylor site. Though the rough outline of the track do indeed look human, the actual contours and most definitely the stride of the track aren’t even close.

The second set of tracks, known as the Burdick Tracks, are more humanoid … slightly. Though human looking, they show grievous anatomical errors and signs of carving. Who carved them? A local man named George Adams and his son in the 1930’s. Why? Well, according to George’s granddaughter, Zana, “My dad and my grandfather decided one day — I don’t know if it was to make money, or what — to start carving man tracks alongside the dinosaur tracks.” And make money they did. They sold them for $15 to $30 apiece.

But, do you want to know what they real problem is? All this information is out there and is freely available. It took me no more than 5 minutes to find it. So, why is all this drivel still used by creationist groups? You would think that even they wouldn’t want to base their arguments on a (river) bed of lies. Or would they?

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