googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: Dinosaur Dance Floor

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Dinosaur Dance Floor

“In this undated photo released by the University of Utah, geologist Winston Seiler poses next a trackway, or set of prints made by the same dinosaur, as it walked through a wet, sandy oasis some 190 million years ago.”
Wow, 190 million year old footprints! That sounds impressive. When scientists first found these tracks in the Coyote Buttes North area straddling the Utah-Arizona border, they called the area a “dinosaur dance floor.” They believed they had found as many as 1,000 tracks of previously unidentified dinosaurs in this small, 1-acre site. They even found “tail-drag” marks in the rock. This was a truly incredible find.
But it was not to be. Other paleontologists were eager to see the site but when they got there, they couldn’t find a single track! So how do we go from 1,000 tracks to not a single track? From Time:

“"We went up there optimistic, really hoping we were going to find footprints," Milner said Friday. They quickly determined there were none. Instead, it was a dense collection of potholes caused by erosion in the sandstone, they said. And the supposed tail-drag marks in the rock? Probably another result of erosion, the paleontologists said.”

I can see why they were disappointed. The “footprints” and “tail-drag marks” were just potholes from water and erosion. Isn't it interesting how much of the earth’s topography is shaped by water and erosion? Hmmm.
The first moral of this story is to not believe everything you read. The pop-science media is quick to tout the latest “proof” of evolution only to have it retracted later. I understand they want headlines. They’re engaging in what I call the “Constanza Tactic.”
OK, on the one hand, I have to hand it to these guys for correcting the flawed “science” of the first group to explore the site. Science is supposed to be about being objective and going wherever the facts lead you. But on the other hand, come on! I mean, to mistake 1,000 potholes for dino-footprints is a little much! And the picture they painted was so real, a “dinosaur as it walked through a wet, sandy oasis some 190 million years ago.” Give me a break. So, they were wrong about the footprints. Could they be wrong about the 190 million years too? Nah! They’re already settled on that point.

And let me refresh your memories about a post I’d made while back (here). In a Mexico rock quarry, some modern human foot prints were discovered in the rock. When the rock was dated via a radioactive dating method called argon-argon, it was thought to have been around 1.3 million years old. It was a controversy to evolutionists because their theory states that modern man did not exist in Mexico 1.3 million years ago. Either the date is wrong or their theory is wrong. Well, they wouldn’t admit either was wrong. Instead, they looked at the footprints again and decided they were made by cows. (I still laugh every time I think about it!)

Now we see the opposite thing occurring. In the Arizona site, scientists mistook potholes for dinosaur footprints. The difference here is that they wanted to see dinosaur footprints. In the Mexico find, they didn’t want to see human footprints.

I’ve included both photos again here so they can be compared side by side. What do you think? In Arizona, scientists looked at potholes and saw dinosaur footprints. In Mexico, they looked at human footprints and saw cow footprints. It’s funny in a sad sort of way but these scientists are so blinded by their theory that they can’t see the evidence right in front of their eyes!

Look, I know that dino-footprints exist, but I also know that scientists have biases and they sometimes project their biases into their examination of the evidence. This first group wanted to see dino-footprints and so they saw dino-footprints. They see now they were wrong. The second group is convinced that dinosaurs lived millions of years ago. They’re wrong too; they just haven’t seen it yet.

Further reading:

1 comment:

The Palaeobabbler said...

In my search for trace fossil posts I'm finding some bizarre ones from you.

"The pop-science media is quick to tout the latest “proof” of evolution only to have it retracted later. I understand they want headlines."

What did this have to do with evolution? The media is supposed to report what scientists do, it is not some propaganda mill for evolution. Palaeontological finds do not always lead to discussing evolution and this seems like that sort of example. Trace fossils, particularly terrestrial ones, can be very difficult to identify and mistakes can easily be made.

I really have no idea how you connected this to evolution. Your complaints about the acceptance of the age of the Earth are pointless. That stands or falls without evolution and is considered fact in the geological community. In order to doubt it, some incredible evidence will be needed and none has ever been presented which calls it into question. I know you like to think there is, but there is not.