AIG on the Paluxy River Footprints

You have undoubtedly heard the old creationist canard that fossilized footprints of humans and dinosaurs show up together in the same rock stratum at the Paluxy River near in Glen Rose, Texas. That’s the home of Carl Baugh, a young earth creationist who founded the Creation Evidence Museum in 1964

The presence of human footprints among those of the dinos is well debunked at the TalkOrigins site (see The Texas Dinosaur/”Man Track” Controversy). The fraud is even mentioned in the Wikipedia article on the Paluxy River. It says: “The family of the original man, George Adams, who made the claims, later admitted it was a hoax.”

The man & dino footprint claim is so wretched that it’s even on the Answers in Genesis list of Arguments that should never be used. But they don’t condemn it entirely.

Let’s see the latest on this at Answers in Genesis (AIG), one of the major sources of young-earth creationist wisdom. AIG is the online creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia.

Here’s what we found in AIG’s News to Note, April 14, 2012 — “A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint.” It’s the fifth item at their news summary, titled “Paluxy River tracks in the Texas spotlight.” AIG is writing about the Paluxy River tracks because of this article in the Texas Observer of Austin, Texas, described by Wikipedia as “a muckraking biweekly political magazine.” The Observer‘s article is Tracking Creation in Glen Rose.

Because of that article, which is journalistically even-handed (they mention that all of Baugh’s degrees are fake), AIG had to comment. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

[T]he question remains, even though we know from the Bible that mankind and dinosaurs coexisted, did they walk together at Paluxy River? And should anyone’s acceptance of creation science and the biblical record of Genesis depend on the coexistence of human and dinosaur tracks?

You know how AIG will answer that question — good creationists don’t need that evidence. Here it comes:

Creation scientists from various organizations have investigated the Paluxy River fossils. Given the ambiguity of the evidence and the fact that much of what may have once been present is no longer available for study, we do not believe those claims of coexisting human and dinosaur prints are wholly supportable. Dr. John Morris in 1986 reported similar conclusions, deciding “it would now be improper for creationists to continue to use the Paluxy data as evidence against evolution” unless further research brings new facts to light.

Hey — we think they should teach the controversy! Let’s read on:

The Creation Evidence Museum in Glen Rose [Baugh’s operation] does agree with Answers in Genesis on the big picture — that the history in Genesis is absolutely trustworthy and that the earth’s geology does offer much in the way of evidence supporting those claims. And even though AiG and Baugh believe dinosaurs and humans have co-existed, Answers in Genesis director of research Dr. Andrew Snelling said [in the Texas Observer], “What Baugh presents there is sometimes speculative — provocative, for want of a better term. That doesn’t mean he shouldn’t have those things, but people should realize it’s not the mainstream of the creation movement.”

You didn’t know where was a “mainstream of the creation movement,” did you? We continue:

Many creationist geologists now believe that geological evidence supports the idea that the pre-Flood world had a variety of ecosystems. Therefore, although humans and dinosaurs did walk the earth at the same time, they likely did not spend a lot of time in the same places.

Ah, so that explains the lack of co-mingled fossils. But what of the lack of dino and human fossils in strata of the same age, located in different areas? They don’t discuss that. Here’s more:

We would not really expect to find pre-Flood human remains, because God told Noah He was going to destroy man along with the earth.

Huh? Did God destroy pre-Flood human fossils too? Moving along:

Post-Flood human fossils are found in the topmost layers of soil and rock that were laid down during the Ice Age. Those fossils belong to the descendants of Noah who dispersed from Babel (during the time of Genesis 11).

Lotta unanswered questions there, but AIG just skips along and hopes we won’t notice. Another excerpt:

On the other hand, do creationists need evidence like co-existing dinosaur and human tracks? … Both “sides” have the same observable data, the same facts. But all evidence about the past must be interpreted data. The millions-of-years dates assigned to Paluxy River’s trackway by evolutionists are based on calculations rooted in a set of unverifiable, untestable assumptions about the past. Likewise, evolutionists cannot even entertain the possibility that dinosaurs and humans coexisted and would never interpret even a clear fossilized human footprint — if any still remained — as proof to the contrary.

See? Creationists don’t need evidence, and besides — even if they had evidence, those infernal evolutionists wouldn’t believe it anyway. So why bother? Here’s the end of the article:

Many residents of Glen Rose believe, as do we, that the earth is only about 6,000 years old, as indicated in the Bible. They are therefore open to the possibility that the Paluxy tracks include human prints. Paluxy River may or may not have ever had the human tracks some say it did, but the site is an excellent place to ponder the importance of worldviews in the interpretation of observable facts.

That seems like a gentle way of saying that Carl Baugh may be a clown and a charlatan, but AIG shares the same beliefs, so even if Baugh’s evidence is junk, AIG won’t write him off entirely. However, he’s not “mainstream.”

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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11 responses to “AIG on the Paluxy River Footprints

  1. I have been there, where Baugh has a ‘museum’ right at the entrance to the Texas State Park where one can see many of the footprints. The ‘museum’ is a pretty lame exhibit. When I was there a school bus from a christian school was there and Baugh was delivering a lecture to them – disgusting piles of lies. For a series of blog posts on the footprints and current efforts to study them see Stan Rice’s blog posts. Here was the last of five such posts:

  2. vhutchison says: “I have been there”

    What on earth for?

  3. Every time I read the sheer stupidity that rolls out of AiG or ICR . .I feel the need for an emetic and a shower.

  4. Ceteris Paribus

    (with apologies to Stephen Foster)

    Way down upon the Paluxey River
    Far, far, away (two-three-four)

    That’s where you will find a creationist fibber
    And that’s what we post today.

  5. Here’s a picture of a footprint in Eocene sandstone in southwest Texas. Not only were humans running around way back then, they were wearing Teva’s!
    Nueces "footprint"

  6. This is so braindead! Their only explanation to why are there no human fossils found alongside dinosaur fossils blatantly ignores the fact that if the Flood actually occurred, all of the fossils would have been destroyed, not just human fossils. Geez… Just how idioctically stupid can AIG get?

  7. The convoluted explanation dreamed up by AiG to explain the lack of human and dinosaur fossils in the same strata is amazing. It seems to have changed, or maybe I haven’t been following closely, but I recall AiG explaining that fossils were sorted based on how quickly a creature (including plants?) could escape the rising waters. Now they refer to creatures living in varied ecological habitats, which I suppose comprise the fossil creatures found in each layer of the geological column. That is at least an acknowledgement of the geological column. However, discreet ecosystems for each layer, would mean that low-elevation habitats had no land vertebrates but had some plants and insects, higher level habitats had amphibians, yet higher elevations had reptiles of various sorts, etc., and these habitats were flooded in succession as waters rose. Weirdly, marine habitats would have to be likewise ordered, and correlated to the land habitats, and of course there are ancient beaches and swamps at all elevations. It’s AiG’s own version of Bizarro World.

  8. SC: Why was I there? Answer: “It pays to know thine enemy.” Actually, I went to photograph the footprints in the state park and to visit the nearby Fossil Rim Animal Park.

  9. However, discreet ecosystems for each layer, would mean that low-elevation habitats had no land vertebrates but had some plants and insects, higher level habitats had amphibians, yet higher elevations had reptiles of various sorts, etc., and these habitats were flooded in succession as waters rose.

    I just realized this just now: I know for a fact Hovind teaches this, and am not sure if AIG does (though I know of a few other creationists that do as well so it wouldn’t surprise me if Ham has said it), but I’ve heard it said many times by creationists that the surface of the Earth was smooth before the flood. They claim that a passage in Psalms (by their interpretation) says that god raised the mountains and lowered the seas during the flood event. That is why the available water on Earth could have covered every inch of land: since there were not mountains, less water could cover (kill) everything. Then god raised the mountains and lowered the seas as the flood was coming to an end in order to accommodate all the flood-water.

  10. Great post. I was taught the Paluxy tracks story as fact in my Creationist school, and that was in 1999. I’ve checked and the material is still in use in Accelerated Christian Education. I’m going to be blogging about this soon and I’ll mention this article.