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Re: DINOSAUR digest 701

>Date: Wed, 15 Nov 1995 15:58:35 -0800
>From: paleo@ix.netcom.com (Glen J. Kuban )
>To: dinosaur@lepomis.psych.upenn.edu
>Subject: Other mantracks?
>Message-ID: <199511152358.PAA22681@ix13.ix.netcom.com>
>    I was confused by the message by Jerry D. Harris saying,
>"suffice to say that there are non-faked tracks that some creationists
>still purport are human tracks based on funky track morphology."
>    What does that mean, Jerry?  Are you implying that these are or may
>be genuine human tracks?

        No!  (Gee, was really that unclear?  Sorry!  8-)  )  What I meant
was, there are tracks that are genuine tracks, but are _dinosaur_ tracks
that some creationists still insist are human tracks.  The old "metatarsal
impressions of theropod tracks are humans wearing sandals" thing that you
and a few others have effectively discounted.  If I implied that any of the
human tracks are really human tracks, then I have committed a grave
disservice, and beg forgiveness!  8-)

>On what basis?  I have exhaustively
>researched every publicized Paluxy claim, and have found no convincing
>evidence of genuine human footprints, or anything close.  Moreover, as
>I mentioned before, even most creationists now acknowledge that the
>Paluxy does not provide good evidence of human tracks.  The FEW
>creationists who disagree (such as Carl Baugh) are generally considered
>disreputable even by other creationists, and with good reason (as
>explained in previous posts).  As to the term "non faked tracks,"
>yes--there are many non-faked tracks in the sense that they were not
>carved.  Some are erosional features (sometimes selectively highlighted
>with water to make them appear more humanlike); others are metatarsal
>dinosaur tracks.  What are you questioning? Are you suggesting some are
>legitimate human tracks?  If so, which ones, and where, and on what
>basis?  (I hope we can do better "funky track morphology").
>    Yes, Jerry, the human track claims are not limited to Glen Rose.
>But I have carefully looked into tracks in other areas also, and most
>are even less plausible than those in Glen Rose, which most
>creationists also acknowledge.  I know of not ONE case where a
>convincing or even probable human track occurs "out of place"--in rocks
>older than they should.  By saying that some  tracks are inexplicable
>to geologists, it sounds like you are lending credence to the idea that
>they are or might be human.

        Well, again, that wasn't my implication -- I myself am about as far
from a creationist (or even a religious person) as a human being can get,
almost to the point of being anti-religious!  ;-)  I in no way, shape, or
form believe in any of these "antideluvian" human footprints; I merely
pointed out the article to anyone interested in other instances outside the
Cretaceous where creationists have reported "human tracks."  The article
sites some peculiar things in Carboniferous rocks of Kentucky that do bear
a peculiar similarity to human footprints, except for extra toes and
misshapen proportions.  The article cannot provide a good example of what
may have created these remains, but humans, of course, are straight _out_!
My completed off-the-top-of-my-head guess might be some strangely shaped
sponges, but I haven't seen the "prints" to be sure...  Some of the other
ones in the article are petroglyphs, and others are simply erosional
features.  I reiterate that neither the article nor myself is purporting
that any of these things are of pre-Quaternary human tracks (except the one
instance of verified human tracks in a Pleisto-Holocene mud flow in
Nicaragua cited in the article).

>  In fact those tracks of unknown origin are
>either too indistint to identify confidently with any trackmaker, or
>else are uncertain only because there are a number of possible causes,
>not because they look convincingly human.  The J. of Geologic Education
>article you cite discusses tracks of uncertain origin.  Fine.  What is
>your point?

        Only to bring the article to the attentions of anyone interested in
the problems.  I've dealt with enough creationists citing "human
footprints" to have become mildly familiar with the available literature.
However, even most _creationists_ don't seem familiar with the purported
tracks outside the Texas Cretaceous, so I found this particular article
interesting for the greater breadth in dealing with the subject.  That's

>That unidentified tracks exist, or that they could be
>human?  If the latter, on what basis?  The last statement that
>purported human tracks go back as far as the Carboniferous is true,
>with "purported" being the key word.

        'Twould appear I have hit a sore spot of yours, Dr. Kuban, which
was never my intent, especially since I have found your own contributions
to the literature of dinosaur footprints so helpful in the past (I've got
two papers in press on dinosaur footprints as we speak!) Again, I am
neither a creationist (very much the opposite, in fact), and an atheist to
boot.  I obviously made several mistakes in not clarifying my position in
my previous posting; I hope I've elucidated myself here.  Can we be friends
now?  8-)

Jerry D. Harris                       (214) 768-2750
Shuler Museum of Paleontology         FAX:  (214) 768-2701
Southern Methodist University         jdharris@lust.isem.smu.edu
Box 750395                            (Compuserve:  73132,3372)
Dallas  TX  75275-0395

        ---------/O\------*     --->|:|:|>     w___/^^^\--o     =)-\

"And she looked like she had sex
With a _Tyrannosaurus rex_."

                 --  Marillion, "Cannibal Surfer Babe," _Afraid of Sunlight_

        ---------/O\------*     --->|:|:|>     w___/^^^\--o     =)-\