Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Laetoli Footprints and A Man in the Cretaceous?

Well, if you don't know already, AiG is purely deceptive. They are dishonest and manipulative, right down to the core. They have no interest in truth, other than distorting it to fit their world view. I recently came upon this, and note that I already posted a response in another thread:
"A good example of reworking is the famous fossil footprints at Laetoli, Africa, of an upright walking biped—the University of Chicago’s Dr Russell Tuttle has shown that these are the same sorts of prints as made by habitually barefoot humans. But since they are dated at millions of years prior to when evolutionists believe modern humans arrived, they are regarded as australopithecine prints, by definition, even though australopithecine foot bones are substantially different from human ones. And then in an amazing twist, the same prints are held up as evidence that australopithecines walked upright like humans—regardless of the fact that other aspects of their anatomy indicate otherwise.2"

From: http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/re2/chapter8.asp

My response:

"Our upright method of walking evolved before significant brain enlargement occurred. In north-eastern Tanzania, at Laetoli is the oldest evidence of a bipedal (upright walking) hominid. These human-like footprints are found with guinea fowl and other bird prints, antelope and gazelle, giraffe, elephant, rhinoceros, pig, hyena, baboon, carnivores, hares, and three-toed horse (Leakey and Hay,1979). Dated at 3.5 to 3.6 million years old, the prints are preserved in a volcanic ashbed.
This is 1.6 million years before the oldest known tool use by early hominids! Some trails are 50 metres long and are entirely human, with a well developed arch to the foot! This creature's big toe appeared quite long, resembling the mobile toe of the chimpanzee, but the absence of any hand marks showed that the creature walked upright. Its stride suggests that the larger individual stood at 140 centimeters and the smaller at 120 centimeters. Some foot bones of such a creature have been found in South Africa (Sterkfontein caves). This creature's had an ankle bone adapted for upright walking and is almost identical to the ankle bone of a modern human. The big toe angles away from the foot and the joints suggesting that it was highly mobile (Tobias, 1995). Scientists place these with Australopithecus (the "southern ape"), a hominid that lived in East and South Africa between 4.4 and 1.4 million years ago (" 1.4 to 4 lines ago ") (Avers, 1989). Sterkfontein would have been a steamy tropical jungle at the time the "Little Foot" entered Southern Africa."

Link: http://www.ecotao.com/holism/hu_austral.htm

Furthermore, Australopithecus Afarensis was estimated to be 3.28 to 5.58 feet tall. The footprints suggest that the two individuals in the Laetoli bed were about 3.8 feet and 5 feet.

I then began exchanging emails with someone who works at Answers in Genesis. I am going to abbreviate our conversation, but I will not add to it nor distort the meaning:

Me: "The flood cannot account for the fossil record"

AiG: "I disagree... The following links should help get you started with some pertinent articles:


I visit the link, and discover this:

"Human fossils have been found, hundreds of them, but
generally in deposits which most creationists would
think were post-Flood (e.g. buried in caves during the
post-Flood Ice Age—see What about the Ice Age?).
However, in at least one case, human bones have been
found in ‘older’ strata.11
Unfortunately, the lack of detailed documentation associated with their removal makes it impossible to say with certainty that they were not the result of subsequent intrusive burial, although nothing we know of suggests they were."

Go to the reference at the bottom (number 11). This refers to human skeletons found in cretaceous rock. Cretaceous rock? That shouldn't happen! Now reread the above paragraph. Are they suggesting that these finds invalidate evolutionary theory?? Human skeletons found in the "Age of Dinosaurs" rock. Looks like a major blow. Until TO had this to say about it:


I emailed AiG this link, and here is what the representative told me:
"One thing to realize about Talk Origins (TO) is that it is not a site with technical peer-reviewed material. Many of their technical articles have never been peer-reviewed and even contain extensive amounts of speculation. Because of this, one needs to be discerning when reading their articles to divide facts (2 Timothy 2:15) from personal opinions/interpretations. Use these same facts and interpret them with the biblical presupposition as opposed to evolutionary presuppositions."

Not a site with technical peer reviewed material. As if AiG is... And I'm sure you've all caught the hypocrisy in their statement of presupposition. I wonder just how much speculation went into TO's statement? Seemed like they were just stating the facts, which were unopen to "interpretation". I emailed Aig back about this.
AiG replied:
"I did some digging (pun intended!) and it appears the evidence of this example of human fossils in older strata is an example of intrusive burial. We had a small disclaimer in the referenced article that we could not substantiate the documentation for this dig, and it appears our suspicions played out."

So it seems to me that AiG is honest when confronted, but their articles seem to be misleading. I'm no scientist and I have already found 2 cases of this, I could possibly find more if I were to research everything they said. Read the sentence again:

"However, in at least one case, human bones have been
found in ‘older’ strata.11
Unfortunately, the lack of detailed documentation associated with their removal makes it impossible to say with certainty that they were not the result of subsequent intrusive burial, although nothing we know of suggests they were."

This is downright deceptive.

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