My Photo
Location: Para, Brazil

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Physical Evidence of the Coexistence of Dinosaurs and Humans Part ll

This item is available on the Apologetics Press Web site at: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3661 - it was originally published in Reason & Revelation, 28[4]:25-31

AP Content :: Reason & Revelation

Physical Evidence for the Coexistence of Dinosaurs and Humans [Part II]
by Kyle Butt, M.A.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Part I of this two-part series appeared in the March issue. Part II follows below, and continues, without introductory comments, where the first article ended.]

The small, obscure town of Acambaro in the state of Guanajuato in Mexico houses one of the most unique antiquities collections in the world. In 1945, a German hardware merchant named Waldemar Julsrud happened across a half-buried clay figurine at the bottom of a mountain known as el Toro (the Bull). Julsrud was no stranger to artifacts of ancient civilizations. He owned one of the most valuable and extensive collections of Chupicuaro pottery in existence. Charles Hapgood noted: “Mr. Julsrud possesses at the present time one of the best collections of this pottery (Tarascan—KB) in existence, comprising several hundred pieces” (1955, 2:1). [NOTE: At the time, the pottery was believed to be Tarascan, but was later assigned to the pre-classical Chupicuaro culture (800 B.C. to A.D. 200) (see Swift, n.d.[a]).] But the newly discovered ceramic figurines did not match any ancient civilization with which Julsrud was familiar.

The ceramic figurines intrigued Julsrud and he wanted to know if more were buried nearby. He made an arrangement with one of his employees, Odilon Tinajero, to dig in the area in an attempt to find more pieces. Julsrud agreed to pay Tinajero one peso for every figurine that was complete, or could be easily put back together. In all, Julsrud eventually collected over 33,500 figurines. The sheer number of figurines was enough to turn heads, but the fact that many of the figurines depicted reptiles that closely resembled dinosaurs in direct contact and interaction with human figures was even more startling to the scientific community. Furthermore, the apparent antiquity of the find predated modern dinosaur fossil discoveries by hundreds of years, so any accurate information regarding dinosaur anatomy would have necessarily been from the ancient civilization’s interaction with the creatures.

Reports about the amazing find began to surface. Julsrud wrote a booklet titled Enigmas del Pasado, in which he gave specific details regarding the collection. After its publication, reporters began to contact him. Lowell Harmer, writer for the Los Angeles Times, visited Julsrud in Acambaro and wrote an article in the March 25, 1951 Times. He titled the article: “Mexico Finds Give Hint of Lost World: Dinosaur Statues Point to Men Who Lived in Age of Reptiles.” Harmer mentioned the huge number of statues that had been found, saying that they “filled the floors, the tables, and the wall cabinets to overflowing” in Julsrud’s house (1951, p. B1). Harmer further discussed the intricacy with which many of the figurines were crafted: “Most of the pottery pieces are elaborate masterpieces. Days of careful talent work went into many of the larger ceramics. How could it be a hoax? Not even in Mexico, where money is so scarce, could anyone afford the labor of these thousands of statues at the low prices Julsrud is paying” (1951, p. B1). Harmer seemed fairly convinced of the collection’s authenticity, but concluded his article by saying, “I am a writer, not an archaeologist. It will be up to the experts to decide.”

A few months later, in 1952, William N. Russell made a trip to Acambaro and wrote about the amazing figurines. His article, “Did Man Tame the Dinosaur?” appeared in the February/March 1952 issue of Fate magazine. In that article, Russell mentioned that Julsrud had collected 26,000 pieces, which filled the rooms of Julsrud’s house. Russell said that “[t]here were thousands upon thousands of the weird objects” (1952, 5[2]:23). From his observations he concluded that there were no duplicate pieces. “Each is either hand-molded, hand-carved or both,” he said (5[2]:25). Russell stayed several days to interview Julsrud. He concluded with these words: “We cannot expect hurried pronouncements of authenticity. But, in my opinion, nothing should becloud the evidence that Julsrud’s objects are very old” (5[2]:27).

The reports about the authenticity of the find would not go unchallenged. After all, if the collection was what it appeared to be, then the entire evolutionary scenario of human and dinosaur history would need to be rewritten to account for the accurate knowledge of dinosaur anatomy possessed by the ancient crafters of the Julsrud collection. Charles DiPeso, an archaeologist associated with the Amerind Foundation, made a trip to Acambaro in an attempt to determine the authenticity of the collection. Several sample sherds of the collections had been sent to the Amerind Foundation for testing. Those at the Foundation did extensive chemical testing on the sherds. DiPeso wrote:

Chemical tests were made of the soils composing the figurines. Sherds were crushed and the contents were inspected for any inclusions that might give a clue as to the date of manufacture. Laboratory tests proved nothing. It was therefore decided that a representative should be sent into the field to witness the actual excavation of the figurines (1953, 18[4]:388).

It is interesting to note that the Amerind Foundation could not conclude that the sherds were recent fabrications from the chemical tests they performed.

DiPeso was chosen as the representative for the trip. DiPeso’s biased attitude against the authenticity of the collection was evident from the beginning:

The Amerind Foundation, Inc., was prevailed upon to make an investigation of the materials. To imply falsification merely on the strength of the life-forms represented was not sufficient, for there was always the bare possibility that the figurines were chance similarities to Mesozoic forms as defined by modern scientists in the last two hundred years. It was within the realm of chance that they were the work of some imaginative prehistoric artist who may have taken his inspiration from the smaller reptiles still in existence today (1953, 18[4]:388, emp. added).

Notice the implications of DiPeso’s statements. First, he approached the find with the idea that its authenticity was only a bare possibility. Then, he did not even consider the possibility that the ancient artist might have actually seen dinosaurs. He only admitted the chance that the ancient artist might have copied small, living reptiles and elaborated upon them. What would you expect someone with this kind of bias to conclude when he witnessed pieces in the collections that looked like known kinds of dinosaurs? His bias would force him to deny the collection’s authenticity.

It was no surprise, then, when DiPeso issued his report stating that the collection was a fraud. He gave several reasons that allegedly supported this conclusion. He wrote:

Further, none of the specimens were marred by patination nor did they possess the surface coating of soluble salts.... The figures were broken, in most cases, where the appendages attached themselves to the body of the figurines.... No parts were missing. Furthermore, none of the broken surfaces were worn smooth. In the entire collection of 32,000 specimens no shovel, mattock, or pick marks were noted (1953, 18[4]:388).

DiPeso also stated: “Further investigation revealed that a family living in the vicinity of Acambaro make these figurines during the winter months when their fields lie idle” (1953, 18[4]:388). DiPeso further claimed that the hole from which he watched figurines being excavated showed signs of recent digging prior to the excavation and signs of figurine “planting.” He concluded: “Thus the investigation ended: it seems almost superfluous to state that the Acambaro figurines are not prehistoric nor were they made by a prehistoric race who lived in association with Mesozoic reptiles” (18[4]:389).

Several suspicious aspects of DiPeso’s trip troubled those who wanted honest answers about the figurines. First, DiPeso spent little more than two days for his entire investigation. He only watched a tiny fraction of the figures be excavated. Second, he claimed to have inspected the entire collection of over 32,000 pieces, but he was only in Julsrud’s house for about four hours. Furthermore, he did not take time to learn the method used by the excavators. Nor did he attempt to locate an undisturbed site to excavate. His conclusions had every sign of a trumped-up, predetermined expedition designed to refute the collection from the start. It is ironic that DiPeso’s “research” is used most often to refute the authenticity of the collection, yet every one of his points was satisfactorily answered soon after his report.

News about the collection and DiPeso’s expedition reached a man named Charles Hapgood, who was commissioned to investigate the find at length. Hapgood, professor of anthropology at the University of New Hampshire, was well-qualified to do such an investigation. He had studied handcrafts at length. In the 1940s, Hapgood began a nationwide promotion of handcrafts. Eventually, he presented information to President Roosevelt concerning handcraft protection. The President appointed a commission to prepare legislation concerning handcraft protection, of which Hapgood became the executive secretary (Hapgood, 1955, 2:1). Earl Stanley Gardner, author of the famous Perry Mason series, commented about Hapgood:

Now, Professor Hapgood is an interesting individual. He is essentially fair-minded, well-balanced, and not given to hasty decisions.... Professor Hapgood had started out studying history; then he had specialized in history as it affected primitive man. He became an omnivorous student and an outstanding authority in his field. His name carried great weight. Today he is an authority on ancient civilizations (Gardner, 1969, p. 13).

Hapgood had the credentials to inspect the Julsrud collection.

Hapgood’s initial report was published in December 1955, now a very rare document that is extremely difficult to find. In it, he stated the reason for his investigation. Referring to DiPeso’s expedition, Hapgood said: “The previous investigations, extremely limited in character (one lasted half a day and the other two days) have failed to prove anything. Their evidence is purely negative and entirely inconclusive” (1955, p. 3). In the report, Hapgood addressed each of DiPeso’s contentions.

No Missing Pieces?
DiPeso stated: “The figures were broken, in most cases, where the appendages attached themselves to the body of the figurines.... No parts were missing.” In response to the breaking of the pieces at their appendages, Hapgood noted: “But what would be more natural than for pieces to break at their weakest points?” (1955, 5:7). Furthermore, concerning the missing parts, he said: “As for missing parts, I have personally inspected a number of large boxes which are completely filled with parts of figurines that could not be put together because parts were found missing” (1955, 5:7). Hapgood’s testimony coincides with that of other observers of the collection. William Russell said: “Julsrud showed me several figurines.... And there were many hundreds of broken pieces stacked in boxes” (1952, 5[2]:25, emp. added). Lowell Harmer, in his article in the Los Angeles Times, recounted his trip to Julsrud’s house, in which he saw “a few wooden boxes of unreassembled parts of dinosaur pottery resting here and there on benches” (1951, emp. added). Harmer further told of how he and Julsrud visited the digging area, where “[h]undreds of broken pieces of dinosaur statues were still scattered among the rocks and the magueys” (1951, emp. added). Concerning broken and “missing” pieces of figurines, Erle Stanley Gardner, recounting his trip to el Toro mountain in Acambaro during the late 1960s, wrote: “Now here I was in for the surprise of my life because, as we spread out along the cut bank of the road, it became apparent that the soil was literally filled with broken pieces of pottery, obsidian knives, and here and there a part of a figure” (1969, p. 232, emp. added).

No Digging Marks on Figurines?
Furthermore, DiPeso stated: “In the entire collection of 32,000 specimens no shovel, mattock, or pick marks were noted” (1953, 18[4]:388). In response, Hapgood stated: “As nearly as I can learn, Mr. DiPeso spent not more than four hours in his inspection of this collection. I have examined it many hours daily for several weeks, and I cannot claim to have examined more than a small fraction of the objects. Yet I have seen innumerable breaks that could have been made by shovel or pick” (1955, 5:7, emp. added). Concerning DiPeso’s claim, John Tierney wrote: “Amid a host of outrageously false or erroneous observations he made was the claim to have precisely examined every one of the then 32,000 artifacts to determine whether there were shovel marks, a feat which would have required inspection of 133 artifacts per minute steadily for four hours” (1994b, 1[4]:56). When Don Patton and Dennis Swift made a trip to Acambaro, they recounted how they were allowed to see several of the figurines. Swift wrote: “Working at a fast pace, in a six hour period, a little more than eight hundred of the ceramic figurines were unwrapped” (Swift, n.d.[a]). In regard to DiPeso’s claim, Swift correctly noted: “In reality, it would take several days to unpack the massive jumble of intact, broken, and repaired pieces from the boxes. Once the boxed pieces were disentangled and set up with those already on display in the mansion, it would take many more days to even give a cursory examination” (n.d.[a]). DiPeso simply could not have given the collection anything like a close examination in the time he spent.

No Patina or Encrusted Dirt?
Another piece of “evidence” that DiPeso’s used to refute the find’s authenticity was that the pieces did not have dirt or patina encrusting them. He said: “Further, none of the specimens were marred by patination nor did they possess the surface coating of soluble salts...” (1953, 18[4]:388). Concerning this allegation, Hapgood responded: “I cannot understand why Mr. DiPeso did not find dirt in the crevices of the Julsrud figurines. I found very many figurines, which, despite their washing, still showed such dirt, and in the case of the musical instruments a majority could not be played because their interiors were choked with dirt” (1955, 5:6, emp. added). Swift and Patton commented: “In the process of handling several hundred pieces of the Julsrud collection, the authors have observed pieces that still have dirt embedded in the crevices as well as some patina on the surface” (Swift, n.d.[a]). This is, indeed, remarkable, since Julsrud paid one peso for every complete piece that was washed and cleaned. He did not know that removing patina and encrusted dirt from the figurines would cast doubt on their authenticity. Yet, for all the washing and cleaning that was done, dirt and patina were still evident.

Disturbed Excavation Area?
DiPeso’s main argument was that the site, from which the figurines he saw were excavated, looked as if it had already been disturbed. Hapgood countered with an explanation of the excavation procedure. He wrote: “An important point that came out was that when the digger stopped work in the middle of excavating a cache, he filled in the hole, to protect it from the many small boys of the neighborhood. This may have a bearing on the accusations of fraud...” (1955, 1:6). Not satisfied, however, to rely solely on this explanation, Hapgood determined to find an undisturbed area to see for himself. Concerning his activities on June 22, 1955, Hapgood wrote:

The next day we obtained permission to dig inside one of the houses erected on the site. This was owned by Acambaro’s Chief of Police, Juan Mandujano. Since the general site had been so thoroughly searched by the digger over a period of about eight years, it seemed that the best possibility of finding a cache of figurines would be under one of the houses. ‘Planting’ of figurines in that case would also be difficult, if not impossible. So far as I could find out, the house was built about 25 years ago (1930—KB). I found every part of the floor of the house smooth, and extremely hard. The diggers worked through the floor with picks, and I saw the hard layer was about eight inches thick. Under this was a somewhat softer layer of earth, which overlay the original sloping surface of the ground. The original surface was easily discernible in the stratification and was complete. There appeared to be no doubt that the original surface had not been disturbed since the fill was piled on it to level the floor when the house was built.... Below the original sloping surface were found many fragments of pots, and many fragments of figurines. All the figurine fragments were clearly typical of the Julsrud collection (1955, 1:2-3).

Hapgood, however, was not the only person who had successfully located the figurines at sites that were verified to be undisturbed. John Tierney noted:

In one of the most remarkable episodes in all archaeological history, an official team of four Mexican archaeologists, headed by Dr. Eduardo Noguera, Director of Prehispanic Monuments of the Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia, supervised a dig at the Julsrud site in 1954. It admitted (contrary to the claims of DiPeso and Peterson) that the excavations were scientifically valid.... (1994b, 1[4]:54).

Concerning this expedition, Hapgood noted:

It seems to me significant that although other good observers have witnessed excavations, no one else has reported fraud. Among previous qualified witnesses were Dr. Raymond C. Barber, of the Los Angeles County Museum, and Dr. Eduardo Noguera. The former, to be sure is a minerologist [sic], although he is interested in archaeology, but Dr. Noguera is the director of Pre-hispanic monuments in Mexico. Dr. Noguera saw objects excavated and found no evidence of fraud in the burial; his subsequent conclusion that there must have been fraud was based entirely on his inability to explain the reptile forms” (1955, 5:9).

[NOTE: Charles Hapgood mentioned that he found real teeth among the Julsrud collection. He stated: “I later took these teeth to Dr. George Gaylord Simpson, America’s leading paleontologist, at the Museum of Natural History. He identified them as the teeth of equus conversidans owen, an extinct horse of the ice age” (2000, p. 82). The idea of extinct animals, such as dinosaurs, being depicted in the collections cannot be used to dismiss the collections.]

Even if DiPeso did detect fraud, although it is very doubtful, it would not account for the other excavations that were verified to be authentic by other experts. Furthermore, DiPeso found only about 50 figurines and pieces of pottery during his excavation. How could he discount the entire collection based on a cache of pieces that composed .15% (less than two tenths of one percent) of the collection?

A Fabricating Family?
Finally, DiPeso stated: “Further investigation revealed that a family living in the vicinity of Acambaro make these figurines during the winter months when their fields lie idle” (1953, 18[4]:388). Several aspects of the collection prove this statement to be false.

First, Julsrud paid the diggers one peso for every complete, cleaned piece he received. Yet, statements from Russell, Gardner, and Harmer verify that several thousand pieces were broken that Julsrud did not buy. Along these lines, Hapgood wrote:

A significant point to me was that during our excavations the little boys (of whom there were sometimes as many as 17 clustered around us) would keep coming to us with fragments they had found at one time or another on the surface of the ground of the general site, and we would constantly be finding them ourselves. Inasmuch as it hardly seemed likely that anyone would make false figurines, age them, break them, and scatter them on the site to deceive us, I thought that these should be preserved as part of the evidence. These pieces are all typical of the Julsrud collection, encrusted with dirt, many with rootlets or rootlet marks on them, and of two kinds of clay, black and red (1955, 1:4, emp. added).

Second, many of the pieces were very intricate and would have taken an incredibly long time to make. Others were very large, some reaching lengths of five feet. Yet, Julsrud paid one peso for each piece, regardless of its intricacy or size. In describing a set of musical instruments found in the collection, Hapgood commented:

On more careful examination, a group of about sixty musical instruments in the Julsrud collection turned out to be most remarkable. No two were identical in shape. Many of them could still be blown, and had pure and beautiful tones. It was evident that there was a musical scale, the range from highest to lowest notes being very considerable, and the intervals of comparable value. Some instruments had several notes, one as many as eight (1955, 6:6).

Making a working musical instrument with eight notes would take much more time than sculpting a crude figure of a reptile. Why would a person take the time to add such detail when he only received a peso for each piece, regardless of its design?

Third, the size of the collection would have made it extremely difficult for one family to have perpetrated such a fraud. Alex Pezzati concluded that the collection was not authentic, but nevertheless stated: “The sheer number of figurines seemed to make the possibility of faking them remote, unless an entire crew of villagers was involved. Also, if the aim was to hoodwink foreigners into buying fakes, one would expect the artifacts to resemble known types. Why fake such outlandish figures?” (2005, 47[3]:6-7). Erle Stanley Gardner assessed the situation as follows: “I don’t believe that it would have been at all possible for any group of people to have made these figures, to have paid for the burro-load of wood necessary to ‘fire’ them, take them out and bury them, wait for the ground to resume its natural hardness which would take from one to ten years, and then ‘discover’ these figures and dig them up—all for a gross price of twelve cents per figure” (1969, p. 222). William Russell noted: “Julsrud’s collection, if faked, would take literally centuries to produce unless hundreds of men and great amounts of money were involved” (1952, 5[2]:26). The amount of clay, wood required to bake the figurines, and hours needed to produce such a vast collection, simply could not have gone undetected. Nor would it have been a profitable venture at one peso per figurine. [NOTE: Julsrud did not make a habit of selling the figurines. Only a few times did he ever sell any of them. No one involved in the discussion has ever accused Julsrud of making the figurines or of selling them to make a profit. He merely collected and stored them, and would thus have no financial motivation to manufacture them himself or have them manufactured for monetary gain.]

Additionally, DiPeso claimed that the family of forgerers lived in the environs of Acambaro, but extensive investigation revealed that such simply could not be verified. Hapgood noted:

The story of this ceramic family has been investigated, first by the municipal authorities, then by the Chamber of Commerce, then by Professor Ramon Rivera.... Both official bodies issued statements that no such family is known in Acambaro or the environs.... No trace of such a family was found by any of these people (1955, 5:9).

Dennis Swift wrote:

Francisco Aguitar Sanchaz, Superintendent of the National Irrigation Plant of Solis said, “That on the basis of four years intimate knowledge of the inhabitants of the entire area and of archaeological activity there, he could positively deny that there was any such ceramic production in the vicinity.” The Municipal President of Acambaro, Juan Terrazaz Carranza, issued on July 23, 1952, an official statement No.1109 refuting Dipeso’s [sic] allegation. “This Presidency under my direction ordered that an investigation be carried out in this matter, and has arrived at the conclusion that in this municipal area there does not exist any persons who makes these kinds of objects” (Swift, n.d.[a]).

DiPeso’s allegation did not go uninvestigated, and the evidence suggesting that a family was responsible for forging the collections simply did not hold up. As Hapgood correctly summarized:

It is clear that the scope of this alleged fraud is many times greater than that of any fraud ever perpetrated in the past. It would require an exceedingly great range of knowledge of Indian culture, and a not inconsiderable knowledge of paleontology. It would require also an inexhaustible power of imagination (for the objects are not imitations of known models) and an uncommon skill at sculpture (1955, 5:3).

No family in the area was ever discovered that possessed this kind of skill or knowledge.

The Clincher
Perhaps the most powerful piece of evidence confirming the authenticity of the Julsrud collection is the knowledge of dinosaur anatomy present in the figurines, specifically one aspect of saurian anatomy that was unknown until the 1990s. Prior to the early 1990s, sauropod dinosaurs were constructed with smooth backs. The huge plant-eating dinosaurs such as Diplodicus, Argentinasaurus, and Brachiosaurus were believed to have no spikes on their backs, and were drawn without them in journals, books, magazines, etc. Yet, in a 1992 article, Stephen Czerkas wrote:

Recent discovery of fossilized sauropod (diplodocid) skin impressions reveals a significantly different appearance for these dinosaurs. The fossilized skin demonstrates that a median row of [dermal] spines was present.... Some are quite narrow, and others are broader and more conical (1992, 20:1068, emp. added).

In 1992, it was discovered that sauropods did have spines or spikes. The Julsrud collection was discovered between 1945-1953, over 40 years prior to Czerkas’ discovery. If a person attempted to fake the figurines, he would not have put spines on the backs of sauropod dinosaurs. Yet, even a cursory inspection of photographs from the Julsrud collection shows that the sauropod dinosaurs in the collection have spines. Pictures in Gardner’s book show spiked sauropods in the collection, and his book was published in 1969, 23 years before the Czerkas’ discovery (Gardner, 1969, pp. 9-11). Furthermore, the spikes on the sauropod figurines match the description of those found from recent skin impressions. Ellen Morris Bishop wrote: “The biggest spines found were about 9 inches long, shaped a little like a shark’s dorsal fin. The smallest, at tail-tip, were about 3 inches high” (1993). The logical explanation as to how the Julsrud figurines possess accurate dinosaur anatomy unknown until 1992, is simply that the ancient artists who produced the figurines saw the dinosaurs and interacted with them in ways congruent with the figurine depictions.

Concerning the Julsrud collection, John Tierney correctly noted: “Nevertheless, the collection is a reality which threatens the orthodox concepts and time scales in many fields of study. It is no wonder there has been such determined opposition by dogma-bound academics” (1994a, 1[4]:16). When all the evidence is critically assessed, the Julsrud collection provides powerful evidence of the co-existence of humans and dinosaurs.

Eugenia Cabrera is currently the Director of the Ica Stone Museum located in Ica, Peru. Her father, Dr. Javier Cabrera, starting in the 1930s, collected most of the 11,000 Ica stones that fill the museum she directs. The stones are controversial, to say the least. Depicted on the stones are what appear to be relics of an ancient Indian culture that predated the Incas. Many of the carved stones exhibit mundane scenes that would be expected in any ancient culture. But some of the carvings portray humans in close contact with dinosaurs. Scenes of men hunting dinosaurs, riding dinosaurs, and leading them by ropes around their necks present a glaring problem for the evolutionary scenario that humans and dinosaurs were separated by millions of years.

Because of the dinosaur carvings on the stone, the evolutionary scientific community has labeled the entire collection a fraud. Of course, that is exactly what would be expected, since the authentication of the stones would effectively annihilate decades of evolutionary propaganda as it relates to dinosaurs. Gainsayers of the stones present several lines of evidence that they believe debunk the stones. They say the carving on stones cannot be dated accurately because, while the stones could be dated using standard geological dating methods (which, as noted below, are based on several unprovable assumptions, see DeYoung, 2005), the carvings on the stones cannot be dated. Those who reject the authenticity of the stones also point to stones that have been faked and use them to discount the entire collection. Are the Ica stones frauds, or are they an amazing archaeological discovery that adds considerable evidence to the idea that humans lived with dinosaurs? A brief look at the salient points in the discussion reveals that the Ica stones are, in fact, authentic evidence for the coexistence of dinosaurs and humans.

Objections Considered
Those who discount the stones have raised some serious objections to their authenticity. Each of those objections can be answered sufficiently to show that they do not militate against the genuineness of the stones.

“The Carvings Cannot Be Dated Using Standard Geological Dating Methods”
While it is true that the carvings cannot be dated using standard geological dating methods, this fact does not disprove the stones’ authenticity for several reasons. First, the standard geological dating methods are fraught with error. They often render results that are known to be incorrect by millions or billions of years (DeYoung, 2005). Furthermore, this line of reasoning would force archaeologists to reject all ancient carvings on any type of stone. Obviously, this is not how the study of ancient artifacts proceeds, so other considerations must be factored into the dating of any ancient carving. Other questions must also be considered: Where was the carving found? Does it exhibit knowledge of a culture or fauna that would be difficult for modern carvings to obtain? Does the carving show the wear of many years? Is there patina or other natural build-up in the grooves of the carving? Etc.

“Some Stones Are Fakes”
It is true that some of the Ica stones are fakes. Does this fact, however, force an honest investigator of the stones to reject the entire collection? No, it does not, for at least two reasons. First, if a stone is identified as a fake, there must be a way to prove it is fake. It must have fresh cut lines, no signs of patina, no carved information that would be impossible for a person in modern times to obtain. If these same tests are applied to other stones, and those stones show signs of ancient wear, grooves that are not freshly hewn, and knowledge unavailable to modern carvers, then the authentic could be distinguished from the fake. Second, in other areas of life, it would not be acceptable to toss out legitimate articles based on the existence of fakes. If someone discovers a fake Rembrandt, should all Rembrandts be dismissed as frauds? Certainly not. Third, the fact that some stones are fakes could suggest that original, authentic stones exist as the models for the fakes. Fourth, if finding a forged stone would disprove the entire collection, what would stop a militant atheistic evolutionist from simply faking a stone or paying someone to do so? It certainly would not be surprising for those opposed to the biblical account to cast suspicion on the collection using fake stones. A classic rhetorical tactic is to build a straw man that does not accurately represent the complete argument, tear it down, and then claim victory. Rejecting the entire collection, based on the fact that there are some faked stones, is nothing more than a straw man argument.

Fifth, the stories of alleged forgery fail to deal adequately with the prodigious number of stones that have been collected. Supposedly, a farmer named Basilio Uchuya and his wife Irma manufactured multiplied thousands of the stones and sold them to Dr. Cabrera. Yet, the site from which they allegedly quarried the stone is far too small to have yielded the massive amount of rock necessary for the collection, especially in light of the fact that many of the stones were large boulders that weighed several hundred pounds each. Along these lines, Swift noted: “Such an enormous quantity of stones would have required an excavation on the scale of an open pit mine. It seems reasonable that they would have needed a vast array of modern equipment.... The sheer magnitude of such a mining operation would have left a huge crater. There is no way that such an operation could have escaped detection...” (n.d.[b], p. 24; see pp. 23-27 for more extensive material).

Evidence of the Stones’ Authenticity
Numerous reasons to accept the authenticity of the stones present themselves. Dennis Swift has listed several of these reasons in his book, Secrets of the Ica Stones and Nazca Lines. Consider the following two extremely powerful arguments:

First, Swift obtained a stone from a Nazca tomb that was excavated in 2001. The stone depicted a sauropod dinosaur. Swift also had Basilio Uchuya carve a fraudulent stone, both of which Swift submitted to intense microscopic analysis. The stone from the Nazca tomb contained human hair and scalp tissues and other evidence of age. Swift noted:

This stone had a heavy coat of patination and oxidation. Microorganisms could be seen in the grooves and the incisions. There is a uniformity of coloration and weathering. The incisions and cuts are as dark and weathered as the rest of the stone. There are several thick concentrations of salt peter that are so full of salt buildup that it covers parts of the carving with a white layer obscuring the image below.... There is notable irregular wear on the edges of the incisions that leads one to the inescapable conclusion that this stone had undergone considerable wear.... The salient conclusion of the laboratory is that the stone is of some age; in fact of antiquity of hundreds or thousands of years old (n.d.[b], p. 71).

When submitted to microscopic analysis, the forged stone carved by Uchuya was easily distinguished from the ancient stone as a modern creation. Tiny pieces of metal from the tool Uchuya used were readily visible. The shallow scratches and chips were “clean and angled. There was no patina or film of oxidation on the stone; no microorganisms or salt peter were found on the stone. The laboratory conclusion was that the stone was of recent manufacture” (n.d.[b], p. 69). Just like a counterfeit dollar bill, the known forgery was easily distinguished from the authentic stone found in the tomb.

Second, the stones exhibit numerous depictions of dinosaurs, many of which are sauropods. Interestingly, the sauropods have dermal spines just like the Acambaro figurines. Allegedly, the stones were carved by modern forgers in the 1950s and 1960s, who gleaned their ideas of dinosaur anatomy from movies, comic books, and magazines. But dermal spines on sauropods were completely unknown at that time. It was not until Czerkas’ discovery of fossilized skin impressions in 1992 that the modern world learned of the conical dermal spines that adorned the backs of sauropods. In the 1975 edition of his book El Mensaje de las Piedras Grabadas de Ica (The Message of the Engraved Stones of Ica), Dr. Javier Cabrera wrote extensively about the stones and included numerous photographs of them. While many of Dr. Cabrera’s ideas about aliens associated with the stones are quite bizarre, the concrete evidence portrayed in the pictures is not. Several pages contain pictures of sauropod dinosaurs that have the median row of dermal spines mentioned by Czerkas (1975, p. 36-37, 65, 95, 97, 99,101). Many of the stones were found long before 1975, but the pictures are in a book published in that year, and thus must be at least 17 years prior to Czerkas’ discovery. How would alleged forgers have known to put dermal spines on the sauropods? The most reasonable explanation is simply that there were no forgers. Ancient people saw the dinosaurs, interacted with them, and carved accurate pictures of them in stone hundreds of years ago.

If humans and dinosaurs lived together on the Earth in the past, what would you expect to find to verify their cohabitation? One line of conclusive evidence would be a series of carvings or drawings accurately depicting dinosaur anatomy that could be shown to have been produced before modern information about dinosaur anatomy emerged. The Stegosaurus carving in Cambodia, the dinosaur carving found by Samuel Hubbard, the accurate dinosaur petroglyph on Kachina Natural Bridge, dinosaur figurines discovered by Julsrud and studied by Charles Hapgood, the Ica stones, and various other carvings, figurines, and ancient art that we have not had space to include, converge to form a mountain of physical evidence that is exactly what would be expected if humans saw live dinosaurs. Evolutionists have used dinosaurs long enough to teach their false worldview. It is time we take dinosaurs back, and use them to teach about the awesome power of the One Who created these magnificent creatures.

Bishop, Ellen Morris (1993), “Utah Paleontologist Develops New Look for Sauropod Dinosaurs,” Oregonian, January 14.

Cabrera, Javier (1975), El Mensaje de las Piedras Grabadas de Ica (The Message of the Engraved Stones of Ica) (Lima, Peru: INTI-Sol Editores).

Czerkas, Stephen (1992), “New Look for Sauropod Dinosaurs,” Geology, 20:1068-1070.

DeYoung, Donald B. (2005), Thousands...Not Billions (Green Forest, AR: Master Books).

DiPeso, Charles (1953), “The Clay Figurines of Acambaro, Guanajuato, Mexico,” American Antiquity, 18[4]:388-389.

Gardner, Erle Stanley (1969), Host With the Big Hat (New York: William Morrow).

Hapgood, Charles (1955), Reports From Acambaro (New York: Fieldstone School).

Hapgood, Charles (2000), Mystery in Acambaro (Kempton, IL: Adventures Unlimited Press).

Harmer, Lowell (1951), “Mexico Finds Give Hint of Lost World: Dinosaur Statues Point to Men Who Lived in Age of Reptiles,” Los Angeles Times, B1-B2, March 25.

Pezzati, Alex (2005), “Mystery at Acambaro, Mexico,” Expedition, 47[3]:6-7.

Russell, William N. (1952), “Did Man Tame the Dinosaur?,” Fate, 5[2]:20-27.

Swift, Dennis (no date[a]), “The Dinosaur Figurines of Acambaro, Mexico,” [On-line], URL: http://www.bible.ca/tracks/tracks-acambaro.htm#photo.

Swift, Dennis (no date[b]), Secrets of the Ica Stones and Nazca Lines (Dinosaur Institute).

Tierney, John (1994a), “Coming Soon Near You: A Real Live Jurassic Park,” World Explorer, 1[4]:15-18.

Tierney, John (1994b), “Pseudoscientific Attacks on Acambaro Artifacts: The Ceramic Technology of Intellectual Suppression,” World Explorer, 1[4]: 52-61.


Copyright © 2008 Apologetics Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Evidence for the Coexistence of Dinosaurs and Humans

This item is available on the Apologetics Press Web site at: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3626 - it was originally published in Reason & Revelation, 28[3]:17-23

AP Content :: Reason & Revelation

Physical Evidence for the Coexistence of Dinosaurs and Humans [Part I]
by Kyle Butt, M.A. and Eric Lyons, M.Min.

People generally enjoy showing pictures of places they have visited and things they have seen. Simply telling someone about a trip, say, to Sequoia National Park, is one thing; showing that person a picture of you standing next to the largest tree in Sequoia National Park, named General Sherman (which also is the largest tree on the planet), is entirely different. As the old adage goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” People constantly take pictures of things they want to share with others. Someone on a safari in Africa may bring home pictures of an elephant he saw in the wild. Visitors to the islands of Indonesia delight in showing pictures they took of real komodo dragons scurrying across the ground and up trees. Tourists in Alaska often are seen on roadsides capturing moose, dall sheep, and even grizzly bears on camera. Why? There are several reasons, but for many people it is to show others what they have seen. Pictures also authenticate the stories we tell.

Humans not only have told stories about large reptilian creatures (i.e., dragons/dinosaurs) for millennia (Lyons, 2007, 29:65-71,73-79), the ancients also left behind “pictures” of these animals: some with serpentine necks, stout legs, elongated bodies, and enormous tails; others with knobby heads, short necks, plated backs, and spiked tails. Of course, these pictures are not the kind we take today, but paintings and carvings on rocks, in caves, on pottery, etc. Like the deer, goats, monkeys, mammoths, and other animals that have been discovered around the world carved or painted on rock walls by the ancients, various ancient “pictures” of dinosaurs have also been uncovered. If humans really did coexist with these animals at one time, such pictures are exactly what one would expect to find.

The Khmer civilization once flourished in the Southeast Asian territory of Angkor. Hindu and Buddhist kings during the 8th through 13th centuries A.D. built majestic stone temples throughout the area (NOTE: Information about the Khmer civilization, its rulers, and temples is derived from Freeman and Jacques, 1999, unless otherwise noted). In approximately 1186, King Jayavarman VII undertook the building of Ta Prohm, a stone monastery/temple. The ruins of Ta Prohm, which stand today in the overgrown jungles of Cambodia, were chosen by one of the major preservation societies “to be left in its ‘natural state,’ as an example of how most of Angkor looked on its discovery in the 19th century” (p. 136).

Intricately carved statues and stone columns fill the temple-monastery. On the stones, the ancients depicted animals, people, gods, various plants, and a host of other decorative images. But one column of carvings maintains a special interest to those interested in dinosaur/human coexistence. Concerning this particular column, Freeman and Jacques wrote: “On the angles and corners of the porch are numerous small scenes and representations of animals, both real and mythical” (p. 144). Of special note, the authors wrote about one of the carved animals, saying: “Among the vertical strip of roundels in the angle between the south wall of the porch and the east wall of the main body of the gopura there is even a very convincing representation of a stegosaur” (p. 144, emp. added). In their other book on Angkor, Jacques and Freeman were even more emphatic, saying that the animal “bears a striking resemblance to a stegosaurus” (1997, p. 213).

The credentials of both Claude Jacques and Michael Freeman are worth noting. The back cover text of Ancient Angkor states: “The renowned French scholar, Claude Jacques, has studied Angkor and its history for the past 30 years.” The inside front-flap further mentions that Jacques

lived in Cambodia for nine years where he taught Khmer history at the Archaeology Department of Phnom Penh and pursued his research into Khmer civilization. He has been the Director of Studies at the Ecole Pratiques des Hautes Etudes for the last two decades, teaching the history of Southeast Asia. He is an expert in Sanskrit, Khmer and Cham scripts and is closely involved in the various restoration projects being [sic] at Angkor (1999).

Concerning Michael Freeman, the front cover flap notes that he

has been photographing Southeast Asia intensively for twenty years, and Angkor for ten, producing many books on the art history and architecture of the region.... He is also the author of the Guide to Khmer Temples in Thailand and Laos, and was the first photographer to have prolonged access to Angkor after the country’s two decades of war, genocide and civil war (1999).

In short, it would be extremely difficult to find two men more qualified to speak on the Stegosaurus carving at Ta Prohm. Of major significance is the fact that the authors view the carving as authentic, with absolutely no hint of forgery surrounding it.

The authenticity of the carving is virtually undisputed. Don Patton made a trip to Ta Prohm in 2006 for the express purpose of seeing the carving. Patton listed several compelling reasons that effectively eliminate the idea of forgery. He wrote concerning the carving:

Patina is still obvious in the recesses.

The depth of relief on the carvings that cover every square inch of this column, is more than half an inch. Removing the imagined “original” carving would have left a recessed surface. Then, carving the stegosaur on the recessed surface would require still deeper recesses. The above photograph clearly demonstrates that the carving is not recessed. It is flush with the other carvings. Since the plates on the back of the stegosaur protrude from the recessed background at least half an inch, it would not be possible to add them to the background by subsequent carving. The plates are an integral part of the rock surrounded by a recessed, patina covered background.

There is approximately 40 feet of overburden that would have been displaced in order to replace the entire block.

The blocks are held together, not with mortar, but with iron “staples” in the shape of a capital “I” typically about 8 inches long, 1.5 inches wide and 3/8 of an inch thick. An inset in the shape of the staple was carved into the surface of two adjoining blocks, across the abutment, one end in one block and the other end in the other. With the staple in the shaped recess, the next tier of blocks holds the staple in place. They are used horizontally and vertically.... However, the point that we are making here is that the blocks are interlocked in such a way that removing and replacing a block with 40 feet of overburden without detection, is an imaginary idea that will not work (Patton, 2006).

The primary objection, then, that this carving does not depict an actual Stegosaurus is not that it is a fake, but that the creature it depicts is not a Stegosaurus. Joseph Meert, in his blog dedicated to “refuting” young Earth creationism, commented about the carving: “I thought it was a wild boar” (2007). He further commented: “The problem with the carving is that it does not really look like any modern or fossilized animal. That makes it more likely that it was some drug induced illusion (sort of like the rest of young earth creationist ideas!)” (2007). Another skeptical author wrote: “Could it be that the so-called plates are in fact just a decorative tree or a bush-type embellishment (the trunk is located underneath between the front and hind legs) located right behind the creature and nothing else? Could be!” (“The Stegosaurus Carving...,” 2007).

The prima facie fallacy of these kinds of objections is the simple fact that the carving does not look like a wild boar or a decorative tree, but does, in fact, look very similar to a Stegosaurus. A class of third graders could easily attest to that fact. In reality, it takes a massive amount of creative imagination to make the carving look like something other than a Stegosaurus. After showing a picture of this carving to a middle school class for the first time, all 10 of the students in the class identified the animal as a dinosaur or specifically a Stegosaurus. Why is the carving even posted on the Internet if it looks like nothing more than a wild boar or a creature with bushes behind it? That the carving is posted and being discussed at length verifies that there is something extremely unique about it.

On closer inspection of the carving’s head, it admittedly does not look exactly like the head of modern depictions of Stegosauruses—which is the primary objection to the idea that it is a Stegosaurus. Don Patton summarized this skeptical view:

A few skeptics have based their objections on anatomical differences between popular Stegosaurus restorations and the Cambodian sculpture. The fact that the average Jr. High student immediately identifies the sculpture as a Stegosaurus is considered of no consequence. ‘The head is too large. Stegosaurs had no horns or frills on the head.’ The sculpture has no spikes on the tail... Therefore, they conclude that the sculptor never saw a Stegosaurus (2006).

Patton refutes this view using a convincing line of reasoning. The view assumes that the modern anatomical ideas regarding the Stegosaurus are exactly right, with no room for variation. Patton wrote: “One is tempted to respond to these claims by pointing out that our modern restorations involve some guess work, that Stegosaurs may have exhibited a significant amount of anatomical variety (like dogs), that a view of tail spikes may well be blocked by the surrounding stone circle, etc., etc.” (2006). Indeed, if modern science’s study of dinosaurs has brought to light anything, it has revealed that some of our most cherished and commonly held images and ideas concerning dinosaur anatomy have been egregiously incorrect. For instance, in 1992 Stephen Czerkas wrote:

Recent discovery of fossilized sauropod (diplodocid) skin impressions reveals a significantly different appearance for these dinosaurs. The fossilized skin demonstrates that a median row of [dermal] spines was present.... Some are quite narrow, and others are broader and more conical (1992, 20:1068, emp. added).

In an article titled “Rediscovering the Dinosaurs,” Ned Potter noted that “Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Natural History has one of the world’s leading collections of dinosaur fossils” (2007). The newsworthy event pertaining to this huge dinosaur fossil collection is the fact that “the Carnegie staff has decided to dismantle—and rethink—its entire collection” (2007). Because of the rapid rate at which new fossils force paleontologists and museum curators to alter their old ideas, it is becoming evident that entire dinosaur collections have been pieced together incorrectly. Experts interviewed for the article noted that dinosaur bones “don’t come with instruction manuals.” “When the Carnegie museum in Pittsburgh opens its new dinosaur wing later this year, the skeletons will be posed as scientists believe they would have looked eons ago” (2007, emp. added). Admittedly, however, “[Y]ears from now, as scientists learn more, they say they’ll probably have to change the exhibit all over again” (emp. added).

In truth, modern ideas about dinosaurs are adjusted every day, based on new fossil information. Add to that the fact that dinosaur fossils are not as abundant as is commonly believed. For instance, Peter Dodson wrote an article titled, “Counting Dinosaurs: How Many Kinds Were There?,” in which he made some very interesting observations. He stated:

45.3% of the dinosaur genera are represented by only a single specimen, and 74.0% have five specimens or fewer. Only 20.3% are based on essentially complete skulls and skeletons, and 56.8% include complete or partial skulls. Limited material often makes the convincing definition of variational biological species difficult (1990, 87:7608).

Dodson explained that many of the dinosaurs we commonly see on movies or in magazines are constructed from very scant fossil remains. In regard specifically to Stegosaurus fossils, Dodson lists the top ten dinosaurs with the most articulated specimens found of their kind—of which Stegosaurus is not one. He listed the 10th place dinosaur as having 40 specimens available, which would mean that the Stegosaurus is represented by fewer specimens than that.

So, how many Stegosaurus skulls have been found? Finding the actual number is increasingly difficult. Various scholarly books, articles, and journals have little or nothing to say about the number of fossils available for each kind of dinosaur. After making a personal call to the American Museum of Natural History, a researcher from the Fossil Amphibian, Reptile, and Bird Collections division sent an e-mail with his results, in which he stated: “Only three complete Stegosaurus skulls are known. Additionally there are four almost complete skulls of Hesperosaurus thought to be referable to Stegosaurus as the skulls are indistinguishable. There are also 24 other incomplete skull specimens” (2007). Thus, it seems there are only three complete skulls and 28 partial skulls, many of which could be composed of only a few fragments of jawbone or teeth. When one considers the numerous replicas of Stegosaurus in museums all over the world, such limited numbers of complete fossilized skulls do not elicit total confidence in our present-day anatomical knowledge of Stegosaurus. Could it be that certain species of stegosaurs not represented by the few extant skulls had larger heads like the one in the carving?

There exists another, probably more likely, explanation regarding the carving’s appearance. Patton commented: “The relevant question is not, Can you find anatomical differences with today’s popular restorations? Rather, the real question is, What kind of sculpture would be produced by an artist who remembered seeing a Stegosaurus?” (2006). He further commented: “Assuming the sculptor did not have a Stegosaurus trained to pose as a model, and there was no access to the internet, the rendering would most likely be from memory. Would the results of this process necessarily be anatomically correct compared to today’s restorations? What would it look like?” (2006).

To determine what a person familiar with Stegosaurus anatomy might draw from memory, Patton asked an art professor at the University of Texas at Arlington to have an art class draw a Stegosaurus from memory. Out of the 36 drawings from as many students, Patton posted 12 on his Web site for comparison to the carving. Patton then stated: “I think you will agree with the instructor’s assessment that none of the students’ efforts looked as good as the sculpture on the temple wall in Cambodia” (2006). In actuality, the carving looks like what you would expect a person to carve who might have been working from memory. In addition, the ancient Cambodian artist had a limited circular area with which to work, and was forced to confine the sculpture to that small circle. Such physical constraints would certainly play a part in the “perfect” anatomical accuracy that could be rendered in the given area. Consider the picture below of a toy dinosaur that was originally (when sold) confined within a toy dinosaur egg. Toy makers made the easily identifiable Stegosaurus without tail spikes. This particular feature of the dinosaur was purposefully left off of the toy model for various reasons (e.g., space limitation within the egg), yet any child remotely familiar with dinosaurs knows that toy makers were intending to manufacture a Stegosaurus. This realization takes us back to the fact that, regardless of whether the Cambodia carving was anatomically accurate, practically any class of third-graders across the country would identify the creature as a Stegosaurus. The simple truth is, the unmistakable carving of a dinosaur at the Ta Prohm temple near Siem Reap, Cambodia, testifies to the one-time cohabitation of dinosaurs and humans.

Another Objection Considered
Before we leave this particular carving, we need to consider another common objection to the idea that carvings that look like dinosaurs represent real creatures. Those who insist that dinosaurs and humans did not live together claim that the animals depicted in ancient art that look like dinosaurs are imaginary creatures that have no basis in reality. These people suggest that since we know carvings of imaginary gods, minotaurs, mermaids, and aliens have no basis in reality, neither should we think that dinosaur-like creatures do either—regardless of how much they look like dinosaurs. John Clayton wrote:

Finding an ancient picture of a dragon, minotaur, or alien-looking creature and assuming it is in reality what people saw is an incredibly ignorant thing to do. This applies to creationists who try to maintain people of 4,000 years ago cavorted with dinosaurs, but also to atheists who attempt to explain the origin of life by claiming aliens seeded the planet with DNA packets. There is no evidence for either of these proposals, and neither of them has any historical support” (2007, 34[4]:4. emp. added).

A major problem arises, however, when those such as Clayton attempt to lump “dragons” in with other creatures such as minotaurs or aliens. No physical evidence is available to verify the existence of the minotaur. Furthermore, the laws of biology preclude even the possibility of such. We do not believe the ancients saw minotaurs because we do not believe there ever were minotaurs. The situation with creatures that look like dinosaurs is much different. Everyone involved in the discussion believes that huge reptiles once roamed the Earth. The question is not did huge reptilian creatures that match the ancient carvings exist; the question is, did they exist with humans? Dinosaurs are not imaginary creatures dismissed by reputable sources. Their bones have been found, fossilized nests uncovered, and their skin impressions studied. Millions of dollars every year pour into dinosaur research. If thousands of minotaur fossils had been found, some of them very close to the carvings that depict creatures that looked just like minotaurs, minotaurs could not be dismissed as imaginary creatures, and the carvings and drawings could not be dismissed as depictions of imaginary creatures. The difference between art depicting minotaurs and art showing dinosaur-like creatures is that everyone knows dinosaurs existed—that is not up for debate.

On the underside of the third largest natural bridge in the world (Kachina Bridge), several petroglyphs and pictographs exist, which rock-art experts believe to be anywhere from 500 to 1,500 years old. The carvings are believed to be the work of the Anasazi Indians who once lived in that area of southeastern Utah. A mountain goat, a human figure, multiple handprints, and many other carvings and drawings can be seen quite easily underneath the bridge on both sides of the span. The most fascinating piece of rock art at Kachina Bridge, however, is the petroglyph of a dinosaur, located to the right of the span, about 10 feet from the ground. This figure, which is carved into the rock, has a long, thick tail, a long neck, a wide midsection, and a small head. Any unbiased visitor to Kachina Bridge would have to admit that this particular petroglyph looks like a dinosaur—specifically Apatosaurus (more popularly known as Brontosaurus).

In May of 2004, after examining this petroglyph firsthand and taking many pictures of it, as well as of the surrounding rock art, we visited the Natural Bridges National Monument visitor’s center where we spoke with one of the staff members.

Upon informing the Natural Bridges assistant that we had just hiked down to the base of Kachina Bridge, she immediately asked if we saw the petroglyph that resembles a dinosaur. We acknowledged that we had, and then asked her how “they” explain such an anomaly? (If, according to evolutionary scientists, humans never lived with dinosaurs, how did the Anasazis, who inhabited southeastern Utah from A.D. 500 to 1450, carve such an accurate picture of an Apatosaurus onto the side of a rock wall?) Her response: “They don’t really want to explain it.” After being politely pressed for more information, she indicated that the petroglyph was carved too early to be a horse, because the Anasazis did not have horses. She also commented that some people actually think it really is a picture of a dinosaur, but “they are crazy.” She further explained that there are petroglyphs that resemble mammoths around this area. So the petroglyph at Kachina Bridge may be just “some monster” that the Anasazis carved onto rock.

The only other animal that the staff member at Natural Bridges National Monument seemed to think that the petroglyph in question could have been was a horse. But, according to her own testimony, the Anasazi Indians were a horseless people. (Spanish settlers did not introduce the horse to America until the 16th century.) Thus, she concluded the petroglyph is simply some kind of monster. This “monster,” however, looks exactly like the scientific reconstruction of the large sauropod dinosaur known as Apatosaurus. It is no wonder that this woman earlier admitted that scientists “don’t really want to explain” this petroglyph. They do not want to deal with it, because they cannot find a logical way to explain it.

Color has been enhanced in this photo of the Natural Bridges petroglyph to show the dinosaur shape more clearly.
Interestingly, no one with whom we spoke about the petroglyph, nor any reputable writer whose works we have consulted on the matter, has challenged the authenticity of the petroglyph. In fact, two well-known rock-art experts have written about this particular petroglyph, and neither has suggested that it is a modern-day forgery. Francis Barnes, an evolutionist and widely recognized authority on rock art of the American Southwest, observed in 1979: “There is a petroglyph in Natural Bridges National Monument that bears a startling resemblance to a dinosaur, specifically a Brontosaurus, with long tail and neck, small head and all” (Barnes and Pendleton, 1979, p. 201, emp. added). Barnes also pointed out that other animals, such as impalas, ostriches, and mammoths, are seen on rock-art panels in the Southwest, that either have been long extinct in the Western Hemisphere or were thought to have never been there at all. “Such anomalous rock art figures can be explained away,” wrote Barnes, “but they still tend to cast doubt upon the admittedly flimsy relative-time age-dating schemes used by archaeologists” (p. 202). More than 20 years later, evolutionary geologist Dennis Slifer wrote about this petroglyph in his Guide to Rock Art of the Utah Region.

At the base of Kachina Bridge are approximately one hundred elements, both petroglyphs and pictographs, dating from A.D. 700-1250. These include a series of red handprints and a large red butterfly-like figure, spirals, bighorn sheep, snake-like meandering lines, a white pictograph of a chain-like design, and some geometric petroglyphs.... One of the most curious designs is a petroglyph that resembles a dinosaur, which is apparently of Anasazi origin based on its patination (2000, p. 105, emp. added).

Following these comments, Slifer included a diagram of the petroglyph in question—the illustration looks exactly like a dinosaur (specifically, some kind of large sauropod).

Both Barnes and Slifer know that the dinosaur petroglyph at Natural Bridges National Monument shows every sign of age. One can be sure that, if there were any orthodox way to explain it away, they would have attempted to do so. In fact, earlier in his book, Slifer did not hesitate to state his systematic objections to another particular piece of rock art that some have asserted is a pictograph of an extinct pterosaur (see pp. 59-63). The petroglyph at Kachina Bridge, however, was not, and could not, be explained away in any logical fashion.

The Dinosaur Museum
What could further verify that this particular petroglyph depicts an actual dinosaur seen by
Eric stands beside Apatosaurus hip fossils in Blanding, Utah.
the Anasazi Indians? How about Apatosaurus fossils in the surrounding area? If apatosaurs had ever lived in the area, then that would lend credence to the idea that the Anasazis had seen them. Interestingly, just 45 miles from Natural Bridges National Monument, in Blanding, Utah, two actual Apatosaurus hip fossils are displayed. The bones were found in the 1960s in the Blanding area—less than 50 miles from the Apatosaurus-like petroglyph at Natural Bridges National Monument. An ancient petroglyph that looks just like an Apatosaurus, with bones from the very same type of animal, found within 50 miles of the carving. Taken together, this type of evidence presents an impressive case for the coexistence of dinosaurs and humans.

On two occasions in the late 1800s, Dr. Samuel Hubbard, Honorary Curator of Archaeology of the Oakland Museum, visited an area of the Grand Canyon known as the Havasupai Canyon. Hubbard observed many curious inscriptions on the canyon walls during these trips. Though the significance of the pictographs and petroglyphs was not fully recognized early on, “[e]ndeavors were made at various times to interest scientists” to view the artwork (Hubbard, 1925, p. 5). Finally, in the fall of 1924, Hubbard, a theistic evolutionist (cf. pp. 37-38), made his third trip to Havasupai, this time accompanied by several men, including renowned paleontologist Charles W. Gilmore, photographer Robert Carson, and the oil tycoon who sponsored the expedition, E.L. Doheny.

Hubbard was not merely impressed with the fact that the ancients drew and carved images on rock, or that
“they show every sign of a great antiquity” (1925, p. 7). Indeed, “‘[d]esert varnish’ had commenced to form in the cut” of the petroglyphs, “indicating an unbelievable antiquity” (p. 9, italics in orig.). More than anything else, Hubbard was amazed by the kind of animals the ancients carved. According to Hubbard, “no ibex, not even fossil ones, have ever been found in America” (p. 17, emp. in orig.), yet in three different places in the Havasupai Canyon, the team discovered ibex inscriptions. Hubbard noted:

Supplementing the pictures of ibex from the Supai Canyon...I have received other ibex pictures from Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Arizona. I am therefore forced to the conclusion that this must have been a very common animal at one time inhabiting the whole Rocky Mountain region. It was probably such a favorite game of the prehistoric hunters that they finally exterminated it (p. 27).

Indeed, “[t]hese drawings would seem to indicate that they must have been a common animal in the Grand Canyon region” in the distant past (p. 17). After all, how could the ancients have inscribed such accurate pictures of them, if they had never seen them?

On one particular rock wall in the Havasupai Canyon, just above a group of ibex inscriptions, is a carving of an elephant. “The remains of elephants are very common all over North America”—from Alaska to Mexico (Hubbard, 1925, p. 15). Furthermore, as noted earlier in our discussion of the Natural Bridges rock art, inscriptions that resemble elephants or mammoths are not unusual in the West. Undoubtedly, elephants once roamed North America. Consider, however, the implications of elephant and mammoth rock art. For the ancients to have drawn images of these massive creatures with long trunks, it is reasonable to conclude that, as with the ibex, Native Americans must have seen elephants. Interestingly, the inscriptions at Havasupai show an elephant striking a man with its trunk (see Hubbard, 1925, pp. 12-13; see also Hubbard, 1926, 26[35]:13).

Although ancient American elephant and ibex rock art
is fascinating in and of itself, as is the American rhinoceros carved on a rock wall near Moab, Utah (Hubbard, 1925, p. 27), what caught Hubbard’s attention more than anything else at Havasupai was a figure “cut into the sandstone much more deeply than the elephant” (p. 16). Its height was 11.2 inches, had a neck approximately 5.1 inches in length and a tail right at 9.1 inches. Hubbard photographed the petroglyph and eventually placed it in the scientific monograph he authored, titled Discoveries Relating to Prehistoric Man by the Doheny Scientific Expedition in the Hava Supai Canyon (1925, p. 10). What kind of animal is it? What kind of animal had a long neck, long tail, wide body, and once roamed northern Arizona? Dr. Hubbard believed that he had found an ancient drawing of a dinosaur. He wrote:

The fact that some prehistoric man made a pictograph of a dinosaur on the walls of this canyon upsets completely all of our theories regarding the antiquity of man.... The fact that the animal is upright and balanced on its tail would seem to indicate that the prehistoric artist must have seen it alive (pp. 5,7, emp. in orig.).

Evidence “that dinosaurs were in the vicinity, is proved by the tracks...which were identified by Mr. Gilmore [a vertebrate paleontologist and renowned dinosaur fossil hunter—KB/EL] as belonging to one of the carnivorous dinosaurs” (p. 9). According to Hubbard, “These tracks were in the ‘Painted Desert’ not over 100 miles from the picture” (p. 9).

Once again, we have a carving of an animal that looks more like a dinosaur than any other animal, living or extinct. What’s more, all of the evidence points to the carving being genuine. Finally, fossil footprints prove that dinosaurs once lived in the same general area of the dinosaur-like rock art. Yet again, we ask: How could man have drawn such an accurate picture of a creature he supposedly never had seen? The fact is, man once lived with dinosaurs, and the carvings at Cambodia, Natural Bridges, and Havasupai serve as strong evidence of their cohabitation.

[to be continued]

American Museum of Natural History (2007), Personal e-mail, November 15.

Barnes, F.A. and Michaelene Pendleton (1979), Canyon Country Prehistoric Indians: Their Cultures, Ruins, Artifacts and Rock Art (Salt Lake City, NV: Wasatch Publishers).

Clayton, John (2007), “What is Reliable History and What is Not?,” Does God Exist?, 34[4]:3-7, July/August.

Czerkas, Stephen (1992), “New Look for Sauropod Dinosaurs,” Geology, 20:1068-1070.

Dodson, Peter (1990), “Counting Dinosaurs: How Many Kinds Were There?,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 87:7608-7612, October.

Freeman, Michael and Claude Jacques (1999), Ancient Angkor (Trumbull, CT: Weatherhill).

Hubbard, Samuel (1925), Discoveries Relating to Prehistoric Man by the Doheny Scientific Expedition in the Hava Supai Canyon (San Francisco, CA: Sunset Press).

Hubbard, Samuel (1926), “African Lions Roamed in Hollywood,” The Dearborn Independent, 26[35]:12-13,22, June 19.

Jacques, Claude and Michael Freeman (1997), Angkor: Cities and Temples (Trumbull, CT: Weatherhill).

Lyons, Eric (2007), “Historical Support for the Coexistence of Dinosaurs and Humans [Parts I&II],” Reason & Revelation, 27:65-71,73-78, September-October, [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3449.

Meert, Joseph (2007), “Wild, Wacky World of Answers in Genesis” [On-line], URL: http://scienceantiscience.blogspot.com/2007/01/wild-wacky-world-of- answers-in-genesis.html.

Patton, Don (2006), “Dinosaurs in Ancient Cambodian Temple,” [On-line], URL: http://www.bible.ca/tracks/tracks-cambodia.htm.

Potter, Ned (2007), “Rediscovering the Dinosaurs,” [On-line], URL: http://www.abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=3027863&page=1.

Slifer, Dennis (2000), Guide to Rock Art of the Utah Region (Santa Fe, NM: Ancient City Press).

“The Stegosaurus Carving that Isn’t” (2007), [On-line], URL: http://dinocreationistsfairytale.wordpress.com/2007/01/19/the- stegosaurus-carving-that-isnt/.

Drawings of Dinosaur--Fact or Fiction!

This item is available on the Apologetics Press Web site at: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3662 - it was originally published in Reason & Revelation, 7[4]:13,14,16-R

AP Content :: Reason & Revelation

Did the Ancients Base Their Dinosaur Drawings on Fossils?
by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

The presence of antiquated dinosaur carvings, figurines, paintings, etc. around the world leaves no doubt that the ancients knew what dinosaurs looked like long before man began excavating dinosaur bones and reconstructing their skeletons in modern times. Creationists believe that the ancients’ illustrations of dinosaurs serve as one of the proofs (along with the Bible and history; see Lyons, 2001; Lyons, 2007a; Lyons, 2007b) that dinosaurs and humans previously cohabited Earth. Some have suggested, however, that people living hundreds or thousands of years ago may have simply drawn pictures of dinosaurs based upon fossils they found in rocks. Similar to how modern man creates illustrations, recreations, and CGI movies of dinosaurs based upon the fossil record, ancient man supposedly did the same thing. Is this conclusion reasonable in light of the available evidence?

There actually are several lines of reasoning against interpreting the worldwide, antiquated dinosaur carvings as artwork made only from dinosaur fossils. First, unlike dinosaur drawings made in the 21st century, the dinosaur petroglyphs (carvings), pictographs (paintings), and figurines of antiquity are deeply embedded in a historical context of men living with dinosaur-like reptilian creatures often called dragons (see Lyons, 2007a). If there were no stories or references from history of men living and interacting with dinosaurs, the ancient dinosaur artwork would be less impressive testimony for the coexistence of dinosaurs and humans. If the setting of the world thousands of years ago was like today (where men excavate dinosaur bones, reconstruct them, and attempt to draw what they believe the creatures once looked like), then certainly the ancient artwork would be interpreted very differently. However, the historical context of hundreds and thousands of years ago was exactly the opposite of what it is today in reference to dinosaurs. History records how people all over the world told stories of living with “dragons” (i.e., dinosaurs; see Lyons, 2007a).

The evidence [for dragons/dinosaurs—EL] is not confined to works of natural history and literature but appears in everyday chronicles of events.... And such eyewitness accounts are not derived from hearsay or anonymous rumor; they were set down by people of some standing, by kings and knights, monks and archbishops, scholars and saints (Hogarth and Clery, 1979, pp. 13-14).

If this world continues for another 1,000 years, historians in A.D. 3000 should be able to distinguish between humans drawing pictures (or making movies) of dinosaurs in A.D. 2000 (which history would clearly indicate were based on fossil reconstructions and not cohabitation with dinosaurs), and those who made dinosaur art in A.D. 500 (and professed to live with dinosaurs).

Second, we know according to the Bible that only a few thousand years ago, man lived with one animal that had bones “like beams of bronze,” “ribs like bars of iron” (Job 40:18), and that moved its tail “like a cedar” (40:17). Another real dinosaur/dragon-like animal on Earth in Job’s day had “terrible teeth” (41:14), a powerful neck (41:22), and could breathe fire and smoke (41:18-21). What’s more, if God made “the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them” during the six days of Creation (Exodus 20:11), man obviously lived with dinosaurs, as well as every other animal that has since become extinct. Thus, ancient dinosaur artwork based on living dinosaurs agrees with both history and the Bible.

Third, locating, excavating, reassembling, and illustrating dinosaur fossils is an extremely painstaking, complex, time-consuming process. We know of no evidence of the ancient people around the world excavating dinosaur fossils, reconstructing their skeletons, and then drawing them accurately, as scientists carefully attempt to do in the 21st century. Modern-day illustrations of dinosaurs are not done simply by illustrators going to a fossil bed and drawing what they think the dinosaur looked like. Most of the dinosaur bones discovered around the world are not even articulated (aligned in the same arrangement as in real life). According to James Powell, director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, “in spite of the intense popular and scientific interest in the dinosaurs and the well-publicized efforts of generations of dinosaur hunters, only about 2,100 articulated dinosaur bones” exist in museums around the world (1998, p. xv, emp. added; see also Dodson, 1990, 87:7608; Lewin, 1990). Scientists have spent billions of dollars over the past 150 years persistently locating and excavating dinosaur fossils, and yet relatively few have been found aligned as they were in life. Furthermore, considering that almost half (45.3%) of all dinosaur genera are based on a single specimen, and 74% are represented by five specimens or less (Dodson, 87:7608), the suggestion that the ancients merely saw dinosaur fossils and drew accurate pictures of these animals seems very unreasonable. Furthermore, as previously stated, the historical context of ancient times is not of men digging up dinosaur bones, imagining what they looked like, and then carving them onto rock; it simply is of men carving what they saw in real life.

Fourth, ancient dinosaur artwork repeatedly is found surrounded by real-life, extant animals. In the Ta Prohm temple near Siem Reap Cambodia, the Stegosaurus carving is surrounded by animals still alive today, including monkeys, parrots, swans, and water buffalo. At Natural Bridges National Monument in Utah the Apatosaurus-like dinosaur is near a depiction of a human and a wild goat. At the Havasupai Canyon in northern Arizona, the dinosaur-like artwork is on the same wall with an elephant, a human, and an ibex. On Bishop Bell’s tomb in Carlisle, England, long-neck dinosaurs are engraved next to a bird, a pig, a fish, and a dog. The Ica stones of Peru have many other animals besides dinosaurs on them. Contrast these contexts with how modern dinosaur illustrations depict evolutionary, “scientifically accurate” settings: they show so-called “pre-historic” creatures, and not with humans, monkeys, giraffes, bears, or other large mammals, which supposedly evolved millions of years after dinosaurs became extinct. Once again, ancient dinosaur artwork is repeatedly found in a context of coexistence with humans and extant animals.

Fifth, though scientists since the early to mid-1800s have been excavating dinosaur fossils and attempting to reassemble what they think the dinosaurs looked like, so often they have been wrong in their recreations of these animals (see Potter, 2007). For example, Don Patton noted:

When the bones of Iguanodon were discovered in the early 1800’s, scientists had a very poor idea of their appearance in life. By the late 1800’s [nearly 70 years later—EL] the conception had improved considerably. Now we know much more. For example, ossified tendons in the tail indicate that the tail did not droop but stood out straight (n.d., emp. added).

Impressively, this scientifically accurate position is how the Iguanodon-like dinosaur in the Acambaro figurine collection is positioned. Consider also how scientifically accurate the sauropods with dermal spines were depicted in the Ica stone collection. Modern man was unaware that some (many?) sauropod dinosaurs possessed dermal spines, even though scientists had been studying the dinosaur fossils around the world for more than 150 years. This characteristic of sauropods was not learned from the fossil record until 1992. The ancient Peruvians had it right long before 1992: are we to believe they carefully examined, excavated, and reconstructed fossilized sauropod bones and skin—intricate scientific recreations that history simply does not record the ancients performing? Is it not more reasonable to conclude that man once lived with the animals that they illustrated? Modern-day paleontologists have the luxury of researching dinosaur data from all over the world and as far back as the 1820s. Our present knowledge and illustrations of dinosaurs come from their composite research. The ancients had no such comparable science, yet they still depicted dinosaurs accurately. The only logical conclusion is that the ancients actually saw living dinosaurs.

Sixth, although some have supposed that the ancients may have based their illustrations of dinosaurs on the fossil record, even various skeptics have alluded to the improbability of dinosaur art from countries like Peru, Mexico, and England being based on fossils. Evolutionist Adrienne Mayor addressed the figurines from Acambaro, and asked: “Could the reptile figures from Acambaro be amazingly accurate ancient restorations based on observations of dinosaur fossils?” Her answer: “Unlikely: the fossils in the state of Guanajuato belong to Pleistocene mastodons and horses, and not to Mesozoic dinosaurs of 250-65 million years ago” (2005, p. 337). And what about the dinosaurs engraved on the stones from Ica? Could they be based on fossils from around that area? Mayor concluded: “No: the fossil remains of that area are of Oligocene to Pleistocene mammals, with no Cretaceous dinosaur remains” (p. 339). What about the long-neck dinosaur engraved on Bishop Bell’s tomb around A.D. 1500, that even some critics admit looks “more like a quadrupedal dinosaur than any other sort of animal, past or present” (“Bishop Bell’s...,” 2007)? Do skeptics believe Englishmen excavated a long-neck, long-tail dinosaur in the 15th century, without leaving behind any trace or record of their paleontological work, and then had an artist engrave the animal onto Bishop Bell’s tomb? Although skeptics have noted that “[t]his hypothesis...is at least possible,” they admit that it is “whimsical” (“Bishop Bell’s...,” 2007). Whimsical indeed! Statements like these really just show that more people, even evolutionists, are conceding that the ancients knew what dinosaurs looked like.

Seventh, although history does not record the ancients meticulously excavating and reconstructing dinosaur bones, and then accurately drawing how these creatures looked in real life, there are hints throughout history of how prior to modern times people misinterpreted fossils. For example, Dr. Donald DeYoung noted that “in 1677 a large bone was found in England. It was initially attributed to the giant humans described in Genesis 6:4. However, surviving drawings of this bone look similar to a dinosaur femur” (2000, p. 39). Moreover, it has long been thought that the Cyclops legend originated from the Greeks’ discovery of a young, dwarf mammoth skull, which has a nasal cavity in the middle of the skull that the ancients may have mistaken for the creature’s eye socket (cf. “Meet the Original...,” n.d.). No one argues about the ancients’ misinterpretation of various bones and fossils. We simply are curious: where are all of the examples of them accurately finding, identifying, excavating, and reconstructing dinosaur fossils?

Finally, unlike today, when scientists and scientific illustrators often recreate the skeletons of dinosaurs based on the fossil record, the ancients depicted the actual bodies of these creatures. If the ancients’ knowledge of dinosaurs came from the fossil record, we would expect that they, at least occasionally, would have drawn dinosaur skeletons. Instead, we find example after example of dinosaurs as they would be seen in real life—exactly what one would expect to find if the ancients really lived with dinosaurs.

The case for the coexistence of dinosaurs and humans is cumulative. As creationists, we admittedly and unashamedly believe that the coexistence of dinosaurs and humans is based upon what God’s Word teaches about the creation of man and animals (Genesis 1-2; Exodus 20:11). However, the coexistence of dinosaurs and humans is also supported by history (in the form of ubiquitous, antiquated dinosaur stories; see Lyons, 2007a) and physical evidence (in the form of dinosaur artwork that ancients in various countries around the world produced centuries ago). Truly, if man once lived with dinosaurs, such artwork, stories, and biblical testimony would be expected.

“Bishop Bell’s Dinosaurs” (2007), Skepticwiki, June, [On-line], URL: http://skepticwiki.org/index.php/Bishop_Bell’s_Dinosaurs.

DeYoung, Donald (2000), Dinosaurs and Creation (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).

Dodson, Peter (1990), “Counting Dinosaurs: How Many Kinds Were There?” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 87:7608-7612, October.

Hogarth, Peter and Val Clery (1979), Dragons (New York: Viking Press).

Lewin, Roger (1990), “Science: Dinosaur Count Reveals Surprisingly Few Species,” New Scientist Archive, 128[1745], December, [On-line], URL: http://archive.newscientist.com/secure/article/article.jsp?rp=1&id=mg 12817452.700.

Lyons, Eric (2001), “Behemoth and Leviathan—Creatures of Controversy,” Reason & Revelation, 21[1]:1-7, January.

Lyons, Eric (2007a), “Historical Support for the Coexistence of Dinosaurs and Humans—Part I & II,” Reason & Revelation, 27[9-10]:65-71,73-79, September-October.

Lyons, Eric (2007b), “Why Are Dinosaurs Not Mentioned in the Bible?” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3350.

Mayor, Adrienne (2005), Fossil Legends of the First Americans (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press).

“Meet the Original Cyclops” (no date), The Classics Pages: Homer’s Odyssey, [On-line], URL: http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~loxias/cyclops02.htm.

Patton, Don (no date), “The Photogallery of the Dinosaur Figurines of Acambaro, Mexico,” [On-line], URL: http://www.bible.ca/tracks/tracks-acambaro-dinos.htm.

Potter, Ned (2007), “Rediscovering the Dinosaurs,” [On-line], URL: http://www.abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=3027863&page=1.

Powell, James (1998), Night Comes to the Cretaceous (New York: Harcourt Brace).


Monday, April 14, 2008

Stem Cells Research!

This item is available on the Apologetics Press Web site at: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3669

AP Content :: Sensible Science

More Good News About Stem Cells
by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Among the key moral issues of our day is the use of embryonic stem cells in medical research. Christians insist that harvesting embryonic stem cells for research purposes is immoral since human embryos must die to achieve the objective. The scientific evidence is overwhelming and decisive: use of embryonic stem cells is completely unnecessary since use of adult stem cells has proven to be the most promising in treating various diseases (see Thompson and Harrub, 2001). Scientists are even now developing methods that allow them to reprogram existing adult stem cells to possess the same unlimited properties as embryonic stem cells. For example, using genetic alteration, a team of UCLA researchers have turned adult skin cells into cells that are nearly identical to human embryonic stem cells (Irwin, 2008). “Reprogramming adult stem cells into embryonic stem cells could generate a potentially limitless source of immune-compatible cells for tissue engineering and transplantation medicine” (“Human Skin...,” 2008), thus benefiting those suffering from diabetes, leukemia, Parkinson’s disease, and a host of other ailments. This breakthrough follows closely on the heels of earlier successful research done on mouse models (“Researchers Reprogram...,” 2007).

Similar advances have been occurring all along—apparently escaping the notice of politicians and the liberal establishment that continue their campaign for embryonic stem-cell research (see Miller, 2007). Two separate teams of scientists, one led by Dr. Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University and the other team led by Junying Yu of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, preceded the UCLA research in discovering a way to turn ordinary human skin cells into stem cells with the same characteristics as those derived from human embryos (Palca, 2007). Northwestern University researchers discovered that adult stem cells derived from bone marrow are capable of undergoing more diverse transformations than previously thought, and could be transformed into a wide variety of tissue types, not just blood cells (“Adult Stem Cells...,” 2006). University of Minnesota researchers showed that adult bone marrow stem cells can be induced specifically to differentiate into cells of the midbrain, which would be useful for treating diseases of the central nervous system, including Parkinson’s disease (“Adult Mouse Bone...,” 2003).

Conclusion? No justification exists for butchering human life on the alleged grounds that medical research to alleviate suffering necessitates it. Destroying human life to preserve human life? Two wrongs do not make a right. Shedding innocent blood is despicable (Proverbs 6:17).

“Adult Mouse Bone Marrow Stem Cells Can Become Cells of the Nervous System” (2003), Science Daily, August 19, [On-line], URL: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/08/030819073513.htm.

“Adult Stem Cells Show Wider Potential Than Previously Thought” (2006), Science Daily, September 19, [On-line], URL: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060918201025.htm.

“Human Skin Cells Reprogrammed Into Embryonic Stem Cells” (2008), Science Daily, February 12, [On-line], URL: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080211172631.htm.

Irwin, Kim (2008), “Scientists at UCLA Reprogram Human Skin Cells into Embryonic Stem Cells,” UCLA Newsroom, February 11, [On-line], URL: http://www.newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/scientists-reprogram- human-skin-44173.aspx.

Miller, Dave (2007), “No Need for Embryonic Stem Cells,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3634.

Palca, Joe (2007), “Scientists Produce Embryonic Stem Cells from Skin,” NPR, November 20, [On-line], URL: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16470482.

“Researchers Reprogram Normal Tissue Cells Into Embryonic Stem Cells” (2007), Science Daily, June 7, [On-line], URL: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070606235430.htm.

Thompson, Bert and Brad Harrub (2001), “Human Cloning and Stem-Cell Research—Science’s ‘Slippery Slope’ [Parts I, II, & III],” Reason & Revelation, [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2877.

Where did the Dinosaurs go?

This item is available on the Apologetics Press Web site at: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3647

AP Content :: Sensible Science

What Happened to the Dinosaurs?
by Kyle Butt, M.A. and Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Where did the dinosaurs go? This question has stumped the scientific community for decades. The question is extremely difficult because it appears that most dinosaurs (whose bones fossilized) died out in a sudden, catastrophic event. In The Scientific American Book of Dinosaurs, Walter Alvarez and Frank Asaro wrote: “About 65 million years ago, something killed half of all the life on the Earth. This sensational crime wiped out the dinosaurs” (2000, p. 346). Dewey McLean suggested: “Sixty-five million years ago, some phenomenon triggered mass extinctions on the lands and in the oceans so profound that they define the geological boundary between the older Mesozoic Era, often called the ‘Age of Reptiles,’ and the modern Cenozoic Era, the ‘Age of Mammals’.... This mass extinction is usually referred to as the K-T extinctions” (1995, emp. added). [NOTE: Though we completely disagree with the millions-of-years timeframe suggested by Alvarez, Asaro, McLean, and others, we include their quotes simply to show that most scientists admit that a major catastrophe killed many dinosaurs in the past. We also disagree that this catastrophe caused the extinction of the dinosaurs, due to the fact that evidence is available which verifies that dinosaurs lived with humans after the “phenomenon” in question (see Butt and Lyons, 2008; see also Lyons, 2007).]

The perplexing mass destruction of the majority of dinosaurs remains “one of the greatest mysteries in all science” (McLean, 1995). A host of theories attempt to explain the extinction of dinosaurs. In his book Walking with Dinosaurs, Tim Haines noted: “There have been over 80 theories suggested to explain the demise of the dinosaurs. These include plague, constipation, mammals eating their eggs, racial senility, a nearby explosion of a supernova, and being hunted by aliens” (1999, p. 281). Dr. David Norman, one-time head of Paleontology at the Nature Conservancy Council, similarly mentioned several theories in his book on dinosaurs (1991, pp. 147-159). He called one of the theories “racial senescence” or “world-weariness.” He explained that this theory suggests that dinosaurs simply had lived long enough and it was time for them to “slump into decline” and disappear. Dr. Norman then listed several other alleged causes of dinosaur extinction: slipped disc in the backbone; hormonal disorders; too much body heat; “malformations of their bone during growth; or progressive diminishing brain size resulting in death through stupidity and inability to cope with change” (p. 147). Norman continued to list theories such as massive disease, parasite infestation, overcrowding, overkill by carnivores, and a rather odd idea that caterpillars evolved at a rapid rate, stripped the leaves off trees and depleted the food supply. Norman then listed “catastrophic” theories, such as a huge comet striking the Earth and poisoning the dinosaurs because of a large amount of cyanide contained in the comet’s nose, or massive volcanic activity caused by depletion of the ozone layer (pp. 149-150). Norman also mentioned one scientist’s theory that dinosaurs were blinded by monstrous cataracts caused by overexposure to ultraviolet light (p. 150).

Generally speaking, the most popularly held evolutionary view of dinosaur extinction was put forth by Luis and Walter Alvarez. In an essay co-authored with Frank Asaro, Walter Alvarez suggested that a huge, six-mile-wide asteroid crashed into the Earth and caused catastrophic, global devastation. He and Asaro wrote: “A 6-mile-diameter asteroid moving at more than 22,000 miles an hour would ram a huge hole in the atmosphere. When it hit the ground, its kinetic energy would be converted to heat in a nonnuclear explosion 10,000 times as strong as the total world arsenal of nuclear weapons (2000, p. 350). The authors detailed many of the suggested effects of such a huge explosion. They noted that such an explosion would send enormous amounts of dust and water vapor into the atmosphere. This atmospheric contamination would result in virtually total darkness for months, and “[f]ood chains everywhere would collapse. The darkness would also produce extremely cold temperatures, a condition termed ‘impact winter’” (p. 351). After this “impact winter,” it is proposed that greenhouses gases such as carbon dioxide caused “a subsequent period of extreme heat” that would have killed many of the dinosaurs that lived through the extreme cold” (p. 351). Add to that the heavy acid rain possibly caused by the impact, plus the idea that more asteroids may have hit the Earth, and the devastation becomes almost indescribable. In their concluding remarks, Alvarez and Asaro stated: “As detectives attempting to unravel this 65-million-year-old mystery, we find ourselves pausing from time to time to reflect that we owe our very existence as thinking beings to the impact that destroyed the dinosaurs” (p. 357).

Perhaps the second most popular evolutionary theory for dinosaur extinction is the volcano-greenhouse theory. This theory, proposed by Dewey McLean, suggests that extensive volcanic activity, focused in an area known as the Deccan Traps in India, brought about the end of the dinosaurs. The extent of volcanic activity was so great that lava flows supposedly covered the Deccan Traps area for an estimated 2.6 million square kilometers. Today, the area is still covered by about 500,000 square kilometers of lava flows. In some places, the flows are a mile and a half thick (McLean, 1995). The massive volcanic activity supposedly introduced huge amounts of water vapor and carbon dioxide into Earth’s atmosphere. These greenhouse gasses allegedly trapped heat from the Sun, causing the Earth’s atmosphere to heat up. According to McLean, the intense heat generated by the greenhouse gas caused “environmental heat-induced reduction of blood flow to the uterine tract, that damages and kills embryos within their mothers” (1995). Basically, the Earth got so hot that the reptiles could no longer reproduce. Still, concerning the battling volcano-greenhouse theory and asteroid impact theory, McLean stated: “Today, after more than 20 years of often rancorous public debate, and intense efforts by scientists who have collected a huge geobiological data base, neither theory has emerged as victorous (sic).... For now, each theory remains but a theoretical framework for future research” (1995).

The problem with all such theories is that they fall short of adequately explaining all the data. For example, no one knows why the effects of an asteroid striking the Earth would kill every dinosaur but leave many other forms of life unharmed. Why did the asteroid not kill other reptiles such as turtles and alligators? What’s more, nothing in the fossil record supports the death of all dinosaurs at once. Though many dinosaurs are found in fossil “graveyards” throughout the world, the evidence also shows that some lived at a later time. Evolutionist Tim Haines admitted: “No single doomsday theory fits all the evidence...” (1999, p. 281). Haines is only partially right, however; no theory based on false, evolutionary assumptions fits all data. The asteroid impact theory, volcano-greenhouse theory, caterpillar theory, constipation theory, etc., cannot explain why the reptilian dinosaurs died, but crocodiles, turtles, and other reptiles lived. They cannot account for the fact that sharks and other marine fish and reptiles survived the event, but marine reptiles such as Plesiosaurs died. As Norman noted: “The curious nature of this mass extinction is not only that it was widespread in groups that it affected, but it was also selective” (1991, p. 147). Norman’s term “curious” simply means that no prevalent evolutionary theory explains it.

One theory pertaining to dinosaur extinction fits the available data better than any other proposed explanation: the global Flood of Noah’s day. Since one of the major facts of dinosaur destruction is that most major dinosaur fossil graveyards were caused by huge amounts of water, the theory that most dinosaurs died during the worldwide Flood is the best explanation for the mass destruction of dinosaurs.

Graveyards Associated with Flooding
The Dinosaur National Monument fossil quarry is one of the largest fossil repositories in the world, where over 1,600 fossilized dinosaur bones are buried (“Dinosaur National Monument,” 2004). Built around the major rock face that contains the fossils is a museum, which offers interesting information about the early discovery of the site in 1909. Like almost every federally funded dinosaur exhibit, the Dinosaur National Monument also propagates the standard evolutionary refrain that the dinosaurs lived millions of years ago. One intriguing thing about this monument is its explanation regarding the cause of its huge fossil graveyard. The wall opposite the rock face contains a large painted mural. This mural shows various dinosaurs wading through deep water. Under the mural, a placard reads: “After a seasonal flood: This scene of 145 million years ago is based on clues found in the rock face behind you. Carcasses brought downstream by the fast-moving, muddy water were washed onto a sandbar. Some were buried completely by tons of sand—their bones preserved in a nearly perfect state” (emp. added).

Interesting, is it not, that such a huge fossil graveyard is said to have occurred because of a “seasonal flood”? Further research has shown that many fossil finds are explained using a seasonal, regional, or flash-flood scenario. In November 1999, University of Chicago paleontologist Paul Sereno uncovered a 65-foot-long dinosaur called Jabaria. This skeleton was almost 95% complete. What was the explanation for its burial? “It looks as though the dinosaurs may have been caught in an ancient flash flood and buried quickly” (“Dinosaur Articles...,” 1999, emp. added). Robert Sanders, in an article copyrighted by the University of California, described a huge pterosaur graveyard by noting: “The fossil bones were found strewn throughout an ancient flood deposit in Chile’s Atacama desert, suggesting that they were animals or corpses caught up in a flood perhaps 110 million years ago at the beginning of the Cretaceous period” (1995, emp. added).

A BBC article discussing the series “Walking with Dinosaurs,” explains that much of the information for the first episode of the series came from a fossil find called the Ghost Ranch, located near Abaquiu, New Mexico. The article describes this site as one of the richest fossil finds in the world. Why were so many dinosaurs buried suddenly? “Palaeontologists believe that the collection of fossils was the result of a mass death around a dwindling water resource during a drought. Before the bodies of the animals were eaten by scavengers, a flash flood buried them in muddy sediments where they were preserved” (“Dig Deeper,” n.d., emp. added).

In the Fall of 2007, a massive fossil bed was uncovered in an area known as Lo Hueco, in Spain. The fossil bed contained at least 8,000 fossils, and bones from an estimated 100 Titanosauruses as well as several other dinosaur species (Catan, 2007). What caused such massive burial? Fernando Escasco, a paleontologist at Cuenca’s science museum, said that the animals were probably washed into the fossil bed by “heavy flooding” (De Elvira, 2007, emp. added).

The Global Flood of Noah’s Day
How interesting to learn that evolutionists explain many of the largest dinosaur graveyards in the world as having been caused by a flood (though they are quick to include words such as “seasonal,” “flash,” “regional,” and the like). It is important to recognize that any other theory of massive dinosaur destruction besides the global Flood of Noah’s day, must still somehow propose that great amounts of water directly caused many of the dinosaur graveyards around the world. In truth, the global Flood of Noah’s day (as recorded in Genesis 6-8) provides an excellent explanation for many (if not all) such graveyards around the world. The Bible explains that “all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights” (Genesis 7:11-12). Furthermore, “all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered” (Genesis 7:19, emp. added). During that year-long Flood, countless thousands of dinosaurs would have drowned and been buried quickly in muddy deposits around the world. It is reasonable to conclude that these dinosaur burial grounds became the well-known fossilized graveyards scientists have discovered around the world.

Aside from biblical testimony of a catastrophic worldwide flood, historical evidence also exists. Similar to the ubiquitous nature of dragon legends, anthropologists who study legends and folktales from different geographical locations and cultures consistently have reported Noahic-like flood stories. Legends have surfaced in hundreds of cultures throughout the world that tell of a huge, calamitous flood that destroyed most of mankind, and that was survived by only a few individuals and animals. Although most historians who have studied this matter estimate that these legends number above 200, according to evolutionary geologist Robert Schoch, “Noah is but one tale in a worldwide collection of at least 500 flood myths, which are the most widespread of all ancient myths and therefore can be considered among the oldest” (2003, p. 249, emp. added). Schoch went on to observe: “Narratives of a massive inundation are found all over the world.... Stories of a great deluge are found on every inhabited continent and among a great many different language and culture groups” (pp. 103,249).

Over a century ago, Canadian geologist Sir William Dawson wrote about how the record of the Flood “is preserved in some of the oldest historical documents of several distinct races of men, and is indirectly corroborated by the whole tenor of the early history of most of the civilized races” (1895, pp. 4ff.). Legends have been reported from nations such as China, Babylon, Mexico, Egypt, Sudan, Syria, Persia, India, Norway, Wales, Ireland, Indonesia, Romania, etc.—composing a list that could go on for many pages (see Perloff, 1999, p. 167). Although the vast number of such legends is surprising, the uniformity of much of their content is equally amazing. James Perloff noted:

In 95 percent of the more than two hundred flood legends, the flood was worldwide; in 88 percent, a certain family was favored; in 70 percent, survival was by means of a boat; in 67 percent, animals were also saved; in 66 percent, the flood was due to the wickedness of man; in 66 percent, the survivors had been forewarned; in 57 percent, they ended up on a mountain; in 35 percent, birds were sent out from the boat; and in 9 percent, exactly eight people were spared (p. 168).

What is the significance of the various flood legends? The answer is obvious: (1) we have well over 200 flood legends that tell of a great flood (and possibly more than 500—Schoch, p. 249); (2) many of the legends come from different ages and civilizations that could not possibly have copied similar legends; (3) the legends were recorded long before any missionaries arrived to relate the Genesis account of Noah. The reasonable conclusion is that in the distant past, a colossal flood forever affected the history of all civilizations. As Dawson noted more than a century ago: “[W]e know now that the Deluge of Noah is not mere myth or fancy of primitive man or solely a doctrine of the Hebrew Scriptures.... [N]o historical event, ancient or modern, can be more firmly established as matter of fact than this” (1895, pp. 4ff.).

Since much historical and physical evidence indicates that humans interacted with dinosaurs as recently as hundreds or thousands of years ago (e.g., stories and rock art of dinosaurs), then it must follow that some of the dinosaurs survived the Flood. What’s more, since the only dry area on the globe during the Flood was on Noah’s ark (Genesis 7:23), dinosaurs must have accompanied Noah and his family on the ark. Questions arise, however, as to how pairs of huge dinosaurs, some growing to lengths of over 120 feet, weighing more than 110 tons, could have been housed on the ark. First, it is important to remember that the ark was a huge vessel—300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high (Genesis 6:15). The word “cubit” comes from a Hebrew word meaning “forearm,” because the Hebrews used their forearm in determining the length of a cubit. Generally, a cubit was the distance from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger (cf. Free and Vos, 1992, p. 182). According to our own measurements, a cubit would be about 18-20 inches. Thus, the ark was approximately 450 feet long (one-and-a-half football fields!), 75 feet wide, and 45 feet tall. For a long time, it was the largest sea-going vessel ever recorded.

The ark would have had a total floor area of about 100,000 square feet—the equivalent of slightly more than 20 standard basketball courts! And its total volume would have been roughly 1.5 million cubic feet. To help readers get a better idea of just how large the ark really was, John Whitcomb urged people to “imagine waiting at a railroad crossing while 10 freight trains, each pulling 52 boxcars, move slowly by, one after another” (1973, p. 23). Now imagine putting all of those boxcars into the ark. Whitcomb noted that the space available inside the ark would have held 520 modern railroad boxcars! (p. 23).

To some, the idea of dinosaurs on the ark seems absurd. However, it is not so hard to accept the idea of dinosaurs on the ark after considering the subject carefully. First, remember that God was the Creator of all animals, and He knew exactly how big the ark needed to be in order to house all different kinds of land-living animals. Second, contrary to popular belief, not all dinosaurs were massive. According to the famous evolutionary dinosaur fossil-hunter John Horner, the average dinosaur was only about the size of a large cow (see Horner and Lessem, 1993, p. 124). Many dinosaurs were only a few feet tall—even as full-grown adults. Some were as small as chickens. Third, God may have allowed Noah to take baby dinosaurs into the ark, instead of those that were full grown. That allowance certainly would have saved space and reduced the amount of necessary food. The largest fossil dinosaur eggs indicate that a 40-foot-long dinosaur laid eggs that were less than a foot in diameter (see “Dinosaur Reproduction,” 2007). As hatchlings, even the largest dinosaurs were no bigger than an average house pet. Young dinosaurs on the ark would have needed no more space than the average dog.

So why did dinosaurs eventually become extinct if some survived the Flood? We do not know for sure, but one reason may be that the dinosaurs who survived the Flood on Noah’s ark were unable to cope in the new world, because the climate was so different. One indication that the world was very different after the Flood is that human life expectancy decreased by hundreds of years. Before the Flood, the Bible indicates that men commonly lived to be 800 and 900 years old (see Genesis 5:3-32). In fact, the grandfather of Noah, whose name was Methuselah, lived to be 969 years old (Genesis 5:27). After the Flood, however, people began dying at much younger ages. Instead of living to be 800 or 900 years old, the descendants of Noah eventually began living to be only 150 to 200 years old. For example, Abraham died at age 175 (Genesis 25:7). Although that is extremely old by today’s standards, compared to the ages of people prior to the Flood, it is much younger. Many creation scientists believe that the conditions that caused man’s lifespan to decrease were the same conditions that eventually (years later) drove the dinosaurs to extinction.

The last surviving dinosaurs may have become extinct for the same reason that many other animals through the years have died out—the filling of our planet with humans. It is very possible that humans hunted various kinds of dinosaurs into extinction. Certain species of tigers, bears, elephants, and hippos have all been hunted to the brink of destruction. Perhaps the same thing happened to many species of dinosaurs. Immediately after the Flood, God said to Noah and his family:

The fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs (Genesis 9:2-3).

Not until after the Flood do we read of God granting humans permission to hunt animals. Soon, mighty men such as Nimrod, a grandson of Ham, began hunting animals (Genesis 10:8-12). Although dinosaurs repopulated in various places throughout the world after the Flood, it could be that many eventually died at the hand of hunters. Countries all over the world, after all, have stories of dragon slayers (see Lyons, 2007).

Everyone who has heard of dinosaurs likely has pondered, at one time or another, why they became extinct. The fact is, no one knows for certain why all of the dinosaurs ultimately died out. The worldwide Flood recorded in Genesis 6-8 undoubtedly explains adequately the presence of massive dinosaur fossil graveyards around the world, but exactly why the last dinosaur on Earth died is speculation. There are reasonable possibilities, but it is presumptuous for one to assert that he knows for sure. “What happened to the last dinosaurs?” is an interesting question, but one that we may never answer with all certainty.

Alvarez, Walter and Frank Asaro (2000), “An Extraterrestrial Impact,” The Scientific American Book of Dinosaurs, ed. Gregory Paul (New York: Byron Preiss Visual Publications).

Butt, Kyle and Eric Lyons (2008), “Physical Evidence for the Coexistence of Dinosaurs and Humans—Part I,” Reason & Revelation, 28[3]:17-23, March, [On-line], URL: http://apologeticspress.org/articles/3626.

Catan, Thomas (2007), “Huge Dinosaur Graveyard Found in Spain,” [On-line], URL: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,313761,00.html.

Dawson, John William (1895), The Historical Deluge in Relation to Scientific Discovery (Chicago, IL: Revell).

De Elvira, M.R. (2007), “Rail Work Points Way to Most Diverse Dinosaur Site in Europe,” Expatica, [On-line], URL: http://www.expatica.com/actual/article.asp?subchannel_id=81&story _id=46144.

“Dig Deeper” (no date), [On-line], URL: http://www.bbc.co.uk/dinosaurs/dig_deeper/finds_ 1.shtml#top.

“Dinosaur Articles 1999” (1999), [On-line], URL: http://www.crystalinks.com/dinosaurs3.html.

“Dinosaur National Monument” (2004), [On-line], URL: http://www.desertusa.com/dino/.

“Dinosaur Reproduction” (2007), [On-line], URL: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/dinosaurs/anatomy/Repro.shtml.

Free, Joseph P. and Howard F. Vos (1992), Archaeology and Bible History (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).

Haines, Tim (1999), Walking with Dinosaurs: A Natural History (London: BBC Worldwide).

Horner, John R. and Don Lessem (1993), The Complete T. rex: How Stunning New Discoveries are Changing Our Understanding of the World’s Most Famous Dinosaur (New York: Simon & Schuster).

Lyons, Eric (2007), “Historical Support for the Coexistence of Dinosaurs and Humans—Parts I & II,” Reason & Revelation, 27:65-71,73-79, September-October.

McLean, Dewey (1995), “The Deccan Trapps Volcanism-Greenhouse Dinosaur Extinction Theory,” [On-line], URL: http://filebox.vt.edu/artsci/geology/mclean/Dinosaur_Volcano_Extinction /pages/studentv.html.

Norman, David (1991), Dinosaur! (New York: Prentice Hall).

Perloff, James (1999), Tornado in a Junkyard: The Relentless Myth of Darwinism (Arlington, MA: Refuge Books).

Sanders, Robert (1995), “Pterosaur Insights,” [On-line], URL: http://www.berkeley.edu/news/berkeleyan/1995/0503.pterosaur.html.

Schoch, Robert M. (2003), Voyages of the Pyramid Builders (New York: Jeremy P. Parcher/Putnam).

Whitcomb, John C. (1973), The World That Perished (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).