I’ve been waiting for someone to ask us about Glen Rose, Texas and the fossil footprints found in the Paluxy River bed.  This week, we received the following email about those very prints.  So I will devote today’s Feed Back to addressing Charles’s inquiry about them.

From: Charles B.

Subject: Foot print in Dinosaur foot print

The Creation Museum in Glenn Rose, Texas has a foot print of a human within a dinosaur track.

The river bed in that location has numerous human tracks along with the Dinosaurs. I have pictures.

Worth checking out

Response:

Thank you Charles, for contacting us with your inquiry about the dinosaur and human tracks found at the Paluxy River area near Glen Rose, Texas.  I have not personally been to Glen Rose, but have spoken to others who have.

For those reading this on the Saturday Feed Back, I will try to elaborate a little on the tracks to give a brief history which will lead into my response to your inquiry.

The Paluxy River flows near Glen Rose, TX where it has cut through and eroded the limestone substrate exposing various different layers of rock.  In some of those layers, there are distinct dinosaur trackways.  There are also several sets of trackways that appear to be human-like tracks fossilized with along with the dinosaur tracks and in a few instances they appear in a dinosaur track.

Back in 1968, a crew from Films for Christ headed by Stan Taylor went to Glen Rose to examine, study and film the trackways.  Taylor interviewed a number of local residents of the area that claimed to have seen the human tracks and reported that a number of them had been cut out of the river bed and sold during hard times.  When Taylor saw the circular holes still in the rock strata he accepted a number of these claims as verifiable.

The Films for Christ crew excavated into the river bank and were able to uncover some fresh human-like tracks in existing trails and unearthed new tracks.  By digging out new tracks, Taylor and company knew that there was no way that the tracks could have been carved by those wanting to create forgeries.  However, none of the tracks that they uncovered formed perfect human footprints.  They appeared human-like and it was believed that no other animal could have made them.   Based on the evidence found, Taylor and Films for Christ released a film in 1973 titled Footprints in Stone, which documented the trackways.

Dr. John Morris from the Institute for Creation Research also went to Glen Rose to investigate the tracks.  Dr. Morris was so impressed with what he saw that in 1980 his book Tracking Those Incredible Dinosaurs and the People Who Knew Them was published.  His book detailed the various trackways and the studies that had been conducted on them and individual tracks.

By the early to mid 1990’s, a number of the alleged human tracks began to erode.  Dr. Morris returned to the Paluxy River and examined the same prints that when first exposed appeared to be human-like.  Upon his return, these tracks had taken on the appearance of tridactyl (three-toed) dinosaur prints.  In a set of tracks that Dr. Morris referred to as the Taylor Trail, the part of the track around the toes began to clearly reveal three distinct toe impressions.

Further investigations of this trail of tracks and several others have since cast doubt on the tracks that were or are still thought to be human.  Some of those that once endorsed the tracks as being made by humans withdrew their endorsement.

I spoke to Dr. Morris about these tracks while I was attending the ICR graduate school in the mid 1990’s.  He told me then that he no longer believed that any of the tracks were manmade and that he had pulled his book from publication.  I also had the opportunity, about 6 years ago, to ask him if any further developments had taken place concerning the tracks.  He told me that the more the supposed human tracks were exposed to erosion, the more tridactyl they became and that he regretted ever having published his book back in 1980.

Over the years, I have had the opportunity to speak with several other creation scientists who have visited the Glen Rose trackways and all have said that as much as they wanted to believe the tracks were indeed manmade, they could not state that they were.

On the other hand, I have talked with other non-science trained creationists who have returned from the Paluxy River trackways believing that they have seen verifiable human footprints along with dinosaur prints.

So what is my personal opinion or stance on the Paluxy River tracks since I have not personally visited the area and examined them for myself?  For two reasons, I find myself tending to shy away from accepting the tracks as being 100% verifiable human tracks.

First of all, I personally know and respect the scientist’s who have examined and studied the Paluxy prints and I feel inclined to accept their interpretation of what they have seen.  These men have been trained to now what to look for and how to examine the tracks, where most laypersons are not so trained. It’s not that I doubt the laypeople and their methods of observations, but I don’t know them as well nor do I know their abilities of scientific observation.

Secondly, since there is doubt concerning the tracks, I feel it best to not use them as evidence that man and dinosaur lived and walked together.  I’ve known of other instances in the creation world when someone adamantly endorsed a certain piece of evidence only to have their reputation and credibility questioned and doubted when the evidence was proven to be wrong.  I would rather error on the side of caution rather than place Creation Revolution and myself in harm’s way.

I hope and pray that you understand the position we have taken on this matter.

For more information on the supposed human and dinosaur tracks from the Paluxy River and other locations, see:

Human and dinosaur fossil footprints?

However, I do want to make it clear that the dinosaur trackways along the Paluxy River are a treasure to behold.  There are a number of articles explaining fossil dinosaur tracks from a biblical creation view point.  See:

The Pattern of Fossil Tracks in the Geological Record

Dinosaur footprints found in China

Dinosaur footprints, fish traces and the Flood

In the footsteps of giants

Truth About Dinosaurs DVD

n this stunning program, watch science and the Bible unite as you learn the amazing truth about these creatures. Using several museum-quality dinosaur fossils and specimens, Dr. G. Thomas Sharp will explain the Biblical view of dinosaur origins, and their disappearance, as he walks you through the five most frequently asked questions about these incredible animals.

Did Dinosaurs really exist? if so, when Did they exist? Where are they now? Why is the word “Dinosaurs” not in the Bible? Were Dinosaurs on Noah’s ark?

Dr. Sharp will also reveal their fascinating history and the role they play in the development of a Biblical worldview.

Learn the Truth About Dinosaurs.

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