Category Archives: Anthropology

Buried rivers kill Noah’s Flood

How often do you hear creationists say that there’s no evidence for erosion in the geologic record? Well, unfortunately for them, there is, and it’s not just something they can hand-wave away as some product of the Flood. Here, I’m going to show several examples of paleorivers (all images from Glenn Morton’s archived essays, save the last two). These are found everywhere throughout the rock record, at so many levels that it rules out the Phanerozoic as having been produced by a single event, and therefore, falsifies Flood Geology.

Paleorivers are exactly what they sound like; river channels that have been buried and preserved in the rock record. They often show slow meanders and which negate them having formed rapidly on unconsolidated flood sediment.

Here are several images of paleorivers. The name of the strata they’re found in will be listed above each one.


Paleoriver in limestone

This is a paleoriver from the Breckenridge limestone in Texas. Oil wells drilled outside of the channel find limestone at this level, but wells drilled into the channel fail to find any limestone here but instead find the sands and shales deposited by the river. As you can see it meanders tightly and extends for several miles, just as modern rivers do.


Coal paleoriver
Above is a channel in the Harrisburg No. 5 coal in Illinois. The two maps show where the meandering sandstone channel is in two different counties. Here is what the authors have to say about it:

“Figure 4 (modified from a map by Trescott) shows that the No. 5 coal underlies all of the area except for the locality of a meandering channel averaging about three-quarters of a mile in width in the main alluvial valley. ~-Harold R. Wanless, James R. Baroffio, and Peter C. Trescott,”Conditions of Deposition of Pennsylvanian Coal Beds,” Geol. Soc. America Spec. Paper 114 pp 105-142 (1969), p. 115-116, in Charles A. Ross and June R. P. Ross, Geology of Coal, (New York: Hutchinson Ross Publishing Co., 1984, p. 95-96

This once again reflects a meandering channel covering a long distance, just as we see on the surface today. It also sinks the “Floating Forest” theory YECs have for explaining coal seams. If that were true then such channels would not exist, as catastrophic burial of a floating forest or veggimat will not form a gentle meandering channel over such a vast distance.


Above view

Forward view

These two images come from this paper here. They show not just paleorivers, but an entire ancient landscape, dating to the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. This deeply incised landscape is cut into the 58.5–56-Myr-old Lamba formation, which consists of marine deltaic deposits whose flat topset units were deposited at sea level . This formation is largely unreflective and consists of mudstones and siltstones with occasional thin sandy layers. The eroded landscape has been infilled by the 2 56–54.5 Myr Flett and Balder formations. I think the pictures speak for themselves. Ancient river drainage basins, which look exactly like the ones on the surface today, will not form under catastrophic conditions enacted on still-unconsolidated flood sediment. But according to YECs the flood sediments were still soft after the Flood to allow the rapid carving of the Grand Canyon. So obviously this feature could not have formed, but here it is.


So, there’s several examples of paleorivers, and this is but a small sample of what’s out there. Paleorivers are found at a wide range of stratigraphic levels. I think the implications of these features are clear. These are surface features, buried under tons of sediment. Why are these such a problem for Flood Geology? Because creationists themselves list a claimed lack of erosion and surface features between layers as one of their top six evidences for a Global Flood. Obviously then, they know things like paleorivers cannot form in their Flood. But there they are. Thus, we’ve falsified Flood Geology yet again.

Comments and criticisms welcome! 🙂

Know Your Bones: November 2013

Last month I decided to start my new blog series with something that I thought would be very easy for everyone. I am glad to see that within one day the answer was given by Inferno.


 I was surprised to see I too knew it at once.
Laughably, unknowledgeable creationists yank our collective chains with their nonsense on this…


Did you get that? I know I missed it the first time I saw it, so let me see if I can help highlight it.




Inferno is correct in that this set of bones is commonly known as Lucy. As the story goes when it was first discovered in 1974, Dr. Donald Johanson and his colleagues celebrated with drinks and music. However, the only song they had was Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, thus the name stuck to the skeleton they found.



(Taken at the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology)


Lucy is an Australopithecus afarensis from eastern Africa and is designated AL 288-1. The reason Lucy is so famous is not that it was the first Australopith found (that belongs to the Taung Child), nor was it the first A. afarensis discovered (that belongs to Al 129-1 a year earlier). No, Lucy is famous because it was the most complete A. afarensis specimen found for nearly half a century, providing nearly 40% of the skeleton, mostly the post-cranial remains. A. afarensis is also famous for being the oldest hominin species for nearly half a century; however, newer finds have taken that place. A. afarensis lived 3.9 – 2.9 million years ago, which places A. afarensis in the Pliocene.


A. afarensis appears to be a perfect transitional species between modern humans and our last common ancestor with chimpanzees. It was bipedal, yet still had long arms for climbing around in trees. Lucy’s skeleton, because it was so complete, enabled scientist to definitively determine that the Australopiths were bipedal because of traits found on Lucy’s legs and pelvis. Later specimens have shown bipedal traits in the skull and foot of A. afarensis.


Moving on to this months challenge:



(Taken at the Denver Museum of Natural History)


This month and every month after, I will stay out of the comment section. That way you can discuss amongst yourself what critter use to own this skull.

Rebuttal to Ian Juby’s “’In 7 Days’ Crash Course in Creation” Day 3

Read part one and part two.

Day 3:  Dinosaurs & Humans step on evolution


In this lesson, Juby recites a list of well-known and refuted creationist claims, essentially covering the Greatest Hits (complete with pictures!) from the Talk.Origins “Index to Creationist Claims.” The Talk.Origins page adequately covers the claims made in this lesson, so I will give brief rebuttals and link to the appropriate pages.

According to the scriptures, God created the dinosaurs (the land animals) on day 6 – the same day He created people.  Therefore, according to the scriptures, man and dinosaurs have lived together.


Actually, there are two accounts in Genesis of the creation of humans. The first account states that humans and the other land animals were created on day six. Nevertheless, the second account claims that a god created all the life on earth and man second to last. However, after seeing that man was lonely, the god decided to create a partner for him out of one of man’s ribs.

Furthermore, humans have lived with dinosaurs for our entire existence. Birds are dinosaurs!

According to evolution, dinosaurs became extinct at least 60 million years before people ever evolved.  So what would it mean if we found man and dinosaur together?


First off, non-avian dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago and modern humans first evolved ~200,000 years ago. Thus, Juby’s math is a little off. Second, this is not according to evolution; here Juby is equating evolution with the geological record. Third, it would mean nothing if humans and dinosaurs were found together, because humans and dinosaurs are found together (birds are dinosaurs). However, the point Juby is trying to make is what is the implication of finding evidence of humans and non-avian dinosaurs together. The only implication would be that our ideas of the extinction of all the non-avian dinosaurs 65 million years ago would be wrong and there is a problem with the geologic record. This would in no way invalidate our understanding of evolutionary theory.

Well let’s ask the evolutionists:
Dr. Richard Dawkins, one of the most outspoken atheists in the world, wrote “…there are certain things about the fossil record that any evolutionist should expect to be true. We should be very surprised, for example, to find fossil humans appearing in the record before mammals are supposed to have evolved! If a single, well verified mammal skull were to turn up in 500 million year old rocks, our whole modern theory of evolution would be utterly destroyed. Incidentally, this is a sufficient answer to the canard, put about by creationist and their journalistic fellow travelers, that the whole theory of evolution is an ‘unfalsifiable’ tautology. Ironically, it is also the reason why creationist are so keen on the fake human footprints, which were carved during the depression to fool tourists, in the dinosaur beds of Texas,” (The Blind Watchmaker, 1986, p.225, emphasis mine)


This is where I fundamentally disagree with Dawkins. It would not destroy our modern theory of evolution. It would however, throw a wrench in our understanding of the geological record, as I already said. There is far too much genetic data supporting evolutionary theory today to ever allow a field such as geology the ability to over turn it.

Juby goes on to quote two other evolutionary proponents to the same effect as above, so I see no need in repeating myself. However, I must point out that the Dawkins quote is the most recent; being from the year I was born. The other two are from before that and well before our modern understanding of genetics. This also makes me doubt that Dawkins still holds this position today, and is probably why Juby has to look to the 80s for his quotes (after all, these lessons were created in 2008).

Now we get into the Greatest Hits from Talk.Origins:

This is a replica of a cast-iron pot, found in a lump of coal supposedly 285 Million years old!  This is well before the first dinosaurs were supposed to have evolved, roughly 225 million years ago.

There are only limited conclusions we can draw from such evidence:

A) Aliens were around 285 million years ago, and inadvertently dropped a pot
B) Humans were around 285 million years ago
C) The assumed age of the coal, and the assumptions of the stratigraphic record are incorrect.
D) It’s a fake.
E) It’s evidence of time travel.


Alternatively, F) the pot is of modern origins that fell into the coal mine.

The London artifact was a hammer found in Cretaceous rocks near London, Texas.  Max Hahn and his family were fishing near a waterfall when they found a rock with a piece of wood sticking out of it.  They took it home as a curiousity, and broke open the rock later on to find out that the wood was actually the handle of an ancient hammer!

There’s only so many conclusions we can draw from this artifact:
A) Aliens were around during the time of the dinosaurs (the Cretaceous period), and dropped their hammer.
B) Humans were around during the time of the dinosaurs
C) The assumed age of the rock, and the assumptions of the stratigraphic record are incorrect.
D) It’s a modern hammer that got encased in old rock and fossils.
E) It’s evidence that man figured out time travel.

The anti-creationists will try and argue for “D”, though no one has produced a historic hammer that looks like this one, and this fails to explain the fossils found in the rock the hammer was encased in.  It can’t be a “concretion” of fossils and rock, because there are no fossils to be found in the dirt in the riverbed the hammer was found in!


Again, F). D) is only partially correct. A historic hammer was encased in travertine. The fossils may have been reincorporated onto the concretion or they might not be fossils at all and be modern mollusks. We may never know because Don Patton does not allow actual scientists an opportunity to examine this artifact.

In the Paluxy riverbed in Glen Rose, Texas, literally dozens of fossil human footprints have been found amongst the dinosaur tracks that make this area so famous.

There’s only so many conclusions we can draw from this artifact:
A) Aliens were around during the time of the dinosaurs (the Cretaceous period)
B) Humans were around during the time of the dinosaurs
C) The assumed age of the rock, and the assumptions of the stratigraphic record are incorrect.
D) They’re from a creature other than a human being
E) It’s evidence that man figured out time travel.
F) stands for “Fake!”

Most of the fossil human footprints from the Paluxy are found in trails, excavated from underneath undisturbed limestone, in the presence of multiple witnesses.
So much for option “F”.


Once again F), for at least the example provided. The photo Juby provides is a laughable example of a forgery, which is one of the two explanations of the Paluxy River human tracks.

The fact that Juby does not see this for the obvious fraud it is speaks volumes about his knowledge of anatomy.  The other explanation is misidentification of therapod dinosaur track ways, which explains the uncovering of track ways in front of witnesses. The Paluxy River is a wonderful source for dinosaur tracks. Many fossil footprints from the Paluxy River are on display at museums across the U.S.

The last picture on the right is of the Delk track, a fossil that came to light in May of 2008.  This was one of several fossils that have been run through a CT scanner to check for its authenticity.  I produced a video devoted just to this fossil entitled “The Delk Track: Evidence of dinosaur and human coexistence,” and it’s available for free viewing on my videos page:


First, the photo provided is from his website, the one that should have appeared in the lesson does not format. However, I am familiar with the Delk Track, thus knew what it looked like. Second, this is the one example Juby uses that does not appear on Talk.Origins “Index to Creationist Claims.” Nevertheless, Glen J. Kuban has written up a superb refutation of the Delk Track entitled “The Alvis Delk Print: An Alleged Human Footprint on a Loose Rock” wherein Kuban refutes everything about this forgery, including an explanation of how the human and dinosaur prints are fakes. I encourage everyone that has not already read his article to please read it. It is well worth your time.

Perhaps you’re still not convinced those are human tracks?  Well not far from Glen Rose, during the construction of the Comanche peak nuclear power plant, a gravel layer, sandwhiched between two layers of the Walnut shale, was cut through.  This fossil human finger was found amongst the gravels.


Unbelievably Juby (and his creationist ilk) think a shrimp burrow is a human finger. If I needed to point to one example of Juby’s colossal ignorance or blatant dishonesty, this would be it. This whole lesson is an example of his ignorance or his dishonesty. Either way, Juby is a horrible source for information when it comes to the Origins Debate. Everything, except the Delk track, has been known to be a forgery, misplaced, or misidentified for at least a decade. The forged Paluxy footprints/misidentified dinosaur tracks are included in AiG’s list of arguments that should be avoided, for crying aloud. This is only his third lesson and he is already resorting to evidence this weak? PATHETIC!

Coming up in lesson four: Dinosaurs and the flood of Noah…

What is a …

I would like to answer a frequent question I hear while volunteering at the natural history museum. That question is “what is a paleontologist?” I will also throw in archeologist and anthropologist for good measure.

To answer the first question, a paleontologist is a person who studies the history of life on Earth. They are the people that dig up dinosaur fossils and other amazing plants and animals that once lived on our planet. The excavation and curation of the fossils they discover is what gives us our understanding of Earth’s past. There are several subfields of paleontology, which include paleobotany (plant fossils), invertebrate paleontology, and vertebrate paleontology. All of those can also be broken down into more fields.

So what is an archeologist?

An archeologist is a person that studies human prehistory. Archeologists are the people that dig up human remains, artifacts, and animals once preyed upon by humans. Since most of human history happened before anything was written down, archeology is our only look into the vast majority of our history on Earth. There are several subfields of this as well, such as bio-archeology (human remains), zoo-archeology (animal remains), lithic analysis, ceramic analysis. From there the fields are usually broken up into the area of the world you study and the time period you are investigating.

So what is an anthropologist?

An anthropologist is a person that studies primates, everything from lemurs to humans. In fact, in the U.S. archeology is considered a subfield of anthropology (most European countries place archeology into history). The other subfields are biological anthropology (anatomy of mainly humans), ethnology (or cultural anthropology), and human evolutionary ecology.

Now, there is some overlap in all three, but major distinctions between the three as well. for example if you found something you thought might be a fossil, you probably would not want to ask your local archeologist what it is, on that same note, if you discovered a arrowhead, a paleontologist would not know much more than you already know.

However, an example of the overlap is the subfield of anthropology I someday hope to become a part of. That subfield is called paleoanthropology and that is the field that studies the hominins and other ancient primate species. This subfield deals with primates (thus anthropology), which are very old and mostly extinct (thus paleontology) and some of the specimens can be classified as human and were creating lithics (thus archeology).

I hope this short overview of these three scientific fields was helpful and may have cleared up any questions you might have had. If anyone has any questions about any of the three fields, please ask away. I will be more than happy to address any questions.

First blog post

Seeing as how this will be my first blog post, I thought I would start by giving my CV.

I am currently a contract archaeologist; my specialty is human and faunal remains (I am not using that much today). I have been on excavations in Hawaii, Spain, and in my great state of New Mexico. I obtained my Bachelor of Science with honors in Biological Anthropology from the University of New Mexico in 2010. My senior thesis was about dental microwear on extant primate populations (it can also be used to reconstruct paleo-environments). I one day hope to return to school and continue studying skeletal anatomy, paleoecology, and cladistics. I also volunteer at my local natural history museum, which I also hope to obtain a larger role in soon (hopefully specimen preparation work and excavations). To sum it up, I like bones and fossils.

My main Ethernet hobby, as many of you already know from practically all my forum posts, is debunking creationism. With part of this blog, I am hoping to add just a little more firepower to the pro-science side of this argument, not only in biology, but also in all fields that creationism tries to distort and tamper with.

The other part of this blog I am hoping to answer general questions people have about archaeology, anthropology, and paleontology; a basic “ask an archaeologist/anthropologist/paleontologist” blog. I would welcome all questions; the main thrust of my volunteer work is answering questions from the public. Thus, any questions are welcome and will be answered by me (hopefully).

For the most part that is what I would like to blog about; I may blog about other things, such as how great New Mexico is, but look forward to creationism debunking and archeo-babble.

I guess this is enough for my first post. I hope everyone will enjoy my blog as much as I enjoy writing it.

Have a nice day. 🙂