Tag Archives: dinosaurs

Know Your Bones: October 2015

There were only two guesses for last month’s challenge, both correct, but one being more correct. I have a feeling that the reason only two people guessed is because this one was such an easy specimen. So, who won, who was the more correct of the two?




It turned out to be WarK, because the other guesser gave the wrong species name. The critter from last month is Camarasaurus supremus.


 photo 2014-01-10111738_zps5a90e232.jpg
(Taken at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science)


Camarasaurus lived during the late Jurassic 155 to 145 million years ago. It ranged across most of North America and is an extremely common dinosaur in the Morrison Formation. Camarasaurus had an average length of 18 meters and weighed up to 18 tons. Remarkably, several complete skeletons of Camarasaurus have been discovered in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico. Based on their fossil abundance it is assumed that they roamed around North America in large numbers during the late Jurassic and may have had one of the largest populations of sauropods, if not dinosaurs, known thus far.


Camarasaurus means “chambered lizard;” it most likely got this name from the hollow bones that make up much of the vertebra or the many fenestrae found on the skull. Camarasaurus had chisels shaped teeth that were 19 cm long. The shape of the teeth and strength of the skull suggest that Camarasaurus specialized in eating coarser plant matter. This is different from other sauropods, thus Camarasaurus most likely inhabited a different environment then its cousins that also lived during this time. Camarasaurus remains are found together in a lot of sites, suggesting that they lived and died in herds.


Moving on to this month’s challenge:


 photo 2013-10-18105402_zps59c3c2eb.jpg
(Taken at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science)


Here we have a terrifying critter, which is appropriate for this month. Thanks for playing and good luck.

Know Your Bones: March 2015

Last month’s challenge was extremely easy. Thus, I did not just want the name of the critter, but why it was such an important critter as well. With in a matter of hours Inferno named the critter, and about a day later edited his post to say why it was so important.


Archaeopteryx lithographica

EDIT: Why is it important? Because Darwin predicted it. There was no link between birds and dinosaurs, then Archaeopteryx showed up. In Darwin’s lifetime.


This critter is indeed Archaeopteryx lithographica and Inferno is correct that it fulfilled a prediction Darwin made within a few years of the prediction being made.


 photo 2014-01-10111452_zps436afe7e.jpg

(Taken at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science)


Archaeopteryx lived during the late Jurassic, 150 to 145 million years ago in southern Germany. During that time, Europe was located close to the equator and was a large archipelago of islands in a shallow ocean. Archaeopteryx was not a very large animal, reaching 50 centimeters in length. Even though Archaeopteryx is popularly known as the first bird, it has a lot more in common with other theropods (especially the dromaeosaurs). Some of those features are a mouth full of teeth, three un-fused finger bones that included claws on each, a long bony tail, and feathers. One of the features that Archaeopteryx possesses that aligns it with birds is the atypical flight feathers found on its arms and legs. The feathers suggest that Archaeopteryx could at least glide if not outright fly. Scans of the skull of Archaeopteryx shows that it had a larger brain, including a larger vision center, than most other dinosaurs at the time, which also suggest gliding/flight capabilities.


The fossil used in last month’s challenge is known as the Berlin Specimen, and it is the most famous specimen of Archaeopteryx (and one of the most famous fossils in the world). However, the reason it is the most famous specimen is because it is the most complete, not because it was the first specimen found. The first skeletal remains of Archaeopteryx were found in 1861 and are known as the London Specimen. The London Specimen is missing a head, so the skull anatomy of Archaeopteryx was not known until the discovery of the Berlin Specimen in 1880, and its discovery further fulfilled Darwin’s prediction.


Moving on to this month’s challenge:


 photo IMAG0176_zpsd11161e7.jpg

(Taken at the Denver Museum of Natural History and Science)


Good luck and have fun.

Know Your Bones: May 2014

Last month’s challenge was extremely easy, so easy in fact that just an hour after being posted Inferno gave a correct answer. However, and this seems to be a theme for this series, WarK posted an even more correct answer a few hours later.


 Stegosaurus stenops

I’m guessing with the latter part of the name. From what pictures I could find online that one looked the closest to the picture posted by the Bone Torturer


This is indeed Stegosaurus stenops, a very famous dinosaur.



(Taken at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science)


Stegosaurus ranged across most of western North America during the late Jurassic 150 to 145 million years ago, and one specimen was discovered in Portugal. Stegosaurus is found in the Morrison Formation in North America. Stegosaurus stenops could reach a size of ~7 meters in length, although some species of Stegosaurus could reach lengths of ~9 meters. This sounds impressive, but one has to remember that Stegosaurus would have been dwarfed by the sauropods found at the same time and place.



(Taken at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science)


There are two main branches of dinosaur, ornithischians (“bird” hip) and saurischians (“lizard” hip). Stegosaurus belongs to the ornithischian clade. This means that Stegosaurus possesses a pelvis that superficially resembles a modern bird pelvis. Stegosaurus also belongs to the Thyreophora (armored dinosaur) clade. This clade includes all the dinosaurs that had armored backs and tales. The plates found on the back of Stegosaurus and the spikes on its tale make Stegosaurus one of the easiest dinosaurs to identify. The spikes on its tale were most likely exclusively used as defensive weapons against the predators of its time. However, the plates on the back of Stegosaurus may have been used for thermal regulation as well as defense. The plates show blood vessels ran across their surface. This could have also been used for colorful displays when blood was pumped into them.


Moving on to this month’s challenge:


(Taken at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science)


Good luck.

Know Your Bones: March 2014

Last months challenge was apparently very easy. WarK was able to guess the correct answer within a matter of hours. However, later in the day Aught3 gave an even more correct answer.


Some kind of terror bird but not a moa :(


Dammit WarK!
How about Gastornis giganteus then? Just to try and be even more correct.


Aught3 is correct that this is Gastornis giganteus, formally known as Diatryma giganteus, however, Aught3 is incorrect in thinking that this is a terror bird (also, moas were not terror birds).


(Taken at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science)


Gastornis ranged across much of North America, Europe, and Asia during the late Paleocene and early Eocene 56-45 million years ago. It is largely believed that Gastornis was the apex predator of its day, like the “terror birds” that inhabited mostly South America. However, Gastornis and its relatives lack the curved beak and sharp-clawed feet found in their distant cousins, the “terror birds”. The lack of those features leads some paleontologist to believe that Gastornis may have been a vegetarian, using its large beak to crack nuts and branches.


Gastornis’s skull and large size (~2 meters) often lead it to be confused with “terror birds”. Gastornis is sometimes called a “terror crane” because it is allied with the wading birds (such as cranes). Often you will see the junior synonym Diatryma used in books or museum displays. The reason this happens, I believe, is because Edward Drinker Cope, a very famous U.S. paleontologist, gave it that name after discovering a large specimen near Cuba New Mexico. This critter is also the first dinosaur to appear in the “Know Your Bones” series.


Moving on to the new challenge:



(Taken at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science)


Thought I would give a challenging one this month. Good luck to everyone.

Clash of the Titans

One of my favorite displays at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science is found in the hall Age of the Super Giants. This hall covers the Jurassic period found in New Mexico. There are several displays found in this hall, but the crowning jewel is the two titans in the middle.


The photo above is the first thing one sees when walking into this Hall. The Stegosaur (right) looks on as Saurophaganax (left) is rushing in to attack the Seismosaurus (center).


Seismosaurus is one of the largest sauropods/land animals to ever live. Scientist believe that it reach a length of 33 meters, making this tied for the longest dinosaur ever discovered. It is believed to have weighed 27 metric tons. It was found in New Mexico and is the only one known from the fossil record.


There is some debate over whether Seismosaurus is actually a new genus or if it is just the largest specimen of Diplodocus ever discovered. The consensus at this point is that Seismosaurus is just the largest Diplodocus to have ever been discovered. The only way to settle this debate is if some lucky paleontologist finds another specimen that includes the anatomy that we are lacking.


The erect skeleton is a fabrication of the fossils found. Above are the actual fossils from Seismosaurus. They include most of the pelvis, part of the tail, the lower back section, and a few ribs. The rest of the anatomy on the erect skeleton was created by scaling up the bones from Diplodocus.


Seismosaurus would have had two lines of defense against predators, such as Saurophaganax. The first would have been it size. When it reached, adulthood a predator would have to be very desperate to attack one of them. The second would be the tail you see above. Sauropods, such as Seismosaurus were able to whip their tails at supersonic speeds, just like a bullwhip. It could have been used for defense, but it also could have been used for communicating with other sauropods with sound.


Saurophaganax would have been the apex predator of the late Jurassic. Saurophaganax was closely related to Allosaurus, however, Saurophaganax was ~ 12 meters long (just shy of the length of a T. rex). Saurophaganax shared many of the same attributes that made Allosaurus such a fearsome predator. Some of those include strong legs for running and a large head with teeth like steak knives.


However, the feature that I feel made Saurophaganax a terrifying predator was its clawed hands. Saurophaganax would have been able to run up to an animal and slash at its belly with one hand, while holding it with the other. The largest claw was over 15 cm long.


Again, the erect skeleton is a fabrication, but above is a photo of the actual fossils of Saurophaganax that were found in New Mexico. Some specimens of Saurophaganax have been found in other states, but none were complete. Much like with Seismosaurus, Saurophaganax was reconstructed by scaling up bones from Allosaurus.

This display is a jaw dropping experience. The size of these two animals is astonishing. The WOW! one hears from children and adults walking through this hall never ends. It is quite amazing just to sit in this hall and imagine the world that held these beasts in it. This display is just one of the extraordinary exhibits one can find at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.

Rebuttal to Ian Juby’s “’In 7 Days’ Crash Course in Creation” Day 5

Read part one, part two, part three, and, part four.

Day 5:  Dinosaur Egg Nests: An argument against a global flood?

I’ve had numerous skeptics try to use dinosaur egg nests as an argument for an old earth, and to counter the claim that the rock layers we see around the world were formed by Noah’s flood.  After all, if those layers were made by Noah’s flood, how did the dinosaurs lay nests on the bottom of this raging, world-wide ocean?


I have actually never heard this argument made against creationism, but it is a good one. Truly think about a flood and how destructive they are, even a small-scale one. Does anyone truly believe that a nest of eggs would be preserved during a flood of any scale?

Such comments betray a lack of knowledge of what the Bible says, and what Noah’s flood would accomplish, how, and when.  The Bible indicates that Noah’s ark did not float until the 40th day after the start of the flood – that’s almost a month and a half! (Genesis 7:17)  During the flood of Noah, tides would still be in effect – in fact, they would be enhanced as more and more of the land becomes submerged, and thus resistance to the tides become less and less.

Thus, every twelve hours, you have a tide flowing inland, laying down a new layer, and then flowing out during low tide.  Because the waters of the flood are continually rising, the next tide that comes in will be higher than the last, and so it lays down another layer.  During low tides, dinosaurs, people, and other animals will go out onto these new tidal flats as they forage for food or try to get to higher land.  Footprints are made during this time, which harden into rock and become fossil footprints.

Dinosaurs carrying their eggs during this time ( a period of weeks at least) are going to do one of two things: They are either going to ditch the eggs, or try to lay a nest.


I will not argue against a global flood having larger tides, and I will just accept his premise. This leads to an experiment that Juby can perform in order to verify his hypothesis. Juby could take eggs from various species of birds and other reptiles today, place them in mock nests in a tidal zone and record the experiment. He can see whether the force of the tides bury the nests or destroy the nests and move the eggs to different areas. Since Juby believes that the tides would become larger and larger as the flood went on he can also try this experiment in different locations (e.g. Minas Basin, in Nova Scotia) in order to truly test his hypothesis.

Now, Juby travels around the U.S. and Canada with his traveling creationist museum. During his travels, he could stop at different coastal cities and perform his experiment in order to verify the claims he is making. The fact that Juby has not already done this speaks volumes about how much stock he actually holds in his hypothesis. On the other hand, Juby is a creationist; they never perform experiments to test their hypotheses.

Furthermore, Juby alludes to the tides during this worldwide flood creating different sedimentary layers, thus accounting for the geologic column we see today. This is a very sophomoric look at sedimentation and does not account for major features found in the geologic column (i.e. angular unconformities, lava flows, eolian sandstone, and shale; just to name a few). Additionally, flooding would sort sediment by grain size and in many places in the geologic column; this is simply not the case.

On the right is a reconstruction of an Oviraptor egg nest.  Most dinosaur eggs are found in a disordered state, not an ordered one like this.  We will focus on the “ordered” nests here.
This nest would be a text-book example.  The Oviraptor apparently stood in the middle of the circle, and apparently laid eggs in pairs, toward the outside.  It would then rotate, lay another two eggs, rotate, lay another two eggs, etc… It would then sometimes lay a second level on top of the first circle, and sometimes a third level.


Juby claims that Oviraptors laid eggs in pairs yet cites no evidence to support this claim. Based on birds and crocodilians (the closest living relatives to dinosaurs), I highly doubt that Oviraptors would have laid their eggs in pairs. Nevertheless, I digress, where is Juby going with this?

Oviraptor was originally so named because it was found associated with some dinosaur eggs.  The evolutionary assumptions of “Survival of the fittest” and “there has been no global catastrophe” led to the conclusion that it was stealing the eggs for food.  This led to the name Ovi-raptor; ovi for egg, raptor for thief.

Later on however, an identical egg was found with an embryo still inside of it.  As it turns out, these were Oviraptor eggs!  It wasn’t stealing the eggs for food – it was the mother trying to protect the nest from whatever catastrophe buried it and the eggs together!


There is just so much wrong in this, it is hard to know where to start. First, there have been several mass extinctions in earths passed, and paleontologists have often speculated about some sort of global catastrophe behind all of them. Juby is just upset because a global flood is not one of them. However, Juby is correct in pointing out that the eggs belong to Oviraptor thus the name is misleading. Nevertheless, what Juby does not tell you is that the people who corrected the old ideas of Oviraptor being an egg thief were actual scientists, not creationists. I do not understand why Juby thought this was relevant to point out.

The evolutionary assumptions of these finds is still evident, even in the wikipedia article on Oviraptor citipati.  This was an Oviraptor found buried alive sitting on its nest:
“This brooding posture is found today only in birds and supports a behavioral link between birds and theropod dinosaurs.”

Wait a minute – was it in a brooding posture, or did it have its arms wrapped around the nest to protect it from the flood that buried it alive while sitting on top of the nest?  Even the evolutionists agree it was a flash flood that buried it alive while sitting on its nest.  But the evolutionary beliefs (that of dinosaurs evolving into birds) are assumed, whereas the catastrophic interpretation (which is more logical) is ignored.


Juby seems to be missing the point of the fossil cited, he even admits that the Oviraptor was sitting on its eggs, something birds do and other reptiles do not. Whether this fossil was formed by a flash flood, sandstorm, or global flood it appears the Oviraptor was in the brooding posture.

Furthermore, Juby also fails to understand the vast amount of evidence that links therapod dinosaurs, such as Oviraptor to birds (e.g. feathers, hollow bones, skeletal anatomy, etc…). In addition, Juby believes that a wall of water (which would be produced in a worldwide flood) burying this Oviraptor in the brooding posture is logical. Does he not understand the physics that goes into a flood (small or large scale)?

Next, we move onto Juby’s biggest blunder of this whole crash course:

Here is another example of an Oviraptor “nest” found in Montana.  The eggs are again laid in pairs, but apparently this Oviraptor laid its eggs on the run!

This is, again, the more logical explanation – but in the original article on this “nest,” the authors claim (for some inexplicable reason) that the Oviraptor re-oriented the eggs in this position.  You see, an evolutionary perspective is programmed into you in school and via the media.  I’ve been a hard-core, young-earth creationist for almost 20 years now, and I still find myself having to de-program myself of my evolutionary assumptions that I was taught when I was younger!  Evolutionary assumptions that were colouring my world-view, and I did not even know about them.


First off, Oviraptors are found in Mongolia, not North America. Second, there is a reason why Juby does not cite the article in this lesson, and that reason is that the eggs seen above come from a Troodon, not an Oviraptor. Juby’s inability to honestly portray the evidence speaks volumes about his character. Potholer54 has a wonderful video about this specific claim from Juby.

Juby, it does not seem like you are deprogramming yourself, it seems like you are willfully deceiving yourself, and others, into believing in creationism. This blatant misrepresentation can only be interpreted as a lie and I do remember how Juby felt about being lied too.

Our last nest we’ll look at today comes from a Hadrosaur.  Again, the Hadrosaur apparently stood in the middle and laid its eggs in a circle.  However, notice how the eggs in this nest were laid – each higher than the last?  Apparently between the time the first egg was laid and the last one was laid, there was mud rising around the ankles of the dinosaur!  In fact, the highest egg was actually a polystrate egg – the rock layer cut right through the middle of this egg.

Again, clear evidence of eggs being laid in catastrophic conditions, when apparently the dinosaur had no other choice.


This is not clear evidence of a catastrophe, at least not one that Juby thinks happened. Everything that Juby attributes to the fossil I can agree with, it does appear that the Hadrosaur laid its eggs in a muddy area, leading to the polystrate egg (remember polystrate fossils are not what creationists wish they were). However, making the leap from this fossil to global flood does not follow from the evidence.

Floods are seen in the geologic column and they leave evidence behind. The fossil evidence Juby points out in this lesson is not the type of evidence we would see for a flood. Again, if Juby wants to make a case for a global flood, he needs to start with the sedimentation and point to a layer in the geological column that, not only is created by a flood, but stretches around the world and dates to the same time. Without evidence like this, one cannot claim evidence of a global flood.

Coming up in the next lesson:
Nothing changes….

Rebuttal to Ian Juby’s “’In 7 Days’ Crash Course in Creation” Day 4

Read part one, part two and part three.

Day 4:  Dinosaurs and the flood of Noah

Meet “Big Al.”  Big Al is an Allosaur (Allosaur means “different” or “strange” lizard) from Howe Ranch of Wyoming.  He was found in the “Death pose” – his head was arched back as far as it could go.
This is common in the fossil record.  Technically known as the “Opisthotonic” posture, it is a sign of being asphyxiated to death and rapid burial.  In fact, the rapid burial may have caused the suffocation that caused the opisthotonic posture!


First off, it is rare to find an animal as large as Allosaur articulated in the fossil record. I am not saying that it is impossible, but seeing as how Juby does not provide a picture of the actual fossil in situ is quite telling (especially since he does provide pictures of the fossils for all the other examples he has. Second, this is common only among articulated specimens. The vast majority of fossil specimens discovered are disarticulated, meaning they were not rapidly buried. If Juby is truly trying to claim that all the animals found in the opisthotonic position are evidence of a flood, than that would mean specimens discovered not in that position and disarticulated specimens would be evidence of not dying in a flood.

Third, suffocation is not the only reason for an animal to end up in this position. When animals die their tendons and mussels can retract or relax pulling the body into different positions. This seems to be the more likely cause for the death pose simply because the tails along with their heads are pulled back towards the body. I will leave it up to the reader which they think caused the vast majority of the death poses seen in some fossil specimens, but either way, it would not be evidence of a worldwide flood nor would a world wide flood disprove evolution.

One last thing, Juby suggests that the rapid burial of an animal may have caused the suffocation, which caused the opisthotonic position. Does Juby truly believe that an animal would be able to move once it is incased in sediment and has tons of water over head? This seems to be a very asinine suggestion, one that would only be suggested by someone who does not understand just how much sediment and water weighs.

For example, Archaeopteryx – the supposed half-bird/half-reptile is also found in the death pose.

The death pose was common enough that some tried to speculate as to the cause – perhaps it was the result of the creature lying out in the desert, and the tendons dried up, pulling the head back?  But this does not stack up to the evidence, as the backs of the legs of these creatures also have large, strong tendons – and the legs are found in various positions.


Again, a case-by-case examination of the fossils would have to be done for each fossil to determine weather the animal died in a flood or by other means. I do agree that the Archaeopteryx specimen shown above probably was not lying around well the tendons dried up (I say this because of the fossilization of the feathers, which suggest rapid burial). However, I also do not think this specimen is fossilized in the position that it took its last breath in. Look how far back the head is from the body. It seems to be in a very unnatural position.

A new addition to the collection of the Creation Science Museum of Canada was this Coelophysis, coming in at almost four feet long, from the Ghost Ranch of New Mexico.  Hundreds of these dinosaurs have been unearthed there, and I do not know how many were found in the death pose, but I think it safe to say the majority of them.


I have been to this site and seen several specimens of Coelophysis from there. The fossil replica that Juby uses here is easily apart of the most famous fossil collected from New Mexico. Here is a photo of the actual fossil on display at the American Museum of Natural History:

What is that above it you ask? Well, that is another Coelophysis, which is not in the death pose. Juby also said he did not know how many were found in the death pose, but it seemed he should have at least known one of them was not. Again, together, those fossils make up, arguably, the most famous fossil specimens ever to be discovered in New Mexico. Furthermore, here is more evidence that the Coelophysis from Ghost Ranch are mostly not found in the death pose.

 photo 2013-03-03091919_zpsaa913bc8.jpg

That is the Coelophysis exhibit at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. The photo below shows what the animals would have looked like fleshed out.

Only two of them appear to be in the death pose. Yet, it is thought the Coelophysis remains from Ghost Ranch were produced by a flash flood. The animals would have gathered around a dried/drying riverbed and a flash flood would have washed them down stream drowning them in the process. The river would have washed their bodies onto a bank were they would have been rapidly buried by the river. Furthermore, at the site there is evidence of multiple deposits of animals being drowned in flash floods, this was not a one off event, which we would expect from a worldwide flood. One is able to tell flash flooding caused this by the way the sediment is deposited.

However, it is not just the land animals that are found in the death throes.  These fossil fish are part of Edgar Nernburg’s collection in his creation museum in Calgary, Alberta.  What would cause these fish to arch their backs while they were buried so fast that they were captured in that position?


Juby seems to be suggesting that the sediment that trapped them suffocated the fish displayed in this fossil. Again my question to Juby would be does he really believe that these fish would have been able to move buried alive under sediment and water?

Anyone that has lived/visited a desert can tell you why those fish appear the way they do, and it is because they were stranded on land and dried up in the sun, very common site to see in the summer here in New Mexico.

The extent of the layers containing these fossils, combined with the way we find these animals is excellent evidence for a global catastrophe, specifically, a global flood.


No, it is not, and for the simple reasons I have pointed out above.

The Bible records a global flood at the time of Noah, yet the evolutionary interpretation of these layers is that of deep time, and not a global flood.


Again, Juby is conflating evolution, and in this case, I would say he is not only doing it with geology, but with modern science. Second, the bible says many crazy things, and frankly, no one who cares about science or history should take it seriously. Thus, I do not understand why Juby thinks citing it as evidence matters in the least.

I had been arguing for the death throes being evidence of catastrophe, and evidence for Noah’s flood, for several years.  I was greatly pleased to see the July 2007, Journal of Paleobiology article by Kevin Padian and Cynthia Faux.  The pair of scientists had carried out various experiments on muscle and tendons from the butcher shop, salting them, drying them, soaking them in water, etc…
They concluded, after many experiments, that the “death pose” was the result of pre-mortem activity.  In other words, it was death throes, followed by rapid burial which preserved the position of the animal.


As I stated before, for every specimen found in the death pose, we have several others that are not. In addition, as I have shown with the Coelophysis specimens from Ghost Ranch, the death pose is not good evidence of flooding, sedimentation is. Thus, I wonder why Juby is wasting our time with death poses in dinosaurs when he should be able to present the sedimentation of a worldwide flood.

Furthermore, one wonders why Juby had never carried out the experiments to show that suffocation is a cause for the death pose. One guess would be because Juby is a creationist; they never perform experiments to test their hypotheses. That is to say, they never perform experiments to test for anything.

Coming up in the next lesson:
Dinosaur Egg Nests: An argument against a global flood?

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…

The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science

I volunteer at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, which was created in 1986 and is made up of two floors of exhibits. There are several different halls to the museum, some change over time, but the main thrust of the museum is found in eight halls that make up the Walk Through Time. This section of the museum focuses on the geological history of New Mexico from Precambrian to the present. The exhibits in the halls may change, but the overall theme of them stays the same.

In this blog post, I am going to give a general overview of the museum by describing the eight main halls that make up Walk Through Time. I will provide the map of the museum so one will be able to follow along while reading this post. In addition, this post is the beginning of several posts I will be doing about the museum. Some will be about specific halls, while others will be about specific exhibits found in the halls. This post will always be referenced, thus one will know exactly which part of the museum I discuss in the future.

Walk Through Time starts on the second floor and works its way back down to the first floor.

Hall One: Origins

In this hall, one is given a brief overview of the formation of the earth and how life might have started. It covers the Precambrian and Paleozoic periods of the earth. Walking farther into this hall one is shown fossils of some of the first life forms on earth and modern creatures that resemble that life. This hall also briefly covers the origin of land-based life. At the end of this hall is the beginning of the major theme of this museum, and that is the natural history of New Mexico. There are fossils, displays, and murals that cover what New Mexico was like at the end of the Paleozoic and beginning of the Mesozoic.

Hall Two: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

In this hall, the first thing you see is a wall talking about the largest extinction event in earth’s history. Next to that, they show what the oceans looked like (with fossils and art) in the Paleozoic and compare with what it looked like in the Mesozoic. The beginning of the hall deals with the early Triassic and has displays of living fossils featuring lungfish (including a live specimen) and coelacanth. Phytosaurs and Placerias, which made up the bulk of the land base life forms during the late Triassic, dominate the late Triassic part of the hall. This hall also includes a display of the earliest mammal (Adelobasileus) and talks about how exactly scientists are able to classify mammals using their ear bones. This hall also includes an exhibit on Coelophysis, New Mexico’s state fossil.

Hall Three: Age of Super Giants

In this hall, some of the largest dinosaurs to ever live are displayed. This hall is about the Jurassic, which is the period that dinosaurs truly became the dominant animal on the planet. Two of the dinosaurs on display in this hall are Seismosaurus, the longest dinosaur to ever be discovered, and Saurophaganax, the largest carnivorous dinosaur of the Jurassic.

There is also a display showing the evolution of birds from dinosaurs. It compares the anatomy of Archaeopteryx with that of a pterosaur, a small dinosaur, and one of the first true birds in order to show the homology between the bird/dinosaur and dissimilarity between bird/dinosaur and the pterosaur.

Hall Four: New Mexico’s Seacoast

In this hall, one is able to find a display that shows the movement of the sea that once covered most of New Mexico for all of the Cretaceous period. Because of this sea, the Cretaceous period is one of the most fossiliferous periods in the whole state. When first walking into this hall, one sees into the bottom floor, which has a mosasaur sculpture surrounded by blue floors and walls, representing the sea that covered the state. Next to that is a coastal jungle, which is filled with fossils and sculptures of the creatures that once inhabited the coastal region of the inland sea. One walks down a ramp passed other fossil displays and the coastal jungle. When walking into the first floor one comes into a room entitled “A Bad Day in the Cretaceous”, which shows a film projected on the wall of a meteor striking the earth. Once one leaves this area one walks closer to the mosasaur display.

Hall Five: Volcanoes

In this hall, one is treated to a walk through a generic volcano. New Mexico has more extinct volcanoes than any other state. Inside this hall, it discusses all four different types of volcanoes and the lava they produce. It also shows examples of all four volcanoes with ones found in New Mexico. This hall has been here, virtually unchanged since the museum opened in 1986 and is still one of my favorites along with most of the people that visit.

Hall Six: Rise of the Recent

In this hall, one is able to see a brief overview of much of the Cenozoic of New Mexico. This hall contains some of the most beautiful murals in the whole museum. The best mural in this hall is the mural showing the evolution of the horse. There are a few fossil exhibits found in this hall including Diatryma, which was discovered here in New Mexico by Edward Drinker Cope.


Hall Seven: Cave

In this hall, an artificial cave is created to show all the different aspects of caves. There are different displays that light up and tell one about the different formations found in caves. This exhibit also discusses the life forms that one would find in a cave. In addition, a display talks about Carlsbad Caverns, which in my opinion is the most beautiful cave system on earth.

Hall Eight: New Mexico’s Ice Age.

In this hall, there are several different displays of the different animals found in New Mexico during the Pleistocene. This hall includes erected skeletons of a Columbian mammoth, two dire wolves, and a saber-toothed cat. It also has a mural, which depicts how lush New Mexico would have been during the ice age. This is also the only hall that contains depictions of human activities in the Museum, which is a mural of the Clovis People butchering a Columbian Mammoth.

Edited by Dean, 11/04/2013
Reason for edit: Spelling/word-choice alterations, all images but the first reduced in size by 50%.