Monday, 21 September 2020

Creationism News - 120,000 Year-Old Footprint Blunder

Researchers surveying the Alathar lake, situated within an interdunal depression in the western Nefud Desert, Saudi Arabia

© Palaeodeserts Project
Ancient Human Footprints in Saudi Arabia Provide Snapshot of Arabian Ecology 120,000 Years Ago | Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History

One of the way in which Creationist frauds explain the precise ordering of fossils in the sedimentary geological column - which they claim was all deposited during the biblical flood, is by the mysterious, magical process of 'hydrological sorting'.

In this magical process, global flood water somehow sorted all the fossils so they just looked like there has been an evolutionary progression even though they had all been created as is during a single week a few thousand years earlier, and before which nothing ever died.

The other way is with the, if anything, even more desperate and preposterous 'explanation', that the precise ordering was achieved by the more advanced animals running to higher ground to avoid the flood. None of them were ever sick, injured or lame in any way that would impede them and make them appear out of place un this advancing silt layer, apparently. How that translates to moving up the geological column and the fact of fossil shellfish being found at the top of mountains is never explained because the dupes never ask, and if they do, they are speedily condemned to Hell as blasphemers and removed from the website on which they asked it.

Believe it or not, there are still Creationist dupes who cite these absurd 'explanations' for the precision and invariability of the order of fossils in the geological column.

But what the frauds don't seem to have taken into account is the presence in the geological column of other artifacts such as the burrows of burrowing creatures, raindrop splashes in mud, and, the case in point here, as at Laetoli, Tanzania, footprints. These can be found in sedimentary mud in relatively still water, as in this case, under wind-blown sand deposits as found in the Grand Canyon wall, in volcanic ash as at Laetoli, for example. In the case of the hominin footprints presented in this paper, they were made in the mud in the bed of a shallow lake.

These present three insurmountable problems for creationists trying to get away with either (or both) of the standard Creationist 'explanations'.
  1. Footprints are not the dead remains of anything so were not the result of being drowned in a flood and could not have been subjected to the magical 'hydrological sorting'.
  2. Footprints do not run away to avoid rising flood waters.
  3. Footprints must have been made in a medium that predates their creation and they must in turn predate anything over-laying them. Any flood would have destroyed anything made in the silt being deposited by it, and would have swept away anything overlying them unless made thousands of years earlier and already fossilised. Unless someone can suggest a way that footprints can be made in mud in still water and remain there during a raging flood, there is no way they could have been made during the biblical flood. People, elephants and horses do not go paddling in shallow lakes during a rapidly-rising, catastrophic flood.
The importance of these footprints towards understanding human migration out of Africa and what these ancestors of modern non-African humans were doing 120,000 years ago is explained in the Max Planck Institute news item:
Situated between Africa and Eurasia, the Arabian Peninsula is an important yet understudied region for understanding human evolution across the continents. Recent research highlighting the role of the Arabian Peninsula in human prehistory shows that humans repeatedly dispersed into the peninsula’s interior at times when its harsh deserts were transformed into lush grasslands. However, the nature and timing of these dispersals have remained elusive, due to a scarcity of datable material and poor-resolution paleoecological data associated with evidence for humans.

In a new study published in Science Advances, researchers from the Max Planck Institutes for Chemical Ecology (MPI-CE) and the Science of Human History (MPI-SHH) in Jena, Germany, Royal Holloway University of London, and King’s College London, together with a team of international partners, describe a large assemblage of fossilized footprints discovered in an ancient lake deposit in Saudi Arabia’s Nefud Desert. The footprints, dated to roughly 120 thousand-years-ago, include those of humans, elephants and horses, among other animals. These findings represent the earliest dated evidence for human movements into this part of the world, contemporary with well-known human dispersals from Africa to the Levant. In addition, it appears that the movements and landscape use patterns of humans and large mammals were tightly linked, perhaps in response to dry conditions and diminishing water supplies.
Note the presence of other mammals, all of which were contemporaneous with humans 120,000 years ago, and all Afro-Eurasian species. No dinosaurs!

What has happened here is that once again, without any effort or intent, scientists have refuted Creationism. This new evidence is entirely consistent with other evidence:
  • Evidence of human migration out of Africa, via the Arabian peninsula.
  • Evidence of climate change leading to desertification of the Saudi Peninsula.
  • What we know of the distribution of elephants and horses at that time.
So, there is now way this finding can be shoehorned into the ridiculous Bible narrative of a sudden six-day creation followed a thousand or so years later by a catastrophic global flood in which almost every living thing died.

If such an event had occurred as the Bible claims, these footprints, like the footprints found in the wall of the Grand Canyon, would not be there. They are there, therefore the events described in the Bible never happened. Only the most seriously determined, self-deluding fool can possibly believe in the Biblical creation nonsense now.

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