Creationists Still Say “Sauropod” Drawing is Proof
A drawing on the sandstone face of a rock in Utah has excited Creationists since its discovery, as it seems to show a long-necked dinosaur, a sauropod. Many Creationists have claimed that this drawing was evidence that our ancestors lived alongside dinosaurs. The area of Utah where the “dinosaur drawing” was found a few years ago has many such sites. Native Indians using the rock formations and cave walls to depict scenes from their environment, including pictures of wild animals that shared their world, animals like deer and bears.
If they had drawn a picture of a dinosaur, then, as many Creationists would believe, this was evidence that people really did exist alongside the dinosaurs. This is not the only case of such “dinosaur drawings”, we have seen pictures of temples in the Far East that seem to show a Stegosaurus cut out in relief on the temple’s stone wall. Even back in Utah there are other sites of native Indian drawings that show strange creatures, including, as some observers claim, a drawing of a horned dinosaur – possibly a Triceratops.
Certainly, native Americans were aware of strange objects that could be found in certain places, the state of Utah has many fossil rich sites, and many vertebrate fossils including dinosaurs are eroding out of the strata and can be found on the ground, these objects were most certainly seen and examined by people. Native Americans thought that the fossilised bones of what we know as Triceratops were the remains of a giant, long dead type of buffalo that had roamed across their lands.
For Phil Senter, an associate professor of biology at Fayetteville State University (part of North Caroline State), having seen the image himself and noting the resemblance to a sauropod, he decided that it needed further investigation.
The associate professor contacted archaeologist Sally Cole, an authority on cave drawings and other imagery and she examined the drawing and concluded that it was actually a composite of two separate drawings. The first drawing is a snake, this explains the long “sauropod-like” neck that can be seen to the right of the pictures. The supposed “legs” of the dinosaur are just stains from minerals or mud.
The results of this study has been published in the journal “Palaeontologia Electronica”. The scientists state that this is an example of a paraeidolia, the psychological phenomenon of perceiving significance from random or vague stimuli. Examples would be “seeing” a human face in an item of food or animals in cloud shapes and formations.
On a sunny day, a while ago, one of our team member took a picture of an instance of paraeidolia – they thought they could see the shape of the Loch Ness monster (a hump-backed Nessie) in a cloud.
To read this article and to view the picture: Hunting Nessie in the Clouds.
Leading Creationists have denounced the study, claiming that the image was not examined up close, citing that it would be difficult to come to any firm conclusions if the image was studied at a distance through binoculars. It is unlikely that this new study will persuade any of the parties to change their views. The Creationist versus Evolutionist debate will run and run.