Like rotting, festering zombies, some creationist tricks just won’t die. Even though every case of supposed “human tracks” found near dinosaur tracks in Mesozoic rock that I can think of has been disproved (the tracks often being little more than the result of some creative chiseling) the idea that traces of humanity have been found alongside non-avian dinosaurs continues on. The most famous case is that of the tracks found near Glen Rose, Texas (see the numerous Talk Origins pages about the find and the book Bones for Barnum Brown by R.T. Bird), the human tracks being sculptures or misinterpreted theropod metatarsal tracks, but now a new case of paleontological fraud has cropped up in Bolivia.
According to an article released yesterday Jorge Miranda and Freddy Arce are claiming that they have discovered a 5-15 million year old footprint near Lake Titicaca. According to Arce this footprint creates major problems for evolution, and I suppose his logic is that since the alleged print is several times older than the Laetoli footprints, looks more modern, and is on the wrong continent, evolutionary theory goes out the window.
Looking at photos of the footprint, though, it’s difficult to see why this “discovery” is being taken seriously. At best it’s a modified feature in the rock, at worst a complete sculpture, but either way it looks like a cartoon version of a foot. (Think of those big, ugly feet that used to be on some people’s vans in decades past.) The footprint is fraudulent and this probably isn’t the first time that Freddy Arce has been involved in suspect endeavors involving ancient history. While I was not able to find much, Arce also has been involved with the “Pokotia Inscriptions.” These inscriptions on a sculpture are claimed to be Sumerian by Arce and others, therefore placing the Sumerians in South America. Like the footprints I suspect these inscriptions have been forged and do not show what Arce and others claim.
In all fairness I have no idea if Arce is a creationist; I wouldn’t be surprised but I haven’t seen much to either confirm of refute it. Still, these fraudulent footprints illustrate that there are still people who will try to “fix” history to best fit their ideas of what it should be and I hope Arce’s claims are quickly buried.