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.


  1. #1 tai haku
    May 30, 2008

    I’ve seen more convincing bigfoot prints!

  2. #2 Ericb
    May 30, 2008

    It’s funny how the Plitdown Man hoax has the ability to discredit all of evolutionary biology yet these numerous creationist frauds barely even scratch creationism.

  3. #3 Mike from Ottawa
    May 31, 2008

    I looked at the ‘footprint’. It appears to have been made by Fred Flintstone, appropriately enough. But it was good for a laugh out loud moment.

  4. #4 Krelian
    June 4, 2008

    The story was interesting enough for me to take a look for cable news about it. With my few spanish understanding i can tell you that the main investigator was just a chemist but he is evolutionist supporter. Mostly the media made the words on some reports on the internet, his ideas are different, he is just asking for other people to come and do proper tests, since it wasnt just a footprint, which looks fake to me as well, but can’t assure it.

    By the way, such a prejudice in a young student, i thought younger people were more open and see beyond.

    Also i havent found any other topics about it, maybe it is a fraud, maybe it is not.

  5. #5 enrico
    June 5, 2008

    “such a prejudice in a young student”

    sometimes prejudices make you save a lot of time.

  6. #6 Giovanni Rios
    June 18, 2008

    Hello friends!!, I think the same like you, that footprint is another pseudo scientist fraudís, I only saw the photographs, but in those we have the proves for explain the fraud. First the stone is too soft, one footprint doesnít stay there for 10 million of years. Second, If you see the carbon copy on the paper, near to the little finger you can see a 6th finger!!!, after this copy, the stone have been damaged by the pencil friction, if the pencil does that damage in few seconds, imagine what happen with the rain and wind during the pass of years.Iím Bolivian, but I donít believe in this kind of people who thinks have reason without scientific proves.


  7. #7 glhrm
    February 24, 2009

    Well i’m sorry to say that, but the dates do coincide with the human feces found in Oregon.
    Maybe theres something here and we are discrediting it without even looking at it.
    I think we shouldnt be so closed minded to new ideas. I see people here acting like blind followers of an unchangeable doctrine.
    This doesnt prove anything about creationism, as well. It could be just a way of redefining some points of our evolutionist theory.
    C’mon, even Darwin himself realized his theory had some faults…

  8. #8 Raymond Minton
    February 24, 2009

    Even most creationists stopped using the Paluxy “man” tracks as evidence when it was proved beyond doubt that the tracks in question were three-toed and thus dinosaurian in origin, so now they’ve found them somewhere else! Obviously, there were no members of the genus Homo around 5-15 million years ago, so whatever those tracks are, they’re not human, any more than the Glen Rose tracks were. I expect this challenge to conventional science to go about as far as the others have; these people truly are grasping at straws.

  9. #9 The Wiseman
    September 17, 2009

    How do we know that the dinosaur footprints aren’t the phoney ones?

  10. #10 jj
    October 21, 2009

    Switek, stick to the facts, man! The majority of this article is just your admittedly baseless speculations — “creationist tricks”, “this probably isn’t the first time…While I was not able to find much”, “I suspect”, “I wouldn’t be surprised…”

    What is a post like this doing on SCIENCEblogs?

  11. #11 JP
    October 3, 2011

    “Scientist” like you took us into the black ages.

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