These Footprints Will Probably Inspire Some Impressive Storytelling

Two of the recently-discovered hominin-like footprints that are thought to be too old and in the wrong place.

The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History tells us the story of human evolution as if it has all been figured out:

One of the earliest defining human traits, bipedalism — the ability to walk on two legs — evolved over 4 million years ago. Other important human characteristics — such as a large and complex brain, the ability to make and use tools, and the capacity for language — developed more recently…Early humans first migrated out of Africa into Asia probably between 2 million and 1.8 million years ago. They entered Europe somewhat later, between 1.5 million and 1 million years.

Of course, any serious scientist knows that what little data we have on such matters don’t support the confident tone used by the Smithsonian. Indeed, a recent study published in Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association indicates that at least some of what The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History says is wrong.

The study focuses on several footprints (two of which are shown above). The authors say that the footprints most likely come from a hominin, which is a general term that refers to humans and their supposed evolutionary ancestors. Why do they think the tracks belong to a human ancestor? They state:

The tracks indicate that the trackmaker lacked claws, and was bipedal, plantigrade, pentadactyl and strongly entaxonic.

As far as we know, this set of characteristics appears only in humans and their supposed evolutionary ancestors.

Bipedal, of course, means walking on two legs. Plantigrade means walking on the soles of the feet. When referring to the foot, pentadactyl means five-toed, and entaxonic refers to the inner toes being more developed than the outer toes. While some animals can have one or two of these characteristics (bears, for example, can be bipedal for short periods of time and are plantigrade), only people (and their supposed evolutionary ancestors) have all of those characteristics.

Why do these footprints challenge what The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History confidently tells us? First, they are supposedly 5.7 million years old. The authors are pretty certain about this, because the standard interpretation of the rocks that the footprints are found in, along with some microorganism fossils in those rocks, indicate that they are 3.5 to 8.5 million years old. However, the footprints were made before the Mediterranean Sea was supposed to have dried up for a while starting 5.6 million years ago. Thus, the “youngest” they could be is 5.7 million years old. Second, they are in Greece. If bipedalism evolved over 4 million years ago and humans came out of Africa about 2 million years ago, there shouldn’t be any 5.7-million-year-old tracks like these in Greece.

So what do the authors say about this apparent problem? They present two possibilities. First, this could be an early hominin. Of course, if that were the case, The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History would have to say that it (or one of its descendants) wandered into Africa and evolved some more, so that humans could then come back out of Africa 2 million years ago. Second, this could just be some unrelated primate that happened to evolve hominin-like feet and bipedalism.

I suspect that both explanations are wrong, since I don’t think the earth was around 5.7 million years ago, and I don’t think that humans evolved. Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see what storytelling will take place in order to force these footprints into compliance with today’s evolutionary narrative.

3 Comments

  1. Sj says:

    What’s really interesting about this to me is the impact on YEC dating of the flood boundary. Currently there’s a controversy as to where the top of the pre-Flood layers are, with different workers advocating for various points between the Cenozoic and Paleozoic. If these are really human footprints, are they pre-Flood, contemporaneous with the Flood, or post-Flood? If pre-Flood or contemporaneous with the Flood, then these are the first definitive human footprints from pre-Flood humans. If post-Flood, which is where I lean, then it’s evidence for post-Flood dessication in the Mediterranean basin, since the footprints are below a dessication marker.

    Of course, it depends upon whether the footprints can be classified as truly human. Seems to me, though, based upon their morphology, if these footprints had been found in a rock layer dated by secular geology to when they think humans had evolved, then they would have been labeled as human.

  2. Charles Rhett says:

    I just want to point out that the “out of africa” has been a recent subject of controversy due to analysis of teeth and other fossil findings. I still chuckle a little when I read these “matter of fact” writings from evolutionist that still tout “out of africa”. I think there is enough evidence that casts enough doubt to where it should not currently be framed as factual. I have been called willfully ignorant a number of times. I came up with a constant-state ignorance for people that blindly follow and fully believe historical storytelling of evolutionist. The hominid walking in that sand has a better grip than many of those believers as they are in a perpetual state of confusion and ignorance. That is what happens when you put 100% trust in conjecture.

    I believe in the Biblical account so human nature does not surprise me much but the reason they need a naturalistic cause is to justify their god-less behavior. So, they can’t be wrong else shatter their own augmented reality they’ve created for themselves and being wrong would open up the possibility of God and they can’t have a God with consequences because they know they have not lived up to that standard so they just make their own moral code malleable and made to fit. I found out yesterday PZ Myers thinks it is perfectly acceptable for a 14 year old to sext as long as it is with another 14 year old.

  3. Alaska Nivanuatu says:

    I find it hard to believe that humans would have taken 2 MILLION YEARS just to get to Asia from Africa, even if they weren’t trying to reach a destination! 500 years would have been more than enough! If humans were hunter/gathers back they, they probably would have migrated frequently to find new food and water souces! And how long did it take for humans to evolve the insatiable desire to explore the world and discover new lands? And I’m quite sure it wouldn’t have taken another 500,000 to 1,000,000 years just to get to Europe from Asia! It would seem that out of some humans en route to Asia, a few would have chosen to go left into Europe from Africa while others went right into Asia, unless scientists are saying they went all the way to Siberia, crossed over to Alaska, hiked across Nothern Canada, Greenland and wound up in Europe by circling the top of the globe, in which case we should be looking for evidence of human migration in North America prior to the migration to Europe! Clearly many scientists don’t think humans were very “highly evolved” back then!