Dinosaur Petroglyphs Dismissed

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Dinosaur petroglyphs dismissed by archaeologist, according to reports in ABC News in Science 28 March 2011 and Palaeontologia Electronica March 2011. A petroglyph on the Kachina Bridge rock formation in Natural Bridges National Monument in south-eastern Utah, USA, bears a remarkable resemblance to a sauropod dinosaur – a dinosaur with four thick legs and a long neck and tail. Archaeologist Sally Cole and biologist Phil Senter have examined the petroglyph and declared it to be a combination of a drawing of two meaningless petroglyphs and a natural mud stain, and not a dinosaur.

Cole and Senter examined the petroglyph with binoculars and a camera with a telephoto lens. They did not climb up to examine it closely because they considered the rock formation too rugged to bring a ladder. They say the perception of a dinosaur in the petroglyph is "pareidolia, the psychological phenomenon of perceiving significance in vague or random stimuli, e.g., seeing animals in clouds or the face of a religious figure in a food item."

ABC

Editorial Comment: Forgive our repetition but let’s get this straight – after using binoculars and a camera to examine a rock carving or petroglyph, archaeologist Sally Cole and biologist Phil Senter claim the petroglyph really does bear a remarkable resemblance to a sauropod dinosaur, With four thick legs and long neck and tail, but it is not! It’s only a natural mud stain under two old Native American pecked-out shapes, and not a dinosaur at all. Senter and Cole then use their “research” to attack creationists by calling the dinosaur idea wishful thinking by creationists and a psychological phenomenon called “pareidolia” Furthermore, the biologist and the archaeologist considered the rock formation too rugged to bring a ladder, so they did not (and could not) climb up to examine the petroglyph closely, and went away content with a view from afar using binoculars and a camera lens.

In response to this claim Vance Nelson and a research colleague took a ladder to the Kachina Bridge rock formation and actually climbed up to the carving to personally take great close-up pictures during May 2011. You can see Vance’s report and photos and judge for yourself, as well as read Vance’s full refutation of Senter and Cole’s claims. PDF here

Evidence News 7 July 2011

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