Monday, January 12, 2009

Dinosaurs and Man

Last week, on the continuing adventures into stupidity with Bob Dutko, Grady McMurty proclaimed that the "last known dinosaur" was killed in 1887 in Bolivia. I was, of course, skeptical of this claim. Irl found the "source" of this information, a Creationist website called "Genesis Park":
At the end of the 19th century Scientific American recorded the following remarkable events: "The Brazilian Minister at La Paz, Bolivia, had remitted to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Rio photographs of drawings of an extraordinary saurian killed on the Beni after receiving thirty-six balls. By order of the President of Bolivia the dried body, which had been preserved in Asuncion, was sent to La Paz." The "monster" was reported to be twelve meters long (39 ft) from snout to point of the tail, which latter was flattened. It's head resemblance the head of a dog and its legs were short, ending with formidable claws. The legs and abdomen sported a kind of scale armor, and all the back is protected by a still thicker and double cuirass, starting from behind the ears of the anterior head, and continuing to the tail. The neck is long, and the belly large and almost dragging on the ground."
So the "evidence" that Grady and Bob were hanging their hat on is a short blurb in a 100 year old magazine that reports that photographs of drawings of a dinosaur were taken. Got it.

After reading this, I thought:
Why didn't they take photographs of the dead dinosaur itself, instead of drawings of the dinosaur? Has anybody seen these photographs or the drawings themselves? It says the body was preserved. What happened to it? Where is it now? Of course, Grady didn't think to ponder these questions before stating this tall tale as fact.

But wait, it gets better. The "Genesis Park" story goes on to say: "
One of the odd things about this report is that the saurian creature had multiple heads." (emphasis added) So not only did they kill a living dinosaur, but this dinosaur had more than one head, which is a true oddity of nature.

Folks, if someone came up to you and said they just killed a dinosaur with multiple heads, you'd probably ask them for evidence. And if the evidence they provided was photographs of drawings that you had made of the dinosaur, you'd laugh at them and walk away. But Bob and Grady don't do this. They accept the evidence because it's what they want to believe. More importantly, it also what they want you to believe.

For extra credit reading, check out this article at the blog Stupid Dinosaur Lies. The author dissects Genesis Park (and other Creationist mumbo jumbo) with more accuracy and detail than I could ever achieve.

6 comments:

Crazyharp81602 said...

Just added your link to my blogroll, Jeff. Thanks for visiting my site. Glad you love it! :)

Irl Hudnutt said...

The "Genesis Park" website references Volume 49, Issue 3 of Scientific American, published in 1883. However, going here, I've discovered that Scientific American didn't seem to publish in 1883. Is this further evidence of mendacity by McMurtry and Dutko?

Matt said...

What Bob and Grady don't seen to understand is that, even if these modern dinosaur stories were real, it in no way disproves evolution! All it proves is that conditions in that particular location were just right to sustain that life form up to modern times. It does not prove that that life form didn't evolve!!!

gsc062664 said...

I love this blog because I used to feel so alone in my "Dutko Hell." I didn't hear the show the other day, but I have heard this tripe on past shows. I did a little research into this myself and although I have been unable to locate any such issue of Scientific American, there is an issue of the Journal of Science, volume V, third series published in 1883 that contained a letter to the editor that follows:

A BOLIVIAN SAURIAN.

To the Editor of the Journal of Science.

Sir,—The "Anglo-Brazilian Times," March 24th, 1883, says that " the Brazilian Minister at La Paz, Bolivia, has remitted to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Rio photographs of drawings of an extraordinary Saurian killed on the Beni after receiving thirty-six balls. By order of the President of Bolivia the dried body, which had been preserved at Asuncion, was sent to La Paz. It is 12 metres long from snout to point of the tail, which latter is flattened. Besides the anterior head, it has, 4 metres behind, two small but completely formed heads (?) rising from the back. All three have much resemblance to the head of a dog. The legs are short, and end in formidable claws. The legs, belly, and lower part of the throat appear defended by a kind of scale armour, and all the back is protected by a still thicker and double cuirass, starting from behind the ears of the anterior head, and continuing to the tail. The neck is long, and the belly large and almost dragging on the ground. Professor Gilveti, who examined the beast, thinks it is not a monster, but a member of a rare or almost lost species, as the Indians in some parts of Bolivia use small earthen vases of identical shape, and probably copied from Nature."

If this account should prove to be accurate it would form a counterpart to the etching of the mammoth which forms so interesting a memorial of pre-historic art.—I am, &c.,

William E. A. Axon. Fern Bank, Higher Broughton, Manchester.

The actual digitized edition of this 1883 journal can be found on google books by searching "a bolivian saurian."

So, this was not a scientific article submitted and approved by editors of a peer reviewed journal, but a letter to the editor by some reader citing an unverified article published in a Bolivian newspaper. I have emailed all this info, as well as citations revealing his inaccuracies about inca stones, etc, to Dutko in the past and have received nasty emails in reply stating that "evidence A" is not the only piece of evidence that he relies on to prove "conclusion B" and that I nitpick a single strand while ignoring the overwhelming amount of evidence he presents.

Dutko is never wrong!! (In his own mind)

Irl Hudnutt said...

I did the search that GSC062664 recommended and found the original article.

In reading the article, it's painfully obvious that the authors were very skeptical of the claim.

They recognized that the two claims of the creature did not "exactly tally" and they had "grave questions...which the existence of this creature, if verified, is certain to raise.

The publishers of the article demanded proof of it's existence! That's more than the liars McMurtry and Dutko do.

Typical creationist unscientific bullshit.

dano said...

i thought grady did a great job playing opposite fred sanford, what happened to him ? where did he get all crazy ? too much ripple for any one man over the course of a lifetime
can't be good for ones brain cells.

:)