NH Notes: Can You Find the Dinosaurs in this Image?

The Narmer Palette, also known as the Great Hierakonpolis Palette or the Palette of Narmer, is a significant Egyptian archeological find, dating from about the 31st century BC, containing some of the earliest hieroglyphic inscriptions ever found. Source: Wikipedia

The Narmer Palette, also known as the Great Hierakonpolis Palette or the Palette of Narmer, is a significant Egyptian archeological find, dating from about the 31st century BC, containing some of the earliest hieroglyphic inscriptions ever found. Source: Wikipedia

Can you find the obvious evidence that humans and dinosaurs lived together in this 5000 year old Egyptian plate?

No?  Well, the Institute for Creation Research continues to publish the graphic below suggesting that this is yet more evidence that dinosaurs and humans lived together.  They just posted it again on Facebook which spurred me to comment.

An image that ICR has used on the Facebook page and website. This is a part of a running ad for their recently published book: Guide to the Dinosaurs.

An image that ICR has used on the Facebook page and website. This is a part of a running ad for their recently published book: Guide to the Dinosaurs.

Do they seriously think that these “resemble long-necked dinosaurs”?  Lets see, feet of a cat, tail of a cat, hip structure of a cat/mammal, jaw of a cat, eyes of a cat, nose of a cat, ears of a cat.  A long-necked dinosaur? I think not.  Sure, it has a long neck but that is the only characteristic that is similar to a dinosaur.  Egyptian art is full of fanciful and chimeric creatures. The exaggeration of characteristic, such as the neck, of an animal is not uncommon. To believe this image represents dinosaurs is to ignore most of the data and the most obvious interpretation of that data and choose to elevate one piece of data, a very general one at that, over all the rest? This is like taking one unclear verse from the Bible and then raising ones interpretation of that to trump all the other clearer texts. Bad hermeneutics and bad observational science.

This graphic is typically seen by a Facebook or ICR website audience in a smaller format and so the details of the animals are obscured.  An audience shown this image likely will be drawn only to the neck and not have time to take note of the other features.  My first image above shows greater detail and the ICR staff are clearly aware of the details of this image.  I find it difficult to imagine they can honestly believe that these images where meant to depict dinosaurs interacting with humans in Egypt.

November 2015 update:  I attended an Answers in Genesis conference in November 2015 with my daughter and the speaker showed the image below. He did exactly as I predicted above.  He didn’t show a close-up image and he drew the inference that the simplest explanation for the images was that Egyptians knew about dinosaurs.  He showed several additional images all of which are equally as dubious to those that know more about the images.  This speaker is probably completely unaware of the facts or “observational evidence” with respect to these presumed dinosaur images because he has never investigated them himself but he trusted others as AiG to provide the images and text for his talk. Unfortunately his faith was misplaced with respect to this image and many others.

Image presented to K-6 graders at an Answers in Genesis conference showing that dinosaurs and man lived together.  Clearly a bad interpretation but also inconsistent with other parts of the seminar in which dinosaurs were said to have died due to the Ice Age which would have been before the Egyptians produced this pottery.

Image presented to K-6 graders at an Answers in Genesis conference showing that dinosaurs and man lived together. Clearly a bad interpretation but also internally inconsistent with other statements made during the seminar.

Comments

  1. Yes, this image lacks convincing detail but it is just one of a number of images and descriptions that are adduced to make a case for the coexistence of dinosaurs and humans. Opponents must now make a case that they did not coexist. The discovery of soft dinosaur tissues won’t help them.

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    • This image lacks more than just any convincing detail but lacks any detail at all that suggests these were dinosaurs. They could as easily be giraffes by the logic used here. What detail point to a dinosaur at all? Unfortunately for creationists it is just this type of speculation that renders serious doubt about their other claims. Why must they make a case for them not coexisiting? One first has to have some evidence that they did before the other side “must” do anything.

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    • But, RA Gillman, if even you admit that this image is clearly NOT meant to be that of dinosaurs, why is it being adduced at all? Why is AIG still touting it, and not warning its supporters that they shouldn’t use this particular image? Don’t they care that something manifestly false is being claimed on their site – that this picture is of dinosaurs?

      It’s like someone who believes that fairies really exist posting those notorious photos forged by two little girls with cardboard cutouts that deceived Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and, when it’s pointed out that the girls later ADMITTED that they were forgeries, and showed how they did it, saying “But it’s just one of a number of images and descriptions of fairies.” Yes – one that clearly shows how gullible and unscientific people are when they’re desperate to believe something. One that suggests that if they can seriously tout THIS as evidence for their theory, their credibility is at rock bottom when they tout other “evidence” where it may not be quite so obvious what the real explanation is, or they may have concealed/omitted to mention contradictory evidence in their original source, just as they ignored the visible evidence of cathood in this image.

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  2. To me it looks like Egyptians applied their cat worship to the Mesopotamian Caduceus of about the same period.

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  3. One of the questions that I would like to ask a creationist is, If dinosaurs and humans definitely coexisted, then why don’t you just show us scientific evidence? Instead, they use ambiguous drawings and carvings from cultures replete with mythology.
    This is also the case with their defence of the global flood. Most apologists, instead of using scientific evidence, merely point to the preponderance of flood myths in cultures all over the world — conveniently ignoring the fact that many are strikingly different.
    This is a rather common and quite disturbing theme in creation apologetics, and one that speaks of the credulity of those who find Arguments such as these convincing. So, just out of curiosity, what evidence do you think would be required to make a compelling case for dinosaurs existing alongside humans?

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    • A compelling case for dinosaurs existing alongside humans? Bona fide dinosaur and human bones fossilized together in the same rock. I’m referring of course, to real fossils, not things like the obviously faked and misinterpreted Glen Rose “human” footprints. (This acknowledges the fact that when we say “dinosaur” in this discussion, we are limiting ourselves to those dinosaurs that went extinct and not the ones that survived and continue to thrive today in the form of birds).

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  4. I think the biggest problem creationists have using things like this as “evidence” is that they must therefore also include everything that people have drawn and written as evidence they existed. If this proves dinosaurs and Egyptians co-existed, it also proves all the Egyptian dieties existed, along with the Greek myths, unicorns, fairies, the flying spaghetti monster, etc. To use Mr. Gillmann’s logic, he must now prove that the flying spaghetti monster and Cthuhlu do not exist. There are, after all, far more images of these than ancient peoples created of vaguely dinosaurian shapes if you squint really hard. Why should we take this as evidence of anything and not then also assume that Jurassic World shows an actual park? This logic assumes fiction and imagination do not exist. The fact they would certainly disagree is a testament to the amount of cherry-picking that must be done and cognitive dissonance suffered to support their view.

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    • Thanks for responding.
      The evidential requirement stated in your first comment is one that creationists have made a rather poor excuse for. When I was using Apologia’s General Science textbook, Jay L. Wile said that because dinosaur fossils and human remains are rarely fossilized, it would be unreasonable to expect to find them fossilized together. However, in a global flood model, we should expect to find human remains all throughout the fossil record, with some appearing in the same layers as dinosaurs.
      Your analogy in the second comment is, in my opinion, invalid because creationists aren’t trying to prove that dinosaurs existed; they are trying to take the scientific fact that dinosaurs did exist and are using mythological “evidence” to prove that they existed alongside humans. If we knew, for example, that fairies really did exist perhaps 50 million years ago and that they have been presumed extinct ever since, then your analogy would be valid, as we could then argue on equal merit that humans and fairies did indeed coexist.

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  5. Christine Janis says:

    “The discovery of soft dinosaur tissues won’t help them.”

    Fossilized soft tissue or remnants of soft tissue do exist —- but if you think that fresh soft tissue has been found in dinosaurs I suggest reading the scientific papers that describe them, rather than the creationist runaway garbling of the evidence. But soft tissues are preserved not only in dinosaurs —- what about all those gazillion fossil leaves?! All evidence of soft tissue —— preserved from eons ago.

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  6. Soft tissue morphologies preserved. Organic fragments, usually stabilised by intimate bonding to bone. Seen through creationist spectacles, these add up to “soft tissue preserved”. Perhaps the glasses need changing.

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    • Paul and Christine, exactly right. I have read every original paper on these “soft tissues” and what the average person thinks when they hear “soft tissues” is far far from what is actually found. Yes, amazing preservation of some biomolecules but all are highly modified. Now look at the bone marrow of a mammoth fossil and that would be much more akin to cellular preservation including DNA. BTW, I will be able to speak to Dr. Schweitzer personally in a couple of weeks and have spent time with her in the past. It really helps to talk to someone who has worked with these sample directly and I hope to write more about this topic after my next meeting. Joel

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  7. They are Serpopards. Feline creatures that only exist in Egyptian mythology that are nothing more than just long necked cats.

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  8. I find it strange that people would be looking for evidence of honesty on a creationist scam site.

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  9. This reminds me of the pictures and stories I had heard about a dinosaur in Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Curious, I asked about it while I was there and was a bit disappointed. It looks like a water buffalo with palm fronds behind it, not a stegosaurus. Plus it’s a tiny six inch carving surrounded by dragons, nagas, lion and monkey headed people, and other carvings of legendary creatures of Buddhism. Even if it happened to be a dinosaur of some sort, then there are all the other fantastical creatures to contend with are we willing to consider those real too? But from having seen it close up, I think it’s probably just a water buffalo.

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