Creationists say Utah petroglyphs of a dinosaur drawn by humans 6,000 years ago prove their case. Paleontologists say dinosaur "legs" are stains on the rock, not man-made drawings.
Ancient images that creationists claim are evidence of humans living alongside dinosaurs are at best just smeared pictures, scientists find.
At the site of Kachina Bridge in Utah — an immense sandstone formation resembling an arch more than 200 feet (60 meters) high and wide that was formed by the undercutting of a rock wall by flowing water — prehistoric cultures decorated the walls with paintings and engravings known as petroglyphs. Among them are what young-earth Earth creationists, who believe all life was created on the same day about 6,000 years ago, have said are depictions of dinosaurs, claiming these images as proof of their beliefs. [Scientists Hunt for Signs of Earth's Earliest Life]
Now, closer investigation reveals these ideas are just wishful thinking.
"The most important implication of these findings is that one of the creationist camp's favorite piece of 'evidence' for the coexistence of dinosaurs and humans — a dinosaur petroglyph — doesn't even exist," researcher Phil Senter, a paleontologist at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina, told LiveScience.
The researchers analyzed the four alleged dinosaur images with the naked eye and with binoculars and telephoto lenses while the pictures were illuminated by direct and indirect sunlight and when they were in shadow. [Image of dinosaur petroglyph]