A recent discovery of footprints which were preserved in a geological stratum traditionally dated 5.7 million years old has left the evolutionists baffled once again. The paper published for the Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association reported, “The print morphology suggests that the trackmaker was a basal member of the clade Hominini, but as Crete is some distance outside the known geographical range of pre-Pleistocene hominins we must also entertain the possibility that they represent a hitherto unknown late Miocene primate that convergently evolved human-like foot anatomy.”1)Gerard D. Gierlinski, Grzegorz Nied zwiedzki, Martin G. Lockley, Athanassios Athanassiou, Charalampos Fassoulas, Zofia Dubicka, Andrzej Boczarowski, Matthew R. Bennett, Per Erik Ahlberg, “Possible hominin footprints from the late Miocene (c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete?,” Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association xxx (2017) xxx–xxx 25 July 2017, p. 1 Essentially, what is being explained is that the tracks appear to be human feet but being in the rock layer assumed to be so old before humans allegedly evolved and the fact that they are on the island of Crete has left more questions than answers. Their expression of “a hitherto unknown late Miocene primate that convergently evolved human-like foot anatomy” suggests that they would like to think that some ape-like creatures that are yet undiscovered, independently evolved on this island to have human feet.

The first question would logically arise is, “how did these ape-like creatures get on an island?” Their answer is there must have been a land bridge. “During the late Miocene, Crete was separating from the mainland by extension faulting creating the Aegean Sea basin (van Hinsbergen and Meulenkamp, 2006). Late Miocene (Valesian-Turolian) faunas from Crete contain large non-endemic mammals such as hyaenids, proboscideans (gomphotheres and deinotheres), a hipparionine horse, pigs, a cervid, a bovid and tragulids (Benda et al., 1970; de Bruijn et al., 1971; Kuss, 1976; Leinders and Meulenkamp, 1978; van der Made, 1996; Athanassiou, 2004;  (p11) Poulakakis et al., 2005a; Iliopoulos et al., 2012), suggesting that a land bridge still existed.”2) Gerard D. Gierlinski, Grzegorz Nied zwiedzki, Martin G. Lockley, Athanassios Athanassiou, Charalampos Fassoulas, Zofia Dubicka, Andrzej Boczarowski, Matthew R. Bennett, Per Erik Ahlberg, “Possible hominin footprints from the late Miocene (c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete?,” Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association xxx (2017) xxx–xxx 25 July 2017, p. 12 What evidence do they have for a land bridge? None, other than the fact animals existed on the island as evidenced in the fossil record which they interpret with millions of years with their evolutionary scheme. The biblical perspective would be that they have misunderstood the geological data and applied fallacious dates to the geological strata. Indeed, a biblical worldview would fit fully that these tracks are likely made by humans and the animals (horses and pigs) known to be on the island, which they also date prior to humans evolving, would have been transported by men.

The honesty reported in the paper that this discovery is counter to what they expect to find because of their evolutionary presupposition, is overthrown by the foolish speculations as they struggle to fit this discovery within their false paradigm. “Here, we report an example of the challenges of making such inferences when the implications run counter to conventional views on human evolution: hominin-like footprints from the late Miocene of Crete, at least 5.6 million years old and thus approximately 2 million years older than the hominin trackways from Laetoli in Tanzania (Leakey and Hay, 1979; Leakey and Harris, 1987; White and Suwa, 1987; Deino, 2011).”3) Gerard D. Gierlinski, Grzegorz Nied zwiedzki, Martin G. Lockley, Athanassios Athanassiou, Charalampos Fassoulas, Zofia Dubicka, Andrzej Boczarowski, Matthew R. Bennett, Per Erik Ahlberg, “Possible hominin footprints from the late Miocene (c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete?,” Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association xxx (2017) xxx–xxx 25 July 2017, p. 1-2 The Laetoli tracks were also interpreted as apes having evolved human-like feet because they were in a rock layer dated 3.6 million years old, thought to be prior to humans allegedly evolved. Concerning the Laetoli footprints, Dr. Louise Robbins described them as: “They looked so human, so modern…”4) Dr. Louise Robbins, cited by Mary Leakey, :footprints in the Ashes of Time,” National Geographic, April 1979, p. 452 and Mary Leakey explained, “The best preserved print shows the rounded heel, pronounced ball, and forward-pointing big toe necessary for walking erect…. The form of his foot was exactly as same as ours.”5) Mary Leakey, “Footprints in the Ashes of Time,” National Geographic, April 1979, p. 452, 453 This new discovery being believed to be 2 million years older and on an island offers all the more reason to reject the dating scheme of secular geology as it should be obvious that these tracks are made by humans that traveled by boat to the island.

The paper described the foot prints, stating, “the morphology of the sole print is not especially hominin-like: compared to a modern human sole print it is proportionately shorter, with a narrow tapering heel, and lacks a permanent arch. The prints are also smaller than any known hominin print population. “6) Gerard D. Gierlinski, Grzegorz Nied zwiedzki, Martin G. Lockley, Athanassios Athanassiou, Charalampos Fassoulas, Zofia Dubicka, Andrzej Boczarowski, Matthew R. Bennett, Per Erik Ahlberg, “Possible hominin footprints from the late Miocene (c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete?,” Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association xxx (2017) xxx–xxx 25 July 2017, p. 8 A foot print that reveals the lack of an arch is consistent with human that don’t wear shoes to support their arch causing it to collapse. This is also similar to the Laetoli tracks which Jonathan Sarfati spoke of, saying, “A good example of reworking is the famous footprints at Laetoli, Africa, of an upright walking biped – the University of Chicago’s Dr. Russell Tuttle has shown that these are the same sorts of prints as made by habitually barefoot humans. But since they are dated at millions of years prior to when evolutionists believe modern humans arrived, they are regarded as australopithecine prints, by definition, even though australopithecine foot bones are substantially different from human ones.”7) Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D., Refuting Evolution 2, Master Books, 2002, p. 129

Though the tracks are difficult to make out as erosion as effected them, a thorough description was given. “The tracks are similar in size and have consistent outlines across all the specimens. This is an oblique subtriangular shape formed by the combination of a heart-shaped, plantigrade sole with a narrow, tapering heel region, and an asymmetrical digit region with a large hallux and progressively smaller lateral digits that are all attached to the anterior margin of the sole. The tracks are therefore strongly entaxonic (Fig. 9). “8) Gerard D. Gierlinski, Grzegorz Nied zwiedzki, Martin G. Lockley, Athanassios Athanassiou, Charalampos Fassoulas, Zofia Dubicka, Andrzej Boczarowski, Matthew R. Bennett, Per Erik Ahlberg, “Possible hominin footprints from the late Miocene (c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete?,” Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association xxx (2017) xxx–xxx 25 July 2017, p. 7 The authors of the paper emphasized that there were no claw marks. “None of the prints shows claw impressions. “9)Gerard D. Gierlinski, Grzegorz Nied zwiedzki, Martin G. Lockley, Athanassios Athanassiou, Charalampos Fassoulas, Zofia Dubicka, Andrzej Boczarowski, Matthew R. Bennett, Per Erik Ahlberg, “Possible hominin footprints from the late Miocene (c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete?,” Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association xxx (2017) xxx–xxx 25 July 2017, p. 8 “It is noteworthy that even though the tips of the digits have dug into the sediment, there is no trace of claw impressions.”10) Gerard D. Gierlinski, Grzegorz Nied zwiedzki, Martin G. Lockley, Athanassios Athanassiou, Charalampos Fassoulas, Zofia Dubicka, Andrzej Boczarowski, Matthew R. Bennett, Per Erik Ahlberg, “Possible hominin footprints from the late Miocene (c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete?,” Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association xxx (2017) xxx–xxx 25 July 2017, p. 8 “The Trachilos tracks appear to have been made by a bipedal trackmaker with plantigrade, entaxonic, five-toed feet that did not leave claw impressions. The first digit of the foot was bulbous whereas digits II–V were slender, with no significant gap between the hallux and digit II. A well-developed ball was present.”11)Gerard D. Gierlinski, Grzegorz Nied zwiedzki, Martin G. Lockley, Athanassios Athanassiou, Charalampos Fassoulas, Zofia Dubicka, Andrzej Boczarowski, Matthew R. Bennett, Per Erik Ahlberg, “Possible hominin footprints from the late Miocene (c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete?,” Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association xxx (2017) xxx–xxx 25 July 2017, p. 8 These describe clearly human feet as set in contrast to an apes foot. “The hind feet of non-hominin primates have strongly divergent thumb-like halluces, always set back from the relatively long lateral digits. Chimpanzees (Fig. 12e) produce characteristic L-shaped footprints with a wide gap between the hallux and curled lateral digits… Non-hominin primate prints typically lack a ball impression.”12) Gerard D. Gierlinski, Grzegorz Nied zwiedzki, Martin G. Lockley, Athanassios Athanassiou, Charalampos Fassoulas, Zofia Dubicka, Andrzej Boczarowski, Matthew R. Bennett, Per Erik Ahlberg, “Possible hominin footprints from the late Miocene (c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete?,” Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association xxx (2017) xxx–xxx 25 July 2017, p. 8

Well-preserved footprints. (a–c) The three most well-preserved footprints from surface B2, each shown as a photo (left), laser surface scan (middle) and scan with interpretation (right). a was made by a left foot, b and c by right feet. Scale bars, 5 cm. 1–5 denote digit number; ba, ball imprint; he, heel imprint.

 

After providing an honest assessment of the discovery, the authors speculate how they can squeeze these feet into the evolutionary mold. “The morphometric analysis suggests a closer affinity to hominin track outlines than to those of extant non-hominin primates. This leaves us with two possible interpretations: 1. The Trachilos tracks may have been made by a phylogenetically basal member of the clade Hominini…. 2. Alternatively, we could look towards a hitherto unrecognized primate, potentially unrelated to the Hominini, but possessing overall morphological similarities with this tribe…. This alternative hypothesis is thus not implausible, but it should be noted that it is not positively supported by data from the pedal skeleton of any known European primate.” 13)Gerard D. Gierlinski, Grzegorz Nied zwiedzki, Martin G. Lockley, Athanassios Athanassiou, Charalampos Fassoulas, Zofia Dubicka, Andrzej Boczarowski, Matthew R. Bennett, Per Erik Ahlberg, “Possible hominin footprints from the late Miocene (c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete?,” Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association xxx (2017) xxx–xxx 25 July 2017, p. 9-11 Their use of the word “hominin” is to identify their idea of an early line of human ancestors that existed before modern man evolved. So their first explanation is that the tracks were made by a primitive ancestor of mankind that had a similar foot form, or, the second suggestion is to search the land for evidence of an undiscovered ape that had human feet and walk upright. They state, “The first of these interpretations is clearly more straightforward. There is nothing about the character complement or morphometrics of the Trachilos prints that positively suggest convergence with hominin morphology and, as noted above, there is no positive body fossil evidence for the existence of such a convergently hominin-like primate. In a formal sense interpretation 2 thus fails the Occam’s Razor test of explanatory parsimony. However, we feel it should nevertheless be entertained, because nature is not always parsimonious and, more importantly, interpretation 1 carries major biogeographical implications that also need to be examined critically.”14) Gerard D. Gierlinski, Grzegorz Nied zwiedzki, Martin G. Lockley, Athanassios Athanassiou, Charalampos Fassoulas, Zofia Dubicka, Andrzej Boczarowski, Matthew R. Bennett, Per Erik Ahlberg, “Possible hominin footprints from the late Miocene (c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete?,” Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association xxx (2017) xxx–xxx 25 July 2017, p. 11 So interpretation 2, is quite illogical but according to the view is worth considering because evolution throws many curve balls so apes evolving human feet is perceivable. Besides, interpretation 2 is just as hard to believe as interpretation 1 which defies their assumed dates of their geological opinion. New discoveries consistently provide more confusion when one clings to evolutionary ideas. A consistently biblical interpretation of these track makes for a straight forward understanding.

 

 

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Heath Henning

Heath’s Testimony
Heath heads the Set Free addictions ministry on Friday nights at Mukwonago Baptist Church and is involved in evangelism on the University of Wisconsin Whitewater campus, offering his expertise in apologetics at the weekly Set Free Bible Study every Tuesday evening. He currently lives in East Troy, Wisconsin with his wife and eight children.