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Monday, January 15, 2007

Wild, Wacky World of Answers in Genesis



Every once in a while, I'll head over to Answers in Genesis to see what propaganda they are peddling. Today, I was not disappointed. In their desire to 'prove' that they have properly interpreted the bible, the folks at AIG have abandonded reason and criticism and adopted a stance of 'accept anything if it fits our preconceptions'. In todays feature, we are treated to evidence that man and dinosaur (Specifically stegosaurus) lived together as recently as 800 years ago (from the ruins at Angkor, Cambodia). The article describes to us the following:

"What one sees are roundels depicting various common animals?pigs, monkeys, water buffaloes, roosters, snakes?and what appears to be a dinosaur! There are no mythological figures among the roundels, so one can reasonably conclude that these figures depict the animals that were commonly seen by the ancient Khmer people in the twelfth century."

Might we also reasonably conclude that the animal pictured in the roundel is not a dinosaur? Nope, we must take the author at his word. Earlier in the article we see the following description:

Most of the great Angkor ruins have vast displays of bas-relief depicting the various gods, goddesses, and other-worldly beings from the mythological stories and epic poems of ancient Hinduism (modified by centuries of Buddhism)

Should we also reasonably conclude that the Cambodian people co-existed with these gods 800 years ago? After all, they carved those into a place of prominence as well? Still, let's take a closer look at the carvings. Here is the original photo:



Here's a much clearer figure (you can go to the website linked below and look at the figure): Check out the bottom figure (ever read "where the wild things are"?)



and one more close up with scale!



Here's a rendition of stegosaurus



See how many differences you can spot (begin with the head). This is another case of people seeing something that they want to see and ignoring the rest. But of course, AIG is not the first to posit this and at least one creationist has already 'critiqued' the alleged problems of scale by noting:

One is tempted to respond to these claims by pointing out that our modern restorations involve some guess work, that Stegosaurs may have exhibited a significant amount of anatomical variety (like dogs), that a view of tail spikes may well be blocked by the surrounding stone circle, etc., etc. However, this line of reasoning focuses the discussion on the wrong issue. The relevant question is not, Can you find anatomical differences with today's popular restorations? Rather, the real question is, What kind of sculpture would be produced by an artist who remembered seeing a Stegosaurus?

Indeed, something a lot better than what is depicted here


What's even more interesting is that the second (better photo) of the 'stegosaurus' at the Cambodian ruins is headlined "This I found astonoshing....". read the rest of the quote. It makes me wonder if tour guides are embellishing this just a bit. In fact, at least two of the books on the ruins also makes mention of this 'dinosaur':

The large, beautiful 320 page book, Angkor, Cities And Temples, by the same author and photographer, includes a half page picture of the stegosaur sculpture. On page 213 the author describes it as "an animal which bears a striking resemblance to a stegosaurus".

and

Along the vertical strip of roundels in the angle between the south wall of the porch and the east wall of the main body of the gopura there is even a very convincing representation of a stegosaur."

I'll let the reader decide how good a representation of steggy. The other roundels are fairly clear with regard to scale:

I also wonder what creature is portrayed at the bottom of the column. AIG must know what that one is! It might just be the chupacabra



Cheers

Joe Meert

12 Comments:

At 2:12 PM, Blogger cactaur said...

Hmmmm.....when I first saw it, it looked to me more like a Triceratops from the head.

 
At 3:01 PM, Blogger Joe Meert said...

Could be. I thought it was a wild boar.

CHeers

Joe Meert

 
At 10:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I thought it looked like a triceratops, too. You know, because we've all seen one in the wild, right! And a wild boar? Maybe if the wild boar's wearing armor...down by the bay!

 
At 11:03 PM, Blogger Joe Meert said...

The problem with the carving is that it does not really look like any modern or fossilized animal. That makes it more likely that it was some drug induced illusion (sort of like the rest of young earth creationist ideas!).

Cheers

Joe Meert

 
At 12:16 PM, Blogger J. Cool said...

Did you ever consider that your picture of an artist's rendition of a steggy is simply his own ideas? Just because someone uses their imagination to say, "I think it would have looked this thus" doesn't mean that they are absolutely correct. It astounds me how many artist's conceptions of what dinosaurs and other non-living, fossilized creatures are usually drawn without a complete skeleton to look at? And even considering a full skeleton to look at we still don't know about muscle and fat distribution on an animal we have never seen. So to say that Creationist aren't sticking to facts or things of that nature is ridiculous. You ASSUME the artist has the exact picture, correct in every way. Your ASSUMPTIONS are not well founded.

 
At 12:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That shows how little you know about reconstructions of what animals looked like. Forensic studies can provide very accurate information regarding the bone/body mass of dead organisms (it's used all the time in criminal studies). You need to learn a bit more about the topic before mouthing off.

Cheers

Joe Meert

 
At 1:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems we have another large organisation latching onto an idea and spreading it as fact.
We cannot interpret ancient details without context and must be careful above all not to impose our own context.
Not everybody has the imagination or scientific education to decide their own perception and will rely on those they are foolish to enough to trust in the execution of "connecting-the-dots".
I applaud you Mr. Meert but don't get bogged down in the micromanagement of theological mythical propaganda debunking.
It does not matter what it may or may not look like but rather the fact it leaves way to much to the imagination.
Do not be afraid to sit upon the fence when it comes down to choosing sides.
The warring factions are blind to the fence and do not realise it is in fact a piece of land in its own right, like limbo.
I love the stegosaurus, but there isn't enough here to qualify scale or to understand where embellishment and artistic interpretation has occurred.
All must be questioned and where it is said you should not, you should question doubly so.
Peace be with you fellow Sleuths.

 
At 2:33 PM, Blogger Heathershomescool said...

Did you ever ask yourself how artists came up with the so called renditions you see in books? Look into how artists were paid in the time most were drawn or created for museums to make them look like what evolutionists thought they should look like. So what are you going to believe? An artist's rendition from a few bones, or the carvings created by the people themselves? Again, I ask you, "Were you there when the universe was formed?". So how can you call us who believe in creation and The Bible "drug induced"? Praying for all of you whom I have read on this website.

 
At 2:33 PM, Blogger Heathershomescool said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 2:33 PM, Blogger Heathershomescool said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 2:34 PM, Blogger Heathershomescool said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 2:07 PM, Blogger Joe Meert said...

Heather,

Let's discuss your points.
(1) How do 'artists' make renditions of what we see in the museum?

answer: By analyzing bone structures, fossil imprints of skin and feathers and detailed knowledge of anatomy and physiology of related animals. You would do well to pose the question to a paleontologist yourself rather than conjecture about what you THINK happens.

"Were you there to see the universe created?"

Answer: No and neither were you. We have choices to make. We can accept the writings of several thousand years ago as fact and quit asking questions or we can ask questions and develop models to see how well they fit with the observations. We've already tested the 'words in the old book hypothesis' and found it to be totally unsubstantiated.
Second, you have a flawed notion that the only way to figure something out correctly is to be there to see it yourself. Do you doubt that Michael Jackson died as a result of drug overdose and drug interactions or was he scared by a vision of a werewolf? You were not there to see it, so according to your logic both possibilities have equal merit. Please think a bit before you post.

 

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