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“The Oldest Human Footprints” Error By The New Scientist And Hurriyet Science Magazines

The New Scientist and Hurriyet Science magazines printed articles about human footprints found on volcanic grounds in Italy. New Scientist published the news with the headline “Earliest Human Footprints Preserve Prehistoric Trek” on the 15th of March 2003 and Hurriyet Scientist used the headline “Oldest Footprints Of Our Ancestors” on the 29th of March 2003. In this present article, we will reveal facts about human footprints and the biased evolutionist interpretation of the subject by the aforementioned magazines.

The prints were discovered north of the Italian city of Naples in the vicinity of the Roccamonfina volcano. It is stated that the total of 56 footprints, fossilized in volcanic ash, belonged to three people who left them between 325000 and 385000 years ago. The zigzag order of the prints going downhill indicate that the person was thus reducing the risk of stumbling and the researchers presume further that handprints found next to the footprints suggest that the person was descending making also use of his hands.

Hurriyet Science speculates on this discovery from an evolutionist angle and claims that these prints belong to “hominids”. Hominid is a term used by evolutionists, who claim that human beings evolved from a common ancestor with chimpanzees after an imaginary separation from them, to describe the transitional forms of man. In short, humanoids are ape-man on the ladder of evolution. Hurriyet Science states that the prints belong to “upright walking hominids” who reverted to “all-fours” in the area where the handprints were found beside the footprints.

The New Scientist magazine proposes, considering the period the prints belong to, that the species was likely to be Homo heidelbergensis who, according to the magazine, emigrated from Africa to Europe and subsequently evolved into Neanderthal man.

Neither magazine, despite making the connection between the footprints and evolution, provide any scientific evidence in support of their claims. First of all there are no artifacts or fossilized material belonging to the owners of the prints, which means that the assertion of the prints belonging to ape-man is nothing but speculation arising from the power of imagination. There are no signs that these beings” hand and footprints” shape resemble the anatomy of transitory forms in evolution. This being so, the source of these claims is not the prints but the Darwinist prejudices. Magazines, which have blindly adopted the view that man is a species produced by evolution, impose these concepts on their readers.

These claims based on footprints demonstrate in reality the bigotry with which evolutionists tend to interpret archeological discoveries. It is evident that these prints belong to real humans; because all the members of the species called Homo heidelbergensis are so much like modern man that they can only be distinguished by insignificant details. Some researchers even claim that this species still lives on in the Australian aborigines. The aborigines have the same wide projecting brows, concave jaws and a slightly smaller brain volume. The evolutionists are in reality defining some real humans, for small racial variations, as primitive transitory forms and then proceed to claim that the footprints left behind by them belong to “hominids.”

The New Scientist and Hurriyet Science magazines state that there have been finds of footprints preceding those of Italy. Even though they state that the Italian prints are the oldest “human” footprints they claim that the much older (3.7 million years old) Laetoli footprints belonged to the humans” distant relatives Austrolapithecus afarensis (*). This is a totally untrue claim and it highlights the evolutionist persistence in Darwinist prejudices when interpreting their findings.

Laetoli Footprints: A Good Example to Evolutionary Dogmatism in Footprint Interpretation

One of the oldest human footprints was found in Laetoli, Tanzania, by Mary Leakey in 1977. These footprints were found in a layer that was calculated to be 3.6 million years old, and more importantly, they were no different from the footprints that a contemporary man would leave.

Tim White, the famous paleo-anthropologists wrote the following about the footprints:

Make no mistake about it… They are like modern human footprints. If one were left in the sand of a California beach today, and a four-year old were asked what it was, he would instantly say that somebody had walked there. He wouldn”t be able to tell it from a hundred other prints on the beach, nor would you. (1)

After examining the footprints, Louis Robbins from the University of North California made the following comments:

The arch is raised – the smaller individual had a higher arch than I do – and the big toe is large and aligned with the second toe … The toes grip the ground like human toes. You do not see this in other animal forms. (2)

Examinations of the morphological form of the footprints showed time and again that they had to be accepted as the prints of a human, and moreover, a modern human (Homo sapiens). Russell Tuttle, who also examined the footprints, wrote:

A small barefoot Homo sapiens could have made them… In all discernible morphological features, the feet of the individuals that made the trails are indistinguishable from those of modern humans. (3)

Impartial examinations of the footprints revealed their real owners. Russell H. Tuttle wrote the following in an article in 1990:

In sum, the 3.5-million-year-old footprint traits at Laetoli site G resemble those of habitually unshod modern humans. None of their features suggest that the Laetoli hominids were less capable bipeds than we are. If the G footprints were not known to be so old, we would readily conclude that there had been made by a member of our genus, Homo… In any case, we should shelve the loose assumption that the Laetoli footprints were made by Lucy”s kind, Australopithecus afarensis.(4)


The interpretations of the footprints found in Italy and in Laetoli reveal an important reality: Evolutionists defend their theories in the face of scientific findings to the contrary. Every obtained data is either misconstrued or ignored which ever suits their purpose. In the end, the evolution theory is not science but a dogma kept alive in spite of it.

(*) The genus Australopithecus covers the upright walking transitory forms in the evolution of man. In reality these are extinct species of primates and the claim that they were walking upright has been completely disproved by researchers who themselves are evolutionists. (For further information on Australopithecus refer to Darwinism Refuted, Goodword Books, 2003)

1- D. C. Johanson & M. A. Edey, Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1981, s. 250
2- “The Leakey Footprints: An Uncertain Path,” Science News, vol. 115, 1979, p. 196
3- Ian Anderson, “Who made the Laetoli footprints?” New Scientist, vol. 98, 12 May 1983, p. 373.
4- R. H. Tuttle, Natural History, March 1990, pp. 61-64

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