PZ Meyers is reporting on a guy in Utah who claims to have found pre-Cambrian (more than 500 million years old) fossils supposedly of dragons. As PZ notes, this individual is clearly seeing shapes in randomly strewn stones but is interpreting them in the same way as one might interpret images in clouds or in Rorschach inkblot tests. PZ compared the Utah dragon discoverer to Ed Conrad, a crackpot creationist who claimed to have found examples of human bone from Carboniferous era (300 million year old) coal deposits.
But PZ made a poor comparison.
Ed Conrad was clearly wrong about the legitimacy of the human bone (they were samples of rock), but at least he approached his idea with some sophistication, arguing that microscopic examination revealed bone-like structure (they don’t reveal anything remotely resembling the anatomical structure of human bone). He also provided other lines of “evidence” – all clearly nothing more than oddly shaped rock.
No, the Utah guy making dragons out of random rock formations is more like fake archaeologist Bob Cornuke making planks from Noah’s Ark out of random basalt columns. These two guys were made for each other.