A little pictorial sleight of hand

This is something of a followup on my previous post on bird hips and the place of the sauropods in the dinosaur family tree.

In that post I linked to an image of the dinosaur family tree I had found on the creationwiki web site:

After a commenter (Moth Eyes) noted, in so many words, how it was odd that a creationist might label this illustration a “family tree” given that they don’t believe there is such a thing. This led me to look at where creationwiki might have gotten this illustration.

It wasn’t difficult as gives a link to the source, which is a National Parks Service website connected to Dinoaur National Monument in Utah. Here is their version:


Do you see the difference?

If not I’ll help you out. In the original NPS version (bottom) the Saurischian and Ornithischian trees meet at the base of the illustration where it saysThecodonts (Dinosaur ancestors)”.

This means some enterprising creationist took it upon themselves to fire up Photoshop and erase (without notation) from the original illustration the inferred meeting of the to branches of the dinosaurian family amongst the thecodonts. An inference obviously offensive to creationist sensibilities.

Now the image is apparently not copyrighted, and if that is so they have the right to alter it, but having the right to do something doesn’t make it right to do. They should have at least noted that it was altered from the original to reflect their beliefs.

One wonders why they left the geologic periods and dates on the right-hand side of the illustration unmolested. Or maybe they could have had one of the dinosaurs breathing fire to go along with the YEC fantasy that dinosaurs were the dragons of ancient legend.


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