Home-schoolers find intact dinosaur skeleton

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Date: Tue May 21 2002 - 14:36:14 EDT

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    Home-schoolers find intact dinosaur skeleton
    Scientist says 22-foot animal likely died during cataclysmic flood
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    Posted: May 21, 2002
    1:00 a.m. Eastern

    2002 WorldNetDaily.com

    A dinosaur fossil expedition for home educators has excavated a
    large, rare, intact allosaurus, a discovery that organizers say helps
    debunk the theory of evolution.

    The fossil measures more than 22 feet in length and 10 feet in
    height, with a complete skull more than a yard long. Allosauruses are
    believed to be a close relative of the tyrannosaurus rex, differing
    from the T-rex primarily in size and cranial capacity.

    Under the leadership of Doug Phillips, president of Vision Forum and
    an adjunct professor of apologetics with the Institute for Creation
    Research, and Peter DeRosa, a veteran archaeologist and
    paleontologist with Creation Expeditions, the team of 30 home
    schoolers spent a week earlier this month hunting for and excavating
    fossils in a privately owned location in the Skullcreek Basin of
    northwest Colorado.

    Of the 37 allosauruses that have been discovered around the globe,
    only 13 have been found with more than 25 percent of the fossilized
    remains intact, explained a statement released by Phillips and De
    Rosa. Of those 13, just three complete skulls have ever been
    recovered. Nearly 70 percent of the Skullcreek allosaurus has already
    been found, lending credence to speculation that it may prove to be
    the best-preserved and most fully articulated, or connected,
    allosaurus yet to be excavated, the statement said.

    "Most people do not realize that there is a tremendous paucity of
    dinosaur bones available to scientists," said Phillips. "Ninety-five
    percent of all the fossils in the world are marine invertebrates; 95
    percent of the remaining 5 percent are plants. The vast majority of
    the rest of the fossil record are fish and insects. Only a fraction
    of a percent of the remaining fossil record includes land
    vertebrates, and those finds usually consist of less than one bone.
    To find a complete allosaur is simply historic."

    DeRosa commented on the possible time of death of the giant animal.

    "The evidence strongly points to a relatively recent and catastrophic
    event similar to that described in the Bible as the flood of Noah's
    day," he said.

    "We found a complete section of vertebrae more than 12 feet in
    length, which was fully articulated. The dinosaur appears to be in
    much the same position as he was at the time of his death and burial,
    which must have been virtually instantaneous, and caused by a
    catastrophic event. Not only was this fully articulated dinosaur
    found lying in a bed of leaves and plant debris, but there is wood
    from trees mixed in among the bones, some of which contains petrified
    and unpetrified elements in the same piece of wood. If this creature
    were millions of years old, the evidence would look quite different."

    Phillips contends that the discovery of such a valuable dinosaur by
    creation scientists may well send shockwaves through the scientific

    "Up to now, a well-funded and insular community of evolutionary
    theorists have dominated the field of paleontology, directing most of
    the large dinosaur finds to research and museums committed to
    interpreting the fossil evidence through the faith-driven assumptions
    of evolution," said Phillips. "To have a dinosaur of this size and
    significance within the camp of scientists committed to the creation
    model is nothing short of a coup d'etat."

    The DeRosas, who have a contract on the fossil rights to the property
    and own the right to the material they excavate, had been working the
    site well in advance of the arrival of the home-school expedition.
    Their preliminary work over a period of months led them to believe
    that they had an allosaurus, but it was not until the home-schoolers
    arrived and performed the heavy lifting of moving a lot of dirt that
    evidence was found to validate their suspicions.

    Home-school dad finds skull

    According to the organizers' statement, the discovery of the
    allosaurus skull came at the last moment of the last day of the trip.
    With just minutes to go before calling quits on the expedition, Dr.
    Bruce Bellamy, a home-school father from Clinton, Mo., broke dirt on
    what would prove to be the neck vertebrae leading up to the skull.

    "I placed a $250 bounty on anyone who found the skull," Phillips
    said. "It was just a small incentive for my team, of course. The
    actual skull could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars."

    Last week, DeRosa brought in a fresh team of professional excavators
    to remove the skull from the ground for preservation. It is not yet
    known when the skull will be available for viewing.

    Bellamy, as it turns out, was not the only one to uncover a
    last-minute prize. Just yards away, on a second site, 9-year-old
    home-schooler Haley Meadows was dusting away dirt with her brush when
    she found the claws of a 100-foot sauropod, presently believed to be
    of the rare ultrasaurus variety, according to Phillips.

    "What is amazing about this sauropod is the fact that it constitutes
    an entire hill," Phillips said. "This is an enormous and impressive
    creature. Everywhere we dig we seem to be finding more bones, from
    six-foot femurs to ribs to vertebrae."

    Home educators paid $950 a person to study dinosaurs, learn
    excavation techniques and uncover dinosaur bones. The privately owned
    area was once described by National Geographic as one of the 50 best
    fossil dig sites in the world.

    "The home-schoolers on this trip paid for the privilege of shoveling
    dirt, hacking at rocks and the possibility that some of them might
    uncover dinosaur bones," Phillips said. "Many of our guests came with
    minimal expectation, but the dig proved successful beyond the
    imagination of both trip sponsors and participants. There is not one
    child in a million who gets an opportunity like this. This is what
    home education is all about."

    Added DeRosa, "The story behind the location of this site is perhaps
    the greatest miracle. Through a series of remarkable events, more
    than 120 acres fell into the hands of the current owners, a Christian
    home-schooling couple committed to biblical creationism."

    The owners have been approached by museums, television networks and
    leading evolutionists who have expressed a strong interest in the
    fossils found on the property.

    "I am sure the evolutionists would love to get their hands on these
    bones. Who can blame them," Phillips said. "It is like a gold mine
    for paleontologists."

    Creation Expeditions, which believes the land may contain dozens of
    more fully articulated dinosaurs, hopes to be excavating the site for

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