In December of 1862, the following brief but intriguing report appeared in a journal called The Geologist: “In Macoupin county, Illinois, the bones of a man were recently found on a coal-bed capped with two feet of slate rock, ninety feet below the surface of the earth. . . . The bones, when found, were covered with a crust or coating of hard glossy matter, as black as coal itself, but when scraped away left the bones white and natural.” The coal in which the Macoupin County skeleton was found is at least 286 million years old and might be as much as 320 million years old.(The Hidden History of the Human Race
Our final examples of anomalous pre-Tertiary evidence are not in the category of fossil human bones, but rather in the category of fossil humanlike footprints. Professor W. G. Burroughs, head of the department of geology at Berea College in Berea, Kentucky, reported in 1938: “During the beginning of the Upper Carboniferous (Coal Age) Period, creatures that walked on their two hind legs and had human-like feet, left tracks on a sand beach in Rockcastle County, Kentucky. This was the period known as the Age of Amphibians when animals moved about on four legs or more rarely hopped, and their feet did not have a human appearance. But in Rockcastle, Jackson and several other counties in Kentucky, as well as in places from Pennsylvania to Missouri inclusive, creatures that had feet strangely human in appearance and that walked on two hind legs did exist. The writer has proved the existence of these creatures in Kentucky. With the cooperation of Dr. C. W. Gilmore, Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology, Smithsonian Institution, it has been shown that similar creatures lived in Pennsylvania and Missouri.”
The Upper Carboniferous (the Pennsylvanian) began about 320 million years ago. It is thought that the first animals capable of walking erect, the pseudosuchian thecodonts, appeared around 210 million years ago. These lizardlike creatures, capable of running on their hind legs, would not have left any tail marks since they carried their tails aloft. But their feet did not look at all like those of human beings; rather they resembled those of birds. Scientists say the first appearance of apelike beings was not until around 37 million years ago, and it was not until around 4 million years ago that most scientists would expect to find footprints anything like those reported by Burroughs from the Carboniferous of Kentucky.
David L. Bushnell, an ethnologist with the Smithsonian Institution, [imagined a little story about the past to suggest that] the prints were carved by Indians. In ruling out this hypothesis, Dr. Burroughs used a microscope to study the prints and noted: “The sand grains within the tracks are closer together than the sand grains of the rock just outside the tracks due to the pressure of the creatures’ feet. . . . The sandstone adjacent to many of the tracks is uprolled due to the damp, loose sand having been pushed up around the foot as the foot sank into the sand.” These facts led Burroughs to conclude that the humanlike footprints were formed by compression in the soft, wet sand before it consolidated into rock some 300 million years ago. Burrough’s observations were confirmed by other investigators.
According to Kent Previette, Burroughs also consulted a sculptor. Previette wrote in 1953: “The sculptor said that carving in that kind of sandstone could not have been done without leaving artificial marks. Enlarged photomicrographs and enlarged infrared photographs failed to reveal any ‘indications of carving or cutting of any kind.”
Mainstream science reacted predictably to any suggestion that the prints were made by humans. Geologist Albert G. Ingalls, writing in 1940 in Scientific American, said: “If man, or even his ape ancestor, or even that ape ancestor’s early mammalian ancestor, existed as far back as in the Carboniferous Period in any shape, then the whole science of geology is so completely wrong that all the geologists will resign their jobs and take up truck driving. Hence, for the present at least, science rejects the attractive explanation that man made these mysterious prints in the mud of the Carboniferous with his feet.”
by Michael Cremo and Richard Thompson :150-151)
As for geologists, many seem to be saying: "The Darwinian creation myth has been fused to the professional identity of being a geologist, therefore no geologists can question it as a geologist. Given that geologists define what geology is, for who else can, the answers of geology and science will always comport with the Darwinian creation myth no matter what we must imagine about the evidence." Truckdrivers would also support the Darwinian creation myth no matter the evidence if it had been fused to their professional identity as "truckdriver."
That fusing probably only came about because the Darwinian creation myth came to be accepted about the time that the professionalization of science was also taking place. So the logic was: "Scientist, therefore not amateur natural theologian." I would argue that this set of circumstances will not change until those who believe that the professional identity of "scientist" is defined by belief in the Darwinian creation myth die out. The current set of professionals may literally have to die out given how powerful fusing one's professional identity with any set of beliefs can be, let alone types of belief that can challenge religions because they are pseudo-religious beliefs themselves. If they were not that type of belief then they wouldn't be a challenge to religion. The Darwinian creation myth is a challenge to religious creation narratives only to the extent that it is religious enough to challenge and effect religions.
A note on that last bit of evidence, apparently imagining things is once again the key to propping up the Darwinian creation myth against the evidence:
Ingalls suggested the prints were made by some as yet unknown kind of amphibian. But today’s scientists do not really take the amphibian theory seriously. Human-sized Carboniferous bipedal amphibians do not fit into the accepted scheme of evolution much better than Carboniferous human beings...(Ib. :151)
It's ironic that we live fairly well now based on fossil fuels yet seek to deny the great catastrophism and cataclysm that brings about the beds of coal, fossils and so on in which evidence about the past sits. The evidence for catastrophy being the reason for fossil fuels is such that any schoolboy can read it. Although it is a heretical notion to orthodox geology and archaeology numerous lines of evidence also comport with a Great Flood as the catastrophy responsible for destroying a great civilization of ancient times. For example, a small thread of it:
(Underworld: The Mysterious Origins of Civilization
by Graham Hancock :118)