How depressing

Creationist can actively impede science. One of the largest mastodon fossils ever found was discovered on a ranch in Texas owned by a fellow named Joe Taylor — an infamous creationist who runs the Mt. Blanco Fossil “Museum”, a wacky little place that peddles fossils while claiming they support a 6,000 year old earth. Now he’s putting it up for auction, and you can buy the skull for something north of $60,000.

We can’t win this one. Even if it’s bought by a reputable museum and studied scientifically, it still means that this creationist is going to get a huge chunk of change to use in promoting more lies.


  1. Rachel I. says

    Eh, if we’re lucky, he’ll just put the money towards buying a new fancy car or something. Televangelists line their own pockets enough, and this guy is likely of the same stock, ne?

  2. Sili says

    It’s kinda endearing how much faith =avancna has in PZed’s ability to rake in money.

    I wish it were true.

    – Sili (who doesn’t go by that name on DA because it’s his guilty pleasure)

  3. Anon says

    You’d think that the man would, you know, give it to a legitimate scientific institute, so that they can prove it’s only 6,000 years old. After all, Jebus’s word is irrefutable, right? So what’s the harm in letting the scientists disprove their own “dogma”?

  4. says

    danley– Its only ~5 hours from me. We will have it 7 am tomorrow morning.

    A mastodon skull will fit in the backseat of a Malibu, right?

  5. SEF says

    Hasn’t some of its scientific value already been destroyed through having been removed from the scene by a nutter, of no relevant training, who won’t have kept a proper record of the in situ disposition? Or were other people employed by him to do the tricky stuff? :-/

  6. Rav Winston says

    FEXAKE!!! Have you gone to this crackpot’s site? He’s made the lower tusks snap on and off the lower maxila by fitting the skull with little magnets! And he’s strung led lights in the hollowed out teeth! AND he’s used the leds to illuminate the brain cavity!

    He hasn’t done the lighting as part of the display– HE’S FUCKING MADE IT A PART OF THE SKULL!!!

    –Sorry– I’m an amateur paleontologist, and I cannot believe how this putz has tampered with the fossil. “Improving” it for viewing. Fucking putz!

    He has no idea of the true value of this find.

    I suppose I should be grateful this madman hasn’t just ground it up to keep it out of the hands of scientists.

  7. The Stone says

    Let him keep it.

    I hope he has to stare at it for the rest of his life. It will remain as his personal monument to his outdated, corrupt, and worse-than-useless belief system who’s authorities so easily prostitute themselves for their own greed.

    As for science, there will be many more mastodon skulls.

  8. BruceH says

    If a reputable science organization buys it, it will, at the very least, prevent some crackpot fundie group from using it to spread lies. True, he will profit from the sale no matter what happens, and may well use the proceeds to fund more outrageous programs, but it’s better that a real museum or research outfit gets it, rather than another creationist front.

  9. N.Wells says

    Ignore it. It could have been important, but a) it’s not unique, and b) he’s screwed around with it enough to have degraded its significance.

  10. says

    Sounds like this guy has already heavily damaged the fossil, and while large specimens are neat and all, we can get by just fine without this one.

  11. noodlesoup says

    I bet ground mastodon tusks would sell for a pretty price in Chinese herbal shops as an aphrodisiac or general health potion.

  12. says

    ERV, just make sure you’re packing heat. This has to be a strictly covert operation.

    Posted by: danley

    I’ll take a bullet for ERV. Plus, I have a truck. Although, I’ve seen what happens to trucks in that part of the country, and I’m not too sure I want to risk it.

  13. Gene Goldring says

    From one of their funny pages.

    Family and friends joined the press and Mt. Blanco staff at the Hilton Hotel on Blanco Road in the Lone Star ballroom to unveil the Lone Star Mastodon. We thought the tie-in was fun and everybody had a great time with the friendly staff at the Hilton. Something very interesting, though unrelated, happened while we were there. A young Mexican lady told us a really intriguing story of two of her friends being attacked by a “giant bird with no feathers” in a village in Mexico. We hope to do a full story on this later on. Keep posted.

    Can’t wait! lol

  14. Autumn says

    I visited the Mt. Blanko site, and read a bit about a fossil dinosaur with another fossil dinosaur in the first’s stomach. In a couple of pages the first fossil is described (I assume most accurately) as a dog-sized dinosaur, then as a dog-like dinosaur, and finally as simply a dog living among and eating dinosaurs. Oh yeah, it was also a parrot-like dinosaur for a bit.
    The word “fucktard” fits so well that it is nearly impossible to speak of these… well, fucktards, without resorting to it. I hope it doesn’t become trite, as I love using it.

  15. John Scanlon, FCD says

    Autumn, I will not be checking on that site but my guess is they had seen an article somewhere on Repenomamus, an Early Cretaceous stem-mammal (nearly badger-sized, one of the biggest Mesozoic mammals known and one of the most complete skeletons) which had ?Psittacosaurus (small ceratopsian dinosaur) remains inside it. To most fucktards, and many others besides, ‘dinosaur’ just means any vertebrate fossil.

  16. jeh says

    Maybe someday–in the far future–he will be the fossil that’s for sale. Skull, late Holocene, good condition, …

  17. Bride of Shrek says

    ooooh, my favourite is the fossil “Giant Race of Men” femur they have on display. 120 centimetres long. Jeez, we got all short in 6000 years. And since the Shroud of Turin shows Jesus to be of normal height I guess all that there shortening must have happened in the first 4000 years.

    Interestingly the staff seems to consist solely of relatives and the odd crackpot. However this very powerhouse of paleontological knowledge does have one person on staff with sciencey-type qualifications – a B.Sc in Biomedical Science.

  18. Bride of Shrek says

    Having apparently nothing better to do with my life I have just perused their catalogue and interestingly one of the fossils is described as Triassic. WTF?I thought they didn’t believe there was a Triassic period. Or, do they use all the usual names for the Epochs, Periods etc but just think they’re, like, 3 days long? The sheer dickheadedness of it all is making my brain hurt. Fuck this, I’m off to stare at the bottom of a bottle of Bombay Sapphire.

  19. Cthulhu says

    Arrrrggghh!!!! I need a sacrifice here! The fossil will do. The Texan not the mastodon skull.

  20. Bride of Shrek says


    Brilliant stuff. My fake’s more real than your fake so there. Nyah, nyah,nyah.

    For a bit there I was going to email the museum and ask what happened to the big guys. I mean did God not like basketball so he smote them all out of existence?

  21. JohnnieCanuck, FCD says

    Bride o’S.

    It all happened because of the Fall, don’t you know. Part of His divine retribution was that He messed with their genes and made them shrink, from one generation to the next.

    My reference for this is PZ’s post on that YEC cartoon Pink Giants in the Earth, which claimed “Adam may have been around 15 feet tall. Then mankind “deteriorated”… Noah at 12 feet… and now we’re down to half of that!”

    ‘Sides, their hoops had to have been higher off the ground. Likely they used coconuts and the T. Rex types held the hoops in their mouths and got to keep the coconuts after the game.


  22. Janine says

    JohnnieCanuck, I can buy into the T Rexes being kind enough to to the hoops. I can even buy into the T Rexes being rewarded with the coconuts after the game. But I cannot buy into the idea of coconuts bouncing. How could these teams of giants dribble the coconuts?

  23. The Greek says

    I have found the True Cross and the Holy Grail in my back yard. They’re for sale for 1,000,000 dollars each. I hope you don’t mind I have mounted some LED lights on the Cross and shined the Holy Grail with some sandpaper. Oh and I filled these ugly nail holes on the wood. I attached a hook on the back for mounting on the wall and put a neon sign saying INBI on top.

    come on I want some bids from Christiuns

  24. Ichthyic says

    Fuck this, I’m off to stare at the bottom of a bottle of Bombay Sapphire.

    ooh, good choice; think I’ll ditto that.

  25. Leigh says

    Dan and Abbie, y’all can use my house in Austin as a lair. And forget the truck, we’ll use my minivan. The skull will fit inside and we can put all that junk I carry (coats, extra pillows, abandoned articles of the kids’ clothes) in with it for the perfect disguise. I’ve always declared that a white woman in a minivan could rob a bank and drive way unsuspected — this would be a good time to test my hypothesis. Plus, I speak Texan and know “church talk” in case we have to talk our way out. It will be like Ocean’s 13 without the explosives.

    p.s. Don’t bring the guns. We can do fine without them.

  26. Leigh says

    I think I misspelled ERV’s name. And I don’t really know how big this skull is, come to think of it. I have a big minivan, so maybe this could work. If not, we can use my husband’s truck; it has Texas plates so we can get away clean.

  27. says

    Of course Joe’s Mastodons command a premium- finest provenance in the business- his family’s been raising the critters since Grandad Taylor drove the Folsom Gang off the ranch, and Joe’s been burying them and digging them up in timely fashion ever since he was a lad. It seems mighty unchristian of y’all to rail at him so, as the poor feller’s memory’s been failing him since he turned 8200

  28. Bride of Shrek says

    Leigh- I’m thinking you could just rope the critter to the front of your husband’s truck. A few spotlights,a gun rack and you’ll just pass for a couple of Good Ol’ Boys coming back from a huntin’ trip.

    Ichthyic- Fair way into the Sapphire, and yet still not numb to the stupidity that is the Mt Blanco Fossil Museum. Is there no drug that will dull this pain?

  29. says

    Sad dilemma indeed. I’d just pay the guy, probably cheaper than funding an expedition to find something similar.

    The Bull Terrier Club of America used to attend USDA auctions to buy up their breed to save them from millers, etc. Then they realized that by doing that, they were promoting the continued auctioning of Bull terriers. Tough call. Let some go as collateral damage so others can be saved, or save the one in front of you.

  30. HPLC_Sean says

    The contribution to science that the Mastodon skull brings in a legitimate science institution will last generations longer than the contribution this twerp will make to creationism with $60k.
    Besides, all this guy wants is a new F-150, a purdy new dress for his wife, and to replace the rusty screen door he ripped off bringing a tusk into the house.

  31. Richard Carnes says

    I predict that the skull will be bought by a rich Texan who will mount it in his living room next to his elk rack and elephant tusks.

  32. says

    Shouldn’t we just try to convince the Creation Museum to buy it? It sounds like the specimen is nearly useless for real science now anyway. If the CM (or other “Creation Science” interests) buy it, then this asshat gets money, but the Museum loses money, and the net result is zero gain for creationism.

  33. Teenage Lobotomy says

    I will get my Britsh Motorcycle Gang, Pack our Flintlocks
    and get that “SOB” to do the Creatin Hop.

  34. says

    I don’t really know what the problem is. Do any of us boycott creationists as a rule? I mean, I would try hard not to enrich Behe or Dembski, but I bet that I buy products made from oil found with conventional science, yet with royalties being paid to idiots who deny that science. I wouldn’t ask even if I could get the answer.

    I just think it’s amusing how readily they allow others to use real science to help them find fossils or petroleum, and how they’re oh so willing to make money off of the evilutionists who are just going to “tell lies” about the mastodon’s origins. Very few of them are going to use either their fossil finds or their money to try to develop ID or creationism into a real science, since they all know that there’s no money in it (however, they do think that Dembski’s doing science, for the only result they’re interested in is “God did it”, and the lack of working science from ID doesn’t even register because they’re not interested in that).

    Glen D

  35. Coragyps says

    Grrr. There was a piece in our local paper a couple of years back about the field trip that the third grade took to Taylor’s heap of shit. At taxpayer expense, of course, since it was Educational and all. They had a picture of the Giant Human Femur, proportioned just like my femurs, with a couple of kids standing by it. The paper published my letter the next week, but I doubt that it helped.

    Texans? Okies? Do we need a field trip of our own? I can find the really-freakin-good Mexican food up near Crosbyton….

  36. Nathaniel says

    “The contribution to science that the Mastodon skull brings…”

    Hrmm… What is the contributon to science that this skull brings? I mean, it’s not a new species. There’s some data from the place and the size of the find.. but surely science now knows that. Is the contribution $60,000 worth? That amount of money will fund a postdoc (like me) for maybe a year and a half. How much science can I do in a year? More than that skull, I’ll betcha.


  37. Magnus Malmborn says

    If he sells the skull with tusks, won’t that break some rules against trade with endangered species? (Fossil ivory is after all still ivory.)

  38. says

    If he sells the skull with tusks, won’t that break some rules against trade with endangered species? (Fossil ivory is after all still ivory.)

    Fossil ivory is exempt from the ivory trading ban, as are elephant ivory objects which can be shown to have been made prior to a certain date.

    In fact, mammoth ivory from Siberia was hoped by some to be able to supply enough ivory for those who were willing to pay enough, as there is a large amount of ivory in Siberia. Unfortunately, however, very little of it is of a very good quality.

    Glen D

  39. Carlie says

    I wish our laws were more like Canada’s – I believe that fossils are effectively owned by the state regardless of what land they’re on, by virtue of being a part of common history. Can one of our northern readers clarify this for me?

  40. says

    Here’s a link about archaelogical finds, Carlie:

    In all provinces and territories except Ontario and Quebec, discovered artifacts belong to the provincial/territorial Crown or its agents.

    The Ontario Heritage Act says that artifacts held without a licence are seizable, but not to whom they belong. The Common Law, however, says that they usually belong to the landowner.

    In Quebec, finds belong to the Crown on land that has been public land at any time since 1972; on land that has been private, finds are co-owned by the landowner and finder.

    With respect to paleontological finds,

    Under federal law, and in most provinces and territories (explicitly in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Yukon; implicitly in British Columbia and Prince Edward Island), the law also protects palaeontology (the remains of prehistoric animals and plants); this includes everything from dinosaurs and mammoths to extinct ferns. (The legal status of palaeontology is less clear in Ontario, New Brunswick and the Northwest Territories; it is specifically excluded in Quebec’s law.)

  41. Russell says

    One wonders what the fearless Texas mastodon hunter makes of all the mammoth tusks recently found to be peppered with BB sized meteorites.

    An obvious Hypothesis is that God and Dick Cheney are equally dangerous quail hunting companions

  42. Fresh Cliches says

    I say buy it with his guarantee of its claimed age, then have it carbon-dated and begin legal action for misrepresentation of age.

    Thus, the lawyers get the money (nothing new there), and karmic equilibrium is maintained.