Until Recently, There were Stories of the Dino-Bird
Within the last ten years, dinosaurs with avian feathers, or imaginary "dino-birds," have been one of the Darwinist media's favorite pieces of propaganda. A series of headlines about dino-birds, reconstruction drawings, and persistent explanations from evolutionist "experts" persuaded many that half-bird, half-dinosaur creatures once existed.
The last, most exhaustive defense of this premise was undertaken by Richard O. Prum and Alan Brush, both well-known ornithologists, in the March 2003 issue of Scientific American. In their article, "The Feather or the Bird? Which Came First?", Prum and Brush were assertive, as if to finally put an end to the on-going arguments as to the origin of birds. They claimed that their findings had led them to a supposedly amazing conclusion: Feathers had evolved in dinosaurs, before birds came into existence. Feathers, they proposed, had evolved not for the purpose of flying, but for insulation, impermeability to water, to attract the opposite gender, camouflage, and defense. Only later were they used for flight.
However, this thesis in fact consisted of speculation devoid of any scientific evidence. The new thesis, developed by Prum and Brush and adopted by Scientific American, was nothing more than a new, but hollow, version of the "birds are dinosaurs" theory, furiously defended with a blind fanaticism in recent decades. In fact, like the other icons of evolution, this was also completely rotten.
One person whose views may be consulted on this matter is one of the recognized authorities in the world on the origin of birds: Dr. Alan Feduccia of the Biology Department of the University of North Carolina. He accepts the theory that birds came into existence through evolution, but he differs from Prum and Brush and other proponents of the "dino-bird" in thinking that the theory of evolution is not clear on this matter. He refuses to give any credence to the hype over the dino-bird, deliberately presented as a fact, without evidence.
He wrote an article in the October 2002 issue of The Auk, a periodical published by the American Ornithologists' Union and which serves as a forum for highly technical discussions of ornithology. His article, "Birds are Dinosaurs: Simple Answer to a Complex Problem," explains that the theory that birds evolved from dinosaurs, avidly supported ever since John Ostrom first proposed it in the 1970s, rested on no scientific evidence. Feduccia also gave a detailed account of how such a theory was impossible, and explained a very important fact concerning the dino-birds said to have been found in China: It is not clear that the structures found on the fossil reptiles, presented as feathered dinosaurs, are feathers at all. On the contrary, there is much evidence that this so-called "dino-fuzz" has no relation to feathers. Feduccia writes:
Having studied most of the specimens said to sport protofeathers, I, and many others, do not find any credible evidence that those structures represent protofeathers. Many Chinese fossils have that strange halo of what has become known as dino-fuzz, but although that material has been ''homologized'' with avian feathers, the arguments are far less than convincing.151
After this statement, he says that Prum showed prejudice in his article in Scientific American:
According to Feduccia, one reason why this prejudice was refuted was that traces of this dino-fuzz were also found on fossils that have no provable relationship with birds. In the same article, Feduccia says:
Most important, ''dino-fuzz'' is now being discovered in a number of taxa, some unpublished, but particularly in a Chinese pterosaur [flying reptile] and a therizinosaur [a carnivorous dinosaur]...Most surprisingly, skin fibers very closely resembling dino-fuzz have been discovered in a Jurassic ichthyosaur [extinct marine reptile] and described in detail. Some of those branched fibers are exceptionally close in morphology to the so called branched protofeathers (''Prum Protofeathers'') described by Xu [a Chinese paleontologist]...That these so-called protofeathers have a widespread distribution in archosaurs [a Mesozoic reptile] is evidence alone that they have nothing to do with feathers.153
In the past, Feduccia says, certain residue was found in the area of these fossils, but it was shown to be inorganic matter with no relation to the fossil:
One is reminded of the famous fernlike markings on the Solnhofen fossils known as dendrites. Despite their plantlike outlines, these features are now known to be inorganic structures caused by a solution of manganese from within the beds that reprecipitated as oxides along cracks or along bones of fossils.154
Another interesting point is that all the fossil "feathered dinosaurs" were found in China. How could these fossils have come to light in China, but nowhere else in the world? And why weren't any feathers or feather shafts found on these dinosaurs, claimed by evolutionists to be feathered, in these Chinese formations that could so well preserve even such a structure as the dino-fuzz? The answer is plain: It's because they didn't possess any avian feathers. Feduccia writes:
One must explain also why all theropods and other dinosaurs discovered in other deposits where integument is preserved exhibit no dino-fuzz, but true reptilian skin, devoid of any featherlike material (Feduccia 1999), and why typically Chinese dromaeosaurs preserving dino-fuzz do not normally preserve feathers, when a hardened rachis, if present, would be more easily preserved.155
So, what are these creatures, found in China, and presented as a supposed intermediate form between reptiles and birds?
Feduccia explains that some of the creatures presented as "feathered dinosaurs" were extinct reptiles with dino-fuzz, and that others were true birds:
There are clearly two different taphonomic phenomena in the early Cretaceous lacustrine deposits of the Yixian and Jiufotang formations of China, one preserving dino-fuzz filaments, as in the first discovered, so-called ''feathered dinosaur'' Sinosauropteryx (a commpsognathid), and one preserving actual avian feathers, as in the feathered dinosaurs that were featured on the cover of Nature, but which turned out to be secondarily flightless birds.156
That is, all the fossils presented as "feathered dinosaurs" or "dino-birds" belong either to flightless birds like chickens, or to reptiles that possess the feature called "dino-fuzz," an organic structure that has nothing to do with avian feathers. Clearly, no fossil establishes the existence of an intermediate form between birds and reptiles. (Besides the above-mentioned two basic groups, Feduccia also mentions "the abundant beaked bird Confusiusornis," some enantiornithines, and a newly identified seed-eating bird called Jeholornis prima, none of which is a dino-bird.)
Therefore, Prum and Brush's claim in Scientific American that fossils have proved that birds are dinosaurs is totally contrary to the facts.
The "Age Problem" that Evolutionists Want to Hide and the Misconception of "Cladistics"
In all evolutionist articles that fan the flames of the dino-bird myth, including the one by Richard O. Prum and Alan Brush in Scientific American, there is one forgotten and even hidden but very important fact.
The fossils of what they falsely call the "dino-bird" or "feathered dinosaur" do not date back any more than 130 million years. However, there is an extant fossil of a true bird at least 20 million years older than the fossils they want to present as a "half bird:" Archaeopteryx. Known as the oldest bird, Archaeopteryx is a true bird with perfectly-formed flying muscles, feathers for flight and a normal bird's skeleton. Since it could soar through the skies 150 million years ago, how can evolutionists maintain such nonsense as to present other creatures that lived later in history as the primitive ancestors of birds?
Darwinists have discovered a new method of doing so: cladistics, which has been frequently used in paleontology over the past few decades to interpret fossils. Those who promote this method are not interested in the fossils' age; they only compare the measurable characteristics of extant fossils and, on the basis of these comparisons, devise an evolutionist family tree.
This method is defended on an evolutionist Internet site that explains the so-called rationale for positing Velociraptor, a much younger fossil than Archaeopteryx, as the latter's ancestor:
Now we may ask "How can Velociraptor be ancestral to Archaeopteryx if it came after it?"
Well, because of the many gaps in the fossil record, fossils don't always show up "on time." For example, a recently discovered partial fossil from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar, Rahonavis, seems to be a cross between birds and something like Velociraptor, but appears 60 million years too late. No-one however says its late appearance is evidence against its being a missing link, it may just have lasted a long time. Such examples are called "ghost lineages"; we assume these animals existed earlier when we have probable ancient ancestors for them a long way back, and perhaps possible descendants back then too.157
This summation shows what a huge distortion cladistics is. The following point needs to be made clear: the Velociraptor in the above extract is one of the fossils portrayed as a supposed intermediate form in the myth of birds evolving from dinosaurs. Like the others, however, this is nothing more than biased evolutionist interpretation. The feathers seen in the imaginary reconstructions of Velociraptor merely reflect evolutionists' imaginations; the fact is that there is no evidence the animal had feathers at all. In addition, again as we have seen in the above quotation, evolutionists manifestly distort the results from the fossil record according to their own theories. The only reason for supposing that a species, with a 70-million-year-old fossil, actually existed 170 million years earlier—and establishing an evolutionary family relationship on the basis of that supposition—is to distort the facts.
Cladistics is a covert confession that the theory of evolution cannot cope with the fossil record and opens a new dimension. To sum up:
So, at this point, evolutionists were constrained to develop the inconsistent method known as cladistics.
With cladistics, Darwinism, purporting to be a theory that starts from and relies on scientific evidence, has been revealed to be no such thing, but a dogma that distorts scientific evidence, changing it according to suppositions—much like Lysenkoism, the official scientific doctrine of the USSR in the time of Stalin. It was nonsense concocted by Trofim Lysenko, who rejected the laws of genetics and was an adherent of Lamarck's theory of inheritance of acquired characteristics. Like Lysenkoism, Darwinism, too, thus became recognized as having no basis in science.
The Unbridgeable Differences Between Birds and Dinosaurs
Not only Prum and Brush's thesis, but every version of the "birds are dinosaurs" theory has been discredited. The differences in anatomical structure between birds and dinosaurs cannot be bridged by any process of evolution. Here I outline some of these differences, examined in detail in my other books:
2) Embryological comparisons of birds and reptiles made in 2002 by Alan Feduccia and Julie Nowicki showed a major difference in the hand structure of the two, proving that it was impossible to establish an evolutionary connection between them.159
3) The final comparison between the skulls of the two groups showed the same conclusions. As a result of a study he carried out in 1999, Andre Elzanowski concluded that there were "no specific avian similarities found in the jaws and palates of dromaeosaurids [a group of theropod dinosaurs]." 160
4) Another difference separating birds from reptiles is their teeth. It is known that in the past, some birds had teeth in their beaks—which for a long time was presented as a so-called proof of evolution. But eventually, it became known that birds' teeth were peculiar to them. On this subject, Feduccia writes:
Perhaps the most impressive difference between theropods and birds concerns the structure of teeth and the nature of their implantation. It is astounding that more attention has not been given to the dramatic differences between bird and theropod teeth, especially when one considers that the basis of mammal paleontology involves largely tooth morphology. To be brief, bird teeth (as seen in Archaeopteryx, Hesperornis, Parahesperornis, Ichthyornis, Cathayornis, and all toothed Mesozoic birds) are remarkably similar and are unlike those of theropods...There is essentially no shared, derived relationship of any aspect of tooth morphology between birds and theropods, including tooth form, implantation, or replacement. 161
5) Birds are warm-blooded, while reptiles are cold-blooded. This means that they have two very different metabolisms and it's not possible that a change from one to the other was effected by random mutations. To remove this difficulty, it was proposed that dinosaurs were warm-blooded. But this thesis rests on no evidence and there is much proof to discredit it.162
All this removes scientific support for the evolutionist thesis about the origin of birds. The Darwinist media may be able to prolong the furor over the dino-bird, but it is now clear that this was a non-scientific propaganda campaign.
Everyone who examines the origin of birds and all the other creatures in nature apart from evolutionist dogma will plainly see that creatures are far too complex ever to be explained in terms of natural influences of random occurrences. The only explanation for this lies in the fact of Creation.
God, Who knows every kind of creation with His supreme knowledge, created every living thing perfectly in one moment. In the Qur'an, God reveals:
Does not man see that We created him from a drop yet there he is, an open antagonist! He makes likenesses of Us and forgets his own creation, saying, "Who will give life to bones when they are decayed?" Say: "He Who made them in the first place will bring them back to life. He is Knower of every kind of creation." (Surah Ya Sin: 77-79)
151- Alan Feduccia, "Birds are Dinosaurs: Simple Answer to a Complex Problem", The Auk, Ekim 2002, vol. 119 (4), s. 1187–1201
152- Alan Feduccia, "Birds are Dinosaurs: Simple Answer to a Complex Problem", The Auk, Ekim 2002, vol. 119 (4), s. 1187–1201
153- Alan Feduccia, "Birds are Dinosaurs: Simple Answer to a Complex Problem", The Auk, Ekim 2002, vol. 119 (4), s. 1187–1201
154- Alan Feduccia, "Birds are Dinosaurs: Simple Answer to a Complex Problem", The Auk, Ekim 2002, vol. 119 (4), s. 1187–1201
155- Alan Feduccia, "Birds are Dinosaurs: Simple Answer to a Complex Problem", The Auk, Ekim 2002, vol. 119 (4), s. 1187–1201
156- Alan Feduccia, "Birds are Dinosaurs: Simple Answer to a Complex Problem", The Auk, Ekim 2002, vol. 119 (4), s. 1187–1201
158- Michael J. Denton, Nature's Destiny, Free Press, New York, 1998, s. 361
159- David Williamson, "Scientist Says Ostrich Study Confirms Bird 'Hands' Unlike Those Of Dinosaurs", EurekAlert, 14-Aug-2002, http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2002-08/uonc-sso081402.php
160- A Elzanowski 1999. "A comparison of the jaw skeleton in theropods and birds, with a description of the palate in the Oviraptoridae". Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology 89:311–323
161- Alan Feduccia, "Birds are Dinosaurs: Simple Answer to a Complex Problem", The Auk, Ekim 2002, vol. 119 (4), s. 1187–1201
162- MORELL, V.."A Cold, Hard Look at Dinosaurs", Discover, 1996, 17(12):98–108.