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Transition from diapsid reptiles to birds (Talk.Origins)

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Response Article

This article (Transition from diapsid reptiles to birds (Talk.Origins)) is a rebuttal regarding a supposed transitional form published by the Talk.Origins Archive under the title Transitional Vertebrate Fossils FAQ.


Response to Transition from diapsid reptiles to birds


CreationWiki response:

So Called Bird Evolution

(Talk.Origins quotes in blue)

  • Coelophysis (late Triassic)-- One of the first theropod dinosaurs.

The big problem here is that there is a 'true' bird (there is only one paper describing it) called Protoavis that would be older than Coelophysis thus eliminating Coelophysis as an ancestor to birds, unless one assumes Coelophysis is older than there is evidence to suggest.

  • Deinonychus, Oviraptor, and other advanced theropods (late Jurassic, Cretaceous) -- ... The particular fossils listed here are are not directly ancestral, though, as they occur after Archeopteryx.

So they know that they do not have an actual ancestor here. and hence no real evidence that this alleged ancestor actually existed. The fact Deinonychus and Oviraptor are dated as younger than the birds Protoavis and Archaeopteryx.

Evolutionists will claim that there is an implied relationship, like resembling your brother, mother or cousin, but they do so without objective evidence. To conclude that a relationship exists in such case requires assuming that there is a common ancestor and thus the argument is circular.

  • Lisboasaurus estesi & other "troodontid dinosaur-birds" (mid-Jurassic) ... These really could be ancestral.

Lisboasaurus is dated as younger than the bird Protoavis thus eliminating Lisboasaurus as an ancestor to birds, unless one assumes 'Lisboasaurus is older than there is evidence to suggest.

GAP: The exact reptilian ancestor of Archeopteryx, and the first development of feathers, are unknown.

Translation: they really do not have a clue about the origin of feathers.[1] The Bible however dose have one. "In the beginning God created..."

Early bird evolution seems to have involved little forest climbers and then little forest fliers, both of which are guaranteed to leave very bad fossil records (little animal + acidic forest soil = no remains).

Here is a nice excuse for the lack of evidence. It is interesting that this gap occurs right where any evidence of the development of flight would occur. It is right where Creationists would predict it to be.

  • One possible ancestor of Archeopteryx is Protoavis (Triassic, ~225 Ma) -- A highly controversial fossil that may or may not be an extremely early bird. Unfortunately, not enough of the fossil was recovered to determine if it is definitely related to the birds.

Given the fact that many so called transitional forms are based on extremely fragmented evidence, the most likely cause of the controversy is the fact that by predating its alleged ancestors, it blows the entire dino to bird evolution scheme to bits.

Another possible source of controversy is that the fossil has only been examined by ornithologists (Bird experts); however the fact that they found it to be a bird is a plus.

Some have claimed that the bones of Protoavis are actually from more than one animal, however even if that were true some if not all of the bones would still most likely be from birds, otherwise it is unlikely that ornithologists would have concluded that Protoavis was a bird. So in any case Protoavis is a strong argument against dinosaur to bird evolution.

The Protoavis was clearly a bird. In fact Protoavis is more like living birds than Archaeopteryx. What makes it a problem for dinosaur to bird Evolution is that it is dated as older than all its alleged dinosaur ancestors, unless one assumes the alleged dinosaur ancestors are older than there is evidence to suggest.

Reference: Protoavis

Reference: Protoavis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Reference: Bird evolution: discontinuities and reversals

  • Archeopteryx lithographica ([ Late Jurassic, 150 Ma]) ...

Archaeopteryx was a fully flying and perching bird; with no apparent relationship to Protoavis. Recent discoveries seem to have shown that there are enough similarities between Archaeopteryx and Dromaeosaur that they can be considered varieties of the same kind of animal. This includes evidence from Dromaeosaur's feathers, that it could fly.

Furthermore Archaeopteryx is dated as 20 million years older than Dromaeosaur. Archaeopteryx could not have evolved from Dromaeosaur. In fact Archaeopteryx is older than most of its alleged ancestors; which is a BIG problem for evolutionists, unless one assumes the alleged dinosaur ancestors are older than there is evidence to suggest.

Reference: Archaeopteryx is NOT a hoax — it is a true bird, not a ‘missing link’

Reference: Is the fossil bird Archaeopteryx an evolutionary missing link?

Reference: Jurassic - Archaeopteryx

Reference: Dromaeosaurid Archaeopteryx

Reference: news@nature.com - Flying dinosaur had 'bird brain'

Sinornis santensis is a bird with many non trend differences with Archaeopteryx.


Reference: Sinornis

Reference: The Dinosauria

There is insufficient information available for an independent analyses, but the 7 ma gap raises questions about any connection with Sinornis santensis

  • Ambiortus dementjevi (early Cretaceous, 125 Ma) -- The third known "little forest flier", found in 1985. Very fragmentary fossil.

While clearly a bird, the incompleteness of the fossil makes its placement as an ancestor to any other type of bird dubious. There would also be a 5 Ma gap from "Las Hoyas bird"

Reference: Ambiortus

Reference: Ambiortus -- The Dinosauricon


  • Hesperornis, Ichthyornis, and other Cretaceous diving birds ...

These are clearly two distinct kinds. Curious how sudden the "transition" to water fowl seems.

Reference: Hesperornithiformes

Reference: Hesperonis

Reference: Ichthyornis

Reference: ichthyornis - hesperornis - baptornis

Note: a classic study of chicken embryos showed that chicken bills can be induced to develop teeth, indicating that chickens (and perhaps other modern birds) still retain the genes for making teeth.

Except that it was done by transplanting tissues from mouse embryos, which probably would have contained the gene for making teeth.

Now it is known that bird embryos develop what are called "teeth buds" in the eggs which vanish before hatching. This also occurs in the embryos of baleen whales and there they help in the formation of the jaw, such is probably the case in bird embryos.

Reference: Teeth developing in bird embryos—does it prove evolution?

Also note that molecular data shows that crocodiles are birds' closest living relatives.

Only if one assumes evolution.

Some other so called feathered dinosaurs

All of these so called feathered dinosaurs are dated as younger than the birds Protoavis and Archaeopteryx. As such they cannot be ancestors to birds. There is evidence that in at least some cases these so called feathered dinosaurs are really misidentified birds. Also all these fossils are from China. China is known to have a fake fossil industry. This places a question mark on all such finds


Dromaeosaur

Dated at 130 million years

Dromaeosaur was found in China, and did have feathers. More recent fossils have shown definite evidence of flight feathers. The available evidence not only shows that Dromaeosaur had flight feathers but that it could actually fly. It now appears that Dromaeosaur was indeed a bird.

Furthermore it can be shown that Dromaeosaur was probably a variety of Archaeopteryx.


Archaeoraptor

Dated at 120 millions of years Hoax

Hind quarters of a microraptor, (a dinosaur ) were connected to a bird fossil.

Archaeoraptor - National Geographic's Feathered Dinosaur

ARCHAEORAPTOR UPDATE: “Piltdown Bird” : Christian Courier

Archaeoraptor: National Geographic's Biggest Embarassment

Press Releases @ nationalgeographic.com

The Archaeoraptor hoax exposed the existence of a fake fossil business in China. It got started because complete fossils bring in more money than partial ones. This discovery has not shut down the operation, and so any fossils from China not proven to be otherwise, could be assumed to be a product of the hoaxers. It should be noted that the most of the recent feathered dinosaurs are all from China, and therefore suspect.

In all fairness it must be pointed out that the hoax was revealed by evolutionists within 3 months, but it happened only because of the chance discovery of the other half of the slab that the microraptor portion of Archaeoraptor came from.


Caudipteryx

Dated at 120 -136 millions of years

Caudipteryx was a flightless bird.


Protoarchaeopteryx

Dated at 120-150 millions years

Protoarchaeopteryx was a flightless bird.

Reference: What? Another feathered dinosaur claim?

Reference: came first, the dino or the bird?


Sinosauropteryx

Dated at 140 - 120 millions years

Sinosauropteryx was a dinosaur. The "feathers" were called frayed collagen fibers by evolutionist Feduccia. Other evolutionists, claim that this is "without merit" probably because they prefer to see Sinosauropteryx as transitional. This shows that evolutionists don't agree that Sinosauropteryx is transitional.


Microraptor gui

"Early Cretaceous" Dated at 128-124 million years

If this four winged animal is not a fake, it would seem to be a type of gliding bird (or perhaps a bit like a flying squirrel). This is supported by the three misidentified birds given above. It is also supported by the fact that for this animal to glide it would need to spread its hind legs in a manner not possible for a dinosaur.

There are reasons to question the validity of this find. All but one of the Microraptor gui fossils were purchased from a dealer. Given the proven fake fossil business in China, such fossils are suspect without extensive study, such as by X-ray and under UV light.

The one fossil actually found by the discoverers of Microraptor gui, had only one feather, and there seems to be some doubt about it actually being part of the fossil, thus its provisional status as a 'bird'.

Reference: Four-Winged Dinosaurs Found in China, Experts Announce

Reference: CNN.com - Four-winged dinosaur fossils found - Jan. 22, 2003

Reference: New four-winged feathered dinosaur?

Lungs

One particularly large difference between reptiles and birds is in the structure of their lungs. Reptiles have bellow-like lungs and living birds have tube-like lungs. There is no way for a reptile's bellow-like lung to evolve into a bird's tube-like lung, and have a living animal in between.

Reference: Blown away by design: Michael Denton and birds’ lungs


Scales to Feathers?

It is commonly claimed that feathers evolved from scales, but their differences make such a claim ridiculous. Feathers grow from a follicle, as hair does. Scales, on the other hand, are just folds in the skin. Furthermore the DNA for feathers and scales are from different genes.

The best evolutionists can do is point to similarities in chemical composition while ignoring all of the above problems with the theory.

Reference: Bird evolution flies out the window

Conclusion

This "transition" suffers from the same problem of concentrating on a few similarities while ignoring bigger differences. It also has a gap right between reptiles and birds, just where the creation model predicts it should be. It is interesting how the 'critical' fossils that would actually be between reptiles and birds, are missing. The rarity of fossilization is the excuse given by evolutionists for why these fossils are missing, but the fact remains that they are missing; the gap is right where creation predicts it should be. The theory relies on the evolutionary assumption that sharing features implies common ancestry. This is particularly the case because the 'true' bird Protoavis is dated as older than all its alleged ancestors.

Other references

See Also