Evillution, Intelligent Design

Dinos of a feather flock together – part 2

Thanks for reading and commenting on Part 1. I have tried to keep the references evenly balanced between evillutionists, evolutionists, creationists and intelligent design devotees. To paraphrase Fox News, I’ll report and you decide. We have two large subjects to cover, the first one will be the archeological records of assumed flying dinosaurs to birds and then we will deal with the facts and fallacies of scale to feather evolution in part 3 and bio-physiology of a feathers in part 4 and a summation in part 5. Let’s use a term from the evolutionists (mya) million years ago- I just don’t want to keep typing it out. Under www.intelligentdesign.wordpress/About Me will be a post describing where I stand on old-earth/ young earth creationism and how my viewpoint of Intelligent Design relates to it.

The supposed transition from dinosaur to bird is shown in this pictograph. Species featured, from left to right: Delong paradoxus, Nqwebasaurus thwazi, Haplocheirus sollers, Yixianosaurus longimanus, Xiaotingia zhengi, Archaeopteryx lithographica, Confuciusornis sanctus, Bohaironis guoi, Apsaravis ukhana, Ichthyornis anceps. The last one is 95 to 85 mya according to the other side in this discussion. I will give him credit for the drawing and knowing all those names. Searching for Apsaravis ukhana is only found on the website where this picture was drawn. http://mattmart.deviantart.com/art/The-Ascent-of-Bird-335851668


Illustration showing the rough lineage leading from basal/primitive coelurosaurian theropods to advanced carinated and modern birds, drawn for A Field Guide to Mesozoic Birds and Other Winged Dinosaurs.[i]

The Dilong paradoxus (avg of 5 ft., 25 lbs ) is generally considered a small Tyrannosaurus (40 feet, 6 tons) in the same genus or family within the species. Kind of like comparing Shaquille O’Neill with a midget- both part of the same species homo sapiens but you don’t really anticipate them producing offspring together. So how do they figure a Dilong is a separate animal and not just a baby T.Rex- because in its fossils they detect the ‘evolution’ of feathers. So let us look at some conditions for the creation of fossils.

Even millions of years might not seem long enough to allow natural processes to gradually, molecule by molecule, replace the original substance of the bone with rock minerals. However, this common picture is misleading. A recent book, co-authored by a world expert on dinosaurs, points out some things about dinosaur bones that are of great interest to creationists.[ii] For one thing, it says: ‘Bones do not have to be “turned into stone” to be fossils, and usually most of the original bone is still present in a dinosaur fossil.’[iii]

If actual bone is not replaced by rock minerals, then how do some fossil dinosaur bones become rock-hard, and show under the microscope when sliced that they have been completely ‘permineralized[iv]’ – rock minerals have been deposited into all the spaces within the original bone. Wouldn’t this represent a long time? Think again. The same evolutionist experts’ book also tells us: ‘The amount of time that it takes for a bone to become completely permineralized is highly variable. If the groundwater is heavily laden with minerals in solution, the process can happen rapidly. Modern bones that fall into mineral springs can become permineralized within a matter of weeks.’[v] What does this mean? A rock-solid, hard shiny fossil dinosaur bone, showing under the microscope that all available spaces have been totally filled with rock minerals, does not indicate that it necessarily took millions of years to form.

If a dinosaur bone is permineralized, it would give it great protection from the normal processes which cause things such as bone to just naturally ‘fall apart.’ In a situation where the dinosaur bone has been prevented from being invaded by mineral-rich water, one would expect that over millions of years, even locked away from all bacterial agents, dinosaur bone would, in obeying the laws of thermodynamics, just disintegrate from the random motions of the molecules therein.’[vi]

There are actually instances, mentioned in the same book, in which dinosaur bones in Alberta, Canada, were encased in ironstone nodules shortly after being buried. We are told: ‘The nodules prevented water from invading the bones, which for all intents and purposes cannot be distinguished from modern bone.’[vii]

For me that is an eye opener, two leading evolutionary palaeontologists saying that by looking at them you can’t tell the age of ‘Dem Bones’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtOGLETMNnk . [viii] So I guess we need to look how the bones were found and how many of them.

On October 6, 2004, scientists announced the discovery a tiny, earlier cousin of Tyrannosaurus rex. What made it unique was a partial coat of hair-like feathers. Xu Xing of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology in Beijing, China, is the lead author of the new paper. He said his discovery is significant because it sheds light on the evolution of tyrannosaurids, which include the giant carnivore T. rex. “With this new find, we can see a perfect evolutionary transition from typical coelurosaurians to highly specialized large tyrannosaurids and clarify a number of questions,” he said.

The description of Dilong paradoxus is based on the fossils of four specimens, including a fragmented one with evidence of protofeathers – precursors to the feathers found on modern birds. The fragmented fossil went unidentified until a more complete fossil of the same creature was studied and found to match the morphology, or form and structure, of that found in the earlier fragments. The fossils come from a geologic feature in northeastern China known as the Yixian formation, which has yielded several other feathered dinosaurs. Estimated age 130 mya.

Nqwebasaurus thwazi Found in Cape Africa 13 ft tall 1.3 lbs. 70% of one skeleton, probably of a juvenile. This chicken-sized dinosaur was found containing gizzard stones (stones it swallowed to help grind up its food). 140 mya.

Haplocheirus sollers Found in Bejing Province about 6 feet long. Almost complete individual on slab. 160 mya.

Yixianosaurus longimanus Northeastern China about 3 feet long known only from a single specimen, holotype.[ix] 122 mya.

Xiaotingia zhengi another chicken-sized dinosaur is known from the holotype STM 27-2, an articulated and almost complete skeleton including the skull. It was probably collected in the Linglongta area of China. 160 mya.

Archaeopteryx lithographica Found in Bavaria Germany 2 feet tall and weighing approx 1 lb. An Archaeopteryx feather was discovered in 1860, but the following year, a complete specimen was excavated. Since then, only five other specimens have been uncovered, with the best specimens being at the Humboldt Museum in Berlin and the British Museum. 150- 148 mya.

Confuciusornis sanctus about the size of a crow and is one of the most abundant vertebrates found in the Yixian Formation, and several hundred complete, articulated specimens have been found. The orientation of the shoulder joint was sideways, instead of angled upward as in modern birds; this means that Confuciusornis was unable to lift its wings above its back. In early 2010, a group of scientists led by Zhang Fucheng examined fossils with preserved melanosomes (organelles which contain colors). By studying such fossils with an electron microscope, they found melanosomes preserved in a fossil Confuciusornis specimen. The melanosomes where of two types, eumelanosomes and pheomelanosomes. This indicates that Confuciusornis had hues of grey, red/brown and black. 120-125 mya.


But get the above picture of the Confuciusornis. Doesn’t help to make your point very well when you show a drawing of the dino-bird flapping its wings above its back when you say it physically was unable to do that as a result of the shoulder joints. And which organelle contains the color for the yellow head and blue feathers? Don’t you think that your representations of your specimens should look more like what you claim them to be than what you would hope to make us believe?

Ok, I’ve gone through enough of the examples. Notice that most of them come from China, with some from Germany and Africa. Small T. Rex like birds right! The date of mya for these examples don’t overlap very well either. If the pictograph that we started with shows them as a progression then some by the current dating method are out of place and that is giving +- 10 mya. So the evolutionists need to get a handle on that also. One explanation is that both species evolved from a common ancestor, but one evolved faster than the other- again good guess but no way to prove. They generally gauge the age by the age of the rock the fossil is found in using the argon-potassium dating method and I’ve already showed how accurate that is: http://intelligentdesign.blog.com/2013/11/20/the-infallibility-of-potassium-argon-dating/

Now T. Rex is a very well known dinosaur. As of 2005 30 specimens had been found. Less than half of them had significant amounts of fossil. Only three have complete skulls. All of them found in North America. So now, I think we need to have some kind of idea as to how a flightless migratory pattern could have developed from these disparate areas to tie them together as ‘dinos of a feather who flock together’. Plate tectonics and the theory of a large supercontinent called Pangaea or Gondwana that broke up into all the continents and drifted apart into the seven continents we now have is the most popular theory. The concept of the theory is supported by both creationists and evolutionists- the process of how it actually happened is disagreed upon. I’m about equally torn between the two concepts and the different processes. They both have gaps in the theory, require assumptions on faith, and explain some things well and others not so well. In either theory, though you would still have the dinosaurs roaming only a portion of the existing land mass and not the entire supercontinent. This brings in problems with the fossils of our dino-birds not be scattered everywhere as well as various plants that paleo- botanists have tried to trace their growth across the world. But that is an entire different series of articles that I am researching and outlining now.

Next Part 3 scale to feathers evolution –possible or not?

[i] http://www.deviantart.com/users/outgoing?http://www.amazon.com/Field-Guide-Mesozoic-Winged-Dinosaurs/dp/0988596504/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1355657512&sr=8-2&keywords=field+guide+mesozoic

[ii] Philip J. Currie and Eva B. Koppelhus, 101 Questions about Dinosaurs, Dover Publications, 1996. Currie is a well-known dinosaur authority. He is Curator of Dinosaurs at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, Drumheller, Alberta, Canada. Koppelhus is a visiting researcher at the same institution.

[iii] Ref. ii, p. 11.

[iv] Permineralization is a process of fossilization in which mineral deposits form internal casts of organisms. Carried by water, these minerals fill the spaces within organic tissue. Because of the nature of the casts, permineralization is particularly useful in studies of the internal structures of organisms, usually of plants

[v] Ref. ii, p. 12.

[vi] The Second Law of Thermodynamics formalizes the relentless tendency of all systems to strive toward the most probable arrangement which, in the absence of some specific ordering agent, is the one in which the molecules exhibit the maximum disorder. For more information, see The Second Law of Thermodynamics.

[vii] Ref. ii, p. 12.

[viii] This is a version that removes the references to Ezekiel and the Lord. I prefer this version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrzBsUtUdts

[ix] A holotype is a single physical example (or illustration) of an organism, known to have been used when the species (or lower-ranked taxon) was formally described.



Dinos of a feather flock together?

The origin of birds has always been a major problem for Darwinism, and today there is little agreement about the evolution of birds. One of the most difficult issues related to bird evolution is the evolution of feathers. Feathers are complex, designed structures required for flight, and are today found only on birds. A literature review on the evolution of bird feathers shows the fossil record reveals a complete absence of evidence for feather evolution. The implications of this is a major difficulty for evillutionists and we will start a multiple part series delving into this.


A simple online dictionary: feath·er noun 1. one of the horny structures forming the principal covering of birds, consisting typically of a hard, tubular portion attached to the body and tapering into a thinner, stemlike portion bearing a series of slender, barbed processes that interlock to form a flat structure on each side.

Now let us look at the progressive Wikipedia for their definition: Feathers are one of the epidermal growths that form the distinctive outer covering, or plumage, on birds and some non-avian theropod dinosaurs. They are considered the most complex integumentary structures found in vertebrates, and indeed a premier example of a complex evolutionary novelty. *Immediately they throw in several other items that we will need to discuss and dispel or be accused of being ‘unscientific’ and not dealing with the ‘facts’*

Theropoda, (from Greek meaning “beast feet”) is both a suborder of bipedal saurischian dinosaurs, and a clade (is a group consisting of an ancestor and all its descendants, a single “branch” on the “tree of life”) consisting of that suborder and its descendants (including modern birds). Dinosaurs belonging to the suborder Theropoda were primarily carnivorous, although a number of theropod groups evolved herbivory, omnivory, and insectivory. *They placed (including modern birds) as if they in fact descendants of dinosaurs. Then they try to cover all possible bases by saying these dino-birds could eat plants, animals or insects- which covers all of the current birds. I just have a problem dealing with a dinosaur- no matter how small- eating bugs!*

Dinosaurs are a diverse group of animals of the clade Dinosauria. They first appeared during the Triassic period, 231.4 million years ago, and were the dominant terrestrial vertebrates for 135 million years, from the beginning of the Jurassic (about 201 million years ago) until the end of the Cretaceous (66 million years ago), when the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event led to the extinction of most dinosaur groups at the close of the Mesozoic Era. The fossil record indicates that birds evolved from theropod dinosaurs during the Jurassic Period and, consequently, they are considered a subgroup of dinosaurs by many paleontologists. Some birds survived the extinction event that occurred 66 million years ago, and their descendants continue the dinosaur lineage to the present day. *The record ‘indicates’ and ‘consequently’ they are considered … by many paleontologists. Some birds survived and …their descendants continue [to be] dinosaurs today. So we have to figure out what exactly the record indcates, who ‘they’ are and how ‘many paleontologists’ believe this- 90%, 50% or 5% of them. And I still have a hard time seeing an ostrich or an emu as a dinosaur but let us continue the exploration. We don’t want to be considered having a closed mind now do we.*

The integumentary system is the organ system that protects the body from various kinds of damage, such as loss of water or abrasion from outside. The system comprises the skin and its appendages (including hair, scales, feathers, hooves, and nails). *We normally consider it the skin but I guess hair, nails, glands and nerves are part of it. Hooves, feathers and scales we generally think about belonging to the hides of other animals.*

The Cretaceous–Paleogene (K–Pg) extinction event, was a mass extinction of some three-quarters of plant and animal species on Earth—including all non-avian dinosaurs—that occurred over a geologically short period of time 66 million years (Ma) ago. It is generally believed that the K–Pg extinction was triggered by a massive comet/asteroid impact and its catastrophic effects on the global environment, including a lingering impact winter that made it impossible for plants and plankton to carry out photosynthesis. *The walking dinosaurs all died off but the flying ones, the ones with feathers survived? What about the flying ones with leathery skins like bats- did they die also? If all of the plants on the earth died out then what did the birds eat- not insects because they should have died off also, right, because there were no plants. So these flying dinos had to be carrion type eating other species as they died during this event- like buzzards. For 66 million years!*

Well let’s call this part one. We have a bunch of definitions and suppositions to deal with here and I want to make sure I am able to state them as simply as possible for Gomer and Goober of Mayberry High to understand. So look forward to part two and three coming up soon.