Discovery of ‘Feathers’ On Dinosaur Rises Questions

There is a pattern emerging about this latest and surprising discovery which will be discussed in a moment. Most of these discoveries come from either Germany or China, and often times involve the same fossil-hunters, and often times come from private collectors!

Giving the name, Sciurumimus which was discovered in Germany in the hands of a private collector which means “squirrel-mimic.” The fossil is a juvenile in a typical “dinosaur death pose” found globally in other places which creationists believe suggests a rapid suffocation in  water caused by a global flood.

Why all the fuss over Sciurumimus? Here is what they say in Nature News

“Palaeontologist Paul Barrett of London’s Natural History Museum agrees that the structures on Sciurumimus are probably protofeathers. Although additional geochemical work is needed to study the features’ details, Barrett says, the fossilized wisps are very similar to the fuzz seen on other dinosaurs.”

“But he notes that the presence of these filaments among all dinosaurs is “speculation”. Feathery structures might be a common feature of dinosaurs, but it’s also possible that they evolved multiple times.”

“We need more examples in both non-coelurosaurian theropods, and particularly in the other big dinosaur groups, before we can really speculate that these features are a character of dinosaurs as a whole,” Barrett says.”

Nature News dubs this discovery as having “protofeathers” but one would be looking in vain to find feathers with barbs and barbules as found in birds! You see, type 1 protofeathers are also found on you, horses, dogs, cats, and other animals who have hair!

Science Daily calls it a surprising find…

“This is a surprising find from the cradle of feathered dinosaur work, the very formation where the first feathered dinosaur Archaeopteryx was collected over 150 years ago,” said Mark Norell, chair of the Division of Palaeontology at the American Museum of Natural History and an author on the new paper along with researchers from Bayerische Staatssammlung für Paläontologie und Geologie and the Ludwig Maximilians University.”

One of the reasons for the surprise is that the fossil appears in the same limestone in northern Bavaria as Archaeopteryx  which was discovered 150 years ago, that was fully fledged with flight feathers: meaning, at the very least, that this creature and birds with powered flight were already contemporaries. This rises questions and causes additional complexity in the evolutionary story.

“Repeat evolution” is being invoked in order to connect this dinosaur with evolving feathers that can be eventually used for flight within in future  creatures, but not all are sold on the idea that this dinosaur is related to birds.

This rising another question, if a fossil was found exquisitely preserved and its tail was clearly seen but none of the internal organs were not observable, would you then postulate that dogs were evolving flight?

There are complications with this discovery if one attempts to connect it with evolving flight…The  “protofeathers” are on the wrong animals! Their dates overlap, or belong in the wrong eras.  The discoveries do not demonstrate a  progression in complexity over time till true powered flight is thought to have evolved.  They are either simple protrusions, or complex feathers found on animals that clearly used them for flying or gliding or perhaps were even secondarily flightless!

Archaeopteryx Raises Fears Over Creationists Response

Since its discovery in 1861, this icon of evolution which is known as “original bird” or “first bird” had become very controversial. Archaeopteryx was considered for many years to be the earliest and most primitive bird known. However, creation scientists disputed the fact that this fossil was actually a bird. Evolutionary scientists finally admitted to this fact at least for now. Shuffling the evolutionary tree is a common practice because it’s based on a story. As a result of this newly reclassification, some evolutionists in the media are concerned over this back peddling on their position.

In Nature, Archaeopteryx status of being a bird gets shot down…

“Archaeopteryx is widely accepted as being the most basal bird, and accordingly it is regarded as central to understanding avialan origins; however, recent discoveries of derived maniraptorans have weakened the avialan status of Archaeopteryx. Here we report a new Archaeopteryx-like theropod from China.”

“This find further demonstrates that many features formerly regarded as being diagnostic of Avialae, including long and robust forelimbs, actually characterize the more inclusive group Paraves (composed of the avialans and the deinonychosaurs). Notably, adding the new taxon into a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis shifts Archaeopteryx to the Deinonychosauria.”

In that same publication of Nature, Lawrence Witmer from Ohio University raises concern over the creationist response…

“Given this iconic role, Archaeopteryx has also been in the cross-hairs of creationists, and remains a lightning rod for political debates and legal proceedings about teaching evolution in schools,” Witmer remarked. “Of course, Xu and co-workers’ finding only deepens the impact of Archaeopteryx by highlighting the rich evolutionary nexus of which it is a part, but how the ever-clever creationist community will ‘spin’ it remains to be seen.”

His conclusion is very revealing…

“In truth, this chapter of the scientific story is just beginning. Just as Xiaotingia moved Archaeopteryx out of the birds, the next find could move it back in — or to somewhere else within this fuzzy tangled knot that makes up the origins of birds and bird-like dinosaurs. That said, during this sesquicentennial anniversary of Archaeopteryx, which is being honoured with exhibits and commemorative coins, the bitter irony may be that it may not have been the bird we’ve always thought it was. But Archaeopteryx will remain an icon of evolution, perhaps even more so now, providing compelling evidence that, as we should expect, evolutionary origins are rather messy affairs.

This was a fossil that was supposed to demonstrate evolution in the fossil record, (says the BBC) indeed now you know why the reclassification is a “bitter irony” which was once used as a weapon against creationism. Alan Boyle from MSNBC uses the blind faith approach, “It may well be they’re going to suggest that we evolutionists don’t know what we’re doing…”

So they say evolution is “messy” but how does “messy” demostrate you know what you’re doing? How does “messy” data become science? How can “messy” data be advocated as a confirmation for a theory? What about a prediction of your theory that is going to be enormously difficult to figure out what’s going on, do you have a scientific theory or an ideology masquerading as a theory, immune from testable evidence?

Everyone who has been taught Darwinism, knows that evolution is supposed to represent a law of nature where it predicts a branching tree of life with species splitting and going their separate ways. The branches are inferred. Witmer wants to suggest to his readers that the complex traits already existed in the common ancestor before the groups diverged, but all that does is merely pushes the problem back into the ancestor, demanding multiple lucky mutations being selected in one species that generated all kinds of complex innovations at once. Could he be suggesting “hyper-evolution” like inflation being introduced to patch up the theory of the big bang?

And lastly, why are these “feathered dinosaurs” all coming from one man, Xing Xu? Why haven’t there been other scientists around the world over the last 150 years being able to find these alleged “feathered dinosaurs”? Surely there must be other sites if these creatures (from dino to bird) other than archaeopteryx actually existed! No wonder they are so fearful over a creationist response!

Original Soft-Tissue Found In Bird Fossils

The evolutionary time frame which requires massive amounts of time, tells us that original material is replaced by the rock…All we should be observing is the bone structure, right? A highly controversial fossil known as Archaeopteryx which is claimed to be a link from Dinosaurs to birds had contained something even more interesting. X-rays were used on nine known fossils of Archaeopteryx and to their amazement found original atoms of bones and feathers still in the rock!

“Using light source technology primarily utilized for advanced energy-related research in materials science, biology, and other fields, the scientists traced SSRL’s hair-thin X-ray beam across the Thermopolis Archaeopteryx fossil. By recording how the X-rays interacted with the fossil, the researchers were able to identify very precisely the locations of chemical elements hidden within.”

“The chemical maps, published today in Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, show that portions of the feathers are not merely impressions of long-decomposed organic material — as was previously believed — but actual fossilized feathers that contain phosphorous and sulfur, elements that comprise modern bird feathers. Trace amounts of copper and zinc were also found in the dinobird’s bones; like birds today…”

Other media outlets like the BBC and New Scientist starting making conclusions outside of what the paper suggested in it’s research such these claims…“Copper and zinc are key nutrients for living birds…” or “‘missing link’ that documents a fabulous transition from dinosaur to bird,” and as you might have seen in this in science daily, “X-Rays Reveal Chemical Link Between Birds and Dinosaurs.” None of these hyped up claims were mentioned in the paper.

Also none of the articles addressed preservation of a fossil considered to be 150 million years old which still contains it’s original soft-tissue including part of it’s bones and feathers. It really takes a leap a faith to believe a fossil that old could even come close to retaining those elements. Marveling how well persevered the fossil is or getting goose bumps about it, is not explaining how this could have happened in the evolutionary time frame.

Observations show organic material from an animal as frail as a bird’s body, which usually decays completely within days or weeks not millions of years.  As a result, the old age should be called into question! This is actually evidence for a young earth, rather than an old one which might explain why their attempts for a detailed explanation doesn’t exist!