By Greg Neyman
© 2009, Old Earth Ministries
First Published 2 Apr 09
Do fossil fibers from a dinosaur find present a problem to old earth creationists and evolutionists? That is the claim of young earth author Brian Thomas, in a news article on the Institute for Creation Research website.1
To summarize, a new feathered dinosaur discovery with fang-like teeth, called Tianyulong confuciusi, was found with fibers that are believed by some evolutionists as being the precursor to feathers. Thomas then points out that "the only problem is, it's the wrong category of dinosaur to have them!" The complaint that YECs have is that evolutionists claim birds evolved from theropods, and specifically raptors, while this dinosaur belonged Order Ornithischia, a group of herbivorous dinosaurs. However, this presents absolutely no problem to evolutionists and old earth creationists. It is still thought that birds evolved from raptors. Having a feathered herbivore simply means that feathers evolved on more than just raptor species. Whereas the raptors apparently evolved, these herbivores became extinct. We could find feathers on a fish, for that matter, and it would present no problems at all for dinosaur to bird evolution.
Thomas also makes light of the hip problem, stating that the lizard-hipped theropods had to evolve bird-hip structures. The term “bird hips” is not entirely accurate, as scientists consider birds to have modified “lizard hips.”2 In the late 1800s, scientists began classifying dinosaurs based on them having either lizard hips or bird hips. This classification was done on the basis of looks only, and not on anatomy. As more dinosaur fossils were discovered, and more advanced studies of them were done, the similarities with dinosaurs and birds was noted, and the use of the bird-hip/lizard-hip comparison lost importance, although it is still maintained as a classification scheme. Thomas also notes that the therapods had the wrong anatomy for flight." That's why they slowly changed...its called "evolution." True, there have been no dinosaur to bird transitional fossils found, but given time this may occur. Transitional forms, however, present no problems whatsoever for old earth creationists who are Progressive Creationists.
Thomas concludes that this information provides a refutation of the theropod to birds evolution story. It does nothing of the sort. It only means that dinosaurs other than therapods had feathers. Another dinosaur with feathers does not lend any evidence for or against theropod to bird evolution. Scientists are not claiming that non-therapods evolved into birds. Nothing has changed about bird evolution because of this discovery.
Strangely, Thomas states in the last paragraph, "There is no such thing in the real world as a feathered dinosaur." Is he speaking of a living dinosaur today, or one in the past? The fossil record is clear that some dinosaurs had feathers. Wikipedia lists 23 dinosaur Genera with evidence of preserved feathers. Young earth creationists frequently ignore evidence that is contrary to their position, because of their mental conditioning. To read why this is the case, read Morton's Demon.
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