Review by Greg Neyman
© Answers In Creation
First Published 30 August 2006
This is the first lengthy research article that appears in the first issue of Ex Nihilo. It examines the fossil Archaeopteryx, and argues that it is not a transitional form between dinosaurs and birds.1
A "transitional form" is a fossil that clearly shows the progression from one species to another. It would be viewed as demonstrating evolution in action, as a species evolves to become another species. As such, transitional forms have always been attacked by young earth creationists.
In reality, evolutionists have pointed to transitional forms in the fossil record. However, young earth creationists do not accept these transitional forms. They do, however, recognize that there are transitional form candidates, and thus the descendant organization of this magazine, Answers in Genesis, now lists transitional forms as an argument that creationists should not use.2
The author, Carl Wieland, argues that Archaeopteryx is the only transitional form that evolutionists use to argue for evolution. This is obviously dated research at this point 30 years later. Answers in Genesis notes this, and offers an alternative, updated article on Archaeopteryx, linked at the beginning of this page.
Wieland notes that there is a true bird that is 60 million years older than Archaeopteryx. I assume he is referring to Protoavis. However, Protoavis is not accepted by most paleontologists as a true bird (see the link below). Archaeopteryx remains the first accepted bird fossil.
With that said, however, Wieland is right in that Archaeopteryx is not a transitional fossil. Many paleontologists recognize that Archaeopteryx is unique, and may not be an ancestor of our modern birds. It does, however, have many features of both birds and dinosaurs, and it should therefore remain a subject of much study. If in fact birds and dinosaurs are related, this specimen represents what the true ancestor, the true transitional fossil, must have been like. Until it is found, we will never know for sure.
One thing is for certain. No matter how good the argument is for a transitional fossil, young earth creationists will not accept it. They will say "Where is the transitional form between this new species and the others." To accept a transitional form would be to accept evolution in their eyes, and they will never recognize one.
For more reading
1 Published on the web at answersingenesis.org/creation/v1/i1/archaeopteryx.asp
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