The Origin of Flight According to Evolutionists Birds and Dinosaur The Unique Structure of Avian Lungs Bird Feathers and Reptile Scales The Design of Feathers
The Archaeopteryx Misconception The Teeth and Claws of Archaeopteryx
Archaeopteryx and Other Ancient Bird Fossils Archaeoraptor: The Dino-Bird Hoax
The Origin of Insects The Origin of Mammals The Myth of Horse Evolution

 The Design of Feathers

On the other hand, there is such a complex design in bird feathers that the phenomenon can never be accounted for by evolutionary processes. As we all know, there is a shaft that runs up the center of the feather. Attached to the shaft are the vanes. The vane is made up of small thread-like strands, called barbs. These barbs, of different lengths and rigidity, are what give the bird its aerodynamic nature. But what is even more interesting is that each barb has thousands of even smaller strands attached to them called barbules. The barbules are connected to barbicels, with tiny microscopic hooks, called hamuli. Each strand is hooked to an opposing strand, much like the hooks of a zipper.


When bird feathers are studied closely, a very delicate design emerges. There are even tinier hairs on every tiny hair, and these have special hooks, allowing them to hold onto each other. The pictures show progressively enlarged bird feathers.

Just one crane feather has about 650 barbs on each of side of the shaft. About 600 barbules branch off the barbs. Each one of these barbules are locked together with 390 hooklets. The hooks latch together as do the teeth on both sides of a zip. If the hooklets come apart for any reason, the bird can easily restore the feathers to their original form by either shaking itself or by straightening its feathers out with its beak.

To claim that the complex design in feathers could have come about by the evolution of reptile scales through chance mutations is quite simply a dogmatic belief with no scientific foundation. Even one of the doyens of Darwinism, Ernst Mayr, made this confession on the subject some years ago:

It is a considerable strain on one's credulity to assume that finely balanced systems such as certain sense organs (the eye of vertebrates, or the bird's feather) could be improved by random mutations.122

The design of feathers also compelled Darwin to ponder them. Moreover, the perfect aesthetics of the peacock's feathers had made him "sick" (his own words). In a letter he wrote to Asa Gray on April 3, 1860, he said, "I remember well the time when the thought of the eye made me cold all over, but I have got over this stage of complaint..." And then continued: "... and now trifling particulars of structure often make me very uncomfortable. The sight of a feather in a peacock's tail, whenever I gaze at it, makes me sick!"123

In short, the enormous structural differences between bird feathers and reptile scales, and the unbelievably complex design of feathers, clearly demonstrate the baselessness of the claim that feathers evolved from scales.

122 Ernst Mayr, Systematics and the Origin of Species, Dove, New York, 1964, p. 296.
123 Norman Macbeth, Darwin Retried: An Appeal to Reason, Harvard Common Press, 1971, p. 131.