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












 Archaeoraptor: The Dino-Bird Hoax

Unable to find what they were looking for in Archaeopteryx, the advocates of the theory of evolution pinned their hopes on some other fossils in the 1990s and a series of reports of so-called "dino-bird" fossils appeared in the world media. Yet it was soon discovered that these claims were simply misinterpretations, or, even worse, forgeries.

The first dino-bird claim was the story of "feathered dinosaur fossils unearthed in China," which was put forward in 1996 with a great media fanfare. A reptilian fossil called Sinosauropteryx was found, but some paleontologists who examined the fossil said that it had bird feathers, unlike modern reptiles. Examinations conducted one year later, however, showed that the fossil actually had no structure similar to a bird's feather. A Science article titled "Plucking the Feathered Dinosaur" stated that the structures named as "feathers" by evolutionary paleontologists definitely had nothing to do with feathers:

Exactly 1 year ago, paleontologists were abuzz about photos of a so-called "feathered dinosaur," which were passed around the halls at the annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. The Sinosauropteryx specimen from the Yixian Formation in China made the front page of The New York Times, and was viewed by some as confirming the dinosaurian origins of birds. But at this year's vertebrate paleontology meeting in Chicago late last month, the verdict was a bit different: The structures are not modern feathers, say the roughly half-dozen Western paleontologists who have seen the specimens. ...Paleontologist Larry Martin of Kansas University, Lawrence, thinks the structures are frayed collagenous fibers beneath the skin-and so have nothing to do with birds.138

A yet more sensational case of dino-bird hype broke out in 1999. In its November 1999 issue, National Geographic published an article about a fossil specimen unearthed in China which was claimed to bear both bird and dinosaur features. National Geographic writer Christopher P. Sloan, the author of the article, went so far as to claim, "we can now say that birds are theropods just as confidently as we say that humans are mammals." This species, which was said to have lived 125 million years ago, was immediately given the scientific name Archaeoraptor liaoningensis.139


National Geographic's great hit, the perfect "dino-bird." Archaeoraptor soon turned out to be a hoax. All other "dino-bird" candidates remain speculative
.

However, the fossil was a fake and was skillfully constructed from five separate specimens. A group of researchers, among whom were also three paleontologists, proved the forgery one year later with the help of X-ray computed tomography. The dino-bird was actually the product of a Chinese evolutionist. Chinese amateurs formed the dino-bird by using glue and cement from 88 bones and stones. Research suggests that Archaeoraptor was built from the front part of the skeleton of an ancient bird, and that its body and tail included bones from four different specimens.

The interesting thing is that National Geographic published a high-profile article about such a crude forgery-and, moreover, used it as the basis for claiming that "bird evolution" scenarios had been verified-without expressing any doubts or caution in the article at all. Dr. Storrs Olson, of the famous Smithsonian Institute Natural History Museum in the USA, later said that he warned National Geographic beforehand that this fossil was a fake, but that the magazine management totally ignored him. According to Olson, "National Geographic has reached an all-time low for engaging in sensationalistic, unsubstantiated, tabloid journalism."140

In a letter he wrote to Peter Raven of National Geographic, Olson describes the real story of the "feathered dinosaur" hype since its launch with a previous National Geographic article published in 1998 in a very detailed way:

Prior to the publication of the article "Dinosaurs Take Wing" in the July 1998 National Geographic, Lou Mazzatenta, the photographer for Sloan's article, invited me to the National Geographic Society to review his photographs of Chinese fossils and to comment on the slant being given to the story. At that time, I tried to interject the fact that strongly supported alternative viewpoints existed to what National Geographic intended to present, but it eventually became clear to me that National Geographic was not interested in anything other than the prevailing dogma that birds evolved from dinosaurs.

Sloan's article takes the prejudice to an entirely new level and consists in large part of unverifiable or undocumented information that "makes" the news rather than reporting it. His bald statement that "we can now say that birds are theropods just as confidently as we say that humans are mammals" is not even suggested as reflecting the views of a particular scientist or group of scientists, so that it figures as little more than editorial propagandizing. This melodramatic assertion had already been disproven by recent studies of embryology and comparative morphology, which, of course, are never mentioned.

More importantly, however, none of the structures illustrated in Sloan's article that are claimed to be feathers have actually been proven to be feathers. Saying that they are is little more than wishful thinking that has been presented as fact. The statement on page 103 that "hollow, hairlike structures characterize protofeathers" is nonsense considering that protofeathers exist only as a theoretical construct, so that the internal structure of one is even more hypothetical.

The hype about feathered dinosaurs in the exhibit currently on display at the National Geographic Society is even worse, and makes the spurious claim that there is strong evidence that a wide variety of carnivorous dinosaurs had feathers. A model of the undisputed dinosaur Deinonychus and illustrations of baby tyrannosaurs are shown clad in feathers, all of which is simply imaginary and has no place outside of science fiction.

Sincerely,

Storrs L. Olson
Curator of Birds
National Museum of Natural History
Smithsonian Institution141

This revealing case demonstrates two important facts. First, there are people who have no qualms about resorting to forgery in an effort to find evidence for the theory of evolution. Second, some highly reputable popular science journals, which have assumed the mission of imposing the theory of evolution on people, are perfectly willing to disregard any facts that may be inconvenient or have alternative interpretations. That is, they have become little more than propaganda tools for propagating the theory of evolution. They take not a scientific, but a dogmatic, stance and knowingly compromise science to defend the theory of evolution to which they are so strongly devoted.

Another important aspect of the matter is that there is no evidence for the thesis that birds evolved from dinosaurs. Because of the lack of evidence, either fake evidence is produced, or actual evidence is misinterpreted. In truth, there is no evidence that birds have evolved from another living species. On the contrary, all discoveries show that birds emerged on the earth already in full possession of their distinctive body structures.

LATEST EVIDENCE: OSTRICH STUDY REFUTES THE DINO-BIRD STORY


Dr. Feduccia: His new study is enough to bury the 'dino-bird" myth

The latest blow to the "birds evolved from dinosaurs" theory came from a study made on the embryology of ostriches.

Drs. Alan Feduccia and Julie Nowicki of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill studied a series of live ostrich eggs and, once again, concluded that there cannot be an evolutionary link between birds and dinosaurs. EurekAlert, a scientific portal held by the American Association for the The Advancement of Science (AAAS), reports the following:

Drs. Alan Feduccia and Julie Nowicki of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill... opened a series of live ostrich eggs at various stages of development and found what they believe is proof that birds could not have descended from dinosaurs...

Whatever the ancestor of birds was, it must have had five fingers, not the three-fingered hand of theropod dinosaurs," Feduccia said... "Scientists agree that dinosaurs developed 'hands' with digits one, two and three... Our studies of ostrich embryos, however, showed conclusively that in birds, only digits two, three and four, which correspond to the human index, middle and ring fingers, develop, and we have pictures to prove it," said Feduccia, professor and former chair of biology at UNC. "This creates a new problem for those who insist that dinosaurs were ancestors of modern birds. How can a bird hand, for example, with digits two, three and four evolve from a dinosaur hand that has only digits one, two and three? That would be almost impossible." 1

In the same report, Dr. Freduccia also made important comments on the invalidity-and the shallowness-of the "birds evolved from dinosaurs" theory:

"There are insurmountable problems with that theory," he [Dr. Feduccia] said. "Beyond what we have just reported, there is the time problem in that superficially bird-like dinosaurs occurred some 25 million to 80 million years after the earliest known bird, which is 150 million years old."

If one views a chicken skeleton and a dinosaur skeleton through binoculars they appear similar, but close and detailed examination reveals many differences, Feduccia said. Theropod dinosaurs, for example, had curved, serrated teeth, but the earliest birds had straight, unserrated peg-like teeth. They also had a different method of tooth implantation and replacement."2

This evidence once again reveals that the "dino-bird" hype is just another "icon" of Darwinism: A myth that is supported only for the sake of a dogmatic faith in the theory.


1 - David Williamson, "Scientist Says Ostrich Study Confirms Bird 'Hands' Unlike Those Of Dinosaurs," EurekAlert, 14-Aug-2002, http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2002-08/uonc-sso081402.php
2 - David Williamson, "Scientist Says Ostrich Study Confirms Bird 'Hands' Unlike Those Of Dinosaurs," EurekAlert, 14-Aug-2002, http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2002-08/uonc-sso081402.php

138 Ann Gibbons, "Plucking the Feathered Dinosaur," Science, vol. 278, no. 5341, 14 November 1997, pp. 1229 - 1230
139 National Geographic, Vol. 196, No. 5, November 1999, "Feathers for T. Rex?"
140 Tim Friend, "Dinosaur-bird link smashed in fossil flap," USA Today, 25 January 2000
141 "Open Letter: Smithsonian decries National Geographic's "editorial propagandizing" of dinosaur-to-bird evolution;" http://www.trueorigin.org/ birdevoletter.asp