Recently, a 140-million-year-old fossil called Shenzhouraptor sinensis
was discovered in the Yixian region of China. According to the evolutionary
paleontologist Ji Qiang, this fossil was a missing link between dinosaurs
and birds. The fact is, however, that this fossil possesses features that
clash with the evolutionists' claims about the origin of birds. Not just
this fossil, but also the whole body of paleontological data on the subject
is at odds with the evolutionary theory. "The evolution of birds",
like other claims made by Darwinism, is no more scientific than a fairy
Shenzhouraptor sinensis, The Impossible
Evolutionists suggest that Shenzhouraptor sinensis was a transitional
form that was able to fly and possessed both bird and dinosaur characteristics.
This is, however, is in contradiction to other evolutionist claims on
the origin of birds.
Archaeopteryx, the oldest known bird, lived 150 million years
ago and is in many respects no different from flying birds living today.
Shenzhouraptor sinensis, however, lived 140 million years ago,
making it younger than Archaeopteryx. For that reason, it is impossible
for it to be a transitional form, because birds with perfect feathers
and the necessary anatomical structure for flight were living before it.
Archaeopteryx: Recent work shows it to be
"much more birdlike than previously imagined".
At this point, we need to make it clear that the evolutionist
claims regarding Archaeopteryx, on of the principle icons of the
theory of evolution for the last 100 years or so, have lost a great deal
of their validity. It has been realized that this creature was a flying
bird, possessing a flawless flight mechanism. Attempts to compare Archaeopteryx
to a reptile have failed entirely.
As Alan Feduccia, one of the leading ornithologists in the world, has
stated, "Most recent workers who have studied various anatomical
features of Archaeopteryx have found the creature to be much more
birdlike than previously imagined," and "the resemblance of
Archaeopteryx to theropod dinosaurs has been grossly overestimated."
Another problem regarding Archaeopteryx is that the theropod dinosaurs,
which many evolutionists suggest were Archaeopteryx' ancestors,
actually emerge after it in the fossil record, not before it. This, of
course, leaves no room for any "evolutionary family tree" to
account for the origin of birds.
The Squabbling Evolutionists
The reason for the "dino-bird" and "feathered dinosaur"
stories that frequently appear in the evolutionist press is simply an
effort on their part to show that their claim that birds evolved from
dinosaurs has been proven by fossil discoveries. The fact is, however,
that none of these fossils has offered any scientific evidence at all
for that claim. What is more, many evolutionists do not believe it either.
For instance, renowned ornithologists Alan Feduccia and Larry Martin believe
that it is totally an erroneous scenario. A college textbook, Developmental
Not all biologists believe that birds are dinosaurs...
This group of scientists emphasize the differences between dinosaurs
and birds, claiming that the differences are too great for the birds
to have evolved from earlier dinosaurs. Alan Feduccia, and Larry Martin,
for instance, contend that birds could not have evolved from any known
group of dinosaurs. They argue against some of the most important cladistic
data and support their claim from developmental biology and biomechanics.
Feduccia has this to say regarding the thesis of reptile-bird evolution:
Well, I've studied bird skulls for 25 years and I don't
see any similarities whatsoever. I just don't see it... The theropod
origins of birds, in my opinion, will be the greatest embarrassment
of paleontology of the 20th century. (3)
Larry Martin, a specialist in ancient birds from the University of Kansas,
also opposes the theory that birds are descended from dinosaurs. Discussing
the contradiction that evolution falls into on the subject, he states:
To tell you the truth, if I had to support the dinosaur
origin of birds with those characters, I'd be embarrassed every time
I had to get up and talk about it. (4)
The disagreement amongst evolutionists themselves stems from the fact
that there is no evidence supporting an evolutionary origin for birds.
They can only build up speculations, just-so stories which are imposed
on the public, misleadingly, as "scientific theories".
The Significant Structural Differences Between Birds
Most evolutionists hold that birds evolved from small theropod dinosaurs.
However, a comparison between birds and such reptiles reveals that the
two have very distinct features, making it unlikely that one evolved from
There are various structural differences between birds and reptiles,
one of which concerns bone structure. Due to their bulky natures, dinosaurs-the
ancestors of birds according to evolutionists-had thick, solid bones.
Birds, in contrast, whether living or extinct, have hollow bones that
are very light, as they must be in order for flight to take place.
Another difference between reptiles and birds is their metabolic structure.
Reptiles have the slowest metabolic structure in the animal kingdom. (The
claim that dinosaurs had a warm-blooded fast metabolism remains a speculation.)
Birds, on the other hand, are at the opposite end of the metabolic spectrum.
For instance, the body temperature of a sparrow can rise to as much as
48°C (118°F) due to its fast metabolism. On the other hand, reptiles lack
the ability to regulate their body temperature. Instead, they expose their
bodies to sunlight in order to warm up. Put simply, reptiles consume the
least energy of all animals and birds the most.
Yet, despite all the scientific findings, the groundless scenario of
"dinosaur-bird evolution" is still insistently advocated. Popular
publications are particularly fond of the scenario. Meanwhile, concepts
which provide no backing for the scenario are presented as evidence for
In some popular evolutionist publications, for instance,
emphasis is laid on the differences among dinosaur hip bones to support
the thesis that birds are descended from dinosaurs. These differences
exist between dinosaurs classified as Saurischian (reptile-like, hip-girdled
dinosaurs) and Ornithischian (bird-like, hip-girdled dinosaurs).
This concept of dinosaurs having hip girdles similar to those of birds
is sometimes wrongly conceived as evidence for the alleged dinosaur-bird
link. However, the difference in hip girdles is no evidence at all for
the claim that birds evolved from dinosaurs. That is because, surprisingly
for the evolutionist, Ornithischian dinosaurs do not resemble birds with
respect to other anatomical features. For instance, Ankylosaurus
is a dinosaur classified as Ornithischian, with short legs, a giant
body, and skin covered with scales resembling armor. On the other hand,
Struthiomimus, which resembles birds in some of its anatomical
features (long legs, short forelegs, and thin structure), is actually
a Saurischian. (5)
The Unique Structure of Avian Lungs
Another factor demonstrating the impossibility of the reptile-bird evolution
scenario is the structure of avian lungs, which cannot be accounted for
Land-dwelling creatures have lungs with a two-directional flow structure.
Upon inhaling, the air travels through the passages in the lungs (bronchial
tubes), ending in tiny air sacs (alveoli). The exchange of oxygen and
carbon dioxide takes place here. Then, upon exhaling, this used air makes
its way back and finds its way out of the lung by the same route.
In birds however, air follows just one direction through the lungs. The
entry and exit orifices are completely different, and thanks to special
air sacs all along the passages between them, air always flows in one
direction through the avian lung. In this way, birds are able to take
in air nonstop. This satisfies birds' high energy requirements. Michael
Denton, an Australian biochemist and a well-known critic of Darwinism,
explains the avian lung in this way:
This one-directional flow of air is maintained in breathing
in and breathing out by a complex system of interconnected air sacs
in the bird's body, which expand and contract in such a way as to ensure
a continuous delivery of air through the parabronchi… The structure
of the lung in birds, and the overall functioning of the respiratory
system, are quite unique. No lung in any other vertebrate species in
any way approaches the avian system. Moreover, in its essential details
it is identical in birds. (6)
The important thing is that the reptile lung, with its dual-direction
air flow, could not have evolved into the bird lung with its single-direction
flow, because it is not possible for there to have been an intermediate
model between them. In order for a living thing to live, it has to keep
breathing, and a reversal of the structure of its lungs with a change
of design would inevitably end in death. According to evolution, this
change must happen gradually over millions of years, whereas a creature
whose lungs do not work will die within a few minutes.
Michael Denton also states that it is impossible to give an evolutionary
account of the avian lung:
…In the case of birds, however, the major bronchi break
down into tiny tubes which permeate the lung tissue. These so-called parabronchi
eventually join up together again, forming a true circulatory system so
that air flows in one direction through the lungs. ...Just how such an
utterly different respiratory system could have evolved gradually from
the standard vertebrate design is fantastically difficult to envisage,
especially bearing in mind that the maintenance of respiratory function
is absolutely vital to the life of an organism to the extent that the
slightest malfunction leads to death within minutes. Just as the feather
cannot function as an organ of flight until the hooks and barbules are
co adapted to fit together perfectly, so the avian lung cannot function
as an organ of respiration until the parabronchi system which permeates
it and the air sac system which guarantees the parabronchi their air supply
are both highly developed and able to function together in a perfectly
integrated manner. (7)
In brief, the passage from a terrestrial lung to an avian lung is impossible,
because an intermediate form would serve no purpose.
Reptiles (and mammals) breathe in and out from the same air vessel.
In birds, while the air enters into the lung from the front, it goes
out from the back. This distinct design is specially made for birds,
which need great amounts of oxygen during flight. It is impossible
for such a structure to evolve from the reptile lung.
Another point that needs to be mentioned here is that reptiles have a
diaphragm-type respiratory system, whereas birds have an abdominal air
sac system instead of a diaphragm. These different structures also make
any evolution between the two lung types impossible, as John Ruben from
Oregon State University, an acknowledged authority in the field of respiratory
physiology, observes in the following passage:
The earliest stages in the derivation of the avian
abdominal air sac system from a diaphragm-ventilating ancestor would
have necessitated selection for a diaphragmatic hernia in taxa transitional
between theropods and birds. Such a debilitating condition would have
immediately compromised the entire pulmonary ventilatory apparatus and
seems unlikely to have been of any selective advantage. (8)
Another interesting structural design of the avian lung which defies
evolution is the fact that it is never empty of air, and thus never in
danger of collapse. Michael Denton explains the situation:
Just how such a different respiratory system could
have evolved gradually from the standard vertebrate design without some
sort of direction is, again, very difficult to envisage, especially
bearing in mind that the maintenance of respiratory function is absolutely
vital to the life of the organism. Moreover, the unique function and
form of the avian lung necessitates a number of additional unique adaptations
during avian development… because first, the avian lung is fixed rigidly
to the body wall and cannot therefore expand in volume and, second,
because of the small diameter of the lung capillaries and the resulting
high surface tension of any liquid within them, the avian lung cannot
be inflated out of a collapsed state as happens in all other vertebrates
after birth. The air capillaries are never collapsed as are the alveoli
of other vertebrate species; rather, as they grow into the lung tissue,
the parabronchi are from the beginning open tubes filled with either
air or fluid. (9)
In other words, the passages in birds' lungs are so narrow that the air
sacs inside their lungs cannot fill with air and empty again, as with
land-dwelling creatures. If a bird lung ever completely deflated, the
bird would never be able to re-inflate it, or would at the very least
have great difficulty in doing so. For this reason, the air sacs situated
all over the lung enable a constant passage of air to pass through, thus
protecting the lungs from deflating.
Of course this system, which is completely different from the lungs of
reptiles and other vertebrates, and is based on the most complex design,
cannot have come about with random mutations, stage by stage, as evolution
maintains. Thus, as Denton also mentions, the avian lung is enough to
answer Darwin's challenge:
"If it could be demonstrated that any complex
organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous,
successive, slight, modifications, my theory would absolutely break
Bird Feathers and Reptile Scales
Another impassable gap between birds and reptiles is feathers, which
are peculiar to birds. Reptile bodies are covered with scales, a completely
different structure. The hypothesis that bird feathers evolved from reptile
scales is completely unfounded, and is indeed disproved by the fossil
record, as the evolutionist paleontologist Barbara Stahl once admitted:
How [feathers] arose initially, presumably from reptiles
scales, defies analysis... It seems, from the complex construction of
feathers, that their evolution from reptilian scales would have required
an immense period of time and involved a series of intermediate structures.
So far, the fossil record does not bear out that supposition. (11)
A. H. Brush, a professor of physiology and neurobiology
at the University of Connecticut, accepts this fact, although he is himself
an evolutionist: "Every feature from gene structure and organization,
to development, morphogenesis and tissue organization is different [in
feathers and scales]." (12) Moreover,
Professor Brush examines the protein structure of bird feathers and argues
that it is "unique among vertebrates." (13)
There is no fossil evidence to prove that bird feathers
evolved from reptile scales. On the contrary, feathers appear suddenly
in the fossil record, Professor Brush observes, as an "undeniably
unique" character distinguishing birds. (14)
Besides, in reptiles, no epidermal tissue has yet been detected that provides
a starting point for bird feathers. (15)
Many fossils have so far been the subject of "feathered dinosaur"
speculation, but detailed study has always disproved it. Alan Feduccia
once wrote the following in an article called "On Why Dinosaurs Lacked
Feathers are features unique to birds, and there are
no known intermediate structures between reptilian scales and feathers.
Notwithstanding speculations on the nature of the elongated scales found
on such forms as Longisquama (discovered 1969 Russia) ... as being
featherlike structures, there is simply no demonstrable evidence that
they in fact are. (16)
More recently, Feduccia, quoting Brush, has the following passage on
the origin of feathers:
Even birds' most scalelike features-the leg scutes (scales),
claws, and the epidermally derived beak-are formed from a single category
of protein, the -keratins. As Alan Brush has written regarding feather
development, "The genes that direct synthesis of the avian -keratins
represent a significant divergence from those of their reptilian ancestor."(17)
(Note that the authors assume a reptilian ancestor for birds, but accept
the genetic gap between these.)
National Geographic's great hit, the
perfect "dino-bird" Archaeoraptor soon turned
out to be a hoax. All other "dino-bird" candidates remain
All news about "dino-birds" is speculative.
Many claims on the subject have turned out to false. For example, the
"feathered dinosaur" claim that was put forward in 1996 with
a great media fanfare was also disproved soon. A reptilian fossil called
Sinosauropteryx was found in China, but 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. (18)
Every other fossil that has been put forward as "feathered
dinosaur" in the last 10 years is debatable. Detailed studies have
revealed that the structures suggested to have been "feathers"
are actually collagen fibers.(19) The
speculations in fact stems from evolutionist prejudice and wishful thinking.
As Feduccia says, "Many dinosaurs have been portrayed with a coating
of aerodynamic contour feathers with absolutely no documentation."(20)
(One of the "feathered dinosaurs" in question,
namely Archaeoraptor, proved to be a fossil forgery). Feduccia
sums the position up in these terms: "Finally, no feathered dinosaur
has ever been found, although many dinosaur mummies with well-preserved
skin are known from diverse localities." (21)
The Design of Feathers
Another problem for the evolutionists is the fact that there is such
a complex design in bird feathers that the phenomenon can never be accounted
for without referring to intelligent design. As we all know, there is
a long, stiff part 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 flying 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.
On just one crane feather, there are up to 650 hairs on the central tube.
Each one of these is covered with some 650 tinier hairs. And these tiny
hairs are linked together by 350 hooks. The hooks come together like the
two sides of a zipper. If the hooks come apart for any reason, it is sufficient
for the bird to shake itself, or, in more serious cases, to straighten
its feathers out with its beak, for the feathers to return to their previous
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
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
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!" (23)
In short, the enormous structural differences between bird feathers and
reptile scales, and the astonishingly complex-and beautiful-design of
feathers, clearly demonstrate the invalidity of the claim that feathers
evolved from scales through blind natural mechanisms.
The "dino-bird" stories that appear in the evolutionist press
consist of biased analyses by evolutionist palaeontologists, and sometimes
even of distortions of the truth. (In fact, one of the best-known "dino-bird"
discoveries, the Archaeoraptor portrayed by National Geographic
as incontrovertible proof of bird evolution, turned out to be a forgery
produced by combining fossils of five separate specimens). The "dino-bird"
fossils in question are either those of extinct species of bird or of
dinosaurs, and not one of them represents a "missing link" between
birds and dinosaurs. In fact, as we have seen above, it is impossible
for dinosaurs to have evolved into birds and assumed bird characteristics
by means of chance mutations.
Thus the "dino-bird" hype that rages through the media consists
of nothing more than a last-ditch attempt to shore up the collapsed theory
of evolution. However, science and reason will always prevail over such
EVIDENCE: OSTRICH STUDY REFUTES THE DINO-BIRD STORY
Dr. Feduccia: His new study is enough to bury the 'dino-bird"
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 can not 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."
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
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." (ii)
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.
i - 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
ii - David Williamson, "Scientist Says Ostrich Study Confirms
Bird 'Hands' Unlike Those Of Dinosaurs", EurekAlert, 14-Aug-2002,
(1) Alan Feduccia,
The Origin and Evolution of Birds, Yale University Press, 1999, p. 81
(2) Scott F. Gilbert, "Did Birds Evolve from
the Dinosaurs?," Developmental Biology, Sixth Edition, chapter
(3) Pat Shipman, "Birds Do It... Did Dinosaurs?,"
New Scientist, February 1, 1997, p. 28
(4) Pat Shipman, "Birds Do It... Did Dinosaurs?,"
New Scientist, February 1, 1997, p. 28
(5) Duane T. Gish, Dinosaurs by Design, Master
Books, AR, 1996. pp. 65-66
(6) Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis,
London, Burnett Books Limited, 1985, p. 210-211.
(7) Michael Denton, A Theory in Crisis, Adler
& Adler, 1986, pp. 210-212.
(8) J. A. Ruben, T. D. Jones, N. R. Geist, and W. J.
Hillenius, "Lung Structure And Ventilation in Theropod Dinosaurs
and Early Birds," Science, vol. 278, p. 1267.
(9) Michael J. Denton, Nature's Destiny, Free
Press, New York, 1998, p. 361.
(10) Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species:
A Facsimile of the First Edition, Harvard University Press, 1964,
(11) Barbara J. Stahl, Vertebrate History: Problems
in Evolution, Dover, 1985, pp. 349-350.
(12) A. H. Brush, "On the Origin of Feathers,"
Journal of Evolutionary Biology, vol. 9, 1996, p.132.
(13) A. H. Brush, "On the Origin of Feathers,"
Journal of Evolutionary Biology, vol. 9, 1996, p.131.
(14) A. H. Brush, "On the Origin of Feathers,"
Journal of Evolutionary Biology, vol. 9, 1996, p.133.
(15) A. H. Brush, "On the Origin of Feathers,"
Journal of Evolutionary Biology, vol. 9, 1996, p.131.
(16) Alan Feduccia, "On Why Dinosaurs Lacked Feathers,"
The Beginning of Birds, Eichstatt, West Germany: Jura Museum, 1985,
(17) Alan Feduccia, The Origin and Evolution of Birds,
Yale University Press, 1999, p. 128
(18) Ann Gibbons, "Plucking the Feathered Dinosaur,"
Science, vol. 278, no. 5341, 14 November 1997, pp. 1229 - 1230
(19) Ann Gibbons, "Plucking the Feathered Dinosaur",
Science, volume 278, Number 5341 Issue of 14 Nov 1997, pp. 1229
(20) Alan Feduccia, The Origin and Evolution of Birds,
Yale University Press, 1999, p. 130
(21) Alan Feduccia, The Origin and Evolution of Birds,
Yale University Press, 1999, p. 132
(22) Ernst Mayr, Systematics and the Origin of Species,
Dove, New York, 1964, p. 296.
(23) Francis Darwin, The Life and Letters of Charles
Darwin, Volume II, From Charles Darwin to Asa Gray, April 3rd, 1860