Posted by: Rob Lester | June 2, 2011

Dino-to-bird, bird-to-dino, whatever

In the immortal words of Willie Wonka, “Strike that, reverse it.” For many years now, evolutionists have been insistent that birds evolved from dinosaurs. Shoddy research championed by such publications as National Geographic (“Feathers for T. rex” 1999) and questionable fossil finds in China (see Archaeoraptor) have perpetuated these fanciful claims. Now, we have hard scientific evidence indicating a 180-degree turn. John Ruben, a professor of zoology at Oregon State University, states, “We’re finally breaking out of the conventional wisdom of the last 20 years, which insisted that birds evolved from dinosaurs and that the debate is all over and done with,” Ruben said. “This issue isn’t resolved at all…We think the evidence is finally showing that these animals which are usually considered dinosaurs were actually descended from birds, not the other way around.” ScienceNews reported on Ruben’s research, “In the newest PNAS study, scientists examined a remarkable fossil specimen that had feathers on all four limbs, somewhat resembling a bi-plane. Glide tests based on its structure concluded it would not have been practical for it to have flown from the ground up, but it could have glided from the trees down, somewhat like a modern-day flying squirrel. Many researchers have long believed that gliders such as this were the ancestors of modern birds. This model was not consistent with successful flight from the ground up, and that makes it pretty difficult to make a case for a ground-dwelling theropod dinosaur to have developed wings and flown away,” Ruben said. “On the other hand, it would have been quite possible for birds to have evolved and then, at some point, have various species lose their flight capabilities (emph. added—RL) and become ground-dwelling, flightless animals — the raptors”. Other research has shown that raptors share similar thigh-bone structure with birds that other theropod dinosaurs do not. “This may be hugely upsetting to a lot of people, but it makes perfect sense.” Ruben went on to admit, “The old theories were popular, had public appeal and many people saw what they wanted to see instead of carefully interpreting the data.” Even this scientist, who is not a creationist, acknowledges the bias that is inherent in evolutionism. Ruben even goes so far as to caution his colleagues against making such bold assertions which can be disproven by further study. “Pesky new fossils…sharply at odds with conventional wisdom never seem to cease popping up,” Ruben wrote in his PNAS commentary. “Given the vagaries of the fossil record, current notions of near resolution of many of the most basic questions about long-extinct forms should probably be regarded with caution.” Amen to that! Sacred cows of evolution keep getting slaughtered by those “pesky fossils” and other discoveries. Real, measurable, observable science will overturn flawed, biased theory every time. Incidentally, this new research fits much better with the creation model where the only evolutionary changes which occur in nature result from a loss of genetic information, not from new features being added.



  1. We’ve also seen that feathers existed far earlier in time than our favorite feathered friend the archaeopteryx, but we’ve known this for a little while. “The New Dinosaurs” of William Stout (2000) comes to mind, and “The Children’s Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs” by Michael K. Brett-Surman (2010) come to mind. Perhaps there is a third alternative to the question of which came first: that traits of birds and reptiles have been mixed in individual organisms in the laboratory of evolutionary development. So what we may be seeing is specialization to more fully reptilian or more fully avian animals out of a pre-existing genetic stock that included all those traits. If that sounds strange, consider the category “mammal-like reptiles” used to describe some of the Devonian-era creatures that we first thought were dinosaurs and then later realized were different sorts of animals. And, since they are all dead, we don’t really know if they were endothermic, ecto-thermic, or some combination thereof. It isn’t as easy as saying there were dinos, and then they changed into birds… The fossil record shows that traits of mammals, birds, and reptiles have appeared in many animals that don’t easily fit any of our existing categories.
    Great post and thanks for the interesting read!

  2. Hello Rob,

    This is indeed a very interesting subject, having looked around for a few scientific commentaries on the subject it seems that its not quite as simple and clear cut as your item suggests.

    The language that the science was using was along the lines of ‘it seems that some animals, that we used to consider dinosaurs, descended from early birds’. I have paraphrases somewhat.

    So rather than turn dino-bird evolution on its head, its more a case of a extra clarification with more detail. Birds still evolved from dinosaurs, however, there are also some animals that used to be considered dinosaurs, now appear to have evolved from those early birds.

    Yet again, evolution has proven not to be a linear process. To think it is is to make a mistake.

    There will always be challenges thrown up by new evolutionary discoveries because its impossible to predict what will come next. If the future could be predicted, then evolutionary scientists would not be surprised by what gets discovered.

  3. […] Here are some recent articles related to the hot debate among paleontologists about this topic: […]

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