Sunday, 17 February 2008

New study: Modern birds lived with dinosaurs

New neighbour for T-rex?

Joel Kontinen

It seems that dinosaurs have recently acquired many new neighbours. At the beginning of the year, science journals announced that beetles lived during the dinosaur era. Recently, we learned that platypuses were also existent at that time. Now we can add modern birds to the list.

For a long time Darwinists have advised us to look at the bird feeder if we want to get a glimpse of latter-day dinosaurs. They believe that finches and woodpeckers are the descendants of the "terrible reptiles".

Evolutionists maintain that modern birds appeared ”only” 60 million years ago or about five million years after the demise of the dinosaurs. But a recent study published in the journal BMC Biology refutes this view. A research team at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor led by graduate student Joseph Brown examined the rate of mutation with the help of the molecular clock. Mutations are basically copying mistakes that have a habit of accumulating in the genome of a species. Evolutionists believe that the clock is ticking at a reasonably uniform pace, and thus suppose that the amount of accumulated mutations helps to find out when certain species broke off from a common ancestor.

Brown and his colleagues concluded that modern birds already lived some 100 million years ago.

The use of the molecular clock involves many assumptions. For instance, the steady rate of the clock is based on the belief that mutations accumulate in different species at the same speed. However, according to chemist Dr. Jonathan Sarfati, observations have shown that the mutation rate is constant over a generation in an organism. Thus the clock cannot tick at the same speed for bacteria and elephants, for example. Brown actually suggested that if one assumes that the mutation rate is constant in different bird species this can lead the research astray.

Turning dinosaurs into birds would otherwise also be impossible. Changing scales into feathers would be an insurmountable hurdle. No one has been able to explain convincingly how it could have happened even in theory. For instance, Scientific American acknowledged in 2003 that it was time to discard old notions of feather evolution. Richard Prum and Alan Brush, the authors of the article, admitted that the evolution of feathers was problematic. But they nevertheless chose to believe that it was possible and had happened.

In real life, turning a dinosaur into a bird is an extremely flimsy idea since evolutionists themselves believe that Archaeopteryx, the ”reptile bird” that was supposed to have lived already about 80 million years before the dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago. And Archaeopteryx had fully developed, aerodynamic feathers.

The recent study, which was also reported by National Geography News, suggests that at least in theory some researchers are willing to discard the outdated view that the finches at the nearest bird feeder are latter-day feathered dinosaurs.

Read more about Archaeopteryx here.


Brown, Joseph; Rest, Joshua S.; Garcia-Moreno, Jaime; Sorenson, Michael D. & Mindell. David P. 2008. Strong mitochondrial DNA support for a Cretaceous origin of modern avian lineages. BMC Biology 2008, 6:6.

Goudarzi, Sara.2008. Modern Birds Existed Before Dinosaur Die-Off. National Geographic News.

Prum, Richard O. & Brush, Alan H. Which came first, the Feather or the Bird? Scientific American 288:3, 60-69 (March 2003).

Sarfati, Jonathan & Matthews, Michael. 2003. Refuting Evolution 2. Green Forest: Master Books.