by David Catchpoole

According to a paper published in Nature Communications earlier this year, “Archaeopteryx has been regarded as an icon of evolution ever since its discovery from the Late Jurassic limestone deposits of Solnhofen, Germany in 1861.”1

Certainly Archaeopteryx has been continually paraded as an ‘icon of evolution’ in biology textbooks and the like. And the Brown University press release drawing attention to the Nature Communications paper was no exception, calling Archaeopteryx a “winged dinosaur”.2  However, as we have written many times (e.g. see Bird evolution flies out the window), there are even leading evolutionists who most certainly do not regard Archaeopteryx as an ‘icon of evolution’. That’s because the facts about Archaeopteryx really offer no joy to anyone hungry for evidence supporting the evolutionary paradigm.

The facts about Archaeopteryx offer no joy to anyone hungry for evidence supporting the evolutionary paradigm

For example, as paleo-ornithologist Alan Feduccia, Professor Emeritus at the University of North Carolina and a world authority on fossil birds, sums it up:

“Paleontologists have tried to turn Archaeopteryx into an earth-bound, feathered dinosaur. But it’s not. It is a bird, a perching bird. And no amount of ‘paleobabble’ is going to change that.”3

Note that Feduccia is an evolutionist himself, not a creationist (see Feduccia vs Creationists). And the ‘dating’ of Archaeopteryx by evolutionists’ own reckoning puts it millions of years after the creatures it supposedly gave rise to! (E.g. see New four-winged feathered dinosaur?) As Feduccia likes to quip, “You can’t be older than your grandfather.”

However, it seems that Ryan Carney and his co-authors of the recent Nature Communications paper are oblivious of all that. Their findings are couched in the usual evolutionary ‘spin’ about Archaeopteryx that one has come to expect in the Nature stable of publications.4 But that’s despite their own research findings pointing to Archaeopteryx having modern feathers in line with the biblical account of birds having been designed for flight from the very first. Or, as the Brown University press release put it, “Archaeopteryx’s feather structure is identical to that of living birds” and it was “dressed for flight”….


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