Talk:Archaeopteryx

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Feduccia

Amongst pro-evolution scientists Feduccia's research is considered to be completely disproven. Referencing his research without mentioning the dozens of papers that refute it makes the conservapedia appear biased and/or out of date. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by token (talk)

Italics

Folks, please. No matter what your view, it's proper scientific style to use italics. Sterile 22:21, 19 April 2007 (EDT)

Removed paragraph

I've removed the following paragraph because I question it's accuracy:

More recently, CT scans of an Archaeopteryx braincase were compared to the brains of modern and more advanced fossil birds. It was demonstrated that the brain of Archaeopteryx is not like modern birds. Instead, the authors concluded that like its ankle, feet, and skull, the brain or Archaeopteryx is more like predatory dinosaurs than modern birds.

It referenced a paper that is not available freely on-line (it needs to be purchased), but the on-line abstract[1] says the following:

Fossils preserving traces of soft anatomy are rare in the fossil record; even rarer is evidence bearing on the size and shape of sense organs that provide us with insights into mode of life. Here, we describe unique fossil preservation of an avian brain from the Volgograd region of European Russia. The brain of this Melovatka bird is similar in shape and morphology to those of known fossil ornithurines (the lineage that includes living birds), such as the marine diving birds Hesperornis and Enaliornis, but documents a new stage in avian sensory evolution: acute nocturnal vision coupled with well-developed hearing and smell, developed by the Late Cretaceous (ca 90Myr ago). This fossil also provides insights into previous ‘bird-like’ brain reconstructions for the most basal avian Archaeopteryx—reduction of olfactory lobes (sense of smell) and enlargement of the hindbrain (cerebellum) occurred subsequent to Archaeopteryx in avian evolution, closer to the ornithurine lineage that comprises living birds. The Melovatka bird also suggests that brain enlargement in early avians was not correlated with the evolution of powered flight.

That suggests to me that, contrary to the paragraph removed from the article, CT scans were done of a different bird, not of Archaeopteryx.

If someone has access to the full paper and can confirm that the paragraph is accurate, it can go back in.

Philip J. Rayment 05:47, 11 July 2007 (EDT)

The brain of Archaeopteryx had already been CT scanned, see here:http://www.utexas.edu/opa/pubs/oncampus/02oc_issues/oc020702/oc_brain.html. Archaeopteryxs brain was not like modern birds, so it was harder to interpret; the new paper scanned an intermediate bird's fossil skull, which greatly helped paleontologists understand the orginal CT scan of Archaeopteryxs brain. It was not like that of modern birds, it is more like a Velociraptor or oviraptorid in organization.

When the first paper came out the press carried the headlines "Archaeopteryx has bird-like brain" because the orignal study onlyused an alligator, and Allosaurus (a meat-eating dinosaur not very close to birds) and a modern bird. When maniraptoran dinosaurs and other extint birds were examined, it became clear that Archaeopteryx had a brain that is sort of birdlike, but no more so than Velociraptor and it's other close cousins.

If you are going to remove actual peer-reviewd data because "it requires payment" (I don't like it either, but they have to make money somehow) while keeping easily-refuted information that has never made it to a scientific journal in your entries then you are making the conservapedia into a joke.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Token (talk)

Interesting comment about peer review. Do you also feel that so-called "professors" who were not selected based on peer review should not be taken seriously?--Aschlafly 09:53, 14 October 2007 (EDT)
(replying to Token):
  • First, thanks for the additional information about the brain scans of Archaeopteryx being done earlier. It does clarify the situation somewhat.
  • However, I still can't see that the text I removed was justified in being there. The abstract of the paper doesn't seem to go as far as the removed content.
  • I did not remove data 'because "it requires payment"'. I removed it because I suspected that it was inaccurate and pending someone demonstrating its accuracy.
  • Your swipe about including "easily-refuted" information was less than helpful, given that you didn't say what information is supposedly "easily refuted".
(to Aschlafly):
Andy, there was nothing "liberal" about what you removed and changed in the article. Apart from Hoyle and a few isolated creationists basing their view on Hoyle, essentially nobody believes that the fossils have been faked and essentially everyone accepts that Archaeopteryx really existed. The only real dispute is over whether it was a true bird or an intermediate form.
Philip J. Rayment 23:48, 14 October 2007 (EDT)
Philip, many people (including books on the topic) consider the fossils to be fakes. Hoyle is the best British scientist of the 20th century, and he considered it a fake also. The evidence speaks for itself in suggesting forgery, just as other fossils (e.g., the bird-dinosaur National Geographic fossil) are fakes. You don't really think that an "Archaeopteryx" existed only in pro-evolution parts of England in Germany, do you??? That's the only source of these unusual "fossils".--Aschlafly 23:52, 14 October 2007 (EDT)
I would be interested in know who these "many people" and book are, because I know of very few. I agree that the late Fred Hoyle is not someone to be ignored, but I do believe that he was something of a loner on this issue (as he was on a number of issues), and the evidence has been reexamined and not just doesn't support, but actually refutes, his claims of forgery. To quote from Dr. Jonathan Sarfati (whom you reference in your changes) referring to Dr. Menton whom you quote, he "totally reject[s] the charge of forgery. Dr Menton points out that the Archaeopteryx bones have tiny bumps where the feathers were attached to the bones by ligaments. This was unexpected, so impossible to attribute to a forgery. So it is simply wrong to say that the feathers are just imprints added to a dino skeleton.". That is quoted from here, and that article includes several other reasons for rejecting the claim of forgery. (Incidentally, it also refers to the brain scans of Archaeopteryx.)
Many fossils are only found in particular locations around the world. The fact that the Archaeopteryx fossils are only found in two parts of Europe is not all that unusual.
Philip J. Rayment 00:32, 15 October 2007 (EDT)
I've addressed this by expanding the paragraph, with citations.--Aschlafly 18:32, 15 October 2007 (EDT)
Your additions don't really address my questions. Your additions don't say who these "many people" are (but see below), nor mention any books. You have not addressed that Drs. Sarfati and Menton totally reject the forgery charge, nor my answer to your question about where they were found.
You did make reference to a "half dozen leading scientist", but without names, that's not a lot of use. However, I have tracked down what appears to be your source, the Creation Evolution Encyclopedia, and it lists R.S. Watkins, N.C. Wickramasinghe, J. Watkins, R. Rabilizirov, and L.M. Spetner along with Hoyle. Okay, there were six scientists, not just Hoyle (and Wickramasinghe, whom I had been aware of).
Have you checked the sources that are currently listed as Nos. 4, 5, and 6? Because the Creation Evolution Encyclopedia does not list them as supporting the argument. Instead, it lists them under an "also see" introduction. These sources clearly have more about the issue, but not necessarily any evidence supportive of the claims of Hoyle et. al.
So what we have is a forgery claim by a small group of scientists who may or may not still hold that view (Hoyle is now dead), which is refuted not just by other evolutionists but also by creationists, including ones that you cite. Furthermore, I'm not sure that any of the six were qualified to know what they were talking about (Hoyle was an astronomer, for example), but some of the scientists who reject the hoax (such as anatomist Dr. Menton) are so qualified.
Philip J. Rayment 23:29, 15 October 2007 (EDT)

When even Creationist sites disagree...

I find it interesting to note that Answers in Genesis (which is cited as a reliable source in numerous articles here) goes as far as including "Archaeopteryx is a fraud" in their "Which arguments should definitely not be used?" FAQ section and even published a dedicated article with the title "Archaeopteryx is NOT a hoax"

I believe that AiG has a good reason to include this specific accusation in their "Do not use!" list, so maybe we should try to work along those lines? In my eyes, it's usually a bad sign when evolutionists and Creationists disagree with a claim we make. --JakeC 17:44, 1 January 2008 (EST)

I agree. The case for it being a fraud has been blown out of the water. However, someone seems to think that my view (and that of Creation Ministries International and Answers in Genesis) is liberal bias. (See the article's history). Philip J. Rayment 19:00, 1 January 2008 (EST)
Sir Fred Hoyle declared it a fraud. That's good enough for most people. To me, after reviewing his conclusion and the unlikely sources of these specimens, it appears to be a fraud just as the dinosaur-bird fossil was about ten years ago. And I don't think JakeC is really in agreement with the AiG that he cites. His pro-evolution bias shows through by falsely insisting this is a "Creationist" site.--Aschlafly 19:44, 1 January 2008 (EST)
Umm, AiG, if that's what you are referring to, is a creationist site. And Fred Hoyle's opinion (on this particular matter) may be good enough for you, but not for other experts, including many of the world's leading creationists, who have re-examined the issue and found further evidence refuting Hoyle's claims. Philip J. Rayment 20:05, 1 January 2008 (EST)
I feel I must point out the following: "Answers in Genesis will not stock any books that promote the Archaeopteryx hoax idea, at least not without a disclaimer, because it is the truth which shall set you free (cf. John 8:32), not error." [2]
The truth is - it was a bird, like all the other birds, created by God on the fifth day. Promoting the claim that part of God's creation is a fraud is a concept that erodes one's faith and gets people to believe in things from which disbelief in Christianity logically follows. WKirkwood 20:13, 1 January 2008 (EST)
Although I agree with much of that, Andy is claiming that the Archaeopteryx fossil was a fake, not that part of God's creation was a fake. That is, in his mind, the bird Archaeopteryx is not part of God's creation. Philip J. Rayment 21:23, 1 January 2008 (EST)
Sorry, Andy, but simply calling Creationists "critics" (as you did in this article) is omitting information. I did get a good chuckle out of your "His pro-evolution bias shows through by falsely insisting this is a 'Creationist' site." claim, though. Like Philip said, that site is a creationist site. I know you're not a fan of the word, but it's used by creationists to describe themselves and each other, so I don't see the problem.
That aside, does it really matter if I personally agree with a specific source? I am able to research points of view for both sides of any debate, and I believe I can represent both sides fairly. As such, personal bias does not factor into my work. You seem to attack my person and not the point.
I merely noted that AiG is an accepted source here on CP and then noted that it lists Hoyle's claim in the "Do not use" list (CMI also features the article that argues against the hoax theory, btw). When a site that argues against evolution and an old Earth actively discourages people from spreading this claim, it's a clear warning signal to me. Nothing against Hoyle, but it appears that he was most likely wrong here. That's what modern experts from both sides of the creation/evolution discussion say. --JakeC 20:38, 1 January 2008 (EST)
Edit to add: Like Philip, I assumed the "pro-evolution" comment was about me calling AiG a creationist site. I only now notice your "this site" wording, and I got to say that I never labeled Conservapedia. My point was that it's always a bad sign when we claim something that experts from both sides of the debate declared to be wrong. Doesn't matter if our article or site is pro-Creation, pro-Evolution, pro-Facts, pro-Neutrality, or whatever. --JakeC 20:51, 1 January 2008 (EST)

Folks, JakeC called this site a creationist site. That's exactly what I said, yet everyone above misread it. I didn't read past the biased and inappropriate labeling by evolutionists in the responses above, which is done to try to smear anyone who dares criticize their theory.--Aschlafly 20:56, 1 January 2008 (EST)

...could you please point out where I did so? I don't appreciate accusations like that without evidence. Please see my "edit to add" about my actual point in the initial post. It seems to me that your personal attacks and off-topic remarks are just shiny distractions to avoid discussing the issue itself. Note how your initial reply was roughly 50% personal remarks and 50% "I think Hoyle's reasoning is correct". Please read the AiG/CMI source (CMI link is actually listed in the article's Bibliography) about how scientists from both camps came to the conclusion that (and I cite) "it is simply wrong to say that the feathers are just imprints added to a dino skeleton" and that "Fred Hoyle is completely wrong". When faced with such a united front of scientists who disagree with Hoyle, we will need more backing than "Andrew Schlafly agrees with Hoyle". --JakeC 21:08, 1 January 2008 (EST)
Andy, I wrote "if that's what you are referring to" because I did wonder if your use of the word "this" was a reference to Conservapedia, but as JakeC has now reiterated, he didn't label Conservapedia as a creationist site. He was referring to AiG as a creationist site. And what "biased and inappropriate labeling by evolutionists" was there. As far as I can tell, everything above was written by probable creationists. Philip J. Rayment 21:23, 1 January 2008 (EST)
JakeC's edit is here, where he refers to a disagreement between "creationist sites," trying to goad Conservapedia (one of his so-called "creationist" sites) into conformity (or criticism of) another "creationist" site.
JakeC's argument reflects bias and is becoming a waste of time to discuss further. It's like demanding a person of one perceived ethnicity to explain why he disagrees with someone else of the same perceived ethnicity. Some might even call that bigotry. It's baseless anyway: Conservapedia is not a "creationist" site, a term used by evolutionists to smear anyone who disagrees with them.--Aschlafly 21:30, 1 January 2008 (EST)
...I don't get it, honestly. If you mean the headline (which is pretty much all that is left by now since I think I addressed any potential ambiguity in my "edit to add" post way up), that was meant as "When even Creationist sites disagree with our claim that aims at debunking an evolutionist argument, it's a bad sign" (as should be clear from the context provided by the post) and not as "When even Creationist sites disagree with each other (because I regard CP as a Creationist site), it's a bad sign". Talk about far-fetched... If I had known that you would desperately X-Ray my post in search for a distraction, I would have called the section "Creationists and evolutionists both think that Hoyle was wrong" or something.
Judging by the tremendous amount of bad faith and attacking my person, it's becoming clear to me that you have no argument to support your position (Remember? We were talking about Hoyle's claim and how modern scientists concluded that he was "completely wrong"). I would be offended if I wasn't so terribly amused. --JakeC 21:51, 1 January 2008 (EST)
JakeC, I think you are a provocateur, and have not seen a quality edit by you yet. Unless you do some quality edits soon I would expect your account to be blocked by a Sysop under our rules.--Aschlafly 22:11, 1 January 2008 (EST)
Andy, I took JakeC's reference to "creationist sites" disagreeing to be referring to other creationist sites that do still cling to Hoyle's now-discredited view. I'm now not so sure that's what he was referring to, but the point still remains that the argument—that Hoyle's claim of forgery is rejected by leading creationists (as well as evolutionists)—is true and valid. And even if you want to ignore him because you doubt his motives, I'm making the same point.
And you didn't answer my question about "biased and inappropriate labeling by evolutionists".
Philip J. Rayment 22:21, 1 January 2008 (EST)
...okay, now I am offended, Andy.
If my edits so far (155 mainspace edits in less than two weeks, spent to improve the style of articles and actively seek to find references for unreferenced articles; and don't even get me started on things like pointing out copyright violations, suggesting redirects, and providing insight about style issues) are so bad as to get me blocked, then so be it.
However, it appears to me that you're simply resorting to open threats now since I looked through your diversionary tactics of using personal attacks to distract from your inability to come up with a good argument. So if I get blocked, it will be because you are unwilling or unable to admit that you are wrong. And that block itself will be proof that you need to use your sysop powers (or gently nudge somebody else into doing so) to win a content discussion that was started in good faith.
If - for some reason - these are really my Famous Last Words (*sniff*), then I want to give Philip a friendly pat on the back here. I wish you the best, man, and thanks for everything. :) That would be all. --JakeC 22:44, 1 January 2008 (EST)
JakeC, point me to several quality edits by you, if you can. I looked at your last 22 and found that over half were talk, 4 were edits that I had to revert, and the remainder seemed to be trivial. You seem to be a candidate for provocateur of the week. I encourage you to contribute quality edits ... or leave. Thanks and Godspeed.--Aschlafly 22:57, 1 January 2008 (EST)
Dear God, this is so terribly stupid... *shakes head*
I stopped looking at that point. There should be a few more (plus the few dozen or so edits where I touched up the formatting, corrected typos, etc.), but I think that should answer your attempt to drag this issue further and further away from the actual content of my initial post: What is your argument about Hoyle? Creation scientists and evolutionary scientists concluded that he was wrong there. What is your evidence that these modern experts independently came to the wrong conclusions? --JakeC 23:26, 1 January 2008 (EST)
I couldn't find a substantive contribution in your list. Do you really think fixing a broken link, though welcome, is a substantive edit? I hope not. Moreover, many of your edits have been of a provocateur variety, and I've had to revert some them.
I can't see what your point is here, for example. The entry is factual and presents various views of the Archaeopteryx. Are you suggesting we delete the esteemed Sir Fred Hoyle's conclusion that it was a fraud, based on his firsthand examination of the specimens with a team of top scientists??? As with many provocateurs, it's often difficult to see what their point is. I can't see your point here.--Aschlafly 18:04, 2 January 2008 (EST)
It reads as though Hoyle's opinion is correct, rather than as a now-discredited idea. Philip J. Rayment 18:16, 2 January 2008 (EST)
Evolutionists and some creationists may disagree with Hoyle's firsthand conclusions, but I'm not aware of any discrediting. Is someone saying Hoyle lied or made scientific mistakes that affect his conclusion? Hoyle, by the way, was the preeminent British scientist of the 20th century.--Aschlafly 18:52, 2 January 2008 (EST)
I'm faced with two views:
  1. Hoyle (astronomer), in the '80s, declares fossils to be fake.
  2. Menton (creationist anatomist) and Feduccia (paleornithologist), among others, use modern techniques and insights of fossils and argue that Hoyle's conclusion was incorrect.
I might feel a bit more conflicted, but it appears as if this wasn't the first time that Hoyle was most likely incorrect: Hoyle was an astronomer (Since when are astronomers experts when it comes to bird fossils?) who believed that the influenza epidemics were caused by particles of meteor streams which conveyed the virus to Earth. He also believed that the primeval molecules (which were the origin of life on Earth) came from outer space and that there was continuous creation (Steady State Theory).
Sorry, but the man's been proven wrong before (for example, discovery of cosmic microwave background led to the pretty much complete defeat of the Steady State Theory), and when modern-day experts in the fields of anatomy and paleornithology (study of bird evolution and fossil birds) disagree with an astronomer's conclusion from 20 years ago, I tend to go with the modern experts. The article should at least state clearly that Hoyle's field of expertise is astronomy (and not the study of fossils, birds, or bird fossils) and that modern experts in those fields reject his claims. --JakeC 20:55, 2 January 2008 (EST)
JakeC, push evolution somewhere else. Hoyle was the greatest British scientist of the 20th century, and unless you have something factual to say about his findings, do something else productive.--Aschlafly 21:32, 2 January 2008 (EST)
One should perhaps approach Hoyle with some caution. He promoted the theory that life evolved in space, spreading through the universe via panspermia, and that evolution on earth is driven by a steady influx of viruses arriving via comets. We all know that extraterrestrial life is one of many Liberal Myths. WKirkwood 21:49, 2 January 2008 (EST)

Something factual? The Answers in Genesis article on this issue outlines several reasons why Hoyle's his conclusion was incorrect; the Creation Science Movement agrees as well. I can continue looking for more factual information if you'd like. Feebasfactor 22:01, 2 January 2008 (EST)

Feebasfactor, I don't have time to hunt down every link that someone puts up on a talk page. I've got other issues to address. If you can't explain the "flaws" in Hoyle's work in your own words here, then forget about it.--Aschlafly 22:06, 2 January 2008 (EST)
Ok, sure thing!
  • "Archaeopteryx bones have tiny bumps where the feathers were attached to the bones by ligaments. This was unexpected, so impossible to attribute to a forgery."
  • Limestone often forms unique dendritic (tree-like) patterns throughout; these patterns match up on both slabs.
  • The skeleton's vertebrae and pelvis indicate that a unique lung design - avian air sacs - was already present in Archaeopteryx, despite being supposedly the earliest bird. Modern analysis of the skull also indicate was remarkably present to that of modern day birds. These are not things an evolutionists would like to imply in a forgery!
Keep in mind, these aren't my arguments at all - after all, I'm no paleontologist! I'm merely reiterating/paraphrasing the arguments from those more knowledgeable, like the authors at Answers in Genesis. In case you want to check their factuality, their sources and references are also listed in the link I gave - but of course, I can always look for more sources, or more arguments, if you'd like. Feebasfactor 22:23, 2 January 2008 (EST)
RE: Sorry! You asked for "flaws" specifically, I just gave general reasons why Archeopteryx is not a hoax. I will keep looking! In the meantime, please consider the evidence and arguments I've presented so far - after all, they are probably not tainted by evolutionist bias. Feebasfactor 22:29, 2 January 2008 (EST)

"Is someone saying Hoyle lied or made scientific mistakes that affect his conclusion?": You've listed two possibilities there. There's actually (at least) four possibilities:

  1. Hoyle lied
  2. Hoyle was incompetent (in the layman's sense of that word)
  3. Hoyle made scientific mistakes, despite his best efforts
  4. Further evidence that wasn't available to Hoyle now shows him to be incorrect.

To address each of those in turn:

  1. I don't think anybody is saying that Hoyle lied.
  2. One or two above do seem to suggest that Hoyle was incompetent. I for one don't agree with this.
  3. Perhaps Hoyle did make some mistakes, despite his best efforts. Whether or not he was "preeminent", I agree that Hoyle was a respected scientist and not one to be lightly dismissed. But nobody's perfect, so there's no shame if he inadvertently made mistakes. Everyone does. And his mistake may have been nothing more than overlooking some evidence that contradicted his views.
  4. Further evidence that Hoyle didn't have available is at least a big part of the answer, if not the whole answer. Even if he made no mistakes, this further evidence shows that Hoyle's conclusion was incorrect.

Philip J. Rayment 06:05, 3 January 2008 (EST)

It wasn't just Hoyle, though he's impressive enough alone. It was a team of scientists who examined the specimens firsthand. Have their critics done that? I'm open to valid, meaningful criticisms of their findings, but I don't see any yet.--Aschlafly 09:23, 3 January 2008 (EST)
Yes, it was a team, although as has been pointed out, Hoyle was an astronomer/astrophysicist, so his competency (in the correct sense of the word) in this matter is suspect. The same applies to the rest—as far as I can find out, the rest were mathematicians, a physicist, a medical doctor, and a photographer. By way of contrast, those that reject the fraud claim include (as mentioned above) an anatomist and a paleornithologist. And some of those opposed to the fraud claim have examined the specimens first hand. As for valid arguments against fraud, Feebasfactor supplied some above. Incidentally, what appears to be your source claims that the team comprised "some of the leading scientists in England", which is an interesting claim to make about a photographer, at least one of the team was from Wales, and one was from Israel. Philip J. Rayment 10:32, 3 January 2008 (EST)

Second "criticism"

The whole second criticism is actually not a criticism of the Archaeopteryx, or the fossil specimens. It is really a refutation of the commonly accepted evolutionist interpretations. I have no quick way to correct this in mind, as it would probably require a rewrite of the whole section. In fact both "criticisms" could be better described as controversies. Anyone got any suggestions?LowKey 20:12, 14 January 2009 (EST)

does conservapedia want to be taken seriously

So I made my edits here without realising there had already been a discussion about this. But, if conservapeida wants to be taken seriously it needs to align just a little but with reality. Hoyle's argument for the London fossils being a fraud are very, very weak - so much so almost no creationists sites taken them seriously. In fact, Hoyle is at odds with the usual creationist interpretation of Archaeopteryx his he concluded it was an reptile fossil with added feathers, whereas creationists argue it's a modern bird! Hoyle never claimed the bones of the fossil had been doctored (only that the feathers had been added) so how did the forgers sneak all those bird-like properties into their 'reptile' fossil? The current article is so bad, and so poorly cited, I'm reverting it back to my edits. If you want to claim Hoyle's snub for the Nobel was due to this fine - by find a valid reference that establishes that.

New information has emerged, casting doubt upon the fossil.

This is beyond my limited expertise, but I'm sure some of the folks here would be interested in this article.--CamilleT 17:21, 27 July 2011 (EDT)

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