Difference between revisions of "Archaeopteryx"

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Only 7 specimens suggesting the existence of Archaeopteryx have been presented.<ref>http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/archaeopteryx/info.html#specimens</ref>  The source of specimens seems unlikely:  six came from Germany and one from England, where the highest prices could be obtained on auction from evolutionists, and none from anywhere else in the world. Two of those in Germany came from the same family, 16 years apart, who were amateur collectors. A third specimen is missing and has not been seen in years. Still more specimens lack much detail and were initially described as other species. Frauds in Germany and England in connection with evolution claims (e.g., [[Piltdown Man]]) were common.
 
Only 7 specimens suggesting the existence of Archaeopteryx have been presented.<ref>http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/archaeopteryx/info.html#specimens</ref>  The source of specimens seems unlikely:  six came from Germany and one from England, where the highest prices could be obtained on auction from evolutionists, and none from anywhere else in the world. Two of those in Germany came from the same family, 16 years apart, who were amateur collectors. A third specimen is missing and has not been seen in years. Still more specimens lack much detail and were initially described as other species. Frauds in Germany and England in connection with evolution claims (e.g., [[Piltdown Man]]) were common.
  
In 1983, a half-dozen leading [[British]] scientists including [[Fred Hoyle|Sir Fred Hoyle]] carefully studied the two best Archaeopteryx specimen, front and back, and declared them to be fakes.<ref>Sarfati, 2000</ref>  They discovered that the front and back slabs of each specimen do not match.<ref>British Journal                                        of Photography (March-June 1985).</ref><ref>W.J. Broad, "Authenticity of Bird Fossil is Challenged," N.Y. Times C1, C14 (May 7, 1985).</ref><ref>T. Nield, "Feathers Fly Over Fossil 'Fraud'," New Scientist 1467:49-50.</ref><ref>G. Vines, "Strange Case of Archaeopteryx 'Fraud'," New Scientist 1447:3.</ref>  They found that an alteration had been made to the left wing as depicted in an 1863 drawing.<ref>See references ''supra''.</ref>  They concluded that the feather markings had been imprinted by hand.<ref>See references ''supra''.</ref>  They also found that etching process had used cement blobs.<ref>See references ''supra''.</ref>  When the scientists requested the ability to use an electronic microscope and carbon-14 dating, the museum refused and withdrew the specimens from the scientists.<ref>See references ''supra''.</ref>  The same [[British]] Museum had been responsible for the [[Piltdown Man]] fraud.
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In 1983, a half-dozen leading [[British]] scientists including [[Fred Hoyle|Sir Fred Hoyle]] carefully studied the two best Archaeopteryx specimens, front and back, and declared them to be fakes.<ref>Sarfati, 2000</ref>  They discovered that the front and back slabs of each specimen do not match.<ref>British Journal                                        of Photography (March-June 1985).</ref><ref>W.J. Broad, "Authenticity of Bird Fossil is Challenged," N.Y. Times C1, C14 (May 7, 1985).</ref><ref>T. Nield, "Feathers Fly Over Fossil 'Fraud'," New Scientist 1467:49-50.</ref><ref>G. Vines, "Strange Case of Archaeopteryx 'Fraud'," New Scientist 1447:3.</ref>  They found that an alteration had been made to the left wing as depicted in an 1863 drawing.<ref>See references ''supra''.</ref>  They concluded that the feather markings had been imprinted by hand.<ref>See references ''supra''.</ref>  They also found that etching process had used cement blobs.<ref>See references ''supra''.</ref>  When the scientists requested the ability to use an electronic microscope and carbon-14 dating, the museum refused and withdrew the specimens from the scientists.<ref>See references ''supra''.</ref>  The same [[British]] Museum had been responsible for the [[Piltdown Man]] fraud.
  
The second criticism of the Archaeopteryx, that it is not a transitional form even if it did exist, has been strengthened by the work of anatomist Dr. David Menton<ref>http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/bios/d_menton.asp</ref> suggesting that Archaeopteryx is a true bird with flight feathers, not a transitional form at all.  In 1994, an article explained that the Archaeopteryx was essentially that of a flying bird, with a large cerebellum and visual cortex. The fact that it had teeth is irrelevant to its alleged transitional status -- a number of extinct birds had teeth, while many reptiles do not. Furthermore, like other birds, both its maxilla (upper jaw) and mandible (lower jaw) moved. In most vertebrates, including reptiles, only the mandible moves.<ref name="cw94" />
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The second criticism of the Archaeopteryx, that it is not a transitional form even if it did exist, has been strengthened by the work of anatomist Dr. David Menton<ref>http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/bios/d_menton.asp</ref> suggesting that Archaeopteryx is a true bird with flight feathers, not a transitional form at all.  In 1994, an article explained that the Archaeopteryx was essentially that of a flying bird, with a large cerebellum and visual cortex. The factss that it had teeth is irrelevant to its alleged transitional status -- a number of extinct birds had teeth, while many reptiles do not. Furthermore, like other birds, both its maxilla (upper jaw) and mandible (lower jaw) moved. In most vertebrates, including reptiles, only the mandible moves.<ref name="cw94" />
  
 
== Evidence for evolution? ==
 
== Evidence for evolution? ==
 
''Archaeopteryx'' is often presented as evidence of evolution because the bones have some characteristics reminiscent of [[reptile | reptiles]] including teeth and incomplete evolution of the wing structure{{fact}}, making it appear to be a [[transitional form]] between reptiles and birds.
 
 
The criticism of the ''Archaeopteryx'' as a transitional form has been strengthened by the work of creationary anatomist Dr. David Menton suggesting that ''Archaeopteryx'' was a true bird with flight [[feather]]s, not a transitional form at all.
 
  
 
In 1993, an article was published in ''Science'' magazine arguing that the ''Archaeopteryx'' had fully-formed flying feathers (including asymmetric vanes and ventral, reinforcing furrows as in modern flying birds), the classical elliptical wings of modem woodland birds, and a large wishbone for attachment of muscles responsible for the downstroke of the wings<ref>Feduccia, 1993</ref>
 
In 1993, an article was published in ''Science'' magazine arguing that the ''Archaeopteryx'' had fully-formed flying feathers (including asymmetric vanes and ventral, reinforcing furrows as in modern flying birds), the classical elliptical wings of modem woodland birds, and a large wishbone for attachment of muscles responsible for the downstroke of the wings<ref>Feduccia, 1993</ref>
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The brain of ''Archaeopteryx'' was essentially that of a flying bird, with a large cerebellum and visual cortex.<ref name="cw94">Wieland, 1994</ref>
 
The brain of ''Archaeopteryx'' was essentially that of a flying bird, with a large cerebellum and visual cortex.<ref name="cw94">Wieland, 1994</ref>
Creationists argue that the fact that it had teeth is irrelevant to its alleged transitional status, as a number of extinct birds had teeth, while many reptiles do not.<ref name="cw94" />
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Critics point out that its teeth are irrelevant to its alleged transitional status, as a number of extinct birds had teeth, while many reptiles do not.<ref name="cw94" />
 
Furthermore, like other birds, both its maxilla (upper jaw) and mandible (lower jaw) moved.
 
Furthermore, like other birds, both its maxilla (upper jaw) and mandible (lower jaw) moved.
 
In most vertebrates, including many reptiles, only the mandible moves.<ref name="cw94" />
 
In most vertebrates, including many reptiles, only the mandible moves.<ref name="cw94" />

Revision as of 23:19, January 1, 2008

File:Archaeopteryx.png
Bird, or dinosaur?

Archaeopteryx is a theoretical bird based on a few fossil fragments. This theoretical bird is sometimes presented as evidence of evolution because the bones have some characteristics reminiscent of reptiles, making it appear to be a so-called "transitional" form between reptiles and birds.

There are two criticisms of the Archaeopteryx. One criticism is that the fossil fragments are fraudulent. Another criticism is that even if Archaeopteryx existed, it was a true bird and not a transitional form suggesting evolution.

Only 7 specimens suggesting the existence of Archaeopteryx have been presented.[1] The source of specimens seems unlikely: six came from Germany and one from England, where the highest prices could be obtained on auction from evolutionists, and none from anywhere else in the world. Two of those in Germany came from the same family, 16 years apart, who were amateur collectors. A third specimen is missing and has not been seen in years. Still more specimens lack much detail and were initially described as other species. Frauds in Germany and England in connection with evolution claims (e.g., Piltdown Man) were common.

In 1983, a half-dozen leading British scientists including Sir Fred Hoyle carefully studied the two best Archaeopteryx specimens, front and back, and declared them to be fakes.[2] They discovered that the front and back slabs of each specimen do not match.[3][4][5][6] They found that an alteration had been made to the left wing as depicted in an 1863 drawing.[7] They concluded that the feather markings had been imprinted by hand.[8] They also found that etching process had used cement blobs.[9] When the scientists requested the ability to use an electronic microscope and carbon-14 dating, the museum refused and withdrew the specimens from the scientists.[10] The same British Museum had been responsible for the Piltdown Man fraud.

The second criticism of the Archaeopteryx, that it is not a transitional form even if it did exist, has been strengthened by the work of anatomist Dr. David Menton[11] suggesting that Archaeopteryx is a true bird with flight feathers, not a transitional form at all. In 1994, an article explained that the Archaeopteryx was essentially that of a flying bird, with a large cerebellum and visual cortex. The factss that it had teeth is irrelevant to its alleged transitional status -- a number of extinct birds had teeth, while many reptiles do not. Furthermore, like other birds, both its maxilla (upper jaw) and mandible (lower jaw) moved. In most vertebrates, including reptiles, only the mandible moves.[12]

Evidence for evolution?

In 1993, an article was published in Science magazine arguing that the Archaeopteryx had fully-formed flying feathers (including asymmetric vanes and ventral, reinforcing furrows as in modern flying birds), the classical elliptical wings of modem woodland birds, and a large wishbone for attachment of muscles responsible for the downstroke of the wings[13]

While most evolutionary scientists agree that the flight feathers of Archaeopteryx were essentially modern, several papers since have argued against Feduccia's claims about the anatomy of Archaeopteryx[14] Specimens such as the Thermoplis Specimen [15] are thought to clearly show that the arms, wishbone, tail, feet, hips, and palate of Archaeopteryx were more like meat-eating theropod dinosaurs than modern birds.

The brain of Archaeopteryx was essentially that of a flying bird, with a large cerebellum and visual cortex.[12] Critics point out that its teeth are irrelevant to its alleged transitional status, as a number of extinct birds had teeth, while many reptiles do not.[12] Furthermore, like other birds, both its maxilla (upper jaw) and mandible (lower jaw) moved. In most vertebrates, including many reptiles, only the mandible moves.[12]

Bibliography

References

  1. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/archaeopteryx/info.html#specimens
  2. Sarfati, 2000
  3. British Journal of Photography (March-June 1985).
  4. W.J. Broad, "Authenticity of Bird Fossil is Challenged," N.Y. Times C1, C14 (May 7, 1985).
  5. T. Nield, "Feathers Fly Over Fossil 'Fraud'," New Scientist 1467:49-50.
  6. G. Vines, "Strange Case of Archaeopteryx 'Fraud'," New Scientist 1447:3.
  7. See references supra.
  8. See references supra.
  9. See references supra.
  10. See references supra.
  11. http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/bios/d_menton.asp
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Wieland, 1994
  13. Feduccia, 1993
  14. "The tenth skeletal specimen of Archaeopteryx," Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 149:97-116, 2007.
  15. Wyoming Dinosaur Center.