scansoriopteryx by Cornhead, CC-SA-3.0
Scansoriopteryx restoration by Cornhead, Creative Commons-SA 3.0, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

Stephen Czerkas from the Dinosaur Museum in Blanding, Utah, purchased a fossil from China in 1999 from a dealer for $80,000 and National Geographic touted the fossil as proof that dinosaurs transitioned into birds. They announced this before verifying that the fossil was genuinely the half bird, half dinosaur they assumed it to be.

Then they were caught with egg on their faces when researchers exposed the fossil, christened Archaeoraptor, as a fraud that was a bird fossil fused artificially together with a dinosaur fossil. Nevertheless, not to be held back from his dinosaur-to-bird theories, Czerkas and his wife published a book in 2002 naming another fossil, Scansoriopteryx, as an example that dinosaurs became birds. Scansoriopteryx was classified as a theropod dinosaur with feathers discovered in Inner Mongolia and Czerkas was working with the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences to study the fossil. Alan Feduccia from the University of North Carolina was also brought in to help.

After subjecting the fossil to “advanced 3D microscopy, high resolution photography and low angle lighting to reveal structures not clearly visible before,” Czerkas and Feduccia discovered that the forelimbs, hind limbs, pelvis, and other parts of Scansoriopteryx undoubtedly showed that what Czerkas thought was half bird, half dinosaur was really 100% bird. Czerkas has found himself backtracking for the second time in his career. The two scientists now “believe that dinosaurs are not the primitive ancestors of birds.”

Brian Thomas of the Institute for Creation Research notes the following about the situation:

‘This extinct bird’s distinct anatomy fits Scripture’s explanation that birds were birds and dinosaurs were dinosaurs from the moments of their creation on days five and six of the creation week. And the very fact that the bird specimen was fossilized, having been buried rapidly in mud, fits Scripture’s explanation that all air-breathing, land-living creatures perished unless they were among the cadre on board the ark.

‘The fact that serious scientists had been willing to label Scansoriopteryx a dinosaur despite its distinct bird body and feathers surely says more about scientists and their “science” than it does about the fossil.’

But you won’t hear this somewhat embarrassing situation in major news outlets since it makes macroevolution look like exactly what it is–fairy tales dressed up to appear scientific.

Sources:

Birdlike fossil challenges notion that birds evolved from ground-dwelling dinosaurs, ScienceDaily.com, July 9, 2014.

Brian Thomas, Second Look Causes Scientist to Reverse Dino-Bird Claim, Institute for Creation Research, http://www.icr.org, July 18, 2014.

Harry A. Gaylord

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