Review by Greg Neyman
First published 30 March 2009
Old Earth Ministries Website
Using humor to prove young earth creationism is nothing new, and this seems to be the tool of preference for Creation Science Evangelism, in the article titled “Chickenosaurus – A Fool’s Errand.”1 After you get past the author’s introduction, there are several issues that are misunderstood, and we need to set the record straight. Once you have all the facts (which young earth proponents rarely give you), their young earth arguments make no sense.
First, a little background information. A show recently aired on the Discovery and Science Channels, featuring paleontologist Dr. Jack Horner. The show was titled “Dinosaurs: Return to Life?” The whole point of the show was to highlight new work being done on gene modification within chicken embryos. The idea is that you can reverse-engineer a modern bird egg, and theoretically arrive at a dinosaur. As stated on the program, all of the genetic information for a raptor-like dinosaur is still present in modern day birds. During the embryonic development of birds, these features do not develop, as they are “turned off.” During the show, it was shown that you can genetically alter the development of a chicken embryo to produce a longer tail, which used to be present in the earliest birds millions of years ago. Another genetic alteration done during the show demonstrated that you can grow a chicken with sharp raptor-like teeth. The next step will involve hatching a chicken with these alterations, which has not been done yet.
The first erroneous claim in poking fun at this theory is that evolutionists claim that birds evolved from dinosaurs “such as the T. Rex.” Naturally, the author uses humor to compare the several ton T-Rex to a four pound chicken. However, not a single scientist believes that birds evolved T-Rex. It is the raptor species of dinosaurs that scientists believe evolved into birds. The comparison with a T-Rex is very misleading, and is a feeble attempt at humoring the young earth reader.
Next, the young earth author, Joshua Joscelyn, then brings up several dissimilarities between reptiles and birds, starting with the claim that birds have “bird hips,” and reptiles (and by implication, dinosaurs) had “lizard hips.” However, the term “bird hips” is not entirely accurate, as scientists consider birds to have modified “lizard hips.”2 In the late 1800s, scientists began classifying dinosaurs based on them having either lizard hips or bird hips. This classification was done on the basis of looks only, and not on anatomy. As more dinosaur fossils were discovered, and more advanced studies of them were done, the similarities with dinosaurs and birds was noted, and the use of the bird-hip/lizard-hip comparison lost importance.
The next claim is that bird lungs are different from human and reptile lungs. Of course, the implication is that dinosaurs (reptiles) did not have the same lungs as birds. However, studies show that raptor species of dinosaurs, from which birds supposedly evolved, had lungs similar to birds.3,4,5 The young earth author would probably benefit from looking at some modern research on dinosaurs. Although they are still scientifically classified in Class Reptilia, many dinosaurs are considered to be warm-blooded, and blindly comparing a chicken to a reptilian dinosaur is misleading, as dinosaurs do not have much in common with true reptiles.
The final claim is that “birds have feathers while reptiles have scales. Given the discovery of so many feathered dinosaurs, this is a moot point. While true reptiles have scales, dinosaurs are not true reptiles.
In summary, the young earth author asks the question, "So why then do evolutionists desperately make the claim that birds descended from reptiles?" The true answer, of course, is that scientists don't claim that birds descended from reptiles. Birds descended from warm-blooded raptor dinosaurs. However, the author's answer is "Perhaps it is because these searching souls are rejecting the light of God's Word, and in so doing, they have rejected reality, science, logic, and even self dignity." However, many scientists who believe in dinosaur to bird evolution are professing Christians. The most famous of these is Dr. Bob Bakker, who frequently appears on television shows about dinosaurs. Dr. Mary Schweitzer, who discovered the soft tissue in the bone of a T-rex, is also an evangelical Christian. Contrary to the young earth author's claim, many scientists have not rejected God's Word at all. They fully integrate modern scientific discoveries with the facts of the Bible, and walk the walk of a professing Christian (Bakker is also a preacher).
The pursuit of modern scientific study is nothing to make fun at, but it is frequently done by the CSE website. However, millions of Christians have shown that you can believe in an old earth and the Bible at the same time. All you need to do is lay aside the humor and biased beliefs, and honestly study the Bible and science with an open mind.
1 "Chickenosaurus" - A Fool's Errand, by Joshua Joscelyn. Posted on the Creation Science Evangelism website at http://www.drdino.com/read-article.php?id=141
3 Dinosaur Lungs, by PZ Myers, Biologist at University of Minnesota, Morris. http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/08/dinosaur_lungs.php
Want to learn more about creation science? Are the claims of young earth creation science ministries truthful? Visit the young earth creation science ministry rebuttal home page for more truth in creation science.
To learn more
about old earth creationism, see
Old Earth Belief,
or check out the article
Can You Be A
Christian and Believe in an Old Earth?
Feel free to check out more of this website. Our goal is to provide rebuttals to the bad science behind young earth creationism, and honor God by properly presenting His creation.