Caution advised on reliability of “dinosaur-bird” claim

The following is from a March 19, 1998 news release from Creation Ministries International

The international media reported on March 18, 1998 that scientists unearthed fossil evidence that birds evolved from dinosaurs. In the March 20th edition of Science, paleontologists will report on their findings of a creature called Rahona ostromi, which they say is an animal that had feathered wings, yet had the bony tail and slashing claws of a dinosaur.

Creation Ministries International, an organization engaged in the Creation/evolution controversy, advises strong caution about this claim for these reasons:

  1. The scientific paper is just being released and there has not yet been sufficient time for others outside the team of paleontologists to examine the fossil.

  2. The national media have had a tendency to exaggerate the importance of previous fossil finds. For example, it has now been conclusively shown by leading scientists that a previous “proof” of a dinosaur/bird link—the so called “feathered dinosaur” in China—was of a reptile that did not have feathers at all! Furthermore, Archaeopteryx, once paraded as a half-reptile/half-bird, has now been rejected as “transitional” by many evolutionists—modern birds have been found in the fossil record below Archaeopteryx, so it could not have possibly been the ancestor of today's birds.

  3. Similarly, there is also a time problem with Rahona. This so-called “in-between” fossil is dated at supposedly 70 million years, yet fully formed birds have been found in the fossil record and have been dated at 150 million years or more. (Answers in Genesis rejects the evolutionary dating methods and time scales, but does not necessarily doubt the sequence in which the fossils may have been found in the layers.)

  4. Some evolutionary scientists are already questioning the validity of the Rahona claim. Larry Martin, a paleontologist at the University of Kansas who was quoted by the Gannet News Service, wants proof that the wings did not come from a different fossil creature nearby. He suspects that the fossil is just a dinosaur with bird's wings attached: “They're going to have to demonstrate they didn't put a bird's wings on a dinosaur's body.”

Scientifically, no one has ever uncovered an “in-between form” of a reptile turning into a bird. Biblically, Genesis is clear that birds were created on Day 5 of the Creation Week, before the land animals (like dinosaurs) appeared, which were created on Day 6.

Further reading

Supplied by Creation Ministries International

Copyright © 1998, Creation Ministries International, All Rights Reserved—except as noted on attached “Usage and Copyright” page that grants ChristianAnswers.Net users generous rights for putting this page to work in their homes, personal witnessing, churches and schools.