Feathered Raptors: Not the Birds
Some scientists believe the supposed “proto-feathers” are really just collagen fibers

Feathered Raptors: Not the Birds

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National Geographic News: “‘Jurassic Park’ Raptors Had Feathers, Fossil Suggests

Bumps on the forearm bone of a velociraptor fossil are creating considerable excitement for advocates of the dinosaurs-to-birds hypothesis. Columbia University graduate student Alan Turner, who also serves as a paleontologist at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, was part of a team that examined a velociraptor fossil that was found in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert in 1998. The team discovered that the fossil’s forearm had six regularly spaced bumps, which the team suggests held the quills of secondary feathers, akin to the “quill knobs” of some modern birds. Turner rules out the possibility that the knobs can be explained by changes to the fossil “during its millions of years underground.”

Based on the distance between the knobs and the length of the forearm, the team estimates the velociraptor could accommodate “a total of 14 quill knobs and feathers on the [its] arms.”

Based on the distance between the knobs and the length of the forearm, the team estimates the velociraptor could accommodate “a total of 14 quill knobs and feathers on the [its] arms.”

Photographs provided for National Geographic News by the American Museum of Natural History show the section of bone said to include the quill knobs. Numerous indentations are visible on the low-resolution image, including the six identified with arrows as the knobs. The report does not explain, however, why the knobs do not extend farther along the bone, nor are we aware of whether other bones of this fossil were available for similar examination. Thus, the issue of whether the indentations are undoubtedly quill knobs is certainly not a closed case.

Furthermore, other fossil finds considered to be dinosaur precursors to birds have turned out to be flightless birds similar to ostriches, such as Protarchaeopteryx robusta and Caudipteryx zoui. Although this fossil has been classified as a velociraptor, the National Geographic News article does not report on how complete the find was (that is, how many bones remain and what condition they are in). There is certainly a precedent for evolutionists to extrapolate from single bones up to whole skeletons and entire species!

Finally, what if these are undoubtedly quill knobs on an unquestionable velociraptor fossil arm bone? In other words, what if—though no feathers were found with the fossil—this did prove that velociraptor was a feathered dinosaur? Although the evidence for “feathered dinosaurs” has been wanting in the past, and though we’re nowhere near convinced of this study’s findings, nothing in the Bible precludes the erstwhile existence of feathered dinosaurs. What the Bible does indicate is that if feathered dinosaurs were to have existed, they would have been created with feathers; they did not evolve from reptilian scales, which are quite different.

But evolutionists’ need to explain where birds came from. And the idea that dinosaurs evolved into birds faces numerous problems, as presented by both creationists and evolutionist bird experts, such as University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill researcher Alan Feduccia.

It would be reading far too much into this story to say that evidence for feathered dinosaurs has been discovered; all we have here are six questionable indentations in a fossil bone allegedly from a velociraptor (not that we’re casting doubt on the researchers’ integrity; we simply recognize the role presuppositions and evolutionary dogma play in classifying and extrapolating on fossils, as well as the desire for many media outlets to trumpet evolutionary “proofs” long before they’re given a chance to be thoroughly studied). We eagerly await further research into the find.


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