Magnifying Glass and letters, WikiPedia

Fuzzy Words

[I got the idea for this article from This Episode of the Creation Today Show]

Magnifying Glass and letters, WikiPedia

Newspapers, magazines and scientific articles are constantly writing about the latest ‘proof’ that Evolution is true. The headlines talk as if the newest discovery discussed in the article has finally put the truth of Evolution beyond all doubt. But when you read the article, will the facts support such strong claims?

First of all, no one besides God will ever be able to prove what happened before people came on the scene and began writing things down. Only those of us who believe the Bible will admit that the first people did write down what they saw and lived through! So it isn’t even possible to claim as absolute truth what the millions of years crowd wants to say.

Have a look at the words the article itself actually uses

It’s amazing how many imagination words you run into in an honest evolutionary article. Think of the kinds of words you might use if you don’t want your mom or dad to find out what really happened. You could say:

  • Perhaps
  • Might have
  • Maybe
  • Imagine if
  • Possibly
  • Could have
  • Suggest
  • Hypothetically

Get the idea? If you add these kinds of word you can say anything an make it sound attractive. The person listening isn’t going to ask questions like, “Is that even possible?” when you’re just saying, “maybe it happened like this.”

Unfortunately, books and articles written for kids don’t usually write so honestly

I once borrowed a book from the library about “feathered dinosaurs” to write about. I have studied the proper way to do non-fiction research, and the way the book handled the facts was appalling. They state flat out that these animals “lived between 230 million and 65 million years ago; started growing feathers;…” that one “was a fierce hunter; able to fight,” and so on

as if the author had been there and seen these things happen.

If someone wrote that way with so little evidence about a historical person, they would never get published.

But they don’t want kids to get the impression that we don’t really know if dinosaurs lived millions of years ago. They don’t want to admit that we can’t possibly know for sure what an extinct animal ate and how they lived just from their petrified bones. So they write as if what they are saying is a fact that no one could possibly argue with so you won’t either.

I found an article by National Geographic

talking about “The long curious extravagant evolution of feathers“. The author started out by admitting that “a bird wing is vastly more sophisticated than anything composed of sheet metal and rivets”, but then quickly turns to how strongly he believes “a simple switch in the wiring” transformed a reptile’s scales into the intricate interlocking network of feathers.

WikiCommons

Feather barbs under the electron microscope

It was rather interesting reading about the constantly changing history of evolutionary thinking about feather evolution. What are the odds the current, confidently stated, ideas about their evolution will eventually meet the same fate? But since they’ve already determined to never admit nature points to a Creator, there will always be some sort of fanciful tale of how they imagine things evolved without God.

Here’s a list of the “Fuzzy Words” I found in the article talking about what is currently believed:

WikiCommons

Thorny Devil lizard scales under the electron microscope

  • the origin of feathers may have had nothing to do with the origin of flight
  • Richard Prum of Yale University and Alan Brush of the University of Connecticut developed the idea that the transition from scales to feathers might have depended on a simple switch in the wiring
  • only minor modifications would have been required
  • This raised the astonishing possibility
  • The origin of feathers could be pushed back further still if the “fuzz” found
  • There’s an even more astonishing possibility
  • the discovery of the same gene in alligators that is involved in building feathers in birds suggests that perhaps their ancestors did
  • So perhaps the question to ask, say some scientists, is not how birds got their feathers, but how alligators lost theirs.
  • If feathers did not evolve first for flight, what other advantage could they have provided the creatures that had them? Some paleontologists have argued that feathers could have started out as insulation. Theropods have been found with their forelimbs spread over nests, and they may have been using feathers to shelter their young.
  • Another hypothesis has gained strength in recent years:
  • The possibility that theropods evolved feathers for some kind of display
  • Perhaps the males of the species flashed their handsome tails when courting females. Or perhaps both sexes used their stripes the way zebras use theirs
  • Whatever the original purpose of feathers, they were probably around for millions of years before a single lineage of dinosaurs began to use them for flight.
  • they may have been too weak for flight
  • It’s possible that sexual selection drove the evolution of this extravagant plumage
  • the extravagant feathers of Anchiornis may have been a bit of a drag
  •  have found a way that Anchiornis could have overcome this problem
  • If Sullivan and his colleagues are right, this crucial flight feature evolved long before birds took wing
  • It now looks like bird flight was made possible by a whole string of such exaptations
  • Perhaps, says Dial, the path the chick takes in development retraces the one its lineage followed in evolution

Whew, that’s a bunch of guesswork and imagination! When you take all these possibilities out of the picture, what are you actually left with?

Not much

Creationists also are careful with their words when doing scientific research. If we don’t have an eye witness statement about an issue we too will point to the facts and present possibilities built on our thinking about them. But, we have a firm foundation to start from, not the shifting sand of popular, godless human reasoning!

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.  II Corinthians 11:3

 

Dracorex: A Dragon the Scientists will admit to!

Dracorex at the Indianapolis Children's Museum

Dracorex at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum

[First published Aug. 2012] The other week I was watching a video of Eric Hovind and Paul Taylor from Creation Today visiting the Indianapolis Children’s Museum. Right near the end I saw something that blew my mind. At first I thought it was some kind of joke or mythology-as-science prank from the Museum.

Dracorex - 01

Dracorex

They had a dragon’s skeleton on display in the dinosaur department!  How could they allow such a thing in a Museum that claims these creatures died out millions of years ago? Well, they haven’t dropped the millions of years idea, but they did call this thing Dracorex Hogwartsia the “Dragon King from Hogwarts”.

First I’ll give you the statistics I found on this very real, dead animal.  Back in 2003 three friends were out digging in the South Dakota section of the famous Hell Creek formation when one of them spotted a large skull sticking out a bit.  After they dug it up, still almost covered in rock, they decided to donate it. One guy’s daughter had enjoyed the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, so they sent it there.

English: Dragon head on top of a grille, collé...

Dragon head, France

The Museum was a great place to give it to because they do fossil cleaning and other restoration work right on site where kids can watch the scientists at work.  At first the Museum’s staff wasn’t too excited about their new assignment.  They even figured the amateur fossil hounds might be wasting their time with cow bones!  But it wasn’t long before they realized they had a special find on their hands.

The first example of any animal we hadn’t yet written up in modern science gets a specific name.  It is known as the “Holotype.”  This means even if we find better, more complete, or more typical examples, the first one will always be special.  This skull of Dracorex is the holotype for its kind.

The ICM example was found with only most of the skull (and one of its lower teeth) along with 4 vertebrae from near but not right next to the skull. You wouldn’t realize that’s all we have from the display at the Museum, because they have recreated a whole skeleton.

Scientists often do this because it’s very rare to find anything like a complete set of bones together.  So they use their imaginations and common sense based on other fossils and known animal types. I don’t really mind, it just would have been really cool if they could have found wings for this thing!  No, I don’t really believe in four legged dinosaurs with shoulder wings, too, but the idea is fun and makes as much sense as some of the ideas scientists come up with (like feathered dinosaurs).

Sketch of a pachycephalosaur of uncertain syst...

Sketch of a pachycephalosaur

Some scientists are convinced that this particular animal was just a young pachycephalosaur that hadn’t grown its dome yet.   But the “oldest” (which actually means farthest down) we’ve found already had domes.  So, maybe Evolution had decided to drop the dome because it wasn’t useful any more?

How ’bout, all these guys were alive together and got buried in a major watery catastrophe?  I bet that’s much less confusing than the pretzels they have to force their brains into!

Turns out Draco with its vertebrae gives us the best evidence yet that any of these dinosaurs liked to violently bang into each other.  At the same time they can tell the bones were just about fused like a grownup’s, so there goes the young pachycephalosaur idea!

Psalm 91:13  Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

Isaiah 51:9  Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon?

For more info check out Creation International Ministries: Dracorex—the dinosaur that looks like a dragon

I had a lot of fun finding artistic representations of similar creatures to add to this post.  These pictures are from around the world and the art dates back sometimes hundreds of years.

Koocheekoo

Detail of dragon ring, Eze, France

Schwarz Weiss

Fresco of St. George with the dragon inside the Aarhus Cathedral

Three or four toe dragon at a former private garden in Shanghai, China

Three or four toe dragon at a former private garden in Shanghai, China

Mathiasrex

Duchy of Czersk coat of arms

Lara Eakins

Not So Old Dragon!

Dragons and Humans

My kids’ reenactment of life after the Flood

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read a book or listened to a program about dinosaurs flatly informing us that no human being has ever seen one alive.

Does the Bible say anything about this?

Water dwellers and flying creatures were made one day before Adam. All land creatures were made on the same day as Adam. So, since by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; (Romans 5:12a) the dinosaurs couldn’t have died before Adam and Eve were created.

Turns out we have lots of evidence that people were quite familiar with dinosaurs

We just never called them that until the mid-1800s. We called them dragons. (That’s my eldest son’s “Dragony” in the foreground).

Here are a few things people have made that show dinosaurs:

Check out this mosaic found in Italy showing life along the Nile about 100 years before Jesus was born. It is called the Palestrina Mosaic after the town it was found in.

100BC mosaic of nile warriors fighting a dragon

 

The particular dragon shown in this scene was called a crocodile-leopard. Is that what you would call it? (This scene also shows what REALLY happened to the dinosaurs.)

Flag of Bhutan Eesti: Bhutani lipp Français : ...

Flag of Bhutan

Next we have an example from the Far East, or rather the Top of the World.  Bhutan is just east of Nepal up in the Himalayas. There are so many drawings, statues and carvings of dragons in the East that you might just get the idea people knew about these animals.

Cultures around the world have all had stories and pictures of dragons. Europeans grow up with stories of brave warriors fighting dragons. Western Africans have these stories too. The Tagalog of the Philipines, the Maori of New Zealand, and the Algonquins of the USA all have stories of dragons.

Remember Daniel and the king’s dream? Here’s Nebuchadnezzar’s take on dragons.

Ishtar Gate dragon Photo credit: Zunkir

Ishtar Gate Dragon

Just to compare, here’s another animal from the same gate so you can decide if those artists were any good at showing an animal accurately:

Fragments of the processional street of the Is...

Ishtar Gate Creature

And one more version from the Vikings. What do you think, did they copy something somebody had seen, or did they have really vivid dreams?

Viking Ship Head Post

And for comparison:

Brachiosaurus animatronic model

Brachiosaurus animatronic model

 In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea. Isaiah 27:1

I’ve written lots more about Dragons

Answers in Genesis has written quite a bit about dragon legends around the world. You can learn a lot wandering their section on the subject.

I had a look around JafiraDragon.com and liked its summaries of dragon stories around the world, and listing of general characteristics by region. Even their Theories page makes me wish the author knew God agrees that people were alive at the same time as dragons/dinosaurs/pterodactyls, etc.

Perhaps the most interesting of the websites that realizes this is: S8int.com he has a whole section on Mega Fauna that’s mostly about dragons.

To Buy:

My favorite book about dragons an people:

#1 Untold Secrets of Planet Earth: Dire Dragons

And

Answers in Genesis carries a number of dragon materials, from books to DVDs. Clicking through from my page and purchasing something means I get an automatic percentage of whatever you choose. Thanks!

 

Dire Dragons book cover

Book Review: Dire Dragons

Dire Dragons book cover

Click to buy and support this website! Affiliate link to Creation Ministries International’s product page

This review is being pulled from the archives because I’m excited to share the book has a new sibling. Somehow I’m going to get my hands on Untold Secrets of Planet Earth: Fossils, ’cause if it’s anything like as good as the first book, I want it!

I told you yesterday I picked this book up straight from Creation Today (who also gave me a great fellow-helper discount, so when you buy your copy, please get it from them so they can recoup their losses.) When we were all settled into our rooms that evening I finally had a chance to look it over. It took quite a while before I was finished!

The author, Vance Nelson, is a bona-fide fact-checker guy. I don’t know if you are aware of the basic personality gifts the Holy Spirit has handed out to everyone, but I can usually spot a “teacher type” within a few seconds. This guy oozes carefulness and thoroughness, yet I didn’t find his writing dull or dry (a pitfall of a lot of us teachers).

Here’s the premise of the book:

  • Examine a historical artwork that could be showing a dinosaur.
  • Double check to be sure it’s not a forgery
  • Locate a known dinosaur that looks similar
  • Have an artist do a rough position sketch from the artifact
  • Have another artist who’s never heard of the artifact do a CG model of the dinosaur in that position for comparison

The book is gorgeous. It’s not published by Master Books, but a brand new group called Untold Secrets of Planet Earth. They’ve done just as good a job of presentation as Master does, even including a book mark ribbon. If you go to Vance Nelson’s WEBSITE, you can have a look at a number of spreads from inside to see for yourself.

After explaining his technique for ensuring unbiased dino portrayals, Nelson goes back to the roots of paleontology. He shows documents of the first scientific studies which freely use the word “dragon” to describe finds in the mid-1800s.

Then he does something I found absolutely brilliant. He completely dismantles the modern notion that ancient people knew about dragons because they were paleontologists, too. There are some people who have been forced to recognize the ancients knew about dinosaurs, but they want to cling to the “dinos died out millions of years ago” line, too. Adrienne Rogers has written a couple of  books to keep such people’s brains from tearing apart: The First Fossil Hunters and Fossil Legends of the First Americans.

Turns out you have to be pretty devoted to the consensus storyline to fall for those ideas. They just don’t fit the facts. My favorite point Vance Nelson makes on this debate is the examples of early dinosaur reconstructions from the 1850s. Here’s what modern models show with our study of muscle connections and stuff:

Megalosaurus ('Great Lizard', from Greek, μεγα...

Megalosaurus (‘Great Lizard’, from Greek, μεγαλο-/megalo– meaning ‘big’, ‘tall’ or ‘great’ and σαυρος/sauros meaning ‘lizard’) is a genus of large meat-eating theropod dinosaurs of the Jurassic Period of what is now southern England. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s how they showed them in the 1850s:

Reconstruction of Megalosaurus and Pterodactyl...

Reconstruction of Megalosaurus and Pterodactylus by Samuel Griswold Goodrich from Illustrated Natural History of the Animal Kingdom (New York: Derby & Jackson, 1859). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nuff said!

Then, the rest of the book is filled with examples of authentic artwork from around the world. Everything is arranged by country with a beautiful map spread before starting in. Nelson usually opens with some info on how he found out about the site, had trouble getting there, or just the history of the artwork. By the time you actually see the comparison between art and dino, the tension has already built up, so you really want to know how the two compare.

A few of the art pieces I recognized from other creation sites, but, as he points out, most of the examples he uses are new to the dino/dragon debate. You will not be disappointed.

The last thing I’ll mention is that I learned about a lot of dinosaurs I didn’t know in this book. He also shows several baby dinos which I’d never seen before except in Land Before Time. It seems the artists on that film were fairly accurate. 🙂

It’s not a cheap book, but one every family with at least one dino or art lover in it should save up for!

And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen. Psalm 72:19 

Kudos to Nelson’s graphic designer, Jeff Chiasson. His work makes this book a pleasure to look through even before the information starts to flow!

Can YOU Spot Them?

Can You Spot the Common Ancestors? Part 2

Warning: this post is really long, but it’s got an important point at the end. You can make it!

All right, let’s get back to our hunt for a common ancestor for seagulls!

English: Modified version of http://en.wikiped...

After the grouping Theropoda on the Tree of Life Web Project we are still following a “containing group”. No one is willing to say which one of these organisms is their grandparents at all. Next comes Dinosauria, which is easy to figure out, but have you ever heard which one is supposed to be their ancestor?

On that page there’s a name where two branches join, “Saurischia”. Could it be a dino they believe turned into the others? When you search around for what “saurischia” means, it’s just another group name. No dinosaur has that name for itself.

Next comes Archosauria, which doesn’t have a chart again. Let’s see what we find on the next link with the tongue twister name Archosauromorpha. Oooh! Look at this:

UofC Museum of Paleontology: The phylogenetic definition of Archosauria is the most recent common ancestor of birds and crocodiles, and all of its descendants.

We’ve got a common ancestor! But what does the Tree of Life page show? A single animal? It does have a picture of a bird (it’s a cormorant), which is supposed to have evolved from dinosaurs, it can’t be the dinosaurs’ common ancestor. There’s also a list of all different forms of extinct creatures, but no sign that one of them was the original version they all developed from. 🙁

Reptile

Next comes the “containing group”, Diapsida which has a connecting chart. At the top, those archosauromorphia are connected to other lizard types with a line labeled “sauria“. Think this will be a common ancestor? A dictionary tells us “saurian” is just the ancient name for lizards.

We still are using classifications (except lumping birds in) that a creationist would have no problem with and no hint of a single “common ancestor”. This is getting discouraging.

Oh, goody, Amniota, has two names where branches come together towards the “first living cell”: Romeriida and Reptilia. The only websites using the term Romeriida (not a commonly used name) were Evolutionary wikis, so I won’t link to them. Mostly they talked about a group of “earliest form reptiles” but didn’t pick one out. They did list one particular fossil “Romeria” but said it has been thrown out as a possible common ancestor.

As for “Reptilia”, you can figure this one out; it just means “reptiles”.

Terrestrial Vertebrates  is the containing group for Amniota and gives us two more names where branches meet: Reptilomorpha and Tetrapoda. I bet you know what the first one means “has the form of a reptile”. It is not a particular animal. Neither is “tetrapoda“:

Hynerpeton bassetti, a basal tetrapoda from th...

Hynerpeton bassetti, a “basal tetrapoda” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dictionary Reference.com Tetrapod: any vertebrate having four limbs or, as in the snake and whale, having had four-limbed ancestors.

I would disagree with them on the whale, but you get the idea.

The terrestrial vertebrates page is perfect for showing what a common ancestor ought to look like. See all those branching steps? Each place where the lines jo
in should be a real animal, but all the lines are blank; they don’t try to make any suggestions on what any of them could be.

The Sarcopterygii group is listed under the Gnathostomata group that has several more groups on the lines. What do you think of that “Node 1”. That’s an strange scientific term.

The Vertebrata  page turns out to have 3 of these Nodes. Below the chart is a list of what they mean. Turns out they are just more ways to organize animals. Except for the way they draw lines showing they believe “Node 1” turned into “Node 2” Creationists would probably set this up the same way.

A family Tree

What a real family Tree looks like

On to Craniata (we have to be getting there soon!), this is the grouping for any animal with a skull. Then comes Chordata, or, any animal with a spinal column. No common ancestor there. Deuterostomia doesn’t make a suggestion either.

I’m guessing most of you are taking my word for it on most of these links, but I’d really like you to click on Bilateria. See those short lines, white space, followed by a question mark and short lines on the right? That’s the way a creationist would set up all the genaeologies for creatures once you get to the “kind” level. They started on Creation Days 4, 5, or 6 from ancestors who already looked something like their grandchildren today (or would if they’d survived).

You don’t even need an explanation for the next page name, Animals. We know they can’t be talking about some particular version (except maybe a puppet) and the next, Eukaryotes, is just a fancy way to say ‘any creature whose cells have a nucleus’.

This page is followed by a page titled Life on Earth. That is not the name of a common ancestor! And when we click on the arrow to the left we find…. there isn’t a link. It just has an arrow to nothing.

What do we see in all this exhausting search? The Evolutionists think we’re crazy for believing in a genius Creator God. They say any one with a brain knows life can develop all by itself from nothing. They claim the facts are all on their side and we Christians only have blind faith.

Looking at the Tree of Life website, who has faith, even when things become crazy for thinking that way? Are the facts really on their side?

O LORD, how your works are multiplied! in wisdom you made them all: the earth is full of your riches. Psalm 104:24 

For more check out: Darwin Then and Now: Evolution 101, Non-Existent Common Ancestors

Despairing, Drowning Dinos

Today we’re going to examine a study of Alberta’s dinosaurs. Go ahead and click on this link (it opens in a new tab) to follow along:

Alberta scientists discover largest bed of dinosaur bones

Centrosaurus lived in the Late Cretaceous Peri...

Centrosaurus skull

I first ran into this report on another site with too many ads to pass on. I wish you could see the amazing drawing they had at the top, though. It showed 3 centrosauruses struggling to keep their open mouths above water with no bottom in sight. If you’re an artist, I’d love to post a similar picture, but I’ve never drawn a dino in my life. If I try now, you’d all think they were cows. 😀

OK, here we go:

  • The bone bed is near Hilda, AB. Where is that? Scroll out on this MAP to find out. South of ________ North of ___________ on the border of ________
  • Although the article is accurate on the 2.3 square km [.88 square miles], the Canadian Encyclopedia says the bones of 1,000s of individuals are packed into even smaller areas inside this space. What does this tell you about the bones?________________________
  • They say the bones prove the dinosaurs lived in herds. Do they really know this?

A factual statement would be, “the Hilda site provides the first solid evidence that some horned dinosaurs were buried in large groups.” We can make guesses (and this could be a good one), but all we really know is where they ended up before we dug out the bones.

Image of Tropical Storm Hilda at peak strength

Tropical Storm Hilda

Let’s look at what David Eberth tells us. Isn’t it amazing how he recognizes there was a catastrophe here? Geologists have refused to see catastrophes until they have no other choice for two hundred years. These dinosaurs were buried in such a way he had to admit something terrible happened. Trying to explain all features of geology using every day processes is called __________________.

Do we really know they were “routinely wiped out” as he says? Could another scientist say they were buried within hours or days of each other?

Which seems more likely to you:

  1. Dinosaurs who survived a bad storm moved back to the same area only to be swept away again and again and again. ___
  2. All the dinosaurs were wiped out at the same time and buried in slightly different places and sedimentary layers. ___

Did you catch the event they believe wiped out these dinosaurs? What elements do you have to make a tropical storm? Find out HERE

So you have to have _________ heated above ____c (convert to Fahrenheit HERE), which cause a lot of ________  and ________.

I’m going to copy the best paragraph from our article:

Tropical riverRather than picturing the animals as drowning while crossing a river, a classic scenario that has been used to explain bonebed occurrences at many sites in Alberta, the research team interpreted the vast coastal landscape as being submerged during tropical storms or hurricanes.

What does this tell us? Before 2010, scientists tried to say the dinosaurs were drowned while ________________.

Was this explanation rare or popular? _____________

Did it fit the facts? _______

The article tells us the water receded and the bones got “trampled and smashed” by scavengers. Does this mean there had to be many years between storms?

One common false belief about Noah’s Flood is to think it smoothly rose to cover the world in 40 days and then smoothly retreated. The Bible doesn’t say anything close! Have a look at Genesis 7:16-24. How many days after the Flood started was the whole world under water? ____________

Did this leave time for other hungry creatures to come back and trample these bones? ___________

The last paragraph tells us other animals were able to escape drowning in this storm. Do they know this really happened, or are they assuming they escaped because they weren’t buried there?

To the east, lots of ocean creatures (cool pictures) have been found including a number of very big ones. To the west, mammal and bird fossils have been found. Maybe, they were all buried within a little while in different locations.

Which do you think more likely:

  • Long years between burials ___
  • Different creatures were buried at different heights by the same global storm ___

For extra credit: The dates they give for fossils are based on how many known rock layers are above them and Radiometric Dating. Understanding those two things is key to paleontology.

The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
 For he has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. Psalm 24:1,2

More articles:

Answers in Genesis: Triceratops Tally up to Four in New Wyoming Dinosaur Graveyard Sept. 2, 2013

Marsh Blooms