No Feathered T-Rex

I found a great article about T-Rex at Discover Magazine. Tyrannosaurus Rex is perhaps the most famous of all dinosaurs, and one of the most formidable. But there has been an on-going debate as to whether or not this fearsome tyrant, with an enormous jaw filled with long, sharp teeth, had fluffy feathers or scales.

At one time T-Rex was thought to be the scaly killer we’ve seen depicted in King Kong, Land of the Lost, and Jurassic Park, but with the discovery of other tyrannosaurs- like Yutyrannus and Dilong– some scientists have speculated that T-Rex might have been covered in feathers, or at least have them someplace on its body.

Yutyrannus and Dilong are two theropod dinosaurs belonging to the same group of tyrannosauroids as T-Rex. Some scientists consider both Yutyrannus and Dilong to be feathered dinosaurs that lived 125 million years ago, about 60 million years before T-Rex. Therefore, since there were feathered tyrannosaurs long before T-Rex, it was assumed that T-Rex would also have feathers.

But the author of this article rejoices as she points to a new study concluding that Tyrannosaurus Rex had scaly skin! Needless to say, I’m also thrilled that my favorite child-hood dinosaur did not strut around with a coat of plumage.

Now, as a creationist, I don’t believe dinosaurs evolved feathers or evolved into birds, nor do I accept the millions of years assumed by evolutionists. There were bird-like dinosaurs, such as Archaeopteryx, which had true feathers and flew, but I reject many claims of dinosaurs having feathers. Archaeopteryx, for example, was thought to be flying around 150 million years ago, nearly 25 million years before Yutyrannus and Dilong. In fact, there were other birds living even earlier, such as Aurornis, which supposedly lived about 160 million years ago.

But the thing is, neither Yutyrannus or Dilong really had feathers. What scientists refer to as feathers was actually some kind of filament, fiber, fur or fuzzy stuff. It’s only referred to as ‘feathers’ because of the evolutionary necessity to connect dinosaurs to birds. Whatever imprints were preserved in the fossils could be referred to as something other than ‘feathers’. Scientists could even coin a new term altogether.

The other thing the author discusses is the question, ‘If T-Rex evolved from Tyrannosauroids that had feathers, then why doesn’t T-Rex have feathers? And why is it evolving backwards?’ Those are very good questions, and evolutionary scientists have responded with two approaches. First, they explain it away by assuming T-Rex lost its feathers because it was so large that it didn’t need the insulation to live in its environment; there also would have been many millions of years for that trait to be lost (just as modern elephants aren’t as wooly as the wooly mammoths they descended from). The second approach is to assume that T-Rex does have feathers somewhere on its body, but we just haven’t discovered the evidence yet, or perhaps baby T-Rex had downy feathers.

Either approach relies upon unprovable assumptions about the distant past and requires an element of faith. Because these explanations are so elastic, evolution can’t be falsified; therefore, it has more in common with religion than it does real science, which is based on observation and experimentation.

I’d suggest it’s more reasonable to conclude that God created dinosaurs- including Tyrannosaurs- the same day he made man, and he created dinosaurs with tremendous variety so that they could adapt to various environments and thrive. There’s no need to resort to evolution and millions of years to explain dinosaurs and the history of life on earth.

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