Evolutionary Assumptions in Flight

I was reading several articles regarding flight and evolution in dinosaurs, and I find it helpful to identify some of the many incorrect assumptions involved in evolutionary thinking.

The article I want to focus on in this post is from Science Daily, and the headline states: “Evidence that prehistoric flying reptiles probably had feathers refuted”.

The flying reptiles being referred to are Pterosaurs, not dinosaurs. Pterosaurs had long, membranous wings like bats, and we suspect they may have been strong flyers and not gliders. I’ve always understood these creatures to be bald, having no feathers or fur, just skin. Why? Because that was the nature of the evidence.

However, going back to the 18th century, I’ve learned some scientists believe pterosaurs had feathers, and the debate has been on-going ever since. In fact, according to websites like Wikipedia and the Encyclopedia Britannica, these creatures have structures called pycnofibers or keratinous fibers, which, supposedly, evolved into feathers. But the article from Science Daily refutes this idea.

In 2019 there was a paper published in Nature Ecology and Evolution stating “Pterosaurs had feathers,” and it went on to claim that pterosaurs had four types of dermal structures, some showing “branching”. This branching effect is thought to be significant because structures called “protofeathers” have been found on some dinosaurs, and they have a branching effect too, and this would link pterosaurs to dinosaurs.

The problem with these types of claims is that these “dermal structures”, whether they’re called pycnofibers, keratinous fibers or protofeathers, aren’t feathers at all, and they’re not “evolving” into feathers. According to the latest research, the hair-like filaments found on pterosaurs are nothing more than tough fibers within the wing membrane. And the branching effect- found in only three fossil specimens- may be from these fibers decaying and unravelling.

There’s great demand for evolutionists to identify feathers in dinosaurs, and that’s because they believe dinosaurs evolved into modern day birds. Therefore, when these kinds of structures are identified, they assume this is the material feathers evolved from, and, in order to promote evolution, they refer to them as ‘feathers’, even though they’re not.

I’m glad there are some evolutionists willing to refute bad science and false evolutionary claims. Dr. David Unwin from the University of Leicester said, “The idea of feathered pterosaurs goes back to the nineteenth century but the fossil evidence was then, and still is, very weak. Exceptional claims require exceptional evidence — we have the former, but not the latter.”

I wholeheartedly agree. But that is the nature of most evolutionary claims. Often, it’s the need to prove evolution which drives scientists to claim that a certain organism “evolved” into another, even when that is not the case, or evidence is lacking.

Professor Dave Martill, said, “The clues are so cryptic, that we are still a long way from working out just how these amazing animals worked.”

It’s worth noting that scientists are working with “clues” and are trying to piece them together like a puzzle, but it’s a like a puzzle with many thousands of pieces, most of them are missing, and there’s no box-cover to reference. Anyone can piece them together and make unfounded claims that can’t be substantiated, and it’s up to us to practice discernment and critical thinking so that we don’t blindly accept evolutionary claims.

The bottom line is that there’s insufficient evidence to suggest pterosaurs had feathers at all, and I’m glad to see this theory refuted. From a creationist point of view, there’s no need to think dinosaurs evolved feathers. Only evolutionists need to believe that. And, depending upon which belief they hold on to, evolutionists may have to rewrite the evolutionary history of birds, dinosaurs, reptiles and flight. Whole theories would have to be flipped. But creationist theory would not.

Creationists would maintain (whether pterosaurs had feathers or not) that pterosaurs were perfectly designed- by God- for their initial environment, but they likely died out after Noah’s flood when they could no longer adapt to a new environment and changing climate.

3 thoughts on “Evolutionary Assumptions in Flight

  1. Good article. Unfortunately, devout apostles of Popular Evolution are bound entirely by faith to their mythic death cult. As C.S. Lewis did a wonderful job of defining.

    Watch “The Funeral of a Great Myth (of Popular Evolution) by C.S. Lewis Doodle” on YouTube

    All evidence found must, to them, either bend to their world-view, be surpressed as heresy, or be dismissed as anomalous. Largely the Popular Evolutionist of the “blind-faith” sort are a dying breed, since science has moved on, yet they remain trapped in Darwin’s century. And this backwards way is not as appealing to the more naturalistic agnostics who keep more open-minded toward scientific discoveries and how they should be interpreted.

    Richard Dawkins (a very vocal and dedicated Popular Evolutionist, biologist, and advocate for the removal of Christians from education, fields of science, and politics), when confronted in a discussion with the undeniable complexity of DNA, had to make a broad leap of faith. He claimed that aliens must have come to Earth millions of years ago and seeded it with DNA.

    Watch “Why Would Richard Dawkins Say That Aliens Created Life?” on YouTube

    Dawkins is a devout Athiest. Athiests are creatures of blind-faith. They believe they are all-knowing and all-seeing when they make the absolute claim that “there is no God or gods”. They must accept on faith alone that there is no God or gods, because they cannot see or know everything to make such a claim. Agnostics at least are willing, and capable, of defining their own limitations as naturalists.

    More serious scientists, who have been raised and educated as followers of Popular Evolution, and remain unwilling to look beyond their indoctrination, have decided to come at the problem sideways (pun intended).

    Here is an enlightening article on their new approach to such difficult questions as to how giant reptillian fliers turn into little hollow-boned, feathered birds (though they still make gigantic leaps of faith from micro biology to macro biology).


    • Just now getting around to viewing these videos. I’ve always enjoyed watching that clip with Dawkins. Very telling. And I’ve always liked listening to Kurt Wise. That was great when he was geeking out over rapid subduction!

  2. Watch “In-depth Explanation of What Caused Noah’s Flood – Dr. Kurt Wise” on YouTube

    I wanted to add this as well. I think this is the video where Dr. Wise (geophysicist) explains how the a global flood would create a temperature spike, rapid global warming, that would be followed quickly by rapid cooling leading to an ice age.

    Massive temperature variations and climatic alteration would have been utterly devistating for larger life forms. This can be evidenced today. This would have been the most likely demise of larger flying creatures that could have remained above the flood waters, but were not suited for colder climates.

    If that isn’t the video, you can look up his videos. He has a few that lay out the flood from a scientific basis, combining several fields. Very well presented information.

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