This seems to happen a lot — we see an article at PhysOrg, scan it, and move on, thinking it won’t be of any interest to creationists. But once again we were wrong. This time we’ll try to learn from our mistake.
The PhysOrg article we thought would be ignored by creationists is: What dinosaurs’ colour patterns say about their habitat. It says:
After reconstructing the colour patterns of a well-preserved dinosaur from China, researchers from the University of Bristol have found that the long-lost species Psittacosaurus (meaning “parrot lizard”, a reference to its parrot-like beak) was light on its underside and darker on top. This colour pattern, known as countershading, is a common form of camouflage in modern animals.
Dr Jakob Vinther from the Schools of Earth Sciences and Biological Sciences, said: “The fossil, which is on public display at the Senckenberg Museum of Natural History in Germany, preserves clear countershading, which has been shown to function by counter-illuminating shadows on a body, thus making an animal appear optically flat to the eye of the beholder.”
Behavioural ecologist Professor Innes Cuthill from the School of Biological Sciences, added: “By reconstructing a life-size 3D model, we were able to not only see how the patterns of shading changed over the body, but also that it matched the sort of camouflage which would work best in a forested environment.”
You’re wondering the same thing we did: What can a creationist do with that? Prepare yourself to be amazed, dear reader. We have a new blog entry from Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia. It’s titled Scientists Discover Camouflaged Dinosaur. We’ll give you some excerpts, with bold font added by us.
After briefly mentioning the discovery, Hambo says:
This dinosaur was buried with skin and even pigments intact. This means it had to be buried extremely rapidly before it had a chance to decay. Of course, the conditions of the global Flood of Noah’s day were perfect for rapidly burying organisms. As the floodwaters washed over the continents, miles of sediment were ripped up and re-deposited in layers, trapping and burying organisms. This explains how we can find fossils with the soft parts still intact. It doesn’t take millions of years to make a fossil!
The fossil was nothing like that! PhysOrg says (with our bold font for emphasis):
Professor Innes and colleagues at Bristol had also been exploring the distribution of countershading in modern animals. But it was no easy matter to apply the same principles to an extinct animal that had been crushed flat and fossilized.
To explore this idea further they teamed up with local palaeoartist, Bob Nicholls in order to reconstruct the remarkable fossil in to a physical model which, they say, is the most scientifically accurate life-size model of a dinosaur with its real color patterns. Days of careful studies of the fossil, taking measurements of the bones, studying the preserved scales and the pigment patterns, with input on muscle structure from Bristol palaeontologists Professor Emily Rayfield and Dr Stephan Lautenschlager, led to months of careful modelling of the dinosaur.
Bob Nicholls said: “Our Psittacosaurus was reconstructed from the inside-out. There are thousands of scales, all different shapes and sizes, and many of them are only partially pigmented. It was a painstaking process but we now have the best suggestion as to what this dinosaur really looked like.”
Contrary to what Hambo says, this wasn’t a dead animal “with the soft parts still intact.” Okay, then Hambo discusses the advantages of countershading, after which he declares:
The Creator perfectly designed this little dinosaur with camouflage to protect it from predators in a fallen world.
Yes, that’s obvious. Then he gives his drooling followers some advice:
When scientists make exciting new discoveries like this, our response should be to praise the One who created everything with such detail and complexity.
Hambo ends the post with a sales pitch:
Our Creation Museum near Cincinnati has many intriguing dinosaur exhibits (e.g., a world-class allosaur skeleton) and puts them in the context of Bible history, not evolution.
So there you are. What do we learn? The lesson is this: No matter what scientists may find, a creationist leader should do three things: First, shout “Goddidit!” Then, if it’s a fossil, toss in a reference to the Flood. Last, and most importantly, stick your hand out and ask for money.
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