ICR: Bird Fossil Is Proof of the Flood

Tis is getting tiresome, but it probably thrills the droolers who eagerly absorb whatever they read at the website of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom. And it’s another example of what we call the Creationist Scientific Method:

1. Select a conclusion which you hope is true.
2. Find one piece of evidence that possibly might fit.
3. Ignore all other evidence.
4. That’s it.

ICR’s article is titled Stunning Bird Fossil Has Bone Tissue. It was written by Brian Thomas. He’s described at the end of his articles as “Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.” This is ICR’s biographical information on him. Here are some excerpts from his new article, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Recently, Chinese researchers described their discovery of the “earliest” bird fossil with fused pelvic bones, just like modern birds.

Brian is referring to this paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS): Insight into the growth pattern and bone fusion of basal birds from an Early Cretaceous enantiornithine bird. All you can read without a subscription is the abstract, but PhysOrg wrote about it ten days ago — see: Fossil find pushes back date of earliest fused bones in birds by 40 million years. They say:

A trio of researchers with the Key Laboratory of Vertebrate Evolution and Human Origins of Chinese Academy of Sciences has found evidence that pushes back the earliest example of fused bones in birds by approximately 40 million years. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Min Wang, Zhiheng Li and Zhonghe Zhou describe their study of the fossilized remains of a bird dated to approximately 120 million years ago.

[…]

Until now, the consensus among scientists has been that such changes [fused bones] did not occur until just before land-based dinosaurs became extinct. But now, new evidence by the team in China suggests that the time frame will have to be pushed back approximately 40 million years — the bird now represents the oldest known example of fossilized remains showing bone fusion of its major parts.

Let’s find out what Brian makes of this fossil find. He says:

Also like modern birds, this fossil appears to be made of original bone, not mineralized bone (which would be rock). Could any process preserve actual bones for 120 million years?

“Original” bone? We don’t see any mention of that in PNAS or PhysOrg. They refer only to fossil bones. Brian tells us:

The fossil, named Pterygornis dapingfangensis, came from Jehol Biota in northeastern China, and more specifically from a sedimentary rock horizon deemed 120 to 131 million years old. All the other bird fossils with fused hips and arm bones came from later-deposited Cretaceous layers thought to be some 40 million years younger. Thus, the study authors’ main point with this fossil’s description was to reshape the evolutionary origin of birds in a way that would accommodate this 40-million-years out-of-place fossil. But in the process of describing these modern-looking fused bones that challenge tales of flight evolution, these researchers found normal, fresh-looking bird bone.

They found “normal, fresh-looking bird bone”? Brian doesn’t quote anything specifically saying so from the original paper. Instead, he summarizes the researchers’ findings and then says:

Why, after at least 120 million years, do these finely detailed structures still exist? Why haven’t the lacunae, or especially the canals, been filled in with sediment or mineral precipitates after millions of years of Earth’s water cycle? Incessant erosion, deposition, dissolution, temperature change, and precipitation should have devastated these fossils after so much time. The study authors did not ask or answer any questions like these.

Maybe those questions weren’t raised because the research paper makes it clear that they were discussing the structure of fossilized bones? Brian concludes his post with this:

If Noah’s Flood buried this bird in the widespread Jehol sediments alongside thousands of other animals — a catastrophic process that does not happen today — then the mystery of how this bone fossil could look so fresh quickly resolves.

So once again, dear reader, we see how the Creationist Scientific Method, with perhaps a bit of creative exaggeration (a/k/a wishful thinking), proves that the bible is true and evolution is nonsense.

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12 responses to “ICR: Bird Fossil Is Proof of the Flood

  1. I think that you are being too generous with #2. A better description might be something like: “Something that I want to talk about.”

  2. Mostly off-topic, though still avian: Longer beaks in UK great tits ‘down to garden feeders’

    …and please, no smutty remarks about the common English name for the delightful Parus major, many of whom regularly visit my own garden.

  3. Charles Deetz ;)

    Are those DD beaks, then? 🙂

  4. @ Charles Deetz: a ringing slap on the wrist for that.

  5. Mweh, Mega, just variation within a kind, whatever creacrappers mean with kind. The tit remains a tit, the fox remains a fox, the goose remains a goose and the tiger will retain the character of a tiger. A well known authority wrote it himself in a book called Mein Kampf.
    Oops. That book was written by a supposed evilutionist. My bad.

  6. So, this creationist is putting the flood at 120 mil. years ago? And doesn’t see any logical problems with that?

    Creation “science” as usual, eh?

  7. My,my, isn’t Brian fond of making up things? Perfect for the ICR!

  8. Ross Cameron

    It`s a wonder that since one of the Seven Wonders of the World, The Great Pyramid, doesn`t get a mention in their Guide, creos aren`t claiming it was built AFTER the Exodus. Oops, giving them food for thought.

  9. More random nonsense from ICR and the school of “I feel it so it must be true” without even the pretense of a scientific hypothesis. Really, how is ICR any different from any other religious fundamentalist group?

  10. Fundaentalism early on was against the rise of Biblical studies which questioned such doctrines as Moses being the author of the Pentateuch. Yes, it is a reaction to a reasoned approach to the Bible. But rather than being pure negativism, there is a positive content: Moses wrote the books Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus, Deuteronomy. And I think that the fundamentalist Bible students were taken seriously by the “liberal” “higher criticism” students. For example, the fundamentalists did do the basic work, such as learning the Biblical languages, engaging in serious archeology of the Biblical lands, etc.

  11. Thomas’ “argument” is just his amazement that bone histological structures can be preserved in mineralised bone. He says mineralised bone can’t possibly contain these microstructures (e.g. Haversian canals and lacunae), therefore they must actually be bone tissue. Naturally, he gives no justification why these structure can’t be preserved. He’s acting as though this specimen is exceedingly rare for preserving these microstructures, but it’s actually quite common. I have several friends and colleagues that work in exactly this field. A simple google search for “fossil histology” will reveal this is a rich area of research, and has been for many decades.

    He takes quotes like “The ICL [Inner Circumferential Layer] consists of circumferential avascular lamellar bone tissue of endosteal origin and contains flattened osteocyte lacunae.” and asks why the canals (lacunae) haven’t been infilled by sediments of minerals after 120 million years in the ground. He’s basing the idea that they’re *not* infilled on absolutely nothing! He seems to be implying that because the lacunae are recognisable as canals, they must be empty, but this is nonsense – they just have to contain a different mineral to the rest of the bone tissue so they can be distinguished, and that’s to be expected. The minerals that bones get replaced with during fossilisation are different to the minerals that precipitate in open canals.

  12. Boy, how much easier the work day would be if we could just make it up as we went along. Certainly is the method the Trump administration is using. Shortens the work day, keeps you ideologically pure, and off you go. Too bad that does not work for the long term. Reality has a way of smacking you in the face eventually.