Eeveryone knows that creationists hate even the idea of transitional fossils. Despite abundant evidence — we always link to Wikipedia’s List of transitional fossils — they continue to deny the existence of transitionals.
Their denial is because transitionals would be evidence of what they call “macro-evolution,” which they say is impossible. They reluctantly acknowledge what they call “micro-evolution,” but those are trivial variations within a species. They insist that without supernatural aid and the addition of a magical substance they call “information,” no species can evolve into another.
A good example is feathered dinosaurs, which indicate the evolutionary relationship of birds and dinos. Here’s an old post in which we discussed the Discoveroids’ denial of a feathered dinosaur: Discovery Institute: Transitional Fossils? No Way! The other creationist websites have similar articles.
To the great discomfort of creationists everywhere, PhysOrg has this new article: Amber specimen offers rare glimpse of feathered dinosaur tail. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
Researchers have discovered a dinosaur tail complete with its feathers trapped in a piece of amber. The finding reported in Current Biology on December 8 helps to fill in details of the dinosaurs’ feather structure and evolution, which can’t be determined from fossil evidence.
This is the published paper: A Feathered Dinosaur Tail with Primitive Plumage Trapped in Mid-Cretaceous Amber. You can read it online without a subscription. We’ll continue with PhysOrg:
While the feathers aren’t the first to be found in amber, earlier specimens have been difficult to definitively link to their source animal, the researchers say.
“The new material preserves a tail consisting of eight vertebrae from a juvenile; these are surrounded by feathers that are preserved in 3D and with microscopic detail,” says Ryan McKellar of the Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Canada. “We can be sure of the source because the vertebrae are not fused into a rod or pygostyle as in modern birds and their closest relatives. Instead, the tail is long and flexible, with keels of feathers running down each side.” In other words, the feathers definitely are those of a dinosaur not a prehistoric bird.
That’s no problem for creationists. They’ll just say he’s lying. Hey — get this:
The study’s first author Lida Xing from the China University of Geosciences (Beijing) discovered the remarkable specimen at an amber market in Myitkyina, Myanmar in 2015. The amber piece was originally seen as some kind of plant inclusion and destined to become a curiosity or piece of jewelry, but Xing recognized its potential scientific importance and suggested that the Dexu Institute of Palaeontology buy the specimen.
Serendipity sometimes plays a role — without a designer.
There are some neat details in the article; you’ll probably want to read it for yourself. We’ll quit here, beaming with anticipation at the reaction of the creationists.
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