Snow Jobs and Pigs Teeth

Pigs Teeth, Mars Rocks, and Dinosaur Feathers

In a letter to National Geographic magazine concerning the Archeoraptor discovery, Storrs Olson, curator of birds (ornithology) at the Smithsonian Institute wrote,” Truth and careful scientific weighing of evidence have been among the first casualties in their program, which is fast becoming one of the grander scientific hoaxes of our age…  “Olson called the Archeoraptor a hoax because someone had deliberately mixed a dinosaur fossil with that of a bird, in order to promote the belief that sometime in the distant past, one kind of an animal turned into a completely different kind. (The Nat’l Geographic had also purchased the fossil illegally)

In order for something to be truly a hoax or fraud, there must be a deliberate and knowing attempt to deceive. The Piltdown man, where evolutionists glued an orangutan jaw to a human skull would be another example, as would be Haeckel’s famous embryo drawings which are still, in one fashion or another, being used to promote acceptance of evolution in highschool and Jr. high textbooks. Haeckel was tried in court and convicted of fraud in Germany.

While it is important to differentiate between “snow-jobs” and deliberate hoaxes, the snow job can be just as damaging in its effort to sell us something, and truth and objectivity are often just as lacking as in deliberate fraud. Some examples of this would be the “Nebraska Man”, where one tooth of a fossilized pig was used as proof positive evidence of an entire race of pre-historic men in Nebraska. This tooth, as well as the Piltdown man, was used in the Scopes trial not only to promote evolution, but to heap scorn on those who dared to doubt. A more recent example of this would be the “Mars Rock”, where a rock found in the Antarctic became “proof of life on Mars”, at least until the assumptions behind the “proof” became known.

What snow-jobs and hoaxes tell us is that scientists are not always objective. Instead of a cautious and careful treatment of the data, we get the idea that they are trying to sell us something. At times they even become bombastic and tyrannical, demanding that we bow our knees to their latest display of evidence.  At the Scopes Trial, those who resisted the Piltdown and Nebraska Man as valid evidences for evolution were called followers of a “fool’s religion”. Things don’t change much. Archeoraptor was a hoax, but even if it hadn’t been, to say the existence of a feathered dinosaur “proves” dinosaurs turned into birds would be more than just a little snow job.

After all, the Platypus duck lays eggs like a reptile, has fur like a mammal and the bill of a duck, and yet it hasn’t been the source of any wild evolutionary schemes of late. Is it a bird turning into a reptile- like mammal? Or a mammal-like reptile turning into a bird? Scientists  seem to have decided it is simply a “mosaic”, a curious mix of body-plans borrowed from three different animal classes. And the oldest Platypus duck found in the fossil record is, well, a Platypus duck. If feathers on a dinosaur prove that a dinosaur turned into a bird, could fur on the platypus duck prove that the platypus evolved from beavers or vice-versa?  Or is it possible that both the platypus and/or “feathered dinosaur” were designed that way?

            For that matter, why would a walking dinosaur need to evolve into a bird?  Flying dinosaurs such as the pterodactyl already existed. Every class of animals has in it those that fly, swim, or walk on land. For example, the mammals have bats that fly, beavers or otters that swim, and dogs or horses that walk. The bird class has penguins or Auks that swim, many that fly, and the ostrich or emus which are entirely land bound. There are even fish which can glide in the air and some which can walk on land. So no evolutionary need existed for a dinosaur to turn into a completely different kind of animal, like a bird, in order to fly. It could have far more easily evolved along the lines of a pterodactyl or such.

            What would be good evidence for dinosaur to bird evolution? The best hoped for  would be to observe a living reptile whose scales were in the process of turning into feathers like a birds. This wouldn’t prove that  birds had evolved from reptiles, but at least it would show that scales could turn into feathers. However there are at least 20 major differences between scales and feathers so a lot of step by step information would have to be added for this to take place, as well as changes to the biochemical and genetic make-up of the scale.

             Since no mutation has ever been observed that added meaningful information to a biological system, this does stretch the imagination. The vast majority of mutations are near-neutral or damaging, which is why we avoid radiation or second hand smoke. Also, just as the human arm, dolphin fin, and bird wing are now known to be controlled by  different gene complexes, it’s likely that the reptile forearm and bird wing are also controlled by different genes, meaning their similarities could  not be the result of common ancestry.

            If a car salesman has a good product he doesn’t need to resort to a snow-job in order to sale the car. He doesn’t need to with-hold some information while over emphasizing other. So the next time a scientist throws a bone or molecular clock in your face, remember to turn on your brain and think critically. That way you won’t buy any ‘clunkers’.

 

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About notmanynoble

woodcutter from Washington State
This entry was posted in It's a Young Earth and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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