Birds are incredible flying (and occasionally non-flying) machines. The Creator has designed these creatures with specialized flight apparatus, an amazing respiratory system, not to mention unbelievable migration and navigation abilities. Creationists see these creatures as having been designed and created as 100% birds, while evolutionists are forever in heated debates regarding bird origin:
However, recent fossil discoveries have complicated the picture of bird origins and renewed the debate over which amniote [applied to a type (nontaxonomic) of development regarding extraembryonic membranes and a shelled egg] lineage was ancestral to birds (Hickman, Roberts & Larson 1997).
Another Bird Fossil
The secular scientific community has announced the recent discovery by American and Chinese paleontologists of an alleged "100 million year old" missing avian link, possibly with soft tissue. Despite claims that Gansus yumenensis is "the missing link on the evolution of birds," all indications show it is in fact just a bird.
Creation Scientists are Ecstatic
Creation scientists are even more excited than their secular counterparts about recent bird fossils uncovered in the Xiagou Formation 1,200 miles west of Beijing. For not only are these fossils revealing 100% bird traits, but the tissue from some of these fossils is possibly still soft. Both of these physical manifestations are clearly within the creation model.
A recent CNN.com story says "the new fossils demonstrate that Gansus clearly is a bird . . . . the oldest example of the nearly modern birds, . . . .similar to loons or diving ducks" (CNN.com 2006). With such repeated graphic descriptions, there seems to be no reason to claim this bird is a "missing link." National Geographic.com crows that Gansus "is strikingly similar to today's birds, considering that it lived alongside dinosaurs" [Norris 2006]. Indeed, a majority of evolutionists maintain birds evolved from dinosaurs and today, are dinosaurs: "So, in fact, birds are not some separate biological entity, distinct and apart from 'reptiles.' Birds are dinosaurs" (Fastovsky & Weishample 1996).
But this fossil discovery shows these birds "lived alongside dinosaurs" supporting not Darwinism, but the creation model that states dinosaurs have always been dinosaurs and birds have always been birds. According to creationism, finding the two groups together is natural and to be expected.
Since the recent and unexpected unearthing of soft dinosaur tissue in eastern Montana, there have been multiple discoveries of soft tissue in "ancient" fossils. The Chinese bird fossil may be the newest addition. "We went to Changma hoping that we'd discover one, maybe two, fragments of fossil birds," said Matt Lamanna of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. "Instead, we found dozens, including some almost complete skeletons with soft tissues." The fossil material, according to Hans-Dieter Sues, of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, "is remarkable for its excellent preservation" [AP 2006]. The MSNBC.com article also quotes Lamanna as saying "one of the fossils even has skin preserved between the toes showing that it had webbed feet."
National Geographic.com goes on to state that "Soft tissues were also preserved, including flight feathers and webbing--like a duck's--between the bird's toes." NG also says, "Moreover . . . the preserved skin of the webbed feet shows the same microscopic structure seen in aquatic birds today." One cannot even imagine delicate bird tissue remaining soft (unfossilized) for even thousands of years, let alone secular science's claim of 100 million years. Creationists maintain soft tissue means very recent death and burial.
GeoTimes.org is another evolutionary publication that states, "[T]he fossils of the surprisingly modern-looking bird . . . could fly in the same way modern birds can . . . G. yumenensis now has the distinction of being the oldest-known bird that is really, really modern in its anatomy" [Yauck 2006]. In fact, an artist's colorful reconstruction of this fossil in the GeoTimes and National Geographic articles shows a beautiful bird.
Creation scientists maintain that God created birds as birds. The recent discovery in China of Gansus yumenensis supports this claim.
Hickman, Roberts & Larson. 1997. Zoology. Dubuque, IA: W.C. Brown Publishers. 571.
AP. 2006. Meet an ancient member of birds' family tree. CNN.com, June 15, 2006. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/
Fastovsky & Weishample. 1996. The Evolution and Extinction of Dinosaurs. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 320-21.
AP. 2006. Waterfowl fossils fill in a big missing link. MSNBC.com, June 15, 2006. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13342029.
Yauck, Jennifer. 2006. Ancient bird fossil makes a splash. GeoTimes.org, June 15, 2006. http://www.geotimes.org/june06/WebExtra0