Pterosaur Revolution Confirms Creation | The Institute for Creation Research

Pterosaur Revolution Confirms Creation

Research into pterosaurs—ancient flying reptiles whose fossils lie intermingled with dinosaurs—now approaches an upswing of what some predict will be a revolution of understanding.1 Better details of pterosaur anatomies are painting a different picture than the long-held perceptions of these creatures as clumsy fliers.

In a recent feature in the UK's Observer, writer Mark Witton explained that many view pterosaurs as "gargoyles with lanky limbs." This bad reputation may have been spawned by "poor scientific communication" that indicated "pterosaurs were crude biological hang gliders."2

In actuality, experts are now reconstructing pterosaur biomechanics and finding them to be wonders of aerodynamic precision.3 The old notions of clumsiness are not supported by this fossil evidence—so how did pterosaurs get such a bad rap?

Was the description, "gargoyles with lanky limbs," a result of mere evolutionary speculation? Based on seeing pterosaur fossils occur in strata below other flying vertebrates, perhaps evolutionists reasoned that pterosaurs evolved first and therefore represented evolution's initial, clumsy attempts to produce large flyers. It would then follow that evolution spent millions of years working through numerous aerodynamic issues, eventually generating the supposedly superior flight mechanics of bats and birds.

Pterosaur research is now soaring, and it supports that former "clumsy" conjecture less than ever.

For example, pterosaur tracks in France reveal that these creatures were skillful and adept at landing and take-off procedures.4

Moreover, in his Observer article, Witton confirmed that "scientists are getting a handle on many aspects of pterosaur paleobiology [ancient biology], and the results are casting pterosaurs in whole new lights. They were not evolutionary also-rans, but strong, adaptable animals that earned their 160m [million] years of evolutionary history."2

But what an ironic statement! Surely 160 million years of slow and gradual changes to pterosaur anatomy would have produced more "evolutionary also-rans" before developing the "strong, adaptable animals" the fossils actually reveal. Where are all of evolution's experiments?

For example, a single, long bone supported pterosaur wings while bat wings contain five, finger-like bones that fold like a Chinese fan. Where are the two- or three-boned wings or the half-sized wings that evolution might have produced in its alleged eons of tinkering?

Not a single, undisputed "evolutionary also-ran" candidate exists, despite a century of diligent search.5

The evolutionary timeline fails to match the most obvious pterosaur fossil data, but Genesis history readily explains them. First, pterosaur structure was flight-ready from the get-go because God created it to be. Second, a terrible, watery cataclysm like Noah's Flood buried these winged creatures—often in the same layer as dinosaurs, fish, lizards, small mammals, and birds—leaving behind elegant, fully formed pterosaur fossils with no evidence that intermediary "also-ran" versions ever existed.6

References

  1. Hone, D.W.E. 2013. Pterosaur Research: Recent Advances and a Future Revolution. Acta Geologica Sinica. 86 (6): 1366-1376.
  2. Witton, M. Why Pterosaurs Weren't So Scary After All. The Observer. Posted on theguardian.com August 10, 2013, accessed August 23, 2013.
  3. For example, see references in: Thomas, B. Studies Show Extinct Reptiles Moved with Grace and Ease. Creation Science Update. Posted on icr.org November 19, 2010, accessed August 26, 2013. 
  4. Thomas, B. Pterosaur Flight Plans. Creation Science Update. Posted on icr.org August 31, 2009, accessed August 26, 2013.
  5. Sherwin, F. 2005. Pterosaur! Acts & Facts. 34 (9). 
  6. Thomas, B. Pterosaur Tracks Show Traces of the Great Flood. Creation Science Update. Posted on icr.org September 2, 2009, accessed August 26, 2013.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on September 6, 2013.

The Latest
NEWS
ICR’s 2021 Science Expedition Update–Dinosaur Fossils
A team of 11 people from the Institute for Creation Research is currently traveling on a multistate science expedition to dig up fossils, conduct field...

NEWS
ICR’s 2021 Science Expedition Update
A team of 11 people from the Institute for Creation Research is currently traveling on a multistate science expedition to dig up fossils, conduct field...

NEWS
ICR’s 2021 Science Expedition Begins!
The Institute for Creation Research launched its 2021 multistate science expedition last week as a nine-member team left the ICR headquarters in Dallas,...

NEWS
Inside September 2021 Acts & Facts
Why does ICR focus on scientific research? How could paleontologists mistake a lizard fossil for a dinosaur? Is animal death before the Fall theologically...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Beauty by Design
Christy Hardy and Susan Windsor* You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation with...

ACTS & FACTS
Defend Your Faith with ICR
Have you ever heard a pastor question the historical nature of Genesis? “The days of creation weren’t really 24 hours long. The Bible is...

ACTS & FACTS
Animal Death Before the Fall?
Both the Old and New Testaments teach that death entered the world when Adam ate the forbidden fruit (e.g., Genesis 2:17 and Romans 5:12). Since fossils...

APOLOGETICS
Transmitting Truth in a Modern Pagan World
We share the world with modern pagans who worship the sun—or idolize an imagined primordial Big Bang—so we need to be truth witnesses unto...

ACTS & FACTS
Waco Mammoth National Monument
Hunters in the 1970s discovered mammoth bones exposed in sediments near the confluence of the Bosque and Brazos Rivers in north central Texas. They...

ACTS & FACTS
Three Hurdles for Evolution
Sure, finch beaks shift their shapes, but does that mean nature invented beaks and birds from stardust? Evolution’s proponents often speak as...