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Did dinosaurs turn into birds?

Some textbooks say, “Birds are the descendants of dinosaurs.” They claim that although dinosaurs are extinct, their evolutionary child is the bird. They print this stuff in children’s books.

Kids, in case you don’t know, there are a few differences between birds and dinosaurs. You can’t just stick a few feathers on a dinosaur and get it to fly. Reptiles have four legs, while birds have two legs and two wings. If the front legs turned into wings, the evolutionist has to believe that somewhere in the evolutionary spectrum they had to be half-leg, half-wing. This means, during that time, the creature couldn’t run or fly, and had a serious survival problem.

Possibly the most popular dinosaur-bird stunt was made of Archaeopteryx (meaning “ancient wing”). The textbooks claim “Archaeopteryx was about the size of a crow and shared many features with small theropods.” This is a fairy tale. Archeopteryx was just a perching bird. Watch the video below to see me debunk the myth of Archaeopteryx. For further information, get my Debate #6, where I debate Dr. Robin Richardson of Winona State University on this very topic.

From Lies in the Textbooks (Seminar Part 4).

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10 Responses to Did dinosaurs turn into birds?

  1. Jay Liverstitch January 11, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

    This is the comment I posted on the other topic. Now that comments are enabled I’ll copy it here, to the proper location.

    I’d like to first note that Kent is, I can only assume, willfully ignoring an entire order of dinosaurs when he claims that “reptiles have 4 legs” even though he alludes to this very order of dinosaurs in his attached video. I can only conclude from this that he intends to deceive, as he is obviously aware of the order “Saurischia”, the so called “Lizard Hipped” dinosaurs. Members of this order are bipedal, and among them are the most well known dinosaurs of all time: T-rex. Kent even admits that the theory of evolution states that this bipedal group of dinosaurs are the ones that gave rise to birds. This admitted fact alone destroys his main objection to dinosaur-bird evolution; that an animal with 2 legs and 2 half-wings could neither walk nor fly. Clearly, a bipedal animal with “arms” is free to develop those arms into wings without impeding its own locomotion. As is often the case, Kent is his own best refutation.

    Additionally, Archeopteryx’s hip (as well as many other examples I’ll mention below) is representative of other Saurischian dinosaurs that are not, to use Kent’s word, “perching birds”. That is, archeopteryx, based on Kent’s own descriptions, could be called a “lizard hipped bird”. If this is not evidence of transition, I hardly know what would be. Various parts of the video indicate that he knows all of these facts, yet he doesn’t mention them in the same sentence (I suppose it’d be rather obvious if he did). I am always reluctant to accuse anyone of outright lying, but Kent gives me so few choices when his own statements are in such stark disagreement with one another.
    Kent asks in his video, “Why do they keep teaching something that’s been proven wrong for 5 years?”. One might more appropriately ask a similar question of Kent himself; “Why would Kent continue to teach something that he himself disproved less than 5 minutes ago?”.

    Humming birds do not have teeth. I’ll leave it to the reader to study up on the difference between a serrated beak, and a toothed jaw.

    Creationists are often asking for examples of fossilized remains that display clear transitions between two major groups of organisms. Archeopteryx, as well as Microraptor, Velociraptor, Jeholornis, Rahonavis, Enantiornithes and many others represent exactly the type of transitional evidence that creationists like Kent claim do not exist. The above representatives alone, to varying degrees, have long bony tails, no beak, teeth, most have a non-fused hip-bone, and claws on the feet and wings, all features which are represented in no modern birds, and every theropod dinosaur. In addition, they all had feathers, appear to possess the ability to fly, had hollow bones, and long flight feathers on their forelimbs. Again I’ll note that each of the mentioned features are represented in the above animals to VARYING degrees. That is, some had long bony tails, others had shorter bony tails, some had large teeth, others had diminished teeth. The transition is undeniable to anyone who is aware of them and is honest with themselves.


    An additional clarification on the above:

    I stated that all the specimens I listed appeared to have the ability to fly but I had forgotten that I included velociraptor. Velociraptor is not believed to have possessed that ability. This fact however, makes the intended point even more poignant. With velociraptor, we have a clear example of a small theropod dinosaur, with not only soft down-like feathers, but forelimb feathers that very much resemble modern birds flight feathers, yet it appears that the animal probably couldn’t fly or even glide. Here is a perfect example of Kent’s supposed “half-wing”. Contrary to his claim, velociraptor seemed to have no difficulty surviving, and even thriving for thousands of generations.

  2. Don Carr January 12, 2011 at 1:29 am #

    I think most people just plain enjoy defending their opinions. It’s just another form of contest, like football.

  3. Mr T January 13, 2011 at 5:38 am #

    Checked out a few things on evolutionary web-sites:
    “Microraptor most probably was an evolutionary side branch, not a
    direct ancestor of any modern bird.” “Velociraptor: swift bipedal
    carnivorous dinosaur of the late Cretaceous period” (Fully dinosaur
    !) “Jeholornis is a genus of Mesozoic bird that lived approximately
    120 million years ago ” (Fully Bird !) So I conclude that the first
    3 are not transitional, according to evolutionists.

  4. andrew Ryan January 13, 2011 at 7:59 am #

    Kent also ignores that there are many flightless birds that survive just fine – penguins, chickens, ostriches. In fact, as far as I can see, ALL birds can walk. So it’s nonsense to say that evolving wings would leave a species unable to survive at some point in its evolution – they’d still be able to walk, and we already know that birds that can’t fly can still survive.

    Plus we’ve got plenty of examples of animals without feathers that gain advantage from either flying or gliding, showing that one doesn’t need to wait till feathers have developed fully before one gets and advantage from wing-like appendages.

  5. andrew Ryan January 13, 2011 at 8:26 am #

    Kent: “Some textbooks say, “Birds are the descendants of dinosaurs.”

    Before you tell us any more about what textbooks say, could you reveal the textbook that you recently stated made claims about life after death? Because I’ve never seen such a claim in a textbook.

    Could you also give us a cite for your recent claimed quote from Sir Arthur Keith:
    “Evolution is unproved and unprovable. We believe it only because the only alternative is special creation which is unthinkable.”

    You claimed that the man said it in 1959, yet he died in 1955. Fine, perhaps you made a mistake about the year. I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.

    But if it is indeed a genuine quote, please go ahead and tell us it comes from, and when.

  6. Erik Pineda January 13, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    andrew Ryan its all in your head evolution is full of made up lies where is your proof? where can i find a bone that has evolved? since the begining of american history no has changed into somthing or ever will! you have to believe. The fact is you dont want God in your life period your close minded and if God was to show himself to you will you repent? have you tried asking God to prove hes real with an open heart and say if you are real, i will repent? he will prove it through people like Kent and Eric hovind that he is real! and also in a personal way to you if just give Jesus Christ a chance making you know truly in your heart he is real! Kent you make so much sense and i cant wait for more of your videos!

  7. Jay Liverstitch January 13, 2011 at 3:18 pm #

    Mr. T,

    Thanks for your response. I suspected your sentiment would be shared by some others here and considered addressing those very objections, but my post was already running long.

    Essentially you are raising two objections. I’ll address them in order.

    1. Microraptor was a side branch.

    Yes this is possibly true, although this claim is disputed by many paleontologists. However, I fail to see how discovering additional branches of the evolutionary tree is evidence against evolution. The argument is akin to claiming that because my uncle never married or had children, that neither of us are descended from my great grandfather. What we find with Microraptor is an example of exactly what we should be finding were evolutionary theory true: a multitude of side branches that may or may not have living descendants. Given the sheer number of extinct species we’ve discovered, from hundreds of species of Ediacara and Trilobites, to Anomalocaris, Tiktaalik and Ichthyostega, to thousands of species of dinosaurs, extinct birds and primitive mammals… naming only a few, it would indeed be more strange if we were to find that they all did have modern, living descendants. By necessity, most species must go extinct. As a side note, if the earth is only 6000 years old, then it must have been impossibly overcrowded at year 1.

    Furthermore, the question posed in this post was whether birds, as a clade, are descended from dinosaurs, NOT whether one can prove the exact lineage in which it occurred. This is called moving the goal post. Microraptor, regardless of it’s possible failure to produce a living line of descendants to this day, is still a prime example of an animal that displays some characteristics that we know exist only in modern birds, and other characteristics that existed only in extinct theropod dinosaurs. I’ll revisit this point later.

    2. Velociraptor was fully dinosaur, Archeopteryx was fully bird etc etc.

    This objection is one that I hear quite often. “Bird”, “dinosaur”, as well “red” and even “life”, are simply words that we as a people have chosen to represent certain entities we observe, in order to communicate the notion to others. There is no “essence of bird” that was handed down to use on a stone tablet, telling us exactly what constitutes a bird and what does not. We simply choose to lump certain species together into what we think is the most appropriate pre-defined category.

    Much like how the colors “red” and “orange” have, so we tend to think, distinct meanings and can be rather easily picked out of a color chart, “bird” and “dinosaur”, so we tend to think, have similar distinctions. The ambiguity occurs when one is asked while looking at a color gradient to point to the exact spot in which orange ceases to be orange, and becomes red. The ambiguity even gives rise to new color names like “red-orange”. Such is the case with the Dromaeosaurids (in which velociraptor, deinonychus and most other feathered dinosaurs are classified), also known as the “Bird-Like dinosaurs”. I would even venture a guess, that if anyone on this blog were to witness for the first time a living velociraptor, most of us would declare it to be a bird, granted, a most unusual bird. It was small, about the size of a turkey, covered in down-like feathers from head to toe, bipedal with scaly feet and legs, with long wing-like feathers on it’s forelimbs. It looked like a very bizarre bird. Yet in spite of all these characteristics that we typically associate only with birds, velociraptor had more in common with T-Rex than my pet parakeet.

    Jeholornis, as you point out, is by most any definition, a bird. I will stress however, that it does not belong to the sub-class Neornithes, the so called “Modern birds”. Every species of bird living today falls into this sub-class. It’s important to note this because prior to the discovery of animals like archeopteryx and jeholornis, the biological definition of bird included only those organisms with beaks, not toothed jaws and no bony tail, (as no modern birds have toothed jaws or bony tails). Essentially, the definition of “bird” had to be expanded to include organisms like archeopteryx and jeholornis because there simply was not an existing category that they fit neatly into. In fact, Archeopteryx has a skeletal structure that so closely resembles that of small land-dwelling theropod dinosaurs, that a specimen discovered in the 1960’s was misclassified as Compsognathus, a small theropod, until light feather impressions were later discovered on the fossil. I listed the major characteristics that archeopteryx (and jehelornis to a lessor degree) share with other theropod dinosaurs in my original post, so I won’t rehash those here.

    All of the above argumentation begs this one question: Why should it be so hard to properly classify these organisms (among many other similar examples I’ll be happy to discuss if asked)? If each “kind” of animal is created individually, there is no good explanation for why some ancient birds look almost exactly like dinosaurs with feathers to the point that experts mis-classify them. The ambiguity in classification is a direct result of animals that bridge the gap between two known classifications of animals, much like the color “red-orange” bridges the gap between “red” and “orange”. For further reading, there are also equally beautiful examples of transitions between hoofed mammals (Artiodactyls) and modern whales (Cetaceans), and between sea dwelling, gilled fish and four legged, air-breathing reptiles.

    To conclude, we’re constantly asked to show transitional organisms that display characteristics of two separate classes of organism. The examples I cited, among many others, are exactly that: birds and/or dinosaurs that display characteristics known only to exist in the other class of organisms. That some of these organisms didn’t produce offspring that survived until today isn’t the point. Their existence shows that, at the proper period in time, there existed an entire range of species that were not quite what we think of dinosaurs, and not quite what we think of as birds. I’ll note here, that nowhere in your, post Mr T, did you dispute that these animals possess the characteristics I described. Your only rebuttal was to glibly lump them into whatever clade you thought they fit best, without addressing the actual point; that they are, by every definition I’ve ever heard, transitional species linking dinosaurs (or at the very least, archosaurs) and birds.


  8. Carl M January 14, 2011 at 1:47 am #

    there are a few differences between birds and dinosaurs. You can’t just stick a few feathers on a dinosaur and get it to fly. Reptiles have four legs, while birds have two legs and two wings.

    I think it deserves highlighting that whomever said the above does not deserve the title Dr Dino.

  9. Manuel Little January 14, 2011 at 5:31 am #

    Dr. Hovind makes several admitted mistakes in this video, and then some – it would appear that the audience is a church audience, and time is of essence. Posting this video is indicative of scarce resources. For instance the idea that a hummingbird has teeth re-defines what is meant by “teeth”.

    But the general argument is to show that the link in phylogeny between some forms of reptiles and some form of birds is not as established as is often put forth.

    For instance, we could just as well argue that some form of reptiles descended from birds, on the basis of similarities. Similarities would exist in any group of animals or plants, even if they were planted on Earth by intelligent life from another planet.

    But similarities in anatomy do not indicate which way the “evolution” (change) occurred with time. It’s a mess.

  10. Mr T January 15, 2011 at 2:05 pm #


    The key here (IMHO) is transitional animals, as similarities between differing classifications are consistent with both “common descent” and “common design”. Your examples are not transitional as claimed.

    Fossils, from a creationist point of veiw, are a snapshop of life just prior to the flood. Therefore our conclusions on your examples would differ, particularly their fossil ages.

    The answer for testing for transition normally comes from DNA evidence. Where one can test similarities, it turns out that similar features are usually defined by different DNA sequences for the sample classes, making common descent unlikely. When/If DNA for dinosaurs becomes available, your question can be answered.