Ok, on to part 3 of the Genesis Park Tours where we come across Dinos Evolved to Birds? where Woetzel tries to discredit the concept of feathered dinosaurs and the hype it made by asserting that some evolutionists like Storrs L. Olson, Curator of Birds at the Smithsonian Institution, were disgusted by the unwarranted speculation of feathered dinosaurs. That's because Olson criticized the dino-bird claims made by Christopher P. Sloan's in reference to the Archaeoraptor fossil now discovered to be a hoax. Even National Geographic Magazine have found it to be a hoax and apologize to the readers for writing such a rash article that jumped to the wrong conclusion about the fossil being a "sensational find." Just because Archaeoraptor is a fake doesn't mean all feathered dinosaur fossils are fakes. Out of all of the discoveries made of feathered dinosaurs all over the earth, only Archaeoraptor was confirmed to be a fraud. All the rest are real. In the next part Woetzel claims,
Independent studies by embryonic researchers and respiratory experts reported in the journal Science that dinosaurs evolving to birds is just not a reasonable scenario."
This is a direct misrepresentation of the study made by researchers who actually discovered that the embryonic fingers developed differently than what creationists assumed (see below) and the dinosaur lungs were no different than that of bird lungs despite what some evolutionists think based on a long observation of a fossil photograph.
Next, Woetzel tries to discredit Archaeopteryx being a part-dinosaur part bird by claiming that it's "just a bird." Any creationists would blur out in large capitol letters that it's just a bird, not a dinosaur. But that's not going to make all the theropod traits found on Archaeopteryx go away, including the saurischian hips, the bony tail, beakless skull, and the dromaeosaur type feet that can't perch worth a hoot; the dew claw (or hallux) is much too small and can't point backwards like the large hallux in modern birds can. Saying that some modern birds of today like the hoatzin exhibit similar features is not going to hide the fact that these modern birds have them only when they're hatchlings. They'll lose them completely by the time they reach adulthood. Archaeopteryx, on the other hand, has a bony tail and claws on its wings its entire life. So no, Archaeopteryx is not the same as the hoatzin.
Woetzel tries to discredit dino-bird ancestry more by claiming,
"Some Darwinists have even suggested that the small carnivorous dinosaur Compsognathus could be the transitional dinosaur between Archy and the reptiles. Although the Compy appeared to have hollow bones, it makes a poor specimen for the evolutionists speculation because it co-existed with Archaeopteryx."
One has to wonder where did Woetzel ever get such stupid strawman remarks like that other than his own head. Compsognathus is one of world's smallest dinosaurs that's not a part of the lineage that gave rise to birds, This is a chicken-size dinosaur closely related to the newly discovered Xiaotingia zhengi and Archaeopteryx whose several fossil specimens have been mistaken as Compsognathus fossils because both dinosaurs look so much alike in a lot of ways. This mistake persists until scientists one day discovered faint feather imprints aligning the bones of the dinosaur, telling them that's no Compsognathus they're looking at, but rather Archaeopteryx. Woetzel thinks the idea of bird evolving from saurischian dinosaurs "appears to be rather contradictory," never mind the saurischian hips in dromaeosaurs and therizinosaurs that looked more ornithschian than saurischian.
He then mentions the oft paraded claim about the discovery of fossil bird remains said to be 75 million years older than Archaeopteryx. This is a direct distortion of the alleged discovery of a avian dinosaur "Protoavis" made by Sanker Chatterjee who claims to have discovered the fossil in Texas in 1984. This fossil is made up of poorly preserved bone fragments that may not belong to the same specimen, leading other scientists to doubt whether the bird fossil actually exist or it's just like the Archaeoraptor fossil, a fake fossil made up of fragmentary remains of a few separate dinosaurs.
The rest of the article claims that according to Alan Feduccia's studies on ostrich embryos, he concluded,
"Whatever the ancestor of birds was, it must have had five fingers, not the three-fingered hand of theropod dinosaurs."
This is a direct distortion of embryonic studies made by scientists who mistook II, III, IV digit fingers with I, II, III digit fingers. There were once five fingers found on the hands of some earliest dinosaurs such as Herrerasaurus. But over time, the I and V digits got lost, leaving II, III, IV to be the three fingers both modern birds and advanced forms of theropod and maniraptorian dinosaurs will have. See this article for more details about the finger arrangement. And finally, Woetzel mentions a discovery of bird-like foot tracks made in the Santo Domingo Formation in northwestern Argentina that's dated to the late Triassic Period, about 55 million years before Archaeopteryx appeared. This does nothing to destroy the concept of birds evolving from dinosaurs. Especially when both modern bird lineages and theropod dinosaurs evolved from the Coelurosauria clade. The tracks are not necessary bird tracks, but theropod prints that have clear characteristics of birds in them. Yet, creationists would like to make you think they're made by just modern birds that destroys dino-bird evolution while ignoring the fact that non-avian dinosaurs have the very same type of feet modern birds have as the result of Mosaic Evolution in which life change over time in stages instead of all at once. These prints possibly belonged to an unknown species of early theropod dinosaur with bird-like feet. Heck. All dinosaurs in theropod, coelurosaur, and maniraptorian groups of the Coelurosauria clade have feet similar to modern birds. These Triassic prints have probably been made by dinosaurs like Eoraptor and Herrerasaurus who have just the same type of feet modern birds have. Finding 3-toed tracks dated to the Mesozoic Era are not necessary made by birds.
Citation: Falk, A.R. (2), Department of Geology, University of Kansas. CREDIBILITY OF "UNKNOWN THEROPOD TRACKS" WITH AVIAN CHARACTERISTICS FROM THE LATE TRIASSIC. Melchor et al. (2002, 2006)
The next page, What Killed Dinos?, gives out some theories made to explain the extinction of the dinosaurs, including the famous meteorite impact theory and ponders the question,
"But how could every dinosaur have been destroyed by this cataclysm and yet thin-skinned mammals, delicate birds, and turtles have survived?"
Adaptation, Woetzel. Birds, mammals, turtles and other types of reptiles living today, fish, and insects have managed to adapt to the drastic changes and survive while all non-avian dinosaurs, pterosaurs, plesiosaurs, mosasaurs, ichthyosaurs, and the rest of the 70% of all life on earth died out. This whole page invokes the Biblical Flood and its aftermath to explain the dinosaur extinction. Yet it is not without problems and flaws associated with such a scenario. Much of what is shown on the page is debunked time and time again, including the claim that the Flood caused volcanoes to spew out iridium dust and earthquakes to erupt. There's nothing in the Bible that says anything about earthquakes and volcanoes occurring during the Flood. Creationists insist that Genesis 7:11 should include volcanoes and earthquakes among the fountains of the deep that burst open along with the Floodgates of Heaven, but there's no implications of any volcanoes, earthquakes, and geysers found anywhere within the verse. Rather it only refers to just massive tsunamis and torrential downpours. They shoehorn volcanoes, earthquakes, and meteorites into the verse as an attempt to explain the evidence of volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and meteor showers occurring in the fossil record while ignoring the reality of the evidence which tells us that such incidents like eruptions, earthquakes, and meteor showers each occurred in separate events over a period of time.
According to Woetzel, he thinks the mythical conditions of the early earth is what caused the dinosaurs to spread all over the earth. To him, most dinosaurs died in the Flood while pairs of some representatives Noah took up into the ark survived the Flood only to reproduce in small numbers that were eventually killed off as a threat, or food except those who survive in remote place throughout the world. All these beliefs are imagined up and unfounded. These things would lead one to ask, "How can a Loving God kill off all those dinosaurs if He intended on keep them alive after the Flood ended?" Seriously, I've asked this so many times before, If it is God's will for them to be saved, only to allow them to die off after the Flood ended, then what's the point of ever saving them in the first place?
In the The Dinosaur Death Pose section, skeletal remains of dinosaurs cured up in a "death pose" is mentioned here. Without any substantial evidence to prove it, a creationist by the name of Ian Juby claims to have collected a hundred examples of animals dying in "death poses" and concludes that the Biblical Flood is alleged to be responsible for making all these animals die in a pose that indicates these animals were swimming and gasping for air as they were drowning in the alleged Flood, never mind the complete lack of indications of water being responsible for such poses, and never mind the real reason behind such death poses that all have to do with opisthotonus, a state of a severe hyperextension and spasticity in which an individual's head, neck and spinal column enter into a complete "bridging" or "arching" position during the individual's death throes, and none having to do with the fictional Noah's Flood.
In the next post I'll tear down all the claims Woetzel made about dragons being dinosaurs people saw in legends in the Dragons in History and Ancient Depictions pages.