Feathers From Scales??

Posted by on Apr 29, 2011 in Articles |

A Gary Larson cartoon depicts a meeting of several dinosaurs discussing their ultimate fate – extinction.  The caption say; “Wings, feathers, nests?  A crazy idea, but it just might work!”  It certainly does sound like a crazy idea, but several science centers we visited lately have actually made the statement that dinosaurs are still with us – they “merely” evolved into birds.  So, somehow, legs must have developed into wings and scales into feathers.  Let’s take a close look at what some call the “easy step” in the supposed process – scales evolving into feathers.

According to one theory of the evolution of birds, a reptile scale became more and more adapted for flight by becoming elongated and fraying out.  The frayed scale then developed into an amazingly strong but flexible feather with an intricate system of veins, hooks, and barbules.  The hooks and barbules began to work together to produce a highly sophisticated zipper which birds can’t do without.

Is there any evidence that feathers are just frayed scales?  No!  There isn’t even a hint of anything in the fossil record or in the living world which would suggest such a thing.  Both scales and feathers have been found in the fossil record, but every time they are 100% scale or 100% feather with absolutely nothing to show one thing changing into another.  Yes, scales and the intricate parts of the feather are made of the same material, keratin, but does that mean one evolved from another?  No, in fact fingernails are also made of the same material, but no one would venture to say that fingernails evolved into feathers.

Actually, feathers are much closer in development and structure to hair than to scales.  Dr. David Menton, a professor of anatomy, lists 18 similarities to hair.  So why don’t evolutionists suggest that feathers evolved from hair instead?  It’s because the theory of evolution needs to have scales turning into feathers.  Evolutionists believe birds came from reptiles, not mammals, and reptiles have scales, not hair.  Besides, according to evolution, mammals were barely making their appearance when the first birds were supposedly already fully developed.

So there you have it.  According to evolutionary “theory,” birds evolved from reptiles; therefore, feathers have to arise from scales.  Consequently, despite the evidence, this becomes the “fact” and appears as such in textbooks and sciences centers around the country — and you are expected to buy it!  Do you understand?  Sadly, it’s not always the evidence that dictates what scientists call “facts” – all too often they are determined by someone’s preconceived ideas or bias.

by Dave Nutting

Originally published in the Mar/Apr 1995 issue of Think and Believe

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