Thursday, April 06, 2006

Altered Beast: So Much From So Little

I love a good suspense story just as much as anyone. Y'know, the kind where the hero is entombed in an inescapable prison that is shortly to become his grave! But then, at the last remaining second he produces from a hidden compartment in his highly polished wingtip shoes the one weapon for which the sinister villain had composed no contingency: a paper clip! The hero somehow cracks open a circuit box, uses the paper clip to short circuit the building's electronic security system, and opens a way of escape that not even he knew was there!

There's something heroic about someone who can take nothing and nothing and make something of it. Such is the case with the latest dino-discovery in southern-Utah's Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, newest addition to America's menu of wilderness lands. When University of Utah graduate students went exploring for dinosaur bones, they came across unequivocal evidence of the truthfulness of evolution!! What was it? A new species of dinosaur (74-76 million years old) that was a clear transitional form between the raptor family of dinosaurs and modern birds. It was complete with blue feathers, a large tail-feather ploom reminiscent of Cleopatra, a large toothless beak, long arms that were destined to someday become wings, and several other distinguishing features designed to let heroic paleontologists of the future know that this dinosaur wanted to be a bird, but surgical options weren't available (or no health insurance).

So what must it have been like, there at the dig sight as these UofU graduate students hushed to silence as one young Darwinists brushed aside the red-brown dirt with a super-delicate paint brush-looking-thing to reveal the never-before-seen blue feathers? I can almost hear the gasps for air as a handful of dirt was swished aside to reveal the bright-yellow toothless beak, a huge, newly-evolved advantage in an age of huge meat-eating predators Anyway, I wonder if anyone expected the array of colors or radial arrangement of the tail feathers that comprised the great animal's tail?

Er...what? They didn't find any blue feathers? Oh, not any feathers at all? Well what about the yellow beak? No??! Well, surely the long arms, then? No!!??!! Just hand and foot bones? Well how do they even know they were from the same animal? Oh, they don't?

Well, this story seems to have been a non-starter folks. Sorry for the alarm. It seems they only found a few hand bones and a few foot bones and decided to heroically conjecture (see "pulled out of shoe") the rest into existence. I too am embarrassed at this much-ado-about-nothing. It seems that our paleo-psychotic friends were again suffering from exposure, can easily happen down there with the highest UV index in the country. Seems they used the hand bones and a cross-reference to some bird uncovered in China to assert that they were, um...related. Apparently they weren’t any better at border enforcement 75 million years ago.

So I wonder what they intended to prove with all that conjecture and bone-reading? Ooooh. Evolution again. But I thought it was already proven? Why are they still trying to prop up that old theory? Why don't some of them fork off and try to prove something more useful, like gravity or entropy or something?

The lesson, kids is this. When scientists claim to have discovered some huge thing that finally shows the Bible to be wrong and God to be dead, read the fine print.


Throwback 13 said...

I think that, with the exception of complete or nearly complete skeletons that have been found, the fossil record is more accurately described as the fossil fiction. Almost all of the so-called link fossils have been proven to be fabrications. Recently the most prominent dater of fossils has been discovered to be a complete fraud (he was German, perhaps he was a frawd).
However, there is a collection of evidence for Giants. The Bible details giants in Genesis 6, making it clear that they were killed in the flood, but pointing out that they returned again later. Indeed, the early years of the Israelite entrance into and possession of Caanan was fraught with encounters with Giants. Here is a link to someone who addresses the subject,, more can be found by Google search for giants.
I am interested in your thoughts on these giants. Are they similar to today's giants (such at the big basketball stars)? Are they made of the same flesh as humans, or are they strange flesh? Do you think they are genetic sports?
Throwback 13.

Jason Hodge said...

You're right about the fraud. There have been a great number of fraudulent claims about link-species. This link details one such fraud where National Geographic was fooled into publishing fraudulent claims about the transitional form "Archaeoraptor". It blew up in their face and was a huge embarrassment.
I believe that giants did exist and that the genes for gigantism (hypersomia) may still exist in humans. Scientists (real ones) have traced contemporary gigantism in humans to a disorder in the endocrine system. But I also believe that there were a line of giants in Bible times that were largely due to a genetic trait that caused them to grow to heights in excess of 8 to 9 feet without unhealthy side effects. Such a person could sustain speed of 25 miles per hour while running and fling a normal sized man the way we throw around a 6 year old! It would be no wonder that such a man would be the champion of the Philistine army.
In line with the topic of my blog, I think it's interesting that modern scientists have placed the likely upward limits of humans at roughly the same size the Bible says Goliath was (6 bubits or 9 feet) in 1 Samuel 17:4!
See, scientists arent's stupid, they're just slow.

Jeremy Hodge said...

At first I thought to myself, pure drivel. Who is this guy, passing himself off as some kind of expert. And then, upon closer examination, I learned it is indeed Jason Hodge, the one and only. That's right friends, you have stumbled upon the blogging exploits one of the great minds of our time, no kidding, I should know, he's my big brother. Good work Jas, look forward to more of the same.

Anonymous said...

I believe in evolution, natural selection and all that (then what are you doing on this site lol)
sometimes all it takes is a few hand boneds and thats it, if there had been feathers they would decomposed in the first Decade!
An export can tell your age and life style just by the bones in ur hand. Cool!
so the dozens of hand boned they May have found might have been enough.
Oh well even if its not a bird ting its got to be something huh? haha
Cc. A i6 yr old Aussie darwinist