The Dino That Learned to Fly

Birds came from dinosaurs, evolutionists say. Really? If so, they certainly faced some long odds.

According to evolutionists, millions of dinosaurs get eaten each day. In fact, if you have ever had dinner at Kentucky Fried Chicken or El Pollo Loco, you have probably dined on mutated dinosaur meat, they would say.

But before you turn your nose up at the humble chicken, let’s investigate to see if this evolutionary theory is hard science—or bird-brained.

What does it take to make an alligator fly?

Odd as it may seem, this is an important question that troubles evolutionists. If the prevailing theory of evolution is true, birds are the direct descendants of theropod dinosaurs—two-legged, carnivorous reptiles like Tyrannosaurus Rex and Velociraptor, only much smaller. But is it logical, or even reasonable, to believe that?

Think of everything it entails to make an airplane fly: thousands of complex systems and backup systems. It requires aerodynamically designed wings, wing flaps and rudder; a sturdy fuselage; powerful engines able to operate at high altitudes; combustible fuel; landing gear; complicated electrical circuitry and hydraulic systems; navigation systems, and an intricate array of instruments and gauges. And an airplane is a vastly simpler machine than a bird.

Plus, each of the above complicated systems must work together in unison to make the plane fly. Either they work in conjunction or the airplane doesn’t function. Birds are the same way. They have specifically designed wings, respiratory systems, digestive systems, nervous systems and other features that uniquely work together to make seemingly effortless flight possible.

Nevertheless, not only do evolutionists teach that all this evolved, but that birds developed their flying parts piece by piece! Does this make sense? Could an airplane fly unless each piece were properly engineered so that the whole unit was airworthy? Until that happens, the airplane is—at best—a useless, tube-shaped wagon with a half-finished proto-wing, three quarters of an engine and half a tail.

Baldy the Biped

Let’s begin our evolutionary test flight with little Baldy the biped. Baldy is a wannabe birdie because he doesn’t have any feathers yet. And he is a biped because he walks on his two powerful hind legs since his tiny arms are only a few inches long.

For some reason, Baldy has decided he wants to fly.

Scientists don’t really know how the first theropods like Baldy supposedly began to evolve the ability to fly, but they are sure it happened. They have advanced two main theories describing how: the arboreal theory and the cursorial theory.

The arboreal theory is that birds owe their flying ability to tree-climbing ancestors. It gained in popularity in the early 1900s when Othenio Abel proposed that bird ancestors leaped back and forth in branched trees and gradually evolved wings and flapping flight through stages of parachuting and gliding until they became the eagles, ducks and doves we see soaring high above us today.

Poor Baldy. Just imagine the tragic scene. Up to this point, neither he nor any of his relatives has ever flown. Baldy remembers his dear old uncle Stubby, and all his brothers, sisters, cousins and friends who had been leaping to their deaths from the tops of tree branches and towering cliff edges—all trying to get their evolutionary jobs done.

But Baldy is determined. In spite of his many bumps, bruises and broken claws, Baldy the dinosaur knows that it is his destiny to fly. He has never seen anyone fly before, and his arms are short, but who knows? Maybe if he flaps hard enough, he will be able to overcome his aerodynamically unsound body form, and his dense and heavy bone structure. But fly he must—or so evolutionists say.

So, using his beak and claws, he scrambles up to the highest limb he can find to take advantage of the strongest wind gusts. And then, with one great leap of faith, he lunges—or plunges—off into the sweet, blue yonder.

Flop, flutter, snap, crash! Stillness. Poor Baldy died of three broken ribs, a fractured “proto-wing,” a cracked skull, a twisted ankle and third-degree wind burns.

But don’t worry, Baldy didn’t actually exist in the first place! How could he exist if all his ancestors were continually leaping to their deaths because they were not equipped for their environment?

Does it make sense that a reptile-like creature could evolve feathers, or learn to fly just because it lived in trees? The answer is no. About half the scientific community agrees it is very unlikely. Unfortunately, these same scientists have their own equally unbelievable theory.

Scientists supporting the cursorial theory of flight are quick to heap scorn on those who believe that “pre-birds” were jumping tree-climbers that eventually evolved the ability to fly. Instead, these scientists say it is much more obvious that theropod-type dinosaurs evolved the flying ability by running on the ground, waving their forelimbs and jumping, in order to “oar along in the air,” perhaps to better catch flying insects, or other food. Others say the first wings evolved for balancing purposes, for scaring off predators, for shading, or for jumping across clefts. Incidentally, the scientists who believe flight developed by dinosaurs jumping out of trees generally discard such ridiculous proposals.

Consider the Feather

The one thing that both sets of scientists have in common is that neither group has been able to show how reptiles supposedly evolved feathers.

The feather is a marvel of construction—an engineering masterpiece. If you have ever looked at a feather under a microscope, you know that each parallel barb slanting diagonally from the shaft is not just a straight hair, but is actually a miniature replica of the feather itself—with many side branches, complete with barbules and hooks that overlap the neighboring side branches, creating specific patterns. The outcome is a wing far more versatile than the most advanced aircraft’s.

Yet feathers must have evolved, we are told. One theory goes like this: At some point, a pre-bird was born with frayed scales—longish, loosely attached, frayed scales. The frayed scales must have given the reptiles some kind of (undiscovered) competitive advantage, so over time, more and more of the pre-birds were covered in frayed scales. Millions of years later, these broken, defective scales eventually became the incredibly complex, perfect-for-flying feathers we see today. Mystery solved, right?

Not so quick. If all of a sudden these reptiles began developing a downy covering of feathers, how did they regulate their body temperature? Reptiles are cold-blooded and need to spend much of their day basking in the sun to warm up. Feathers would block the sun.

Can you picture poor Baldy? He is not so bald anymore; he has a nice layer of fuzz; but he is shivering in the cold, trying to warm up his core body temperature because his beautiful feathers keep shading him. He wants to go out and hunt for food, but he can’t because it takes all his energy just to find the warmest rock possible to sit on. He no longer has any energy to climb trees or run around jumping in the air to bite insects. Eventually, he starves.

That is part of the reason why most scientists now believe that proto-feathers developed as an entirely new structure, unrelated to scales. First, reptiles became warm-blooded, these scientists argue. Then the feathers developed to help keep the internally generated heat in. That certainly is good news for Baldy, and for the evolutionary cause, but again, it is all conjecture based upon the “birds are warm-blooded and evolution is fact so it must have happened” line of reasoning. The same reasoning is generally used to account for the magically appearing genetic code required to produce proto-feathers.

And remember: Evolution is hypothetically a slow process working over thousands and millions of years. So if the frayed-scale or proto-feather theory were really true, there should be thousands of imprints of frayed scales and proto-feathers within the geologic record. Alas, after more than 100 years of searching, not a single example has been found. When feathers appear in the record, they are completely “modern.”

Leaps of Faith

To get around this little problem, some scientists now promote the theory that evolution occurs in big jumps—leaving no transition fossils behind. But what these “big jumpers” are not able to explain is how these jumps could possibly occur genetically. For instance, how could the genetic code for fully functioning organs suddenly appear out of nowhere?

But let’s for a moment forget the lack of evidence and pretend that somehow Baldy has managed to evolve wings out of his scrawny forearms and that fully fledged feathers have magically appeared. Baldy is now ready for his first real flight. He climbs up his tree.

One, two, three—hold on!

Straighten Up and Fly Right

Because flying is a high-energy activity, birds require much more oxygen. An entirely new respiratory system is required. Birds have a much more efficient and superior set of lungs than reptiles. Specifically, reptiles have a single large air sac divided by ingrowths for a lung. In contrast, birds have an intricate two-cycle breathing process that involves both lungs and eight or nine additional air sacs that temporarily store air and then contract to force air through the system. This allows the lungs to constantly have fresh air when birds are both inhaling and exhaling—the lungs are never empty!

But feathers and a respiratory system are only part of the problem.

In order to fly, birds also need a unique skeletal system. Flight demands a rigid airframe and light bones.

So now let’s assume that somehow Baldy has evolved his own completely brand-new skeletal system. His bones have been transformed from large, dense, heavy reptile bones into the light hollow or honeycombed bones that birds generally have today. Some of the heavier bones have been completely discarded, while new structures designed for specially built muscle attachments have also appeared. Some respiratory air sacs form air pockets within other bones. Baldy also has a new type of backbone, fused and rigid, which helps him breathe since he no longer has a diaphragm. Now his entire body cavity acts like bellows to move air through the lungs—contracting to push air out, and relaxing to let air in.

Baldy is very excited now. No longer will he pass out from oxygen deprivation when he tries to fly, especially since the air is so much thinner way up in the sky. But Baldy is still having trouble taking more than a couple of uncoordinated flaps. He just keeps tiring out.

If Baldy is to fly, he will need an entirely new digestive system too!

Hungry for the Facts

The dilemma for birds is that they need to balance increased fuel consumption and economy of weight. Reptiles on the other hand, in many cases, can go weeks, or months, without eating. This won’t work for Baldy. Flying is much more energy intensive than sunning himself on trees or rocks. He needs to eat foods with a minimum of indigestible material, process them quickly and eliminate the leftovers. Baldy had better tack on a divided stomach, and gizzard, a larger esophagus, and a cloaca for quick waste elimination. And while he is at it, he might as well get rid of his bladder—no need for hauling that extra water around.

After all that work (or tens of millions of years of random mutation combined with natural selection, according to evolutionists) our mythical friend must be getting close to flight, right? Alas, no. Baldy needs a rewiring job if he is going to fly—a new nervous system.

Are We There Yet?

The demands of flight require that the bird must be able to specifically move and position its body in an exact manner. The feathers and the wings must be manipulated. The “new,” bigger, redesigned muscles required for flying must be controlled. And don’t forget the new navigational equipment. Move over biped-brain—make way for a new upgraded set of oculars. Proportionally, birds have massive eyes, practically filling up the cranium in some cases.

Last but not least, the bird needs a coordinating system to operate all these complex systems. You can have an entire airplane, but without the controls and instrument panel, it isn’t going to fly. Similarly, you need the wings, the engine, the electrical and hydraulic systems, the landing gear. It is all or none. Everything or nothing. Black or white. Zero percent or 100 percent. Flight or no flight.

With the new nervous system in place, little Baldy the biped is very happy. He has his feathers and wings. He has his revamped, lightweight skeleton. And he has his souped-up respiratory and digestive systems.

Taking a running start and a flying leap, Baldy soars up into the air. Looking down at the beautiful world below, he couldn’t be more content—he can fly!

Returning home, Baldy is excited to tell all his friends about his newfound ability. But something strange has happened. Nobody recognizes him anymore. His mutations have caused him to be so different that the other bipeds don’t know who he is. He is all alone.

And that brings us to one more problem evolutionists have difficulty explaining. If Baldy has gone through all these amazing evolutionary progressions and “big genetic jumps,” with whom is Baldy to mate?

Thus ends the story of Baldy the biped—the first and last of his kind. And so ends an evolutionary theory fit for the birds.