The limits of man’s imagination is boundless in a world that is guided only by evolutionary relativism. This is especially true in the present mysterious domain of dinosaur hunters. Nothing punctuates this reality more vividly than the recent “scientific discovery” (or more appropriately the evolutionary hope) of a fossil that was alleged to be a dinosaur with feathers. Now, before you break out in sidesplitting laughter, let me fill you in on the amazing details-it does get funnier!
It seems a team of 007-type smugglers from China, driven presumably by profit motive rather than scientific purity, beguiled the already overwrought imagination of several prominent evolutionists with a concocted fossil. This prestigious group of scientists already believed birds came from dinosaurs, and as a result, were easy to fool.
A principal in this group, Mr. Stephen Czerkas of the Dinosaur Museum in Blanding, Utah, found the fossil in question at a gem and rock sale in either Utah or Arizona (both locations have appeared in the accounts). The Sidney Morning Herald reported how Czerkas reacted when he first saw the fossil:
“It was stunning,” Mr. Czertas recalls. “I could see right away that it didn’t belong on sale. It belonged in a museum.” So he hastily contacted a patron who put up the $80,000 the dealer was asking...and took his prize home in a state of high excitement, convinced he had discovered evidence of a pivotal moment in evolution. (emphasis added)
Then without peer review, and in the emotion of the moment, the National Geographic...
(November, 1999) published the entire story-as only they can-under the fantastic title: Feathers For T.Rex? Printed over a color illustration of a facsimile of the so-called fossil, the caption read:
"It’s A Missing Link between terrestrial dinosaurs and birds that could actually fly." It is obvious they so wanted to believe that they had at last had found a genuine “missing link”-even one that confirmed their farfetched belief that flying birds evolved from reptiles-that they didn’t take the time to corroborate the validity of their fossil with other experts in the field for which they had given the name Archaeorapter. But the plot thickens, and the power of the human imagination following the dictates of a controlling world view, shows it authority over the human will once again.
At the October, 1999, meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Dr. Storrs Olson, from the Smithsonian, said:
"It was common knowledge among the people at the meeting that it [the fossil] was a fake."
As a matter of fact, Olson wrote the officials of National Geographic a letter on November 1, 1999, warning them that they were headed for worldwide embarrassment if they printed their article about this fossil. Science News also noted (January 15, 2000) Geographic’s headstrong intention to acknowledge this fossil as a major find for evolution. Knowing that many paleontologists had concerns about the legitimacy of this fossil. The general opinion was-it appeared to be a deliberate manipulation of the body of a bird with the tail of a dinosaur (which it turned out to be). The National Geographic people had “convinced themselves, however, that the two parts belonged together.”
To make matters much worse, officials of National Geographic acknowledged they received Olson’s letter of warning but chose to ignore it because they said they believed Olson’s comments were “based on rumors.” Tragically, therefore, another Piltdown fairy tale is given scientific sanction long enough to fool millions of unsuspecting people.
There have been several blunders of this nature (some terribly premeditated), that have frequented scientific news since the days of Charlie Darwin. The reality in all of this is in many cases the effects are ruinous to the faith of the unaware even after they have been exposed. Once you release a ton of feathers in a hurricane, the chances of recovering them is impossible.
Between October 15, 1999, and January 21, 2000 National Geographic exhibited this contrived fossil in their Explorer’s Hall in Washington, D.C., and 110,000 people, the majority of them school-age children, saw it and heard the convincing story told about the fossil. Many of these children came from believing families and it will be years, if ever, that they will learn the truth! Consequently, they will live under the faith-killing influences of this evolutionary hoax all the while believing this exhibit to be real science. Pray for CTF as we labor in this most vital area.
G. Thomas Sharp, Ph.D.