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Plain Truth Magazine
January 1967
Volume: Vol XXXII, No.1
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Garner Ted Armstrong   
Church of God

Born: February 9, 1930
Died: September 15, 2003
Member Since: 1930
Ambassador College: 1956
Ordained: 1955
Office: Evangelist

Millions of years ago, according to evolution, our fine feathered friends, the birds, reared ugly, slimy heads from fetid seas, and slithered ashore. Over uncountable eons of time, they climbed trees, leapt from branch to branch and gradually grew feathers! As time kept passing, they "learned," says evolution, to hover, glide, soar, flitter, and even fly backward! BIRDS CAME FROM REPTILES or so say the text-books. But is such a theory LOGICAL? Can it be PROVED? Read, in this eye-opening article, about a "fowl" hypothesis one for the birds!

   WHAT DOES it take to fly?
   Flight has fascinated man, with his superior intellect, for thousands of years. Still, instead of sprouting wings, man has learned to make machines to carry him through the skies, and even into space.
   But is there any person who did not, as a child, gaze at the fantastic array of beautiful birds everywhere in nature, and wish he could fly?
   There are birds that soar, birds that flutter, birds that dive, sail, migrate thousands of miles, and even birds that fly backward.
   The huge albatross, roaming the vastness of the Pacific Ocean, may attain an unbelievable wingspread of TWELVE FEET. That means he's as far from wing tip to wing tip as a 4' 11" man would be, standing on Lew Alcindor's head (Alcindor, the UCLA basketball sensation, stands 7' 1?" tall!).
   Tiny hummingbirds, not much bigger than big bumblebees, fly straight ahead with remarkable speed, and even back up in midair!
   And these birds, and all the other myriads of colorful, winged creatures, say evolutionists, came from slithering lizards!

A Fabulous "Link" to Lizards!

   Universally heralded as the one great "link" between all birds and reptiles is "Archaeopteryx," a fossilized, bird-like creature, found in stratified rock near a lake in Bavaria. "Archaeopteryx" means, simply, "ancient wing."
   But what is so unusual about "Archaeopteryx"?
   The creature has characteristics that are strangely like those of LIZARDS, say the evolutionists though also possessing the appearance of a bird.
   Evolutionary thought consists of ample conjecture, imagination, guesswork, and fantasy to make a mother goose rhyme pale into insignificance. And changing an ugly beast into a raving beauty is precisely what evolution claims happened!
   "Imagine," says a bird biologist, "a strange bird-like creature the size of a crow" gliding over an ancient Bavarian lake.
   "Or was it more reptile-like? We cannot be sure," continues the story for "it appeared to have some of the features of both reptiles and birds." "Suddenly," goes the dramatic tale, "our bird-like creature, with its feeble powers of flight, was unable to cope with a sharp gust of wind and fell into the shallow waters below and drowned."
   This is the layman's introduction into bird biology the imaginary story of how something MIGHT have happened to preserve a fossil find in Bavaria; one which claims to link birds with beasts.
   What a tragic end to a short flight! If, of course, the bird EVER FLEW.

The Missing Evidence

   Evolutionists readily admit the paucity of fossils to substantiate such a theory but insist their theories are "clear" "IN SPITE OF THE PATCHINESS OF THE EVIDENCE"!
   You are about to see, with your own eyes, another example of the classic "FAITH" of evolution!
   Because evolution, after all, is A FAITH! It is a dogmatic assertion that certain changes DID occur, and an almost religious-like CLINGING to that notion, IN SPITE OF all logic, contradictory evidence, or rational thought!
   Notice! "Archaeopteryx" was brought down by a mere "sharp gust." Then it DIDN'T SURVIVE!
   Bear this in mind. The bird, or reptile, or whatever it was, didn't survive!
   Think further, that only two known examples of such a creature have ever been found. Realize further, that there is no proof the creature EVER DID FLY.
   Now notice the strange faith of ornithologists in their theories.
   "IN SPITE OF the patchiness of the evidence it is clear that birds are closely related to the reptiles. The older forms have many characters in their skeletons that suggest their derivation from that group" (Fossil Birds, W. E. Swinton, 1965, p. 2). (Emphasis mine throughout article)
   Evolutionists admit they must SPECULATE about the origin of birds. But they insist that the layman need not even question the validity of their theories!
   Notice! "In attempting to reconstruct the early evolutionary history of many groups of animals a certain element of judicious speculation... may be a valuable weapon" (Evolution, ed. by De Beer, p. 321).
   Granted, evolutionists say such conclusions must be "constantly checked and tested with reference to such fossil types as may be known and to such characters of modern forms as may have a bearing on the subject." But if a certain fossil type, COMPLETELY UNIQUE, and totally developed has NO known fossil or modern counterpart, then how, we might ask, can "constant checking" and "testing" ever occur?
   In most books on the subject, authors first admit they are making "educated guesses," and then follow with a broad, all-inclusive, sweeping statement that such and such DID POSITIVELY OCCUR!
   They have ALREADY DECIDED, on sheer FAITH, that birds evolved from reptiles!
   Said the same author, "The reptilian ancestry of birds IS SO SELF-EVIDENT and so UNIVERSALLY RECOGNIZED BY ZOOLOGISTS that it can be taken as AXIOMATIC in any discussion"! (Evolution, ed. by De Beer, p. 322).
   So they seem to imply: "Even though I must guess, imagine and speculate
   You must assume my theory is so CORRECT that you needn't bother even thinking about it"!

No Intermediate Stages Found

   But if our myriads of birds evolved from slimy lizards, is there any REAL fossil EVIDENCE of a part-bird, part-lizard? Is there such a thing as a HALF-scale, HALF-feather found?
   Think of it this way. In any motion picture sequence, in order for your eye to see a man walking from one side of a room to another, it necessitates many separate frames. Each is, actually, a "still" picture, snapped in a mere fraction of a second. Two of these frames would be all that is necessary for you to see the man, first at one side of the room, and then at the other. But in order to "see" him make the transition, you must view ALL the many frames IN BETWEEN!
   The fossil "record" concerning the hazy hypothesis that supposes birds came from reptiles is much like dozens of feet of missing film! Where are all the many HUNDREDS of VERY DIFFERENT creatures which would have represented the INTERMEDIATE stages of development?
   And remember, IF these notions of evolution could possibly be true these "intermediate" stages would be NOWHERE NEAR so well equipped to survive as the "fully developed" ones. That means that if it took only a "sharp gust" to bring down "Archaeopteryx," his imaginary ancestors would have been falling out of the skies like bricks! And the fossil record, therefore, would contain FAR MORE "INTERMEDIATE" species than it does of the ones which were supposedly "better equipped" to survive!
   But there ARE no "intermediate" species!
   Notice what scientists admit. "The origin of birds is largely a matter of deduction. There IS NO FOSSIL EVIDENCE of the stages through which the remarkable change from reptile to bird was achieved" (Biology and Comparative Physiology of Birds, edited by A.J. Marshal, 1960, p. 1).
   Scientists are confused about "Archaeopteryx." They claim this creature is part "reptile" and part "bird." Yet, in order to substantiate this claim, evolutionists would have to submit positive proof of intermediate forms!
   But there are no such intermediate forms.
   Listen to this striking admission, "A certain amount of educated guesswork has been necessary to reconstruct how this ancestral bird must have looked and behaved" (Biology of Birds, Wesley E. Lanyon, 1963, pp. 2-3).
   Notice it! Not only is guesswork necessary to reconstruct how this bird must have looked, but scientists readily admit they are guessing about how it behaved. In other words, science does not really know whether this "bird" EVER flew! It is just as likely that this creature inhabited a dry, arid region, and ran along the ground much like certain birds do today, or that it was even a water bird, obtaining its food by diving and swimming.
   But in SPITE of all the difficulties, ornithologists seem bent on INSISTING that "Archaeopteryx" is the "link" between BIRDS and BEASTS! Such is their faith. In any modern book on the subject, you'll probably find artists' reconstructions of "Archaeopteryx." Then will follow elaborate discussions about how this and that "might have" occurred, and how this and that change "gradually" took place.
   To simply call "Archaeopteryx" another of the many UNUSUAL creatures, and place it in a SPECIAL classification, has apparently never occurred to evolutionists. Rather, it is seized upon as a connecting link between birds and reptiles.
   One theory speculates ancient lizards first climbed trees, and gradually extending their leaps, began to glide (by the help of scarred, broken, "half-formed" "feathers") from branch to branch.
   Another theory (take your pick) supposes they first began to run along the ground, and finally flew.
   Science does not claim that all birds share "Archaeopteryx" as their common ancestor believing that some of the flightless birds of today may have come from an even more ancient "ancestor" of Archy.
   But notice this admission! "... it would be naive for us to assume that the accidental drowning of Archaeopteryx... marked the beginning of the evolution of birds. It seems probable that similar and possibly other kinds of primitive reptile-like birds had already existed for some millions of years" (Biology of Birds, Lanyon, 1963, p. 9).
   But even though science admits "Archaeopteryx" does NOT mark the beginning of the IMAGINED "evolution" of birds the evolution of birds is NEVERTHELESS BASED ON "ARCHAEOPTERYX"!
   Search the writings of ornithologists on the subject, and you find them REPEATEDLY citing "Archaeopteryx" as their MOST VALUABLE SINGLE PIECE of "EVIDENCE."
   And what a STRANGE theory. To suppose that the amazingly complex and wonderfully constructed creatures of FLIGHT came from the lumbering, ungainly CREEPING creatures of earth this IS STRANGE!
   As evolution admits, "STRANGELY, few people would suspect that the closest living relatives of the birds are crocodiles"! (ibid. p. 8)
   True FEW PEOPLE WOULD EVER suspect such a STRANGE thing because all the combined powers of observation, comparison, deduction, reason and logic put together with the actual EVIDENCE would PROVE OTHERWISE!
   "Archaeopteryx" was a strange creature. But nowhere near so strange as the theories about his place in the fossil record.
   Scientists really DO NOT KNOW what "Archaeopteryx" was.
   It does not fit the rigid classifications of known creatures but then, neither do many KNOWN creatures. Look at the duck-billed platypus, for example. Appearing to be part duck, part otter, part beaver, this strange creature lays eggs, and then suckles its young, like mammals! What kind of a ridiculous picture would an artist conjure up if a platypus had been discovered as a FOSSIL form of life?
   But the platypus is not a fossil. He's merely an extremely UNUSUAL creature therefore "difficult" for evolutionists to "classify." But he's FULLY developed, PERFECTLY formed, and completely "adapted" to his environment, because he was MADE that way.
   Listen to this admission!
   "There is no justification for making 'Archaeopteryx' the progenitor of all subsequent birds," says one scientist, "for it would be an extreme coincidence if the most ancient bird, so inadequately represented in the geological record, were indeed so fortunately placed in the evolutionary picture. The preservation of 'Archaeopteryx' is almost certainly due to its instability," continues the amazing admission and please PAY CAREFUL ATTENTION TO THAT FACT "to the fact that,
According to evolution, the ancestors of birds reared their ugly heads, bottom, from the seas millions of years ago and slithered ashore. During uncountable eons of time they climbed trees, leaped from branch to branch and grew feathers till they at last became birds, top.
having left the shelter of its trees (it has never been proved "Archaeopteryx" flew) in a high wind, it was borne over the Solnhofen lake and was drowned in the comparatively quiet waters near the shore" (Biology and Comparative Physiology of Birds, edited by A.J. Marshall, 1960, pp. 11-13).
   But carefully consider this! If "Archaeopteryx," a "fully developed" species, having clearly defined FEATHERS, was admittedly downed by a "sharp gust" and so preserved as a fossil form, then how about the dozens and dozens of INTERMEDIATE species NOWHERE NEARLY so "equipped to fly" as "Archaeopteryx"?
   To simplify matters, let's go back in our imaginations (since the whole story of evolution is purely imaginary, anyhow) and try to speculate about the
See PDF for Picture
first, "almost" "Archaeopteryx." Our little creature (let's call him "Archy" for short since he's not yet developed into a "full-fledged, feathered "Archaeopteryx") Archy is tired of sitting on his perch, a swaying limb, to which he had laboriously struggled with his claws and beak.
   Up to this point, neither Archy nor any of his relatives had been successful in flight. Archy remembers dear old Uncle Willie, and all his brothers and sisters, and so many other relatives who had been leaping to their deaths from cliffs, pinnacles, towering rocks, trees, and shrubs. And then there was dear old aunt Martha-opteryx (meaning, "Winged Martha"), who, when she attempted to flutter through the tightly woven limbs of a thorn tree, lost all her feathers, and had been wearing an old discarded snake skin ever since.
   But, Archy is undaunted. In spite of repeated failures, he knows he is destined, somehow, to fly! He's never SEEN anyone fly, mind you. His feathers aren't long enough, and his "reptilian-like" bony structure is too heavy, and he's aerodynamically unsound. But fly he must or so science guesses.
   So, as a steady gust shakes his limb, he stretches out his ancient, bedraggled (bedraggled, since he's been dragging them along the ground, up through mazes of brush and trees, and has never used them in actual flight) feathers, and with an ancient "CROAK!" of triumph, leaps into the air!
   RIP! TEAR! STRUGGLE, STRUGGLE, STRUGGLE! AAAAAAaaaaaaaaggggh! Serene quiet. Archy is dead.
   He died of broken wings, a sprained back, a broken neck, crushed skull, and fractured feet.
   Actually, Archy never existed! He couldn't have since his ancestors weren't "equipped" to survive!
   But let's go back to the admissions of scientists about "Archaeopteryx" and his poor powers of flight! It makes MUCH more sense and is FAR MORE LOGICAL that, just as "Archaeopteryx" MAY HAVE BEEN downed by a gust HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of his more POORLY EQUIPPED ANCESTORS broke their necks, drowned by the thousands, fell by the ten thousands, and piled up in veritable massive, fossil graveyards in their disastrous, feeble, futile efforts to fly!
   And if true the fossil record would ABOUND with such evidence.
   You would see fossil lizards with just a TINY HINT of a feather, growing from one elbow. You'd see dozens of other strange creatures, with feathers growing from their tails, their knees, and their heads. There would be broken, sprained, bedraggled, water-soaked feathers ALL THROUGH the fossil record since evolution would have you believe the development from scales to feathers took MILLIONS and MILLIONS of years!
   But why not look at it in REVERSE? What if, as the first "feathers" made their appearance on lizards, they were UNWELCOME?
   How would you feel about a stupid feather growing from your tailbone?
   Probably a little weird! Probably, you'd PLUCK IT OUT! (After all, people shave and shave and shave and still the hair-grows back and people burn, and electrocute, and shave, and pluck, and even remove whole patches of skin, just to get rid of unsightly body hair)
   How would any self-respecting, slithery lizard feel when he suddenly found FEATHERS on his forearms? Think of what kind of feathers they'd be, with him dragging them in and out of holes in the rocks, over logs, into lakes and rivers, up thorn bushes, and across sandy deserts!
   He'd probably tear the things out with his teeth in sheer frustration!
A greatly magnified artist's view of a feather! Each tiny member firmly interlocks with the other, making the feather one of the most powerfully built, yet lightest structures!
   Then the evolutionary process (which has not been proved) would have been halted at this ridiculous "stage," and to this day, you would observe dejected lizards, pulling at broken "feathers," or trying to rub them off against brush and rocks.
   No evolutionary thought just DOES NOT HAVE THE ANSWER for the true origin of flight!
   The fantastically complex, beautiful, inspiring species of birds around us, with their breathtaking ability, their almost incredible migratory powers, and their SPECIALLY built bodies just CANNOT BE EXPLAINED by millions of tons of MISSING EVIDENCE!

Vast DIFFERENCE between Birds and Reptiles!

   Certainly, many creatures lay eggs. Crocodiles do. Birds do. But so do duck-billed platypuses, and so do insects.
   But here, the similarities stop!
   The huge, powerfully built, scaled and armor-plated reptiles, with their gigantic jaws, their meaty, bony, powerful tails, and their weathered, wrinkled, thick leather-like hides are about as FAR from being the "closest living relatives" to our birds as they can be!
   Think of it!
   Birds have tiny, fragile, porous AIR-FRAME skeletal structures. They have air sacs through their bodies, which act as "extra lungs." They have a rapid heartbeat, with rapid metabolism. They have a myriad of different kinds of beaks, claws, wings, and heads each for a SET, SPECIFIC and very SPECIAL PURPOSE!
   Man will stop at nothing no matter how preposterous it seems in his attempt to explain the marvelous CREATION without a great and Wonderful CREATOR!
   One of the GREAT PROOFS OF GOD is DESIGN! It IS FAR more logical to point to egg-laying, bony frames, and various similarities in characteristics in ALL creatures, as proof of ONE GREAT DESIGNER, who utilized ONE GREAT MASTER PLAN in His Creation, than to say one "evolved" from the other!
   When you view a row of similar buildings, you observe they were designed by the SAME ARCHITECT you don't reason the little ones "evolved" from the big ones.
   And when you see the similarities in "nature" you are seeing the SAME SELF-EVIDENT TRUTH! One GREAT ARCHITECT designed ALL LIFE CREATED IT PUT IT ON THIS EARTH FOR A GREAT PURPOSE!
   What a truly breathtaking study it would be if, throughout ornithology, the wondrous, warm, loving, and oftentimes HUMOROUS wisdom of GOD were taught to our children, in place of the empty suppositions of the no-God theories of today!

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Plain Truth MagazineJanuary 1967Vol XXXII, No.1
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