Plain Truth Magazine
February 1967
Volume: Vol XXXII, No.2
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Garner Ted Armstrong & Paul W Kroll  

Did the MIRACLE OF FLIGHT come from frayed, loosely hanging FISH SCALES? Did the myriads of birds EVOLVE from ungainly, hulking caymans and crocodiles? Evolutionists say they did. Reason, logic, common sense, TRUE science and the Great Creator God say they DIDN'T! Here's the PROOF!

   Birds came from reptiles - according to the theories of Evolution.
   The closest living relatives to modern birds, say evolutionists, are the crocodiles. There could be no more shocking statement than to say the closest living relatives to Oleo are houseflies, or that the butterfly evolved from a rhinoceros!
   But is there any real PROOF?
   Can evolution really PROVE birds came from reptiles?
   Last month, we saw the amazing escapades of "Archy," the "almost" Archaeopteryx, who never existed, and the Fable of the First Fatal Flight.
   Evolutionary theory points to "Archaeopteryx" (ancient wing). a fossilized creature, as a link between reptiles and birds. But of all the UNscientific theories you've ever heard the theory of "Archy" must rank near the most incredible!
   Birds are amazing creatures fantastically designed each for a different specific purpose.

What Does it Take to Fly?

   If I told you our modern jet airliners EVOLVED, what would you say? Would you believe it credible that these huge, roaring monsters of metal, with their complex, power-driven control systems, their hydraulic systems, intricate electronics navigational gear, and dizzying array of instruments just PUT THEMSELVES TOGETHER?
   If you read of how, over millions of years, a "near-airplane GREW a cabin, fuselage, fin, rudder, ailerons and navigational equipment" you'd doubt the sanity of the author, wouldn't you?
   "But," one may answer, "that's a man-MADE, manufactured piece of equipment, and we're talking of living creatures."
   That's just it! We're talking of LIVING CREATURES amazingly complex creatures of FLIGHT. Little creatures with dozens of different types of specialized airframes, wingfoils, "rudders, ailerons, and stabilizers," with such amazing navigational equipment a modern jet aircraft can't COMPARE with their remarkable accuracy. We're talking of a fantastic array of different kinds of " landing gear," sea and air "search" equipment, and birds that hover (like helicopters), take off straight up (like VTOL aircraft), FLY BACKWARD (like some helicopters can ALMOST do but in nowhere near so accurate a fashion as a hummingbird), SOAR (like gliders), fly in complex formations (like military bombers), and migrate over mysterious courses for thousands upon thousands of miles to reach the SAME TINY NEST, year after year!
   And all this EVOLVED?
   Ridiculous! And, in this article, and others to come, you'll see just HOW really RIDICULOUS it is to believe the breathtaking array of creatures around you could have evolved without the limitless intelligence of a CREATOR GOD, a Great DESIGNER of all life, and all living things!

What it Takes to Fly

   But what about birds themselves? What does it take to fly?
   "Thousands of papers have been written on the AERODYNAMICS OF BIRD FLIGHT, but a bird's wing with its many flexible moving parts which twist and bend under the pressure of the air, particularly in flapping flight, DEFIES the sort of critical analysis to which we can subject the rigid wing of an aircraft. Wind tunnels, smoke screens, streams and mathematical formulas fail to give us more than an INKLING of the answers. Perhaps electronic computers may someday help us define the forces acting on the wing of a bird in flight" (The Birds, LIFE Nature Library, page 39).
   Yet, we admit airplanes couldn't have evolved. But Evolutionists say BIRDS evolved. Does it really make sense?
   No, it's NONsense.
   A bird's wing serves in the capacity of wing AND propeller. Both bird and airplane rely on the identical laws of physics. High-speed photography has shown that the mechanics of bird flight are tremendously complex. That our man-made, machine-driven airplanes and jets are rather primitive in comparison.
   Let's analyze some parts of the anatomy of the birds their feathers, respiratory, skeletal, digestive and nervous systems their bills and nest-building techniques. These are only a few of the marvelous aspects of bird biology.

The Fantastic Feather

   Take a bird's flight feather. Is it complex? Is it an engineering masterpiece? Let an ornithologist answer.
   "The feather is a marvel of NATURAL ENGINEERING. It is at once extremely light and structurally strong, much more versatile than the rigid structure of an aircraft's wing and far more readily repaired or replaced when damaged.
   "The intricacy of the design that allows this can be appreciated by putting the feather under a microscope. It will be seen that each parallel barb, slanting diagonally from the shaft, is not hairlike, but appears as a miniature replica of the feather itself, with numerous smaller side branches, or barbules, that overlap those of the neighboring barbs in adhering to one pattern. These in turn have tiny projections called barbicels, many of which are equipped with minute hooks that neatly hold everything in place. The single pigeon feather under scrutiny may have several hundred thousand barbules and MILLIONS of barbicels and hooklets.
   "How did this structural marvel evolve? It takes no great stretch of imagination to envisage a feather as a modified scale, basically like that of a reptile a longish scale loosely attached, whose outer edges frayed and spread out until it evolved into the highly complex structure that it is today" (The Birds, LIFE Nature Library, pages 33, 34).
   No great stretch of the imagination? That's stretching it clear beyond the breaking point!
   Notice! First comes a marvelous description of the intricacy and perfection of a bird's FEATHER! Then you are assured such INTRICATE MARVELS
Skeleton of pigeon (left) and reptile (right). Notice, many structural differences each necessary for different mode of life. Ambassador College See PDF For Pictures)
developed from a loose, hanging, frayed SCALE!
   But, as was pointed out in last month's article, there ARE NO SUCH "scales" anywhere in the fossil record! And, IF ungainly creatures, slowly developing "frayed, loosely attached" half-scales and half- "feathers" dejectedly stomped to and fro over the earth they would have been found in GREAT ABUNDANCE in the fossil record,
   First loosely hanging and frayed scales would have meant they were no longer "equipped" to survive in their natural habitat! Secondly, they would have been leaping to their deaths from precipices, slippery limbs, rocks and bushes, feebly fluttering their loosely attached, frayed "scales" which were desperately trying to become "feathers,"
   But notice again! It is carefully pointed out how a feather is PERFECT! INTRICATELY DESIGNED! Then you're told this is all the result of an ACCIDENT the FRAYING of a loose SCALE!
   What is the answer? Where did the feather come from?
   There's only ONE logical answer. It was created by a Master Designer, a great God that created the bird family, and everything that exists,
   Notice, how perfectly engineered feathers are to perform the EXACT JOB that is required of them. This isn't blind, purposeless, supposed evolution. This is great engineering, masterful design, directed purpose of a Creator God.

A Marvel of Engineering

   "Among the many engineering accomplishments that birds have achieved, the development and muscular control of feathers stands out as one of the major keys to their success. No other animals possess these remarkable structures. Feathers are both light and flexible and can be controlled with precision and agility.
   "Yet, each feather possesses the strength required for the stresses imposed by flight, there being no stronger substance of equivalent size and weight in nature.
   "Feathers provide smooth and streamlined body contours which are essential for reduction of air friction and turbulence and, when properly g roomed, are completely waterproof, They form one of the most efficient types of insulation known, because of the profusion of dead air spaces that they enclose, and thereby aid in maintaining the bird's high body temperatures, Feathers also play important roles in courtship and sex recognition" (Biology of Birds, Wesley Lanyon, pages 17, 18).
   "In most birds only a few of these flight feathers are replaced at one time and the sequence of replacement is such that there is no loss of ability to fly" (Biology of Birds, Wesley Lanyon, page 22).
   We asked the question at the beginning of this article: What does it take to fly? Can the cabin of an airplane fly? Can its tail fly? Can any part of an airplane fly by ITSELF?
   Of course not.
   But further. Each part has to be engineered in a particular fashion to take its part in one giant machine we call an airplane.
   What's the point of all this?
   Simply this.
   Evolutionists would have us believe that birds developed the parts they need to fly piece by piece! It's rather inane to think this way about an airplane. No airplane can fly unless each piece is engineered properly so that the whole unit is airworthy.
   But some have gullibly swallowed this idea when we are told such notions about birds.
   Notice what evolutionists say about the evolution of feathers.
   "During their evolution from reptiles to their modern form, birds became warm-blooded. Then they needed something other than scales to provide a covering. With the evolution of feathers they had a cover that kept them warm, and in some cases, dry. This cover was also so light in weight that it wasn't a burden while they were improving their ability to fly. Their original scales were too heavy for flight" (Birds, Robert Allen, page 7).
   Now, how did they know they ought to fly? How did they KNOW they needed a covering? Did they reason all this out? How did they "become" warm blooded? What does this "change" involve?
   We never foolishly assume an improvement is made unless a man REASONS out the process. He comes to understand there is a problem and figures out or "engineers" the solution.
   Do birds or rather did "near-birds" think?
   We need to open our eyes and THINK about some of the statements we accept from others.
   But feathers are only the first necessary step. If reptiles are to become birds, a transformation in the whole respiratory system is necessary. Notice, how ornithologists reason about this "development."

Respiratory System

   "Birds and mammals have the ability to maintain a very stable body temperature in spite of highly variable internal and external environmental conditions.
   "Because of the increased oxygen supply and greater capacity for heat regulation required by their high body temperature, birds have evolved a respiratory system that is perhaps more highly developed than in any other group of animals" (Biology of Birds, Wesley Lanyon, page 32).
   Now, what were birds doing before they "evolved" a highly developed respiratory system? Were they freezing to death as they flew? Did they die of suffocation? How many hundreds Or thousands of " near-bird" generations died because they hadn't "discovered" the secret of transforming their respiratory system?
   Get the point?
   But feathers and respiratory systems are still only PART of the problem. In order to fly and be a bird, you have to have a SKELETAL system that is unique. Remember, all this must be "developed" at the same time, if a "near-bird" is to survive.
   Here's what ornithologists admit:
   "AFTER birds branched off from the reptilian family tree most of the modifications in their skeletal structure became directed toward the airborne life. Their bones became hollow, like dry macaroni, and some of the larger bones even evolved internal struts for reinforcement.
   "Since flight demands a rigid airframe, the body box the rib cage case and especially the backbone became rigid, with some of the bones fused" (The Birds, LIFE Nature Series, page 35).
   Oh, so it was AFTER birds had already branched off. Supposedly, they were already flying and feathered. But they still hadn't developed a bird-like skeletal system to match.
   Now how are we to imagine this took place?
   Evolutionists tell us.
   "There followed a loss of certain bones and a fusion of others to insure maximum rigidity and compactness. Increased porosity and a penetration of bones by air sacs has further lightened. the skeleton as a whole.
   "The evolution of the wing of birds has been marked by the extensive fusion of some bones and the loss of others resulting in a remarkably strong yet lightweight structure" (Biology of Birds, Wesley Lanyon, pages 24, 25).
   Can your mind envisage this?
   Here are remarkable engineering feats tossed off in a few statements. How are bones lost? By what method do others come together? How do bones make themselves porous? How did new methods of locomotion originate?
   How did harmony result from two stress-resisting systems? Remember, evolution has no purpose, no plan, is not necessarily heading in anyone direction say evolutionists.
   Again, there is only ONE ANSWER. A Creator God created birds in the same manner that an engineer will plan out, design and construct a modern airplane.
   But feathers, respiratory systems are still not enough. In order for a reptile to become a bird, his whole DIGESTIVE system would have to be revamped.
   Again, we quote from an associate curator and renowned ornithologist.

Digestive System

   "An apparent dilemma posed by the demands of flight upon the avian digestive system is the need for increased fuel consumption on the one hand and economy of weight on the other.
   "Unnecessary overloading of the body is avoided to some extent by a selective diet consisting of a minimum
A Bill For Every Need Each bird, on opposite page, is designed with the type of bill it needs for the kind of food it eats. Another example of God's handiwork. (See PDF For Pictures)
of indigestible material. Then, foodstuffs actually ingested are digested rapidly and efficiently, followed by immediate elimination of wastes" (Biology of Birds, Wesley Lanyon, page 34).
   Large storage capacity of the esophagus, unique division of the stomach, no bladder and a cloaca for rapid elimination of waste! how could all these digestive marvels be "developed" gradually and independently)
   Now how did the "near-birds" know they were in a dilemma) Did they reason out the fact that they needed more fuel? Who told them what diet to select?
   Does an airplane "decide" to learn what type of fuel it will use? Has any airplane, jet or rocket decided to overhaul its motor to keep up with advances in technology changes in environment? Ridiculous!
   But still we aren't at an end. For reptiles to become birds we need a REWIRING JOB a new nervous system.

Nervous System

   "Among the various organ systems of birds, not the least influenced by the demands of flight has been the nervous system. This influence has been exercised directly in the case of a need for coordinating and positioning the body in flight, and indirectly with regard to sensory perception in behaviour patterns that have been modified by flight" (Biology of Birds, Wesley Lanyon, page 34).
   Some of these differences are optic lobes of the brain larger than even man's, disproportionately larger eyes, a uniquely shaped eyeball.
   Remember, without feathers, so PERFECTLY designed and engineered, fused bones, hollow bones, and "new" bones, wings are no good. Without air sacs, rapidly beating heart, totally different respiratory system, the wings can't be flapped so rapidly and without complete redesign of all body muscles, the creature can't even BEGIN to try to fly.
   But even with new muscles, new bones, perfect feathers, air sacs, rapid heartbeat and speeded-up metabolism, NO NAVIGATIONAL EQUIPMENT! No larger eyes (almost filling up the cranium), and no coordinating system to OPERATE all these complex systems.
   Let's understand.
   You can have an entire plane but rip out the controls and instrument panel and the plane will be of no value. Now, if you ONLY have the controls and instrument panel but you lack an airplane it won't fly either.
   It's either everything or nothing, black or white, one hundred percent or nothing. These things didn't evolve. They couldn't. They had to be CREATED TOGETHER!
   But let's go further.
   What about a "simple" apparatus the bird's bill or beak?

Bird Bills

   Why do birds that are primarily insect feeders have short, thin bills which they use as forceps in picking food from vegetation? Why do woodpeckers have chi se l-shaped bills with which they remove wood in search of insects? Why is their tongue built to penetrate deep into bark to ferret out insects?
   Why do fish-eating birds have serrations along the edge of the bill just what they need to firmly grasp their food? Why do herons and kingfishers actually have spears to jab food with? Why do skimmers have their bills arranged in such a manner that they can scoop up fish? The lower mandible acts like a plow as they skim across the water scooping up fish.
   Why do carnivorous birds have strong beaks for tearing flesh?
   Notice, what a "mechanical marvel" the beak is.
   "A bird's beak serves it for knife, fork, and spoon, as well as for hammer and chisel in many species. Its chief use is in connection with procuring food, so that we find, among birds as a whole, an EXTREME VARIETY of shapes of bills, adapted for gathering various kinds of food" (Birds and their Attributes, Glover Allen, page 78).
   Now did this fantastic array "develop" gradually? If evolution is blind chance, how did these highly developed tools come to be?
   But more staggering than all this is the fantastically variable factor of NEST building. Just a superficial study is enough to stagger the imagination.

Nest Building

   We quote again from a well-known ornithologist. Notice carefully the statements made.
   "Though the location of the nest, its form,
Top & extreme left, Robert J. Erwin from National Audubon Society, left, McHugh Photo Researchers
Every variety of bird builds its own unique kind of nest. But every bird within a variety without previous experience builds the same kind of nest. To the left, each with its own type of nest, are long-billed curlew (top) and water ouzel and barn swallow (bottom left and right). (See PDF For Pictures)
and the techniques and materials required for its construction are extremely diverse among different species, the completed nest is REMARKABLY UNIFORM among the members of a single species.
   "This uniformity is all the more remarkable when one realizes that many nests represent the work of young birds that have had NO PREVIOUS TRAINING or experience in nest construction" (Biology of the Birds, Wesley Lanyon, pages 127-128).
   Ah, did you notice?
   How did birds, with no previous training build the same nest as the other members of its species? Remember such "acquired characteristics" if they be that couldn't be passed on. Why are nests so diverse among DIFFERENT species, yet so uniform among a SINGLE species? Again, there simply is no answer apart from a great Creator God that built in the "computerized" information necessary for particular birds to act in a special fashion.
   It's the true and only really logical answer.
   There is tremendous variety among the birds as to where they build nests, how these nests are constructed, and from what materials they are put together.
   Some don't build nests. The Piping Plover simply makes a slight depression in the sand and lines it with bits of shells. Waterfowl pluck the down feathers from the female and make their nests. The Fairy Terns lay and hatch their eggs on bare branches. The Chimney Swift builds its nest of twigs. It uses its own sticky saliva as glue.
   The South American ovenbird uses mud. The Crested Flycatcher uses a convenient cavity in a tree. The Downy Woodpecker excavates his own nest. The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher uses lichen to cover and camouflage its nest.
   And still all this is only the beginning!
   To study, and study CAREFULLY, the nesting habits of just ONE BIRD would
Slater, Austing Photo Researchers
Top to bottom, little grebe nest, belted kingfisher female on excavated nest, ovenbird nest, prairie warbler nest.

Mallee fowl "learning" to build intricate, temperature-controlled nests or so say the evolutionists. (See PDF For Pictures)
stagger the imagination! The most unusual bird of all will be presented in these pages in a future issue-the Australian MEGAPODE (big foot), a "brush turkey" which INCUBATES the eggs in a huge mound of compost. The megapode BAFFLES evolutionists. For this creature alone to have evolved is UTTERLY IMPOSSIBLE!
   But that's not all.
   The breathtaking marvels of actual FLIGHT, as caught by a fast camera lens are beautiful and inspiring to see! The imagination-defying trips of the many migratory birds with FAR more accurate and dependable navigational equipment BUILT INTO those tiny brains than can be placed in the multimillion dollar jet aircraft of today those mysterious trips are MARVELOUS to study!
   What a SHAME it is, that so many millions are hoodwinked into believing that DUMB, BLIND, IMPOSSIBLE "CHANCE" gave rise to such MARVELS all around us!
   This great creation was meant to AMAZE you! You should be able to look, observe, measure, weigh, and PONDER the creation around you and WORSHIP GOD in so doing!
   Everywhere, you see His warm and loving handiwork HIS great and fathomless engineering and designing skill His color schemes, music, and beauty! And to deny His existence is not only to BLASPHEME His Holy name, but to deny YOURSELF some of the warmest, most rewarding and satisfying experiences of life!
   WORSHIP GOD He MADE the birds all around you!
Female mallee fowl crouches in preparation to lay egg. Her head is in a niche already prepared by her for the reception of the egg. The male stands by and waits to refill the mound. This amazing bird can keep the temperature of the nest mound very near 92F. by testing the temperature with his beak and changing the soil-vegetation ratio as needed. H. J. Frith Photo (See PDF For Pictures)

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Plain Truth MagazineFebruary 1967Vol XXXII, No.2