If the Archaeopteryx specimens really are genuine, there are several reasons why Archaeopteryx can be considered to be a bird and not a reptile:
1 - Scientists say it is only a bird and not a transitional species. It is significant that a special scientific meeting was held in 1982, a year before the furor over the Hoyle-Watkins declarations that Archaeopteryx was a hoax (which we will discuss shortly). The International Archaeopteryx Conference was held in Eichstatt, Germany, not far from the limestone deposits where all the specimens were originally found. At this meeting, it was decided by the evolutionists that Archaeopteryx is a "bird" and not a reptile, or half-bird/half-reptile. It was also decided that Archaeopteryx was not necessarily the ancestor of modern birds.
Therefore, the scientific community now officially declares Archaeopteryx to be, not a transitional species, but only a bird!
2 - How could scales turn into feathers? Although zealous evolutionists have always claimed that this creature is a descendant of the reptiles and the ancestor of the birds, yet they do not explain how the scales on a reptile can change into feathers.
3 - Bones like a bird. Archaeopteryx is said to have thin, hollow wing and leg bonessuch as a bird has.
4 - Not earlier than birds. Archaeopteryx does not predate birds, because fossils of other birds have been found in rocks of the same period (the Jurassic) in which Archaeopteryx was found.
5 - It has modern bird feathers. The feathers on Archaeopteryx appear identical to modern feathers.
"But in Archaeopteryx, it is to be noted, the feathers differ in no way from the most perfectly developed feathers known to us."*A. Feduccia and *H.B. Tordoff, in Science 203 (1979), p. 1020.
6 - No intermediate feathers ever found. Transition from scales to feathers would require many intermediate steps, but none have ever been found.
7 - Well-developed wings. The wings of Archaeopteryx were well-developed, and the bird probably could fly well.
8 - Wings designed for flight. The feathers of Archaeopteryx are asymmetrical, that is the shaft does not have the same amount of feathers on both sides. This is the way feathers on flying birds are designed. In contrast, feathers on ostriches, rheas, and other flightless birds, or poor flyers (such as chickens) have fairly symmetrical feathers.
"The significance of asymmetrical feathers is that they indicate the capability of flying; non-flying birds such as the ostrich and emu have symmetrical [feathered] wings."*E. Olson and *A. Feduccia, "Flight Capability and the Pectoral Girdle of Archaeopteryx," Nature (1979), p. 248.
9 - No prior transitions. There ought to be transitional species from reptile to Archaeopteryx, but this is not the case. It cannot be a connecting link between reptile and bird, for there are no transitions to bridge the immense gap leading from it to the reptile. It has fully developed bird wing-bones and flight feathers.
10 - Bird-like in most respects. Archaeopteryx gives evidence of being a regular bird in every way, except that it differs in certain features: (1) the lack of a sternum, (2) three digits on its wings, and (3) a reptile-like head, but there are explanations for all three points. Here they are:
[a] - Lack of a sternum. Archaeopteryx had no sternum, but although the wings of some birds today attach to the sternum, others attach to the furcula (wishbone). Archaeopteryx had a large furcula, so this would be no problem.
"It is obvious that Archaeopteryx was very much a bird, equipped with a bird-like skull, perching feet, wings, feathers, and a furcula, wish-bone. No other animal except birds possess feathers and a furcula."Duane Gish, Evolution: the Challenge of the Fossil Record (1985), p. 112.
- Digits on its wings. Archaeopteryx had three digits on its "wings." Other dinosaurs have this also, but so do a few modern birds. Modern birds with wing claws include the hoatzin (Oplsthocomus hoatzin), a South American bird, which has two wing claws in its juvenile stage. In addition, it is a poor flyer, with an amazingly small sternumsuch as Archaeopteryx had. The touraco (Touraco corythaix), an African bird, has claws and the adult is also a poor flyer. The ostrich has three claws on each wing. Their claws appear even more reptilian than those of Archaeopteryx.
[c] - The shape of its skull. It has been said that the skull of Archaeopteryx appears more like a reptile than a bird, but investigation by Benton says the head is shaped more like a bird.
"It has been claimed that the skull of Archaeopteryx was reptile-like, rather than bird-like. Recently, however, the cranium of the London’ specimen has been removed from its limestone slab by Whetstone. Studies have shown that the skull is much broader and more bird-like than previously thought. This has led Benton to state that Details of the braincase and associated bones at the back of the skull seem to suggest that Archaeopteryx is not the ancestral bird."*Duane Gish, Evolution: the Challenge of the Fossil Record (1985), pp. 112-113.
"Most authorities have admitted that Archaeopteryx was a bird because of the clear imprint of feathers in the fossil remains. The zoological definition of a bird is: A vertebrate with feathers.’ Recently, Dr. James Jenson, paleontologist at Brigham Young University, discovered in western Colorado the fossil remains of a bird thought to be as old as Archaeopteryx but much more modern in form. This would seem to give the death knell to any possible use of Archaeopteryx by evolutionists as a transitional form."Marvin Lubenow, "Report on the Racine Debate," in Decade of Creation (1981), p. 65.
11 - Ornithologist agrees. *F.E. Beddard, in his important scientific book on birds, maintained that Archaeopteryx was a bird; and, as such, it presented the same problem as all other birds: How could it have evolved from reptiles since there is such a big gap (the wing and feather gap) between the two.
"So emphatically were all these creature birds that the actual origin of Aves is barely hinted at in the structure of these remarkable remains."*F.E. Beddard, The Structure and Classification of Birds (1898), p. 160.
12 - Other birds had teeth. It may seem unusual for Archaeopteryx to have had teeth, but there are several other extinct birds that also had teeth.
"However, other extinct ancient birds had teeth, and every other category of vertebrates contains some organisms with teeth, and some without (amphibians, reptiles, extinct birds, mammals, etc.)."*P. Moody, Introduction to Evolution (1970), pp. 196-197.
13 - Could be a unique bird. Archaeopteryx could well be a unique creature, just as the duckbilled platypus is unique. The Archaeopteryx has wings like a bird and a head similar to a lizard, but with teeth. There are a number of unique plants and animals in the world which, in several ways, are totally unlike anything else.
The platypus is an animal with a bill like a duck and has fur, but lays eggs; in spite of its egg-laying, it is a mammal and nurses its young with milk and chews its food with plates instead of with teeth. The male has a hollow claw on its hind foot that it uses to scratch and poison its enemies; it has claws like a mole; but, like a duck, it has webs between its toes. It uses sonar underwater.
The platypus is definitely far stranger than the Archaeopteryx, and there are no transitional half-platypus creatures linking it to any other species.
14 - Totally unique. Regarding the Archaeopteryx, *Romer, the well-known paleontologist, said this::
"This Jurassic bird [Archaeopteryx] stands in splendid isolation; we know no more of its presume thecodont ancestry nor of its relation to later proper’ birds than before."*A.S. Romer, Notes and Comments on Vertebrate Paleontology (19M), p. 144.
From his own study, *Swinton, an expert on birds and a confirmed evolutionist, has concluded:
"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."*W.E. Swinton, Biology and Comparative Physiology of Birds, Vol. 1 (1980), p. 1.
Other scientists agree. Here is an important statement by *Ostrom:
"It is obvious that we must now look for the ancestors of flying birds in a period of time much older than that in which Archaeopteryx lived."*J. Ostrom, Science News 112 (1977), p. 198.
"Unfortunately, the greater part of the fundamental types in the animal realm are disconnected [from each other] from a paleontological point of view. In spite of the fact that it is undeniably related to the two classes of reptiles and birds (a relation which the anatomy and physiology of actually living specimens demonstrates), we are not even authorized to consider the exceptional case of the Archaeopteryx as a true link. By link, we mean a necessary stage of transition between classes such as reptiles and birds, or between smaller groups. An animal displaying characters belonging to two different groups cannot be treated as a true link as long as the intermediate stages have not been found, and as long as the mechanisms of transition remain unknown."*L. du Nouy, Human Destiny (1947), p. 58.
ARCHAEOPTERYXThat name surely sounds scientific. But it covers, what many scientists consider to be, yet another contrived hoax. Notice how carefully each "feather" is separated from the one next to it. None overlay others, as would occur if the bird was pressed flat by natural conditions. Instead, the artist carefully scratched out separated "feathers."
15 - Modern birds in same strata. Bones of modern birds have been found in Colorado in the same geologic rock stratathe Jurassicin which archaeopteryx was found (Science 199, January 20, 1978). According to evolutionary theory, this cannot be; for millions of years ought to be required for Archaeopteryx to change into a regular bird. If it was alive at the same time as modern birds, how can it be their ancient ancestor? Birds have also been found in the Jurassic limestone beds of by researchers in Utah.
16 - Modern birds below it! Not only do we find modern birds in the same strata with Archaeopteryx,but we also find birds below it!
"Perhaps the final argument against Archaeopteryx as a transitional form has come from a rock quarry in Texas. Here scientists from Texas Tech University found bird bones encased in rock layers farther down the geologic column than Archaeopteryx fossils."Richard Bliss, Origins: Creation or Evolution? (1988), p. 46 [also see Nature 322, August 21, 1986; Science 253, July 5, 1991].
No bird bones of any type have been found below the late Jurassic; but, within the Jurassic, they have been found in strata with Archaeopteryx, and now below it: Two crow-sized birds were discovered in the Triassic Dockum Formation in Texas. Because of the strata they were located in, those birds would, according to evolutionary theory, be 75 million years older than Archaeopteryx. More information on this Texas discovery can be found in *Nature, 322 (1986), p. 677.