A little pictorial sleight of hand

This is something of a followup on my previous post on bird hips and the place of the sauropods in the dinosaur family tree.

In that post I linked to an image of the dinosaur family tree I had found on the creationwiki web site:

After a commenter (Moth Eyes) noted, in so many words, how it was odd that a creationist might label this illustration a “family tree” given that they don’t believe there is such a thing. This led me to look at where creationwiki might have gotten this illustration.

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Four and twenty sauropods baked in a pie…

We find still more creationist ignorance about basic zoological facts, this time from Dr. David Menton of Answers in Genesis.

AiG recently republished on their website a Menton piece from last year attacking the evolutionary relationship between dinosaurs and birds.

Often my first instinct when I run across these things is to launch onto a point by point refutation but I am going to restrain myself this time and simply highlight one rather obvious error in Dr. Menton’s article that in my opinion should cast doubt on anything else he has to say on the subject (especially since he claims to be an anatomist).

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“Tests Confirm T. Rex Kinship With Birds”

Just ran across this on the science section of the NY Times web site:

Tests Confirm T. Rex Kinship With Birds

The article, by science writer John Noble Wilford, reports on results from a Harvard study to be reported in the next edition of the journal Science.

In the first analysis of proteins extracted from dinosaur bones, scientists say they have established more firmly than ever that the closest living relatives of the mighty predator Tyrannosaurus rex are modern birds.

The research, being published Friday in the journal Science, yielded the first molecular data confirming the widely held hypothesis of a close dinosaur-bird ancestry, the American scientific team reported. The link was previously suggested by anatomical similarities.

This, if it bears out, it is further evidence supporting the evolutionary relationship between theropodcomparative anatomy. dinosaurs and birds that has been strongly suggested by the evidence from

The anti-dino/bird faction amongst scientists (Martin, Feduccia etc.) will no doubt claim that this is merely yet another example of the many (supposed) convergences between dinosaurs and birds. Creationists will probably deny, deny, deny.

Remember to stay tuned on this though. This is only the popular level report, the peer reviewed material is yet to be seen; and it is only the first such study. More studies, if possible, will be needed to confirm this finding.

They apparently did some similar tests on mastodon bones:

Similar molecular tests on tissues from the extinct mastodon confirmed its close genetic link to the elephant, as had been suspected from skeletal affinities.

Perhaps not terribly surprising, but still interesting nonetheless.

Dinny the dinosaur, a fond childhood memory defiled

Since at least 1975 anyone driving on Interstate 10 through the tiny truck stop of a town of Cabazon California (about 15 miles west of Palm Springs) could catch a glimpse of an amazing sight; a massive, larger even than life, concrete replica of a Jurassic dinosaur Apatosaurus (Brontosaurus) named “Dinny” the dinosaur.

Dinny was the creation of Claude Bell (1897-1988) an artist who had once worked for Knotts Berry Farm in Buena Park, CA, and later ran the Wheel Inn truck stop next door to the dinosaur. Starting in 1964 it took him eleven years to construct and reportedly cost upwards of $250 thousand dollars. It about 150 feet long and weighs in at more than 100 tons.

Dinny the dinosaur

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