Friday, February 08, 2008

More Dino to Bird BS

Well, scientists are again questioning when, exactly, birds evolved from their dino ancestors.

Evidently, the fossil record and the inferences from molecular evolution are showing
"conflicting results". Of course, they attempt to explain the difference by appealing to the lack of fossils and the realization that the molecular clock is unreliable.

Ho hum...never in their wildest dreams would they question the fairy tale that lizards sprouted wings, started flying from tree to tree, and attained incredible migration and navigation capabilities by evolutionary mechanisms alone.

Since it appears likely that birds and dinos were thriving during the same time in history, I have to wonder how birds outlasted whatever it was that caused dinos to become extinct.

From the article:

What my colleagues and I did was apply all of these new methods to the problem of the origin of modern birds, with each method making different assumptions about how mutation rate changes across the tree," Brown said. He hoped the analysis would narrow the gap between fossil and molecular data, but in fact it only reinforced the rock-clock split by underscoring the finding that modern birds arose more than 100 million years ago.

So where does that leave the contentious camps of scientists trying to solve the puzzle of how the world's 10,000 bird species came about?

"Rather than fighting across groups, we now have the joint goal of explaining this rock-clock gap," Brown said. "Resolution of the issue will be fertile ground for future research for a while to come."

Yeah, don't worry. They'll figure out how to explain it away with a few articles that include words and phrases like "perhaps", "it could be", "we might find", etc., all of the other just-so stories we've come to know and loath love.

Related posts:
Another strike against dino to bird evolution
Early history of birds more diverse than once thought
Another interesting dino find

[HT to PNA for the photo]