Saturday, November 29, 2014

Rerun Article: Fixin' the Nativity!

Sorry this is late, everyone, but I had a very eventful week! Thanksgiving was last Thursday, as you all know, and I had a nice, quiet time of watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with my family and having a delicious dinner. But I also have some VERY cool news to share in the "In the Spotlight" section.

Days till:
It is: 26 days till Christmas
It is: 33 days till New Years Day
It is: 195 days till Jurassic World "Opens" in theaters

In the Spotlight:
I have some awesome news to share about Jurassic World; it is probably the most awesome news we've ever gotten: THE TRAILER WAS RELEASED!!!

Before you watch it though, take a moment to look at the teaser that was released last Sunday:

This trailer was supposed to be released on Thanksgiving Day, but they decided to release it on Tuesday instead, which totally made my day! I have been waiting 6 years to see this moment. Without further ado, watch the trailer to Jurassic World:

I was not disappointed upon seeing this trailer! It was AWESOME!!! I would have given it two "likes" on YouTube instead of one if I was allowed to. The overall plot is that Jurassic World (the theme park, not the movie) has been open since 2005 and it is a success, complete with Gyrosphere and monorail rides, a Cretaceous Cruise, a petting zoo and even a Mosasaurus Feeding Show. Unfortunately, the need to always please the public and prevent them from getting bored causes a group of scientists, led by Claire (her full name has not yet been revealed), to create their first hybrid dinosaur. And in usual Jurassic Park fashion, things soon go terribly wrong! I can't wait to see how the movie plays out. In the near future, be on the lookout for my analysis of the trailer, but if you can't wait, click this link for director Colin Trevorrow's analysis of the trailer.

In addition to the (awesome!) trailer's release, a new viral website for the park was "opened" online: It's a theme park website, describing the rides, attractions and dinosaurs they have at the park! How exciting! I really have to hand it to the advertising department of this movie: they are doing GREAT!!! They spared no expense, I'm sure. Some things on the website are locked for the time being, so check it often to find out more things about, as John Hammond put it, "The most advanced amusement park in the entire world."

Jurassic World roars into theaters June 12! Can't wait!

Since we've got the a cool dinosaur-related movie to look forward too, I thought now would be a good time to bring out some cool dinosaur-related Christmas songs! A few years back, some of you might remember that I posted these songs on this blog. Since it is Christmas time again, I decided it would be nice to bring them back for the holiday season. Here is our first Dino-carol: Hey Duckbills!

Hey, 'Duckbills!

Hey, 'Duckbills! Hey, 'Duckbills!
Oh, how can we say
'Why your odd-shaped cranium
Were made to look that way? (Repeat Chorus)

'Dashing looks aside, I think
that I would dread
To have so many bony pounds
en-crested on my head!
Unless this crown would bring, along
with sinus space
Some fine survival advantage to aid my
humble race!

(Repeat Chorus Twice)

Hidden in your crest were chambers
full of air,
Could these extra cavities enhance
your vocal flair?
'Did they make your voice resound
so deep and loud?
Or was yoru crest just fashion fluff to
make your mate feel proud?

(Repeat Chorus Twice)

Lyrics by Anne Muecke (slightly edited by Christian Ryan)

Topic of the Week Christian Ryan
The true meaning of Christmas isn't about getting stuff, or about Santa Claus, or about family and definitely not about eating! Those things aren't bad, but they’re just the icing on the cake. The true meaning of Christmas is really about Jesus’s humble entrance into the world as a tiny baby. We all know the typical nativity story told in Sunday Schools and other church related events all around the world: “Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem to register in a census and while traveling, Mary’s Child was almost ready to be born. After they reached Bethlehem, Mary’s Child was ready to be born but the nasty innkeeper turned them away because there wasn't any room in his (or her) inn. The only place available was a small stable. So she and Joseph went there and Mary gave birth to Jesus Christ. Then shepherds from the fields, who had been told by angels of the Child’s birth, came to the stable to see the Baby. They were followed by three kings from the east who had followed a star and they gave gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to Jesus.” That is the typical story that people know around the world.

But you know, it’s been almost 2,000 years since the nativity took place, and since then, a lot of the story has been changed to make it “cuter”. The only 100% accurate account is found in the Bible. So let’s take a quiz to see how much you really know about the nativity:
  • What did the stable look like?
  • What time of year was the Nativity?
  • What animal did Mary ride to Bethlehem?
  • How many kings were there?
  • What animal did the wise men ride?
  • How old was Jesus when the wise men visited him?
Now, I want you to read Luke 2:1-20. Then read Matthew 2:1-18 and take the quiz again. Did you answers change any?

As you can see, much of the story has been changed over the years. So how much of this story really happened? Let’s delve into history to find out!

The scene was set 2,000 years ago, in Nazareth. A young teenage girl named Mary was expected to be married to an older man named Joseph. Back at the time, it was customary for a girl her age to be married to an older man, maybe in his 20’s. The Bible doesn’t say how old she was, but it’s possible she was anywhere between the ages of 16 to as low as 13. She was minding her own business when suddenly, an angel named Gabriel appeared to her and told her that she was going to have a Baby. The Baby, who would be named Jesus, was to come thanks to the Holy Spirit (because she wasn’t married to Joseph yet). Now there are critics who would say it’s impossible for a virgin to give birth, but that’s not true. (I could go into this lengthy topic, but I’d like to not do that today!) Mary was willing to take on the responsibility. Her husband-to-be, Joseph, was going to dismiss her quietly when he found out she was pregnant, until an angel told him that it was ok to go marry Mary because her Child was coming because of the Holy Spirit.

Gabriel announced to the teenage girl Mary that she was going to give birth to God's Son!
Not long after that, Caesar Augustus issued a decree that all of the Roman world should be taxed. So that meant literally everyone, including Mary and Joseph, and to leave for Bethlehem because they had to pay the tax in Joseph’s home town, the town of David. Now, the Bible doesn’t say what Mary rode to Bethlehem, does it? I’m saying it’s wrong to think she could have ridden a donkey. It is possible, but I am merely saying we simply don’t know for sure if Mary rode anything at all to Bethlehem. Considering she was pregnant, it would make a lot of sense!

After they reached Bethlehem, Mary’s Child was ready to be born. The Bible doesn’t say exactly when she gave birth – whether it was as soon as they reached Bethlehem or if it was a little while after they got there. Like I said with the donkey thing, it isn’t wrong to think she could have given birth as soon as they got there, but we don’t know for sure. As the Bible says, there was no room in the inn for Mary and Joseph so Mary had to give birth in a small stable. Many stables in Bible Times were actually more like caves, kind of like what was seen in the movie Nativity Story. Perhaps though, one of the more likely places Jesus was born in was at one of Joseph's relations' houses in the area where the animals are kept. So Mary gave birth to Jesus and placed Him in a manger. Why was He born like this?

The Bible doesn't say what building Jesus was born in, so we can't say for certain that He was born in a stable. It just states that He was laid in a manger after birth.
You might wonder why Jesus was born in this way. After all, He was really God in flesh! Well, have you ever heard of Jesus being called the Lamb of God? When ewes are pregnant, shepherds at Jesus’ time pulled the lamb out and wrapped it in cloths and laid it in a manger to calm it down (sound familiar?). Now you know why He was born this way!

Jesus is often called the Lamb of God because lambs used to be sacrificed to pay for people's sins, just like Jesus would sometime in his 30's. 
Another familiar part of the story would be the shepherds who were out in their fields with their sheep at night when angels came upon them to tell them of the Savior’s birth. A lot of people think that since Christmas as we know it is in December, the first Christmas must also have been in December. But think about it: even in the Holy Lands it can get quite cold at night where the shepherds were in the winter time. Plus it was night time, so it would have been pretty cold had the Nativity taken place in winter! Many Biblical scholars instead believe it more likely that the Nativity took place in the spring, a much better time for the shepherds to be out with their sheep!

At last, we’ve reached the part in the story where the wise men enter. Now, a lot of stories will tell you that three kings visited baby Jesus with the shepherds. But as you’ll recall, the Bible doesn’t mention kings, it mentions wise men. So how on earth do people think that they were kings? This might come from another verse in the Bible, Daniel 9:24-26 (see this link). So could they have been kings? Possibly, but it is more likely they were wise scholars who had tracked down a star moving about in the sky to find Jesus. Now, in just about every picture, movie, Christmas play and book with the Nativity in it, you will see the stable with Mary and Joseph standing (or sitting) next to the Child, the shepherds watching the Baby, and the Wise Men either watching or giving their gifts. But let’s take a closer look at Matthew 2: 1-15. Hmm, it said that they visited Jesus in the house with His mother Mary. Doesn’t say a thing about shepherds or the stable, does it? The wise men visited Jesus when he was probably one or two years old. Not the newborn that we commonly see in picture books about Christmas.

The wise men followed a certain star to the place where Jesus was when He was a toddler, not a newborn as is often believed. 
Did you notice how many wise men the Bible says visited? It doesn’t, does it? Perhaps it was three, but it could have been four, five, six, seven, eight, ten, 20, 50, 90 . . . OK, maybe I went a little over the top, but we simply don’t know how many wise men there were. People just assume it was three because three gifts were given. Which would make some sense, unless some wise men gave the same gifts. We just don’t know.

Sorry, wise men! You guys need to turn back around and come back to visit Baby Jesus in another year or two!
Wow! Popular culture really has the Nativity story all wrong doesn’t it! Now we know the truth about the Nativity. Even though the stuff we just learned might be a shock to some, it does teach us something: when we hear something about scripture, no matter who it’s coming from, we should literally check the scriptures to see if what is being said is true and not just listen to it. Because it could be wrong!

DisclaimerMany (or in some cases all) of the photographs and images above are not mine. If you own one or more of them and would like them to be removed, politely let me know via one or both of the email addresses above.

Friday, November 21, 2014

MAJOR Jurassic World Updates!

OK, so I have had a busy couple of weeks! The drama, The Cheatham's: Howey's Wedding Celebration went wonderfully and my novel for the National Novel Writing Month contest has reached some 47,500 words or so! (I need 50,000 words to win) As if this wasn't busy enough, my family and I are already going over the next two dramas we intend to do at our church. Phew! November was a very busy month to say the least! In that case, instead of doing an article like I normally do (which would have taken away from my novel writing), I will be talking briefly about an upcoming movie I am really excited about (of course, you will know what it is based on this blog post's title).

So in case you haven't heard the news, after weeks of silence concerning all things Jurassic World, we got dunked with LOADS of new information this past week! So I have decided to talk about what is new with JW today, after...

Days till:
It is: 6 days till Thanksgiving
It is: 34 days till Christmas
It is: 41 days till New Years Day
It is: 6 days till Jurassic World trailer is released!

In the Spotlight:
Normally, this is where I would talk about movies like Jurassic World, but talking about it here would be redundant, as it is the focus of today's post. Instead, I will post this newly released image of the other postponed dinosaur movie set to be released in 2015, The Good Dinosaur.

The Good Dinosaur is set in an alternate universe in which dinosaurs never went extinct.
As many of you might recall, this film was supposed to be released this year. For a while, the reason for its release date being pushed back was unknown, but we now know that it was because the original director of the film, Bob Peterson, was not moving the project along fast enough and was relieved of his duties (not fired!). (This article goes into more detail on why the film's release date was postponed).

The film's plot is still generally the same, but it differs from the film's original concept of the dinosaurs living in an Amish-like community of farmers. The Good Dinosaur will release November 25, 2015.

Topic of the Week Christian Ryan
First off, I am astounded by the amount updates regarding Jurassic World were released this week! To start off, some of you might already know that some pictures were leaked onto the internet that are being claimed to be from the upcoming Jurassic World lego set due to come out with the movie. Below are the leaked images:

A dinosaur never-before-seen in the Jurassic Park franchise; many fans have speculated that this is the fabled Diabolus rex.

Lego has a T. rex

There are also several variations of Velociraptor due to be released from Lego. Some fans believe that the color variation is due to gender and whether the raptors are wild or in captivity. I think they are simply awesome!!!

Clever girls...
Here is the final Lego dinosaur leak. It seems to be a Compsognathus or a Coelophysis. As compies have appeared in the JP series before, I am going to suggest this is a compy:

Now nothing has been confirmed yet, but it does appear that these are legitimate. If so, they could be our window into what some of JW's dinosaurs will look like.

If you think the Lego dinosaur leak was big, well, just check this out: the Jurassic World viral site, MasraniGlobal, and the official website, have been launched!!! As if this were not enough, the first official trailer will be released November 27, 2014 and you can know exactly what time this will take place thanks to the countdown on the latter website! I will now take some time to talk a little bit about the Masrani website.

You might recall that Masrani Corporation is the company that owns Jurassic World, the new theme park on Isla Nublar and bought out InGen (the company that owned JP), in the upcoming film. We didn't really know much else about the company. But thanks to the new MasraniGlobal website, we can almost-literally delve into the world of the company and its divisions, including Jurassic World itself! Not to mention all the amazing and very teasing pictures on the website. I encourage you to check out both the Masrani and Jurassic World websites, but I will also post a little information (and several pictures) here.

Simon Masrani, portrayed by Irrfan Khan, owns Masrani Corporation.
The Masrani website reveals that soon after the events of the third Jurassic Park movie, in 2002 to be precise, a new theme park called Jurassic World is being constructed on Isla Nublar. In 2005, the park opens. It is claimed to be one of the most amazing theme parks in the world, complete with technology that they spared no expense on, rides and of course, dinosaurs. Here are more pictures below:

Dr. Henry Wu is the head geneticist at JW.

Dinosaur eggs are genetically engineered like they are in the first movie, but without the use of frog DNA.

The skeleton of a spinosaurid (Spinosaurus or Suchomimus) stands tall at Jurassic World.
Jurassic World will be released on June 12, 2015. Meanwhile the trailer will be released in just six days!!! Be sure to check out the Jurassic World website for not only the trailer, but also probably some really cool interactive features! I know I will!

DisclaimerMany (or in some cases all) of the photographs and images above are not mine. If you own one or more of them and would like them to be removed, politely let me know via one or both of the email addresses above.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Lizzy's Nutella Cheesecake Recipe

This past week has been extremely busy for me! My church's latest theatrical production: The Cheatham's: Howey's Wedding Celebration is tonight! I am so excited! As you might recall, it is a sequel to the Cheatham's drama my family and I did last year called Meet the Cheatham's, and it was about how we as Christians should act differently at Christmas time from the rest of the world and focus on Jesus Christ. This year's drama takes place one year after the first, in which Howey Cheatham (Dewey and Iotta's son and Yugotta's brother) is getting married to Brielle Hess. The play focuses on the process that Dewey, Iotta and Brielle go through to plan and coordinate the wedding. There are plenty of laughs along the way, as it is a comedy. I do not want to give away the ending if anyone of my readers is going to see it, so I won't describe the plot anymore.

I must tell you though, doing this drama is almost like planning a real wedding, because we've got flowers, a six-foot wedding cake, decorations decorated all over our church's worship center, black-tie-white-gown...etc. The whole enchilada and a partridge in a pear tree! Be sure to check out the pictures I have posted regarding the wedding decorations on my Instagram account.

Days till:
It is: 14 days till Thanksgiving
It is: 41 days till Christmas
It is: 48 days till New Years Day
It is: 210 days till Jurassic World comes out!

In the Spotlight:
There is an image that has been circulating around the internet that is related to Jurassic World. It is believed by many to be a leaked image of the film's fabled Diabolus rex. Here is the image below:
This dinosaur looks vaguely familiar...
The website claiming this is a leaked image from Jurassic World is MoviePilot. I have one thing to say about this image: IT IS NOT RELATED TO JURASSIC WORLD WHATSOEVER!!! Why? Well, first off, I would be very suspicious of anything relating to Jurassic World coming from MoviePilot because they have published several Jurassic World articles that either present old news as if it were hot off the press, or talking about out-of-date or simply inaccurate news. The article showing the picture above is no exception.

This picture claimed to feature Diabolus rex isn't actually even a picture from Jurassic World. It is actually from a Discovery Channel 2003 documentary mini-series called Dinosaur Planet. The specific episode this dinosaur appears in is called Pod's Adventures. In this episode, a Pyroraptor called Pod is washed out to sea by a tsunami and washes up on a beach on a nearby island. The island is full of dinosaurs he is familiar with from his homeland, except for one thing: they are smaller! Even the titanosaurs (a type of long-necked dinosaur) are only the size of ponies! One dinosaur he runs into is Tarascosaurus. Here is a picture of the Dinosaur Planet Tarascosaurus:

The "Diabolus rex" in the photo above is actually a Tarascosaurus from Discovery Channel's Dinosaur Planet.
If you still think that the "D. rex" from MoviePilot is actually a Jurassic World leak, check out the introduction to the Dinosaur Planet episode Pod's Travels, especially look at 0:48.

Like I said before, MoviePilot just isn't trustworthy with anything Jurassic World related. To see the real D. rex, we will have to wait until June 12, 2015, when Jurassic World stomps into theaters.

Topic of the Week by Lizzy the Lizard, as told to Joy Hammond
Nutella cheesecake sounds delicious right about now!
Hello Nutella fans and boy have I got a recipe for you cheesecake lovers. Oh, this is Lizzy, by the way. So I was surfing around on my Facebook page when I found this highly convenient recipe. It came from a website called and the recipe was titled, "Nutella Cheesecake"!
First off, you need:
  1. 10oz. (280g) graham crackers
  2. 5 table spoons of soft, unsalted butter
  3. 1 13-oz jar of Nutella at room temperature
  4. ¾ cup chopped roasted hazelnuts
  5. 1 lb (450g) cream cheese at room temperature
  6. ½ cup of confectioners' sugar, sifted.
First step is to break the graham crackers into the bowl of a processor. Then you add the butter and 15 ml or 1 tablespoon of Nutella, and blitz until it starts to clump. Then add 26g/3 tablespoon of the hazelnuts and continue to pulse until you have a damp, sandy mixture.
Next, tip it into a 32 cm/9-inch round springform and press into the base. You can use you're hands (just make sure to wash them of course) or the back of a spoon. Then place it in the fridge to chill.
Now you eat the cream cheese and the confectioners' sugar until it's smooth and then add the remaining cream cheese mixture and continue to beating it until it's combined.
Lastly, take the springform out of the fridge and carefully smooth the Nutella mixture over the base. Scatter the remaining chopped hazelnuts on the top to cover. Then place the tin in the fridge for at least four hours, or overnight.
Here's some other tips and facts: Serving straight from the fridge brings better results. It makes only one cake. Prep time is about twenty minutes. Bake Time? There isn't any! Just keep it refrigerated for at least four hours. Recipe source came from Nigella Lawson and the contribute is CP Choong. Well, I hope you enjoyed this convenient recipe, because I sure will.

DisclaimerMany (or in some cases all) of the photographs and images above are not mine. If you own one or more of them and would like them to be removed, politely let me know via one or both of the email addresses above.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Did Dinosaurs REALLY Evolve Into Birds?

Howdy everyone! I hope everyone had a wonderful Harvest Day! Now Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching. But that's not the only thing that's going on: my church's drama, The Cheatham's: Howey's Wedding Celebration is coming up quite soon. In fact, it is November 14th! Exactly one week from today! Glad I pretty much know my lines. Anyway, let's get started with:

Days till:
It is: 4 days till Veteran's Day
It is: 20 days till Thanksgiving
It is: 47 days till Christmas

In the Spotlight:
This week, we've got some really cool news about Jurassic World: another possible trailer description from! You can read it below:

Below are the cut scenes in order of how they're shown.
- Nublar Ferry approached Isla Nublar
- A huge number of visitors enter through the dock
- Jurassic World gates open slowly, with a little sound before fading into black again. Then the tagline "THE PARK" is shown.
The next batch of cut scenes occur a bit quicker, as the heartbeat in the background begins to quicken. The following scenes also take place inside the park:
- Little kids petting a baby Triceratops with an adult in the background, just out of focus.
- We see new, creepy looking flying dinosaurs in a massive cage, with visitors admiring them from within the cage.
- Next it cuts to an open field with excited people and huge Dinosaurs in the background, again out of focus.
- Then the screen gets dark and it's now night time. We then see a massive building with a light show going on from its top. The word "IS" is then shown.
- We see a giant sea creature from the top swimming in a huge water tank and we see it when the lighting brightens the pool from the distance.
- Then we see the lonely part of the island, where a creature is looking over to the lights in the distance from its solitary area. We apparently don't see the creature, only the reflection off its eyes and a general shape of its head.
- Then the heartbeat stops and we hear an alarm as we see people running around, trees falling and get crushed by something in the jungle. Then we see Chris Pratt for the first time, looking for someone in a hallway while people are running in the opposite direction.
- Bryce Dallas Howard is taken away by big security guards. The final shot of the montage is of Pteranodons flying freely, terrorizing people... Then the text "OPEN" is shown.
Then, the first line is spoken by Chris Pratt, who says "This might be our only chance." 
Following this is a fairly impressive sounding scene, in which a Velociraptor comes out of the jungle and jumps towards the camera in slow motion and we see that it attacks a huge Dinosaur which we don't see (probably the D-Rex). We only apparently see up to where the Raptor's claws dig into this new Dinosaur and from what was seen, we see that this larger Dinosaur (D-Rex) has transparent layer of skin over top of its inner skin which has a weird, rustic color.
Then the Jurassic World logo fades in with the melodic Jurassic Park theme playing in the background.

I can't wait, for the movie to come out! Of course, this might not be the final version of the trailer we'll probably see next month in front of the release of The Hobbit, but it gives us some idea of what to look forward to.

Topic of the Week by Christian Ryan
Did dinosaurs really evolve into birds? What does the fossil record actually reveal?
Every Thanksgiving, people all over the United States cook and serve the American turkey. Despite not  being part of the first Thanksgiving, the turkey is a symbol for this holiday. But for many Americans, they aren't merely eating a bird – they're actually eating a dinosaur! Evolutionists believe that all birds, including the turkey, descended from small, feathered theropod dinosaurs; to be more accurate, they actually believe that birds are dinosaurs. Such a claim, if true, would be a major problem for creationists. How should a creationist respond to such this idea? What's the truth behind this belief?

Is this delicious Thanksgiving entree the descendant of dinosaurs?
The idea that reptiles evolved into birds isn't new. Not long after renowned naturalist Charles Darwin published his book in 1859 called On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life . . . it's easy to see why most people just call it The Origin of  Species. In 1860, a feather was discovered fossilized in Germany and the species of which the feather belonged to was called Archaeopteryx. In 1863, Sir Richard Owen (the inventor of the name “dinosaur” and a creationist) described an entire skeleton of the creature; the fossils revealed a relatively small creature, with feathered and clawed wings, teeth and a long bony tail. In 1869, biologist Thomas Henry Huxley, often considered “Darwin's Bulldog” declared the animal as the missing link between reptiles – specifically dinosaurs – and birds. Ever since, most evolutionary scientists cling to the idea that theropod dinosaurs evolved into birds.

The similarities between dinosaurs like Compsognathus and birds led Huxley to believe that dinosaurs evolved into birds.
Before we go any farther, we must understand both perspectives of the origin of birds: the creation perspective and the evolutionary perspective. Let's look at them both now. Most evolutionists believe that sometime between the early to late Jurassic Period, about 201-145 million years ago, the scales of small theropod dinosaurs began evolving into fur-like proto-feathers for warmth. After millions of years of evolution, these proto-feathers evolved to be firmer and longer; dinosaurs began using their longer feathers for display purposes, perhaps to attract mates. Evolutionists are unsure as to how the power of flight came about. Some evolutionists believe these feathered dinosaurs were tree-climbers and began using their feathered limbs to glide through the trees; others believe they developed the power of flight from the ground up, using their proto-wings to increase their leaps into the air, perhaps after prey. Either way, these dinosaurs eventually were able to get airborne and were now technically birds.
An early conception of "proto-birds" from 1916.
What does the Bible say about the evolution of birds? Well, it says God created all the flying creatures on the Fifth day of the Creation week, 6,000 years ago, the day before He created dinosaurs.
“And God created...every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good...And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.” Genesis 1:21-23.
This is a major contradiction to the evolution story, which states that dinosaurs came about before birds. Meanwhile the Bible states that land animals – dinosaurs included – came after birds! And instead of evolving through the processes of natural selection and mutation like evolution teaches, birds appeared on earth fully-formed and ready for action.

Evolutionists commonly point to Archaeopteryx as being a transitional form between dinosaurs and birds.
Many evolutionists (specifically atheists) believe that there is too much evidence for evolution for creation to be true. I find it rather interesting how many evolutionists refuse to even consider creation an option; in fact, many will go as far as to say that creationists don't know science. I was browsing the internet and came across an article entitled Feathered Dinosaurs Drive Creationists Crazy by Brian Switek. “Oh, really?” I thought upon seeing this article; I was rather unimpressed by this evolutionist's attempt to denounce creationists. Curious, I read the article, expecting to find much criticism aimed at creationists. Much of the article was devoted to how our view of dinosaurs has changed over the years, but perhaps a quarter into the material, he talked about creationists and the “overwhelming evidence” that dinosaurs evolved into birds, in addition to his other criticisms about dinosaurs living with humans and dinosaurs living 6,000 years ago etc. He also spent a great deal of time talking about Answers in Genesis CEO Ken Ham and the Creation Museum. Here's an excerpt below:
“...dinosaurs with feathers are not welcome at Ham's amusement park [speaking of the Creation Museum]. Even though paleontologists have uncovered numerous dinosaurs with everything from bristles and fuzz to full-flight feathers—which document the evolution of plumage from fluff to aerodynamic structures that allowed dinosaurs to take to the air—creationists deny the clear fossil record.”
He had much more to say of course, some of which I'll get to in a minute. I must say that while reading the article, I was troubled how many misconceptions Switek has about creationism. What really ticks me off is when evolutionists try to make a case for themselves without actually doing the research. I find Switek's ignorance of what we creationists believe appalling. If only he continued to research and find answers to why creationists don't believe dinosaurs evolved into birds, then perhaps he would not have been so bold in his statements. Like any other fossils in the fossil record, even though the observable evidence – dinosaur and bird fossils – can point to or suggest a certain conclusion, they do not speak for themselves and are left to the interpretation of the individual based upon observable evidence. Evolutionists like to claim that creationists start from a presupposition and use that to base their opinions on, while they base their opinions on scientific facts. Now, it is true that we have presumptions, but so do evolutionists! They fail to realize is that they do the exact same thing. In this article, I plan to talk about the evidence for and against the dino-to-bird hypothesis and see what the evidence best suggests.

So what is the “evidence” for this belief in dinosaurs evolving into birds? Switek claims there is a “mountain of evidence that birds are living dinosaurs” and that we creationists deny the clear fossil record. Let's at the so-called evidence now and see whether we're the ones rejecting the clear fossil record. Before we go on though, let me explain that evolutionists do not believe all dinosaurs evolved into birds; they believe the ancestors of birds are maniraptorans, small theropod (meat-eating) dinosaurs. Some of these dinosaurs include Deinonychus, Troodon and the famous Velociraptor.

Dromaeosaurs, such as this Velociraptor, are commonly seen as relatives of modern birds.

Bird-hipped and Lizard-hipped Dinosaurs
Evolutionists are quick to mention that maniraptorans are very similar to modern birds anatomically. This is true. In fact there are over 100 skeletal features that dinosaurs share with birds; some dinosaurs such as Velociraptor even had a wishbone. But what is often not mentioned are the often quite significant differences between the two. Within the order Dinosauria there are two subcategories in which dinosaurs are divided, saurischians (lizard-hipped dinosaurs) and ornithiscians (bird-hipped dinosaurs). The dinosaurs in these two categories are divided based upon their hip shape. The difference between the two hip shapes is the pubis bone; the pubis bone in birds and bird-hipped dinosaurs points toward the rear instead of to the front as in lizard-hipped dinosaurs, modern reptiles and mammals.

Saurischian or lizard-like hip structure.

Ornithischian or bird-like hip structure.

Problem with dino-to-bird evolution? All the dinosaurs that evolutionists believe are related to birds (e.g. Velociraptor, Troodon, Sinornithosaurus) are lizard-hipped! Dinosaurs that are bird-hipped include Stegosaurus, Triceratops and Parasaurolophus. These dinosaurs bear very few bird-like features and are not believed to have evolved into birds. Yet the few times this is ever mentioned in secular literature, documentaries and etc. this problem is never presented any emphasis. And why would they? 
The lumbering 4-ton Stegosaurus is a bird-hipped dinosaur, meaning it must have evolved into birds! Right? Of course not!

Three-Fingered Hands

The hand bones of Dienonychus (left) and Archaeopteryx (right) are quite similar.
Evolutionists absolutely love to talk about how both theropods and birds have three-fingered hand bones. Evidence of a dino-bird relationship? Hardly. As birds supposedly evolved from theropods, you'd expect that the digits represented in the hand bones would be the same in both dinosaurs and birds. However, dinosaurs have the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd digits (the first being the thumb); birds have the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th digits in their hand. What happened?

Avian vs. Reptilian Lungs
The dinosaur Sinosauropteryx was so well preserved, that the reptilian-like lungs have also been fossilized.
If theropods are the ancestors of birds, you should find avian-like lungs in theropods. Of course, as most dinosaur remains are fossil bones, we can't know too much about their lungs and respiratory system. However, paleontologists have discovered the fossilized remains of a Sinosauropteryx, a small bird-like theropod from China, related to Compsognathus. This Sinosauropteryx specimen retains the outline of the visceral cavity, and it is very well preserved. Much to the dismay of evolutionists, they reveal that the lung is very much like that of a crocodile.

In Switek's article, he mentions how the Creation Museum didn't display feathered dinosaurs, nor does Answers in Genesis portray dinosaurs with feathers in books and DVD's. And he's right. But what if there's actually a scientifically good reason for this? Of course, failing to do his research to see why creationists don't portray feathered dinosaurs, he just scoffs and claims that “they take pride in promoting out-of-date, monstrous dinosaurs that more easily fit their contention that these animals were created separately from all other forms of life.” I'm very sorry Switek, but maybe you are the one who's trying to go against the fossil evidence. Like just about every other evolutionist out there, he claims that creationists just believe in non-feathered dinosaurs because we believe they didn't evolve into birds and then points to so-called “feathered” dinosaurs; no further explanation is given. He would have only had to read a few articles on the Answers in Genesis website to find their true opinion, which I will get to in a minute.

Is there actually evidence to support the belief that dinosaurs, like this Troodon, had feathers?
There are two types of “feathered dinosaurs” you'll hear about: dinosaurs with bird-like flight feathers and dinosaurs with proto-feathers. First let's look at the dinosaurs with “proto-feathers”. In 1996, evolutionists thought they found the amazing proof for their theory upon the discovery of Sinosauropteryx. This small carnivorous dinosaur is associated with the outline of what many believe to be fur-like proto-feathers. But upon looking at the “proto-feathers” closely, you can see that they really aren't that feather-like. They are much more similar to hair in appearence. In fact, it seems to some creationists that seems that these features are actually connective tissue fibers (collagen); this is found in the deeper dermal layers of the skin. These features have been found not only on other dinosaurs, but also ichthyosaurs, dolphin-like marine reptiles! Yet no one suggests these creatures were feathered. Another thing about the "fluffy-looking" structures  that creation scientists have noticed is that many of these structures appear almost fur-like. Perhaps some of these dinosaurs were covered in something similar to pcynofibers, fur-like structures found on pterosaurs that are very similar to mammalian hair.

Dinosaurs like Sinosauropteryx might have been covered in a type of "fur".
In this article, Switek mentions this fossil discovery:
“Put feathers on a Velociraptor—we know it had feathers thanks to quill knobs preserved along its arm bones—and you get something disturbingly birdlike, revealing the dinosaur's kinship to the ancestors of Archaeopteryx and other early birds.”
In 2007, scientists published the find of a fossil arm bone of a Velociraptor. Along the forearm are six bumps that they claimed were very similar to those found on the bones of some modern birds. In modern birds the bumps are the quill knobs where feathers were once supposedly rooted. Is this proof of a feathered dinosaur? Perhaps, but sources that talk about this find give no details as to why the quill knobs don't extend further along this bone or if there were other fossils were also examined or how complete the find was. Who's to say this is even the arm bone of a Velociraptor? There are many uncertainties with this fossil. Keep in mind that I'm not doubting the validity of the scientists who studied the fossil, but we should also remember that we should be cautious about such claims based on scant evidence and the claims made by scientists with evolutionary presuppositions.

No feathers seem to have been present on Velociraptor, but pcynofiber-like fuzz is still a possibility.
What about “dinosaurs” that actually have fully-functional actual feathers? Archaeopteryx and Microraptor are two such creatures. Both of these animals bear toothy snouts, clawed and feathery wings and bony tails. They also both have a pair of enlarged retractable toe claws like those of raptor dinosaurs, such as Deinonychus and Velociraptor. Surely this is proof that these animals are the missing links between dinosaurs and birds.

Microraptor is a very unique creature with four fully-functional feathered wings.
First of all the feathers on the bodies of Archaeopteryx and Microraptor are actual feathers and not collagen fibers or fur-like structures. They also have the same digits configuration of modern birds (like modern birds they bear the 2nd, 3rd and 4th digits). Undoubtedly, these animals are birds. The fact that they have reptilian features does not make them half reptile/half bird. In fact, there are several actual birds that have reptilian features: ostriches and baby hoatzins also have clawed wings, and no one questions that these animals are birds; the extinct bird Hesperornis possesses teeth in its beak; and the seriema of today even has an enlarged second toe claw, similar to the ones seen in raptors. If you don't need a missing link between dinosaurs and birds (which creationists don't) then there's no need to call Microraptor and Archaeopteryx anything other than 100% birds.

The seriema is a medium-sized bird living today with an enlarged toe claw, similar to the ones found on dromaeosaurs.
If you look in dinosaur books, you've likely seen diagrams similar to the one below:

This is a typical chart showing the evolution of dinosaurs to birds.
This picture suggests that the fossil record wonderfully displays the evolution from dinosaurs to birds; with more dinosaur-like creatures in lower geologic rock layers and more bird-like creatures in higher layers, slowly evolving more complex feathers. Isn't it strange that we creationists reject the plain evidence in the fossil record as Switek states we do?

Unfortunately, this isn't what the fossil record represents at all! Despite this being portrayed in just about every secular dinosaur book, the “clear fossil record” (as Switek puts it) tells a different story. Archaeopteryx, the famed transitional between dinosaurs and birds is believed to have existed 150-148 million years ago, during the Late Jurassic Period. The problem? Most bird-like dinosaurs that are commonly said to be closely related to birds, according to this worldview, lived before Archaeopteryx! Sinosauropteryx, a dinosaur with “proto-feathers” is claimed to have lived 124-122 million years ago! In fact, most dinosaurs with so-called “proto-feathers” are found above rock layers with more bird-like animals! The only dinosaur with "proto-feathers" that evolutionists have that didn't live after Archaeopteryx is Juravenator. But according to evolutionists, Juravenator lived at the same time as Archaeopteryx! In addition to this, we find birds very similar to the ones we see today living with "dino-birds". A Microraptor skeleton described in 2011 was discovered with tree-perching bird fossils (more bird-like than Microraptor) inside of its abdomen! This animal didn't only live with modern-like birds – it ate them! Even Velociraptor, a very bird-like dinosaur, is usually dated to live about 80 million years ago, long after birds has supposedly been flying through the skies for millions of years. These creatures were hardly ancestors to the birds. I for think the fossil record clearly demonstrates that dinosaurs evolved into birds, don't you? (That was sarcastic by the way).

Of course, I am not at all saying we should find all the transitional forms between dinosaurs and birds if this transition really did occur, but we should find a few. Evolution on this scale would take tens of millions of years and millions of generations between dinosaurs and birds. Where are these fossils? Surely some should have popped up if the "clear fossil record" suggests dinosaurs evolved into birds.

And to make matters even worse for evolutionists, extinct birds such as Anchiornis, Xiaotingia, Aurornis and potentially Protoavis are buried in sediment “older” than Archaeopteryx!

So, Switek, you believe the "clear fossil record" portrays dinosaurs evolving into birds? Hm...

Earlier, I mentioned how Switek claimed creationists don't like feathered dinosaurs. What if a feathered dinosaur with actual feathers were discovered? Would this prove that dinosaurs evolved into birds and that the Bible is untrue? Nope! In fact, nothing in the Bible goes against the idea that dinosaurs might have had feathers. Not only that, but I happen to like the look of feathered dinosaurs; I am not against the notion of feathered dinosaurs in the slightest, just the idea that they evolved into birds. Finding a feathered dinosaur would be no different than finding a mammal that lays eggs. which we actually have! The duck-billed platypus and porcupine-like echidna are monotreme mammals that lay eggs instead of giving birth to live young like all other mammals. Yet they aren't half mammals/half reptiles; they're mammals that lay eggs. We creationists aren't against the idea of feathered dinosaurs at all, it's just that so far, the evidence for feathered dinosaurs is missing in action.

Like Microraptor, the platypus bears characteristics of many different creatures, including the ability to lay eggs, a duck-like bill, a beaver-like tail and webbed feet, a mammal's fur, the ability to use a form of sonar and even a venomous spur. Yet it is not some evolutionary missing link, but a mosaic.
In order to prove that dinosaurs evolved into birds, one would need to find evidence of a transition between the two in the fossil record (like reptile scales evolving into feathers) and the fossil record would need to show dinosaurs and birds evolving in the right order. This is not what we find!

Why haven't evolutionists who love to talk badly about creationists bring up the points I made in this article? An even better question is why would they do such a thing? Never in Switek's article does he even mention these problems with the dino-bird theory (or solutions to them)! Like many other evolutionists out there, he decided to pick on the claim made by creationists rather than the evidence that backs up the claim in order to make creationists sound like unprofessional idiots. What he wrote in this article shows just how utterly and willingly ignorant he is of creationism and what we believe to be true (and more importantly why we believe it to be true).

As I hope to have made clear throughout this article, if one looks at the fossil record from an evolutionary perspective, we don't really learn about the origin of birds. It's really sad how little research Switek did on the truth about creationism, Answers in Genesis, dinosaurs, birds and the fossil record as a whole. I doubt hearing the truth would have actually change his mind, but at least he would have been more informed. Until he decides to learn what creationists actually have to say and only talking about evidence from his own side of the argument, he should avoid talking about creationism altogether. (Unlike him, I used information from both sides).

I do however hope that this article has enlightened you, my readers, and helped you understand that the fossil record doesn't support the belief that birds and dinosaurs didn't share the same lineage, but that they do share the same wonderful Creator God.

You can relax, dinosaur lovers! The turkey you'll have for Thanksgiving this year isn't the descendant of this Velociraptor!

Feathered Dinosaurs Drive Creationists Crazy

Disclaimer: Many (or in some cases all) of the photographs and images above are not mine. If you own one or more of them and would like them to be removed, politely let me know via one or both of the email addresses above.

Disclaimer 2: I know I've been talking negatively a lot about Brian Switek article, but this isn't because I don't like the guy. I have read much of his other material and admire his writing style; even though I don't agree with everything he believes.