birds and dinosaurs

30 Jan 2016

At ... is about feathered dragons, as the consensus view is that birds are descended from the dinosaurs. Alan Feduccia is an evolutionary biologist whose research is focussed on the natural history of birds. He takes issue with the consensus view and says they are not descended from dinosaurs, but from a common ancestor to both dinosaurs and birds. This has not gone down too well if Dr Wile is to be taken at his word. Uniformitarians are desperate for dinosaurs to have lighter bird like bones and therefore this question is important to them - and a scientist straying off the mainstream line is unwelcome.

Feduccia has written a new book, 'Riddle of the Feathered Dragons' in which he says, quoting Dr Wile, 'the word consensus has no place in science and is no validation of any hypothesis ...' and Wile adds, 'when you hear the word consensus used to support a scientific argument you know the person has stopped thinking for himself ...'. Feduccia sets out a case for why birds could not have evolved from dinosaurs. He thinks birds probably evolved from archeosaurs - which predated  the dinosaurs (and the Jurassic). Wile points out one example, downy feathers. It is thought dinosaurs had proto-feathers, which are equated with the downy feathers of hatchling birds and which are quickly lost. The reason for this is that they are no defence against rain and wind, and quickly become sodden causing nestlings to die if they have no shelter. How could dinosaurs have protected themselves against the elements if all they had was downy proto-feathers?