RSR: Now Biological Material from Archaeopteryx

* Archaeopteryx, Bison, Pelican, Chimp, & Cancer: Fred Williams engineer and webmaster for the Creation Research Society, and Bob Enyart, on this episode of Real Science Radio draw from the latest peer-reviewed science journal article on original biological material and from Creation magazine,  April - June 2011. 2019 Update: See also!

* July 2011 Update from Nature: Not Transitional: It's official. Archaeopteryx is no longer considered a transitional creature from dinosaurs to modern birds. Nature News & Views admits that this "icon" of evolution has been "knocked from its perch" after leading palaeontologists reassessed "the creature that has been considered the evolutionary link between the two." Also, Nature News reported that Archaeopteryx had been "the ideal 'missing link' with which to demonstrate evolution from non-avian dinosaurs to [modern] birds." Why the reassessment? A paper in the journal Nature reports a result that "challenges the centrality of Archaeopteryx in the transition to birds" and that "shifts Archaeopteryx" out of the modern bird lineage. In the popuar press, Wired admits, "Archaeopteryx‘s status as the forerunner of modern birds is crumbling" and in the science press, Discover News laments that, "Archaeopteryx [is] likely removed from the bird family tree". Demonstrating the adage that evidence for evolution devolves over time, along with "vestigial" organs, Nebraska Man, and our "backwardly" wired retina, after 150 years of being the transitional trump card, Archaeopteryx is out (except for the typical 100-year lag in the published scientific discoveries and the outdated claims published in evolutionary textbooks). And as for the Chinese fossils that knocked Archaeopteryx off its perch, remember the late Larry Martin, University of Kansas paleontologist, whom CNN reported as cautioning, "You have to put this into perspective. To the people who wrote the paper, the chicken would be a feathered dinosaur."

Archaeopteryx fossil contains original biological material!* More Dinosaur-Layer Biological Material Discovered: After previous discoveries of actual dinosaur soft tissue (T. rex, hadrosaur, triceratops, etc.), now The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports that various types of original biological material in Archaeopteryx feathers and bones has allegedly survived for 150 million years. The New Scientist report, Soft tissue remnants discovered in Archaeopteryx, put it:

"It boasts more than just... impressions of long-gone feathers. One of the world's most famous fossils... Archaeopteryx – also contains remnants of the feathers' soft tissue. ... "It's amazing that that chemistry is preserved after 150 million years." ... palaeontologists had long thought that only impressions remained. [But] 'There is soft-tissue chemistry preserved in places that people didn't expect it,' says [geochemist Roy] Wogelius."

That link in this New Scientist article goes to a similar article with this title: Tyrannosaurus rex fossil gives up precious protein.

- 2012 UPDATE More from a Feather: A different study published in Nature Communications, New evidence on the colour and nature of the isolated Archaeopteryx feather, states:

"We interpret the feather’s dark trace to be a melanic organosulphur residue, based on the following.

First, we detected no manganese among nine point analyses throughout the feather, indicating that preservation was not due to precipitation of the inorganic mineral, manganese dioxide (MnO2), as has been suggested…

Second, a potential organocopper biomarker for melanin was previously detected in this specimen; this biomarker has also been correlated with the presence of melanosomes in three fossil bird taxa. We hypothesize that melanosome structures fossilize simply by virtue of being solid aggregations of melanins… resistant to degradation.

Third, the dark trace is associated with sulphur, which may have derived from the sulphur-rich feather keratin and crosslinked with the melanin; this is consistent with the sulphurization mechanism responsible for high-fidelity organic preservation in the fossil record."

Of course, a biomarker is an indicator of a biological state. And organocopper is a compound in organic chemistry. And within organic chemistry is the specialty of biomolecular chemistry that looks for biomarkers which are indicators of biological processes. So, Archaeopteryx had black color on its feathers (darker at the tips), as determined by the distribution and the dimensions of its melanosomes (which produced its melanin). The melanosomes were measured at only a millionth of a meter in length and quarter of a millionth of a meter (250 nanometers) in diameter.

* The Confusing Term "Organic" in Chemistry: Confusion among scientists during the early exploration of the chemistry of life has led to ongoing confusion among the public regarding the term organic. People hear "organic" and think not only of biology, but even of wild salmon and pesticide-free family farms. However, the chemistry term organic refers to carbon-based compounds whether from animate or inanimate sources. Thus when scientists refer to a compound as organic, frequently, they are not at all implying that it came from a living organism. (Example: The next big thing in interior lighting may be organic LEDs. This doesn't mean that our lamps will be grown down on the farm.) So, as is common among atheists, AronRa plays to the public confusion when he confronts creationists arguments against biogenesis by saying that all scientists know that biogenesis could have begun using organic compounds. That is an obfuscation by which those unfamiliar with the terminology would assume, in some confused way, that they somehow mean that biological compounds would pre-exist the first living cells. What they should say to avoid confusion is that if biogenesis occurred, it would have to begin with inanimate compounds, including for example non-racimized amino acids, etc.).

* Arguments Creationists SHOULD NOT Use: Respected creation organizations publish lists of arguments they recommend should no longer be used. Real Science Radio appreciates these efforts but disagrees with the following specifics. For after significant consideration, RSR recommends continued use of these arguments:
- the dust on the moon
- frozen mammoths flash-frozen during the flood (along with millions of other organisms)
- 6,000 year old mitochondrial Eve, and
- human and dinosaur footprints.

* Was Archaeopteryx a Fraud? As of today's broadcast date, the AiG Don't-Use List contains an ambiguous reference to Archaeopteryx with a link to a great article that nonetheless doesn't address why it is on this list. [AiG later removed this item. If you know their current position on this matter please let us know at] Regarding the allegation that Archaeopteryx is a fraud, much has changed since Spetner and Hoyle first claimed that the feathers were fraudulent:
MORE SPECIMENS: Since the first, eleven other specimens have been found including one of the most complete, described in 2014.
SOFT TISSUE: The 2010 discovery of the appropriately decomposed various kinds of original biological materials that have now been found in the original Archaeopteryx specimen, significantly revealing the right kinds of organics and in just the right places in the fossil (see above and
- JUST A BIRD: Leading evolutionists are admitting that Archaeopteryx was just a bird (see below).
- NO LONGER TOO BIG TO FAIL: The journal Nature in 2011 published An icon knocked from its perch admitting, "It's been a good run for Archaeopteryx... a symbol of evolution" but that "much of what we thought we knew about the origin and early evolution of birds will need to be re-evaluated."
- SLOPPY SLAB: (This is RSR's own hypothesis.) When a slab is broken open, as with the initial Archaeopteryx find, it often splits naturally at its mortality horizon exposing an impression or some of the actual remains of an organism. That the opposing faces occasionally vary is one of the reasons why a slab will open along such a fracture, because different minerals can interface along that horizon. Further, being different, they may preserve their respective portions of the fossil differently, which phenomena may give the appearance of a forgery. Also, recalling the admitted reshaping of Lucy's pelvis, even on the chance that an evolutionist had "enhanced" part of an Archaeopteryx specimen, that does not mean that the entire specimen (let alone all the specimens) was a forgery. Thus, RSR recommends dropping the claim that Archaeopteryx was a fraud.

* Archaeopteryx was Just a Bird: As Prof. of Avian Evolution and world authority on birds at the University of North Carolina, Dr. J. Alan Feduccia, said, "Paleontologists have tried to turn Archaeopteryx into an earth-bound, feathered dinosaur. But it's not. It is a bird, a perching bird. And no amount of ‘paleobabble’ is going to change that." So after decades of textbooks saying otherwise, this bird is no longer considered transitional. It's a bird. Archaeopteryx has wings, feathers, a wishbone, perching feet,  bird bones and a brain case. Just like a bird. Consider this question: Do any living birds have claws, or teeth? Oh yeah, and regarding that reshapping of Lucy's pelvis, there's this:

* Also on Today's RSR Program:
- Bison Bleed: If one bison is wounded and bleeding the whole herd rubs in the blood so that predators will not be able to target the vulnerability within the herd (from a Denver Post article about a Colorado herd increasingly expressing it's wild genes). Bob and Fred discuss the mechanics of how this might evolve, in a fanciful sense.
- Pelican Fossil: Once again, evolutionists are "surprised" because a supposedly 30-million year old pelican fossil looks suspiciously like a modern species. In fact, there seems to be a trend: the more "remarkably preserved" a fossil is, the more scientists admit that they're "so similar to modern" species. Yes. And where's all the genetic variation, including deterioration, from mutations that should have happened over all that time? It's not there.
- Cancer and Egyptian Mummies: and the increasing mutation-driven genetic load on the human race and what a leading geneticist and cancer researcher are saying against evolution.
- Chimp's Y Chromosome is ONE THIRD DIFFERENT! (See more at Dramatically contradicting what Darwinists have assumed for decades, the chimp's Y chromosome is so different from ours, that a researcher has called it, "horrendously different!" Geneticists have sequenced the chimpanzee's Y chromosome has been sequenced,  the evolutionists are in "shock" once again. See the April 2011 Creation Magazine and their online report about team leader Dr. David Page of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Mass., said in the journal Nature (1-14-2010), that the human and chimp Y chromosomes are "horrendously different from each other." Horrendously? A_O, is that a scientific term? Why not just, "different?" Why horrendously so? Because for modern Darwinism to not lose face, chimps have to be shown to be our closest relatives. Yet the chimp's Y chromosome (that which makes us reproducing males... well, males...):
- has only 66% of the genes that we do
- codes for only half the proteins ours does
- has 30% of the entire Y that can't be aligned to our Y
- and the human Y has 30% that doesn't line up to the chimps.

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* Special Editions of Real Science Radio:
- BEL's famous List of Not-So-Old Things
- Bob's debate with Christian Darwinist British author James Hannam
- PZ Myers blogs against Real Science Radio so we hit back with the PZ Trochlea Challenge
- Waiting for Darwin's Other Shoe: Science mag cover: Darwin Was Wrong on the Tree of Life
- Microbiologist in Studio: Creation Research Society Quarterly editor on new genetic findings
- Caterpillar Kills Atheism: describe how a bug could evolve to liquefy itself and then build itself into a flying creature
- And see the RSR Offer of $2,000 to get 16 letters of the alphabet in their correct places; $500 paid in 1998; $1,500 in 2010...

* Darwinism Fails the Fossil Test: Fun! Yes, Darwinism fails the Transitional Fossils test, as evidenced in the quote below and, as of April 25, 2014, on Real Science Radio at!

Biology text, Campbell, Reece, et al., 2006, p290