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[__ Science __ ] Can Statistics Tell Us Whether Dinosaurs Had Feathers?

Barbarian

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Since we have fossil evidence showing that dinosaurs have feathers, and since the last surviving dinosaurs have them today, it's a pretty sure thing.
 

Barbarian

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Here's a particularly weird misconception from that article:

While the distance is interesting, there is a fundamental assumption here—that similarity equals ancestry.

That's one problem with "baraminology." And here's another:

Creationists are undoubtedly familiar with the homology argument frequently advanced by evolutionists, namely that if two creatures look the same, they likely descend from a common ancestor.

YE creationists, being generally ignorant of biology, often confuse analogy "looks the same" with homology "derived from the same structures."

For example, wings on insects and birds are analogous; they look alike and they work the same way. Wings on bats and forelegs on horses are homolgous; they are derived from the same structures, even if they look very different and function differently.

This doesn't seem like a difficult concept to understand, but it clearly is out of reach for "Answers in Genesis."
 

Barbarian

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Edit to last post: Obviously wings on insects and birds are analogous (look similar) but are not homologous (derived from the same structures). Insect wings are homologous with gills seen on primitive arthropods. And yes, there is a transitional form similar to those seen in stoneflies.

Nature 13 February 1997

Evolutionary origin of insect wings from ancestral gills

If wings derive from dorsal structures of multibranched appendages, we expect that some of their distinctive features will have been built on genetic functions that were already present in the structural progenitors of insect wings, and in homologous structures of other arthropod limbs. We have isolated crustacean homologues of two genes that have wing-specific functions in insects, pdm (nubbin) and apterous. Their expression patterns support the hypothesis that insect wings evolved from gill-like appendages that were already present in the aquatic ancestors of both crustaceans and insects.

Bird wings are of course homlogous with tetrapod forelimbs, which are homologous with fins seen on lobed-fin fish.
 
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