skull-terror-bird-scientific-american

Ever since the incident with my ice article, I have been checking periodically on Joel Duff’s website, Naturalis Historia. He had critiqued my article on ice and had exposed some errors in my study. I gladly accept his scientific explanations over my mistakes. If you want to read more on that then please visit HERE.

Anyway, I ran into a couple of stories that had information I could talk about but, when I ran into his “terror bird” article I just had to focus on that one.

I am utterly fascinated with these gigantic birds and have, many times, considered writing extended articles on them on my website but, as Joel noted, there is not much information to be found on these creatures from a creationist standpoint. As an aside, I couldn’t find much secular information either. Hopefully I’ll be able to expand my information sources soon and find good information of them and tell you, in more detail, about these incredible creatures.

But, in the meanwhile, I would like to discuss Joel’s article.

In the beginning of his article, which you can read HERE, he talks about these birds and their anatomy. However, his article takes a turn when he asks creationists about these amazing birds.

I can’t find any speculation by young earth creationists about these birds but the position of the fossils strongly suggests that they would have to believe that all of these large flightless birds existed after a global flood and thus representatives of them would have to have been on Noah’s ark.

Yes, I wish more creationists would talk about these creatures and, after I’m done with my current series of shadows of Christ, I will delve into these birds and give creationists and evolutionists information about them.

As for the ark, these birds could have been on the ark directly. Nobody has to nail down exactly which animals were on the ark, since none of us were there (inside joke), but only that God knew best in which animals had to be protected. He did create the world, I think He can handle which animals need to be saved.

Just like we saw with ostriches, moa and other flightless birds, the tendency is to want to treat these birds as having flight capable ancestors and so explain their inability to fly as a “mutation disorder.”

Nowhere have I seen a creationist make such a claim. Flightless birds are amazing, especially these terror birds. Why does flightless-ness have to be a disorder? I’m very glad God made flightless birds.

These huge birds seem to have been all over South America at one time. Did they really evolve from an ancestor that could fly and then develop into these massive birds that preyed on other animals in a matter of just a few hundred years.[?]  Where are the intermediate fossils or so-called missing link fossils?

Very good point. There seems to be no intermediate ones. Although, I don’t see how this counters the creationist viewpoint?

If YEC can claim that evolutionists have problems with missing links it seems apparent that in cases like this, creationists have the same problem.

For those who don’t know, “YEC” stands for “Young-Earth Creationists”. Once again, I don’t see any creationists making this claim about these terror birds. It would seem, with science and the geologic layers supporting this, that these birds were made as flightless birds right from the start.

There are very apparent differences in these fossils species; they all have tiny to missing wings, dense bones, massive beaks etc… If God did not create all of these species as they are in the fossil record but “evolved” them from a smaller flight capable ancestor on the ark where are the intermediate fossils and remains?

Again, I haven’t seen any creationist claim that these birds descended from capable fliers. In fact, this goes against the Bible and science. It seems a straw-man has been set-up for this article.

Given that even YECs believe people have been in North and South America for almost 4000 years how could these birds have gotten off the Ark, migrated to South America, evolved into many species, populated the continent and then all gone extinct before man arrived?

Here Joel makes a false statement about creationists. Humans couldn’t have had earth populated 4,000 years ago for the flood itself was 3.669 years ago. Humans very well couldn’t have had it permanently populated before the flood. For correction, I would say the Americas were probably populated some 2,500-3,000 years ago.

Therefore, if the Americas were populated around that time, then it would make sense that humans would have lived alongside these birds, just like they did with dinosaurs. Where in the Bible or operational science does it say that humans did not live with these birds . . .

The young earth timeline here strains credulity at all levels.

The conclusion to the article seems to be based off faulty arguments. Here Joel, whether knowingly or unknowingly, set-up a straw-man argument where he misinterpreted a creationist belief (that Noah took kinds of animals on the ark to preserve them) and then turned that belief around to say that evolution would then have to be happening to these flightless birds. Then he promptly refuted the argument and made the point that creationists could not maintain their beliefs, even though these beliefs are not the beliefs of the creationist.

So, Joel, though his intentions might have been good for the “disproving” of the science of creation, his method was off. But, I do thank him for bringing to my attention, again, that the terror birds of America have been largely ignored by the creation movement! I hope to fill that void with articles on them in general as well as my somewhat-famous features covering each animal specifically. I hope Joel will be a reader for them!

As another note, I find that Joel often discusses topics that are a little more timid. For me, it doesn’t seem like he talks against any major objections to evolutionist belief. If he were interested in tackling the bigger issues (like the faults in evolution) instead of talking about smaller subjects, I, for one, would be much more interested in his articles (that is not to say I’m not interested in his articles now). I would love to see Joel confront the truth of God’s word and see where it will lead him.