Dinosaur Head

Dinosaurs were British, according to a BBC News article about dinosaur evolution which begins: “The first dinosaurs may have originated in the Northern Hemisphere, possibly in an area that is now Britain”. (23 March 2017). The article refers to a new study of dinosaur classification also reported in Nature News and ScienceDaily 22 March 2017, and Nature, doi: 10.1038/nature21700, 23 March 2017.

A group of scientists from Cambridge University and the Natural History Museum in the UK have studied anatomical similarities and differences of 74 dinosaur species and have drawn up a new evolutionary tree for dinosaurs. The new tree is significantly different from previous evolutionary trees which were based on classifying dinosaurs into two main groups – Ornithischia, meaning “bird hipped” and Saurischia, meaning “lizard-hipped”. Bird-hipped dinosaurs included plant-eating creatures such as Stegosaurus and Triceratops. Lizard-hipped dinosaurs included two main groups – sauropods, such as Diplodocus, and the theropods, such as Tyrannosaurus rex.

The new classification puts the lizard-hipped theropods on the same main branch as bird-hipped dinosaurs and changes their classification name from Ornithischia to Ornithoscelida or “bird limbed”. The new evolutionary tree also includes some fossils discovered long after the original dinosaur classification system was drawn up, including fossils found in Scotland and England, which are considered to be amongst the very earliest dinosaurs to evolve.

Matthew Baron of Cambridge University explained, “A British scientist, Sir Richard Owen, gave the word dinosaur to the world. Now we may be looking at the possibility that the very earliest dinosaurs were roaming an area that has become Britain and the group itself could have originated on these shores”.

Moving the theropods in with the Ornithischia fits with the theory that theropods evolved into birds, as originally proposed by Thomas Huxley in 1870. According to Matthew Baron, “We’ve proved Huxley right”. He went onto say: “We didn’t pay any attention to any of the dogma of the past 130 years. We tried to incorporate no prior assumption and so we have pulled apart the tree and reassembled it and have come up with solutions to questions that have been troubling scientists for a very long time”.

Paul Barrett of the Natural History Museum, who was involved in the study, commented: “Now we have our evolutionary tree, we can use it as a foundation to understand how dinosaur features evolved over time, and it is already beginning to help us explain some questions that have puzzled us”.

BBC, Nature News, ScienceDaily

Editorial Comment: In spite of their claim of “no prior assumption”, this new evolutionary tree only exists in the minds of the evolutionary palaeontologists who drew it up, who blatantly assume that those they put high in the tree evolved from those they put at the bottom. Their new tree will not explain how this could have happened, any more than the old one did.

One vital detail: the classification system was never meant to be a record of evolution. It was developed by the creationist Carl von Linne, often known by the Latin version of his name, Linnaeus. The classification system is simply a method of naming living and fossil organisms, and organising our knowledge of them. How we organise that knowledge makes no difference to the actual organisms. The living ones are observed to exist and reproduce in their separate kinds, until sadly like the dinosaurs, some will predictably die out.

Richard Owen, who founded the Natural History Museum, coined the word Dinosaur in 1841, before the theory of evolution was promoted by Darwin. Owen was the leading expert on fossil bones at the time, and when Darwin’s theory become popular Owen was an implacable opponent, as he saw no evidence of it in any of the fossil specimens accumulating in the museum.

All evolutionary trees drawn up since the time of Darwin and Huxley have been imposed on the fossils, and are not the result of anyone observing one dinosaur change into another, or into birds.

The Natural History Museum’s promotion of Huxley seems to be part of a continuing move to oust founder Owen that began with removing Owen’s statue from the main entrance and replacing it with Darwin in 2009.

Evidence News, vol. 17, No. 5
29 March 2017
Creation Research Australia

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