Birds move branches in evolutionary tree, according to New Scientist news, 26 June 2008, print edition 2 July 2008, and Science, vol. 320, p1763, 27 June 2008. Sushma Reddy, an evolutionary biologist at the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago and colleagues have worked out the DNA letter sequence in 19 regions of the genome of 169 bird species and then used them to construct a new evolutionary tree for birds. They were surprised by some of the results. For example: “falcons are more closely related to songbirds than to other hawks and eagles. The closest kin of the diving birds called grebes turn out to be flamingos. And tiny, flashy hummingbirds, according to the new tree, are just a specialised form of nighthawks, whose squat, bulky bodies make them an unlikely cousin.” One of the biggest surprises was that tinamous, an order of flying birds, similar to grouse or quail, were placed “squarely in the midst of the flightless ostriches, emus and kiwis. If true, this implies either that flightlessness evolved at least twice in this lineage, or else that the tinamous re-evolved flight from a flightless ancestor.” Joel Cacraft, curator of ornithology at the American Museum of Natural History, New York commented: “A lot of us actually don’t believe their result.”

New Scientist

Editorial Comment: At present we don’t believe these results either, not because we think the scientists who did it were incompetent, but because they are working from the wrong presuppositions – that all genetic similarities are the result of common ancestry or by evolving by chance more than once. This study is a good example of how the theory of evolution is a waste of time, taxpayers’ money and scientific resources. There is no need to try to invent mythical ancestors and connections for such diverse kinds of birds as parrots and passerines, tinamous and emus if you believe birds were created in separate unrelated kinds and have since that time reproduced after their kinds as Genesis says. You can then concentrate your resources into studying birds in the real world. This is not the first time scientists have tried to work out a bird evolutionary tree by comparing genes. It was done in 2004 using just one gene in 150 bird families and produced equally confusing results. At the time they promised a future study in 11 more genes and so we wrote at the time what has proved to be surprisingly accurate: “we predict that analysis of the 11 other bird genes will only produce more confusing results for evolutionists”. We are still waiting for the results on the 11 other bird genes. (Ref. taxonomy, classification)

Evidence News 24 Sept 2008