"Scientist" Walt Brown and Archaeopteryx
I've revisited Walt Brown's web site and found he's made some changes in the latest edition of his book, In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood. My favorite part is his chapter on Archaeopteryx. But he still doesn't explain howArchaeopteryx is evidence "for Creation and the Flood". In fact, Brown's apparent goal for this chapter, as stated in the 2nd paragraph, is the same in both the 6th and 7th editions of the book:If Archaeopteryx were shown to be a fraud, the result would be devastating for the evolution theory.
That goal has resulted in some strange bedfellows for Brown. He bases his arguments on
the work of "several prominent scientists" who charged that Archaeopteryx
is forged. Those scientists were Sir Fred Hoyle and N. Chandra Wickramasinghe, astronomers
and mathematicians; Lee Spetner, physicist and electronics expert; John Watkins, a
physician; and R.S. Watkins, a physicist from University College, Cardiff. Notice that
none is a zoologist (vertebrate or otherwise), ornithologist, herpetologist,
paleontologist, or even a geologist. But they are or were prominent scientists. Never mind
that their charges were shown to be without foundation not long after they were made.
But that isn't important to Brown. He has reached his conclusion, one that will have a "devestating" result for "the evolution theory." He doesn't explain why this is true. I guess we are just to accept that it is.
It is clear that even Brown is aware that his case is a fabrication. In the sixth edition he stated:
Were it not for these perfectly formed, modern feathers, that are visible only on two of the six known specimens, ...
Is it that Brown is just not very good at research? There are eight Archaeopteryx specimens, one being a single feather. But the others are all skeletal, the last being discovered in 1992, at least 3 years before the earliest copyright on Brown's book and 9 years before the copyright on the 7th edition. The same paragraph from the 7th edition states:
If Archaeopteryx did not have a few perfectly formed, modern feathers, clearly visible on only two of the six known specimens, ...
He still doesn't know how many there are. But that is not the worst error. Notice that
in the 6th edition Brown clearly states that feathers are visible on two and only two
specimens. Notice the subtle change in the 7th edition. Perhaps this error was pointed out
to him. It might be argued that the 7th edition doesn't actually claim that only two
specimens have feathers. But Brown can't acknowledge the truth. If more specimens have
feathers, his case becomes moot. What if six out of seven specimens had visible feathers,
some clearly visible? That would be unacceptable for Brown's point and so he carefully
chose his words so that his indended scientifically illiterate and educationally lacking
audience will understand what Brown didn't say (at least in the 7th edition), and Brown
can maintain deniability.
Brown's next paragraph begins, "The two fossils with feathers...", making it clear that Brown intends to mislead. Just a little basic research is enough to find that feathers are "clearly visible" on three specimens, imcomplete but clear on one, faint on two, and absent on one.
Brown doesn't mention if he has ever examined any of the Achaeopteryx fossils. I doubt it. Even Hoyle only examined one from which he concluded that it and the unseen Berlin specimen were forgeries. Brown wants to pretend that Archaeopteryx is actually a Compsognathus, since fossils of this theropod dinosaur are also found in the same deposits at Solnhofen. But that isn't true. The Eichstätt specimen doesn't have feather impressions, was actually classified as a Compsognathus for 22 years until certain anatomical irregularities were noted. Closer study revealed not a Compsognathus but an Archaeopteryx.
And yet, when asked for an example of a single creation "scientist" who has made a real contribution to science, Brown and his shoddy work are touted. Creation "science" really scrapes the bottom of the barrel.