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Ken Ham, Feathers and Flight
Michael Suttkus

KEN HAM ON EDUCATION! -- Feathers and flight -- they're remarkable!
(January 25, 2002)

Question: What make feathers and the ability to fly so incredible?

Answer:  Well, in a nutshell, design.  Let me explain.

Of course, it's not intelligent design, but creationist can't tell the difference between unintelligent design and intelligent design.

Ken Ham:    Evolutionists will tell you that feathers are the product of random, chance processes acting over millions of years. 

Lie #1.  No, evolutionist say it's the result of random chance filtered through selection.

Ken Ham:   They evolved, some say, from scales to help some dinosaur jump a littler higher and farther! 

Lie #2.  Most scientists think feathers evolved originally for a insulation purposes.  There are other theories, but absolutely nobody things feathers evolved to help animals jump.

One wonders why creationists have to lie about what science claims?  Could it be because they can't stand up to the real claims of science, and so have to erect silly straw men, paint "eviluton" on them, and then attack them instead of real theories?  Yes, actually, it is.  Note as you read through the rest of this how the actual theories point up the flaws in the claims.

Ken Ham:    But as our scientist Dr David Menton has shown, if you examine a feather and the structures needed for flight, it becomes obvious that they're products of a marvelous Designer!

Yes, and that designer is natural selection.  Again, creationist will continue to pretend the argument is "no design versus design by God".  This is a lie (#3!).  The debate is about which designer is responsible, one we see in operation every day, or their blind, heretical interpretation of a book which claims that the sky has windows, the earth is flat, and that people who take it literally are missing the point (II Corinthians 3:6 "Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament, not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.").

Again, creationist can't deal with the real arguments, so they're forced to lie about it.

Ken Ham:    If you look at a feather under a microscope, you will notice it bears no resemblance to a reptile's scale. 

I'll count this as half a lie.  Yes, a microscope doesn't suggest much similarity, but then, under a microscope, you can't tell the difference between blank and recorded videotape either, can you?

The similarities between scales and feathers are extreme, actually.  They're made of the same substance (keratin), they form from the same tissue during development.  The most telling evidence of all, however, is that a single point mutation in chickens will turn their feathers into scales.  If they aren't at all similar, why would that be the case?

Ken Ham:    The feather has a main stem with barbs coming off to the left and right. 

Another half lie.  Some feathers have barbs, others don't.  This is a common creationist tactic, they take only the most complicated examples of what they are discussing and pretend that less complicated examples are impossible.  The fact that such examples actually exist rather refutes the creationist lie of impossibility.

Real scientists think that the original purpose of feathers were probably for insulation.  The feathers that are used today  for insulation don't have barbs.  So, it's clear that feathers can have a purpose without barbs.

Ken Ham:    From these are left-handed and right-handed barbules.  The left-handed barbules have hooks and the right-handed ones have ridges. 

Except for the ones that don't!

Ken Ham:    The hooks slide along the ridges to keep the feather intact and make flight possible.

Another lie!  Lots of animals fly without feathers, so feathers don't make flight possible.  They're certainly useful, but aren't some miracle structure that requires instantaneous perfect creation to have any function.

Ken Ham:    Dr Menton has told me that there is even a mechanism for lubricating the hooks and ridges to reduce friction. 

Gosh, and that couldn't have evolved later, huh?  Not that it would have to.

Ken Ham:    This is done as the bird preens its feathers by rubbing oil from a special gland over the feathers.

Of course, some reptiles already "preen" themselves, or at least spread oils from glands around their skin, so this isn't something very hard to see evolving.  But then, most creationist arguments are based on total ignorance of life's diversity.

Ken Ham:    This is just a small glimpse into this sophisticated system of design engineering -- what a Creator God we have!  Contrary to the "Jurassic Park" movies, birds did not evolve from dinosaurs!

And another lie, or at least a total non-sequitur.

Here's the actual story:

Reptiles had scales.  Some reptiles evolved frayed scales, possibly for sexual displays (some modern reptiles have such frayed scales).  If the covering of frayed scales is made a little bit denser you get insulation, which isn't good if you're cold blooded (which is why modern reptiles didn't evolve in this direction), but it is great if you're a dinosaur and at least partially warm-blooded!  Add a rib along the frayed portions and you've got even better insulation.  And guess what, you've got a feather, not unlike modern down feathers.

And not a single one of the creationist claims even remotely deals with the claims or the evidence for them.  It's almost like creationists can't deal with actual science.

Ken Ham:    See Bird evolution flies out the window for more information.2

No Mr Ham, you can't have more information until you have presented some information.  Nothing informative has come from AiG yet, unless you count the information about how bad creationist arguments are.

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