Is ARCHAEOPTERYX the missing link between dinosaurs and birds?

This article is from Hank Hanegraaff, The Complete Bible Answer Book—Collector’s Edition (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2008)
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Whenever I say that there are no transitions from one species to another, someone inevitably brings up Archaeopteryx. This happens so frequently that I’ve decided to coin a word for the experience: pseudosaur. Pseudo means false and saur refers to a dinosaur or a reptile (literally lizard). Thus, a pseudosaur is a false link between reptiles (such as dinosaurs) and birds. Myriad evidences demonstrate conclusively that Archaeopteryx is a full-fledged bird; not a missing link.

First, fossils of both Archaeopteryx and the kinds of dinosaurs Archaeopteryx supposedly descended from have been found in a fine-grained German limestone formation said to be Late Jurassic (the Jurassic period is said to have begun 190 million years ago, lasting 54 million years). Thus, Archaeopteryx is not a likely candidate as the missing link, since birds and their alleged ancestral dinosaurs thrived during the same period.

Furthermore, initial Archaeopteryx fossil finds gave no evidence of a bony sternum, which led paleontologists to conclude that Archaeopteryx could not fly or was a poor flyer. However, in April 1993 a seventh specimen was reported that included a bony sternum. Thus, there is no further doubt that Archaeopteryx was as suited for power flying as any modern bird.

Finally, to say that Archaeopteryx is a missing link between reptiles and birds, one must believe that scales evolved into feathers for flight. Air friction acting on genetic mutation supposedly frayed the outer edges of reptilian scales. Thus, in the course of millions of years, scales became increasingly like feathers until, one day, the perfect feather emerged. To say the least, this idea must stretch the credulity of even the most ardent evolutionists.

These and myriad other factors overwhelmingly exclude Archaeopteryx as a missing link between birds and dinosaurs. The sober fact is that Archaeopteryx appears abruptly in the fossil record, with masterfully engineered wings and feathers common in the birds observable today. Even the late Stephen Jay Gould of Harvard and Niles Eldridge of the American Museum of Natural History, both militant evolutionists, have concluded that Archaeopteryx cannot be viewed as a transitional form.

Adapted from Fatal Flaws

For further study, see Duane T. Gish, Evolution: The Fossils Still Say No! (El Cajon, Calif.: Institute for Creation Research, 1995); and Jonathan Wells, Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth? (Washington D.C.: Regnery, 2000).


“God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.”

Genesis 1:25

More Bible Answers with Hank

Will the Created Cosmos Be Resurrected or Annihilated?

How Can the Eternal Son of God Be the “Firstborn over All Creation”?

Will Adam and Eve Receive Brand-New Bodies in Eternity?

Do Naturalists Consider Chance the Singular Cause of Evolution?

Why Did Heliocentrism Triumph over Geocentrism?

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