Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Croco-Duck

Ok, I have to give credit to Dem Bones, who found the "croco-duck" at yet another blog. I'm not just copying his post. I have my own things to say.

I don't follow Ray Comfort a lot, so I forgot he had ever suggested that the non-existence of a "croco-duck" being an argument against evolution. I guess he should have chosen something less likely because now they've found a couple candidates for a croco-duck. One of them is even being called a "DuckCrock." Really!

Let's start with it. Here's the description at the page I just linked:

New fossils of previously named species, Anatosuchus minor. Fossils found in Niger. Three-foot-long upright fish-, frog- and grub-eater. Broad, overhanging snout and Pinocchio-like nose. Special sensory areas on the snout end allowed it to root around on the shore and in shallow water for prey. Closest relative in Madagascar.


There's even one there that they're calling "DogCroc." Ray Comfort--whom I love to listen to, and whom I believe is a good, godly Christian, if a terrible and somewhat embarrassing researcher of evolution--made a mistake in picking his mixed creatures. Both mammals and birds evolved from reptiles. The connection between both is pretty recent (by evolutionary standards).

Of course, neither the DogCroc nor the DuckCroc is actually a mix between the two species. The DuckCroc had a duckbill because the duckbill has proven to be a useful tool on earth. It's evolved several times. There's a mammal--the duck-billed platypus--a duck-billed dinosaur, and now a duck-billed crocodile.

Oh, that one doesn't fly.

Unfortunately, this one does.

This one is a pelagornithid and thus an actual bird. However, birds are descended from dinosaurs, and this "croco-duck" had a bony bill with crocodile-style teeth in it.

Painting by Arthur Weasley; used with permission

Osteodontornis, a pelagornithid, a huge, extinct bird with a bony bill with crocodile-style teeth



These "croco-ducks" are awesome in that they had a 20-foot wingspan!

Scientists are pretty excited about this last find because the bones of this gigantic bird are extremely thin, so they are not normally found fossilized. Even if they are, they are usually crushed. This one wasn't. You can see a photo of the skull here.

A Note on Crocodiles



I've been told before that crocodiles have been around for 200 million years (which is true). Anti-evolutionists have used this to argue against evolution, asking why, if evolution is true, crocodiles haven't evolved (perhaps into a "croco-duck").

The answer is that crocodiles have evolved ... wildly. That pelagornithidae are birds, but the DuckCroc and DogCroc mentioned above are crocodiles. They lived on land, and they were agile runners. There were five versions of these agile crocodiles found in one place in the Sahara desert.

Isn't all this stuff fascinating? I'm so sorry to my fellow Christians who are threatened by evolution, but we are missing out on some great stuff when we take that stand. Worse, it's stuff created by God, and we're supposed to be the most excited people of all about these things!

2 comments:

  1. I was with you all the way until you wrote "... it's stuff created by God ..."

    You were doing great. Why did you have to ruin your very educational article with woo-woo?

    Certainly you must realize evolution never needed any mechanism called "God's magic wand". Also, you must know all natural processes, including evolution, never needed a supernatural inventor.

    So what's the deal with this "created by the magic god fairy" stuff? Are you looking for an excuse to be a Christian? Why are you trying to stick your god-of-the-gaps in a hiding place that scientists have already chased god out of?

    Is there some switch in your head that you can turn off when you don't want to think?

    I think educated pro-science Christians like you are being dishonest with yourselves.

    You wrote "I'm a Christian that loves truth ..."

    If you really loved the truth, you would not be a Christian. Christianity is nothing more than a collection of insane childish stories that couldn't possibly be true. There is no magic in the universe, and that's what every god ever invented is, just another word for magic.

    "then evolution can and will strengthen your faith in God and in the Bible."

    Really? Even Genesis? No matter how you interpret Genesis, it's still nothing more than a story of magical creation, and nothing could be more anti-science than magic.

    I shall return. I'm interested in how you can justify your acceptance of science and at the same time accept an extremely anti-science religion. For example, there could be no belief more anti-science than the Resurrection, which is a belief in a zombie who flew up to the clouds, and all Christians are required to believe in this disgusting woo-woo.

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  2. Sorry you're not happy with how quickly I publish comments.

    There's nothing anti-science about the resurrection, about miracles, or about any other anomaly. Science doesn't say what can't happen, it tries to explain what did happen.

    Reality is reality. I'm not a Christian because someone taught it to me as a child. I'm a Christian because God came after me. I read things as a young man that I thought could only have been divine providence. At 21, I became specifically a Christian rather than a general theist because I was impressed by a man who could live with 12 other men for three years, then have 11 of them give their lives for him claiming he was the Son of God.

    When I made up my mind to become a Christian the experience was so powerful that there's not any real good way for me to explain it. I'm sure atheists write it off as psychological phenomena; it was shocking to me.

    It's been 27 years. While science has adjusted how I look at the Bible, I can't even think of a way it would affect the way I look at God or Christ. For 27 years there's been one supernatural thing after another, one answer to prayer after another.

    People like you mock and scoff. That's fine. Be arrogant and think you know what can't be.

    There's also nothing anti-science about magic. No one, as far as I know, has proven that there's real magic done by real magicians. Saying there's no evidence that you know about for magic--as there's no evidence I know about, either--is scientific enough, but to say that magic is somehow anti-science? There's nothing logical or scientific about saying such a thing.

    Things being in two places at once or communicating across long distances instantly used to be unimaginable, and thus, I suppose, would have to be called anti-science by your mindset. Now, however, it's accepted, mainline science.

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Feel free to comment, and I'll even let links be posted, particularly on the subject of evolution from either side. No spam, and no pointless links. The comments are moderated.