This chapter is based on pp. 775-793 of Other Evidence (Volume Three of our three-volume Evolution Disproved Series). Not included in this paperback chapter are at least 25 statements by scientists in the chapter appendix of the set. You will find them, plus much more, on our website: evolution-facts.org.
Throughout this set of books we have been surprised at the paucity of evidence that evolutionary theory has to offer. We begin to wonder just how evolutionists are able to maintain such a lock grip on the modern world.
In a later chapter (Evolution and Education, on our website, but not in this paperback) we will learn that their secret of success is actually their control of hiring and firing in the scientific world, the colleges and universities, research centers, and scientific organizations. Also they have close connections with the media and the major book publishing houses. No large book company would dare print the book you are now reading under its own name. It is the fear of reprisal that keeps evolutionary theory at the top.
But, to the general public, evolution presents its showcase, assured that they will be ignorant enough of natural history and scientific discoveries to gullibly absorb enough of it to keep them puzzled, believing, and tractable.
Let us begin by considering two of the best evolutionary pieces in this showcase. These are "proofs" of evolution that we have not discussed in detail elsewhere in this paperback. (All the other "best evidences" will also be mentioned in this chapter. The peppered moth has been discussed in detail in the chapter on Natural Selection.)
In all the other "evidences of evolution" which we have examined in this book, we have not found one indication of any transition across species.
But, the evolutionists tell us that, in the fossil record, there are TWO times when one species evolved into another. These are considered very important, and have been widely publicized, so we shall discuss each one now in some detail:
Eohippus and the Horse Series
30 DIFFERENT HORSES—In the 1870s, *Othniel C. Marsh claimed to have found 30 different kinds of horse fossils in Wyoming and Nebraska. He reconstructed and arranged these fossils in an evolutionary series, and they were put on display at Yale University. Copies of this "horse series" are to be found in many museums in the United States and overseas. Visually, it looks convincing.
"Horses are among the best-documented examples of evolutionary development."—*World Book Encyclopedia (1982 ed.), p. 333.
"The development of the horse is allegedly one of the most concrete examples of evolution. The changes in size, type of teeth, shape of head, number of toes, etc., are frequently illustrated in books and museums as an undeniable evidence of the evolution of living things."—Harold G. Coffin, Creation: Accident or Design? (1969), p. 193.
FOURTEEN FLAWS IN THE SERIES—When we investigate this so-called "horse series" carefully, we come upon 14 distinct problems that negate the possibility that we have here a genuine series of evolved horses. We discover that the evolutionists have merely selected a variety of different size animals, arranged them from small to large, and then called it all "a horse series."
1 - Different animals in each series. In the horse-series exhibit we see a small, three-toed animal that grows larger and becomes our single-toed horse. But the sequence varies from museum to museum (according to which non-horse smaller creatures have been selected to portray "early horses"). There are over 20 different fossil horse series exhibits in the museums—with no two exactly alike! The experts select from bones of smaller animals and place them to the left of bones of modern horses, and, presto! another horse series!
2 - Imaginary, not real. The sequence from small many-toed forms to large one-toed forms is completely absent in the fossil record. Some smaller creatures have one or two toes; some larger ones have two or three.
3 - Number of rib bones. The number of rib bones does not agree with the sequence. The four toed Hyracothedum has 18 pairs of ribs; the next creature has 19; there is a jump to 15; and finally back to 18 for Equus, the modern horse.
4 - No transitional teeth. The teeth of the "horse" animals are either grazing or browsing types. There are no transitional types of teeth between these two basic types.
5 - Not from in-order strata. The "horse" creatures do not come from the "proper" lower-to-upper rock strata sequence. (Sometimes the smallest "horse" is found in the highest strata.)
6 - Calling a badger a horse. The first of the horses has been called "Eohippus" (dawn horse), but experts frequently prefer to call it Hyracotherium, since it is like our modern hyrax, or rock badger. Some museums exclude Eohippus entirely because it is identical to the rabbit-like hyrax (daman) now living in Africa. (Those experts who cling to their "Eohippus" theory have to admit that it climbed trees!) The four-toed Hyracotherium does not look the least bit like a horse. (The hyrax foot looks like a hoof, because it is a suction cup so the little animal can walk right up vertical trees! Horses do not have suction cups on their feet!)
"The first animal in the series, Hyracotherium (Eohippus), is so different from the modern horse and so different from the next one in the series that there is a big question concerning its right to a place in the series . . [It has] a slender face with the eyes midway along the side, the presence of canine teeth, and not much of a diastema (space between front teeth and back teeth), arched back and long tail."—H.G. Coffin, Creation: Accident or Design? (1969), pp. 194-195.
7 - Horse series exists only in museums. A complete series of horse fossils in the correct evolutionary order has not been found anywhere in the world. The fossil-bone horse series starts in North America (or Africa; there is dispute about this), jumps to Europe, and then back again to North America. When they are found on the same continent (as at the John Day formation in Oregon), the three-toed and one-toed are found in the same geological horizon (stratum). Yet, according to evolutionary theory, it required millions of years for one species to make the change to another.
8 - Each one distinct from others. There are no transitional forms between each of these "horses." As with all the other fossils, each suddenly appears in the fossil record.
9 - Bottom found at the top. Fossils of Eohippus have been found in the top-most strata, alongside of fossils of two modern horses: Equus nevadensls and Equus accidentalis.
10 - Gaps below as well as above. Eohippus, the earliest of these "horses," is completely unconnected by any supposed link to its presumed ancestors, the condylarths.
11 - Recent ones below earlier ones. In South America, the one-toed ("more recent") is even found below the three-toed ("more ancient") creature.
12 - Never found in consecutive strata. Nowhere in the world are the fossils of the horse series found in successive strata.
13 - Heavily keyed to size. The series shown in museum displays generally depict an increase in size; and yet the range in size of living horses today, from the tiny American miniature ponies to the enormous shires of England, is as great as that found in the fossil record. However, the modern ones are all solidly horses.
14 - Bones, an inadequate basis. In reality, one cannot go by skeletal remains. Living horses and donkeys are obviously different species, but a collection of their bones would place them all together.
A STUDY IN CONFUSION—In view of all the evidence against the horse series as a valid line of upward-evolving creatures (changing ribs, continental and strata locations), Britannica provides us with an understatement:
"The evolution of the horse was never in a straight line."—*Encyclopaedia Britannica (1976 ed.), Vol. 7, p. 13.
Scientists protest such foolishness:
"The ancestral family tree of the horse is not what scientists have thought it to be. Prof. T.S. Westoll, Durham University geologist, told the British Association for the Advancement of Science at Edinburgh that the early classical evolutionary tree of the horse, beginning in the small dog-sized Eohippus and tracing directly to our present day Equinus, was all wrong."—*Science News Letter, August 25, 1951, p. 118.
"There was a time when the existing fossils of the horses seemed to indicate a straight-lined evolution from small to large, from dog-like to horse-like, from animals with simple grinding teeth to animals with complicated cusps of modern horses . . As more fossils were uncovered, the chain splayed out into the usual phylogenetic net, and it was all too apparent that evolution had not been in a straight line at all. Unfortunately, before the picture was completely clear, an exhibit of horses as an example . . had been set up at the American Museum of Natural History [in New York City], photographed, and much reproduced in elementary textbooks."—*Garrett Hardin, Nature and Man’s Fate (1960), pp. 225-226. (Those pictures are still being used in those textbooks.)
FEAR TO SPEAK—Even though scientists may personally doubt evolutionary theory and the evidence for it, yet publicly they fear to tell the facts, lest it recoil on their own salaried positions. One fossil expert, when cornered publicly, hedged by saying the horse series "was the best available example of a transitional sequence." We agree that it is the best available example. But it is a devastating fact that the best available example is a carefully fabricated fake.
"Dr. Eldredge [curator of the Department of Invertebrates of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City] called the textbook characterization of the horse series ‘lamentable.’
"When scientists speak in their offices or behind closed doors, they frequently make candid statements that sharply conflict with statements they make for public consumption before the media. For example, after Dr. Eldredge made the statement [in 1979] about the horse series being the best example of a lamentable imaginary story being presented as though it were literal truth, he then contradicted himself.
". . [On February 14, 1981] in California he was on a network television program. The host asked him to comment on the creationist claim that there were no examples of transitional forms to be found in the fossil record. Dr. Eldredge turned to the horse series display at the American Museum and stated that it was the best available example of a transitional sequence."—L.D. Sunderland, Darwin’s Enigma (1988), p. 82.
EOHIPPUS, A "LIVING FOSSIL"—*Hitching has little to say in favor of this foremost model of evolutionary transition:
"Once portrayed as simple and direct, it is now so complicated that accepting one version rather than another is more a matter of faith than rational choice. Eohippus, supposedly the earliest horse, and said by experts to be long extinct and known to us only through fossils, may in fact be alive and well and not a horse at all—a shy, fox-sized animal called a daman that darts about in the African bush."—*Francis Hitching, The Neck of the Giraffe (1982), p. 31.
NOT A HORSE AT ALL—(*#2/11 The Horse Series*) Actually the experts tell us that Eohippus has nothing to do with horses.
"In the first place, it is not clear that Hyracotherium was the ancestral horse."—*G.A. Kerkut, Implications of Evolution (1969), p. 149.
"The supposed pedigree of the horse is a deceitful delusion, which . . in no way enlightens us as to the paleontological origins of the horse."—*Charles Deperet, Transformations of the Animal World, p. 105 [French paleontologist].
OUGHT TO DISCARD IT—*David Raup, formerly Curator of Geology at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, and now Professor of Geology at the University of Chicago, is a foremost expert in fossil study. He made this statement:
"Well, we are now about 120 years after Darwin and the knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species but the situation hasn’t changed much. The record of evolution is still surprisingly jerky and, ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin’s time.
"By this I mean that some of the classic cases of Darwinian change in the fossil record, such as the evolution of the horse in North America, have had to be discarded or modified as a result of more detailed information. What appeared to be a nice, simple progression when relatively few data were available now appears to be much more complex and much less gradualistic. So Darwin’s problem [with the fossil record] has not been alleviated."—*David M. Raup, in Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin 50 (1979), p. 29.
"It was widely assumed that [Eohippus] had slowly but persistently turned into a more fully equine animal . . [but] the fossil species of Eohippus show little evidence of evolutionary modification . . [The fossil record] fails to document the full history of the horse family."—*The New Evolutionary Timetable, pp. 4, 96.
NEVER HAPPENED IN NATURE—A leading 20th-century evolutionist writer, *George Gaylord Simpson, gave this epitaph to the burial of the horse series:
"The uniform continuous transformation of Hyracotherium into Equus, so dear to the hearts of generations of textbook writers, never happened in nature."—*G.G. Simpson, Life of the Past (1953), p. 119.
Earlier, *Simpson said this:
"Horse phylogeny is thus far from being the simple monophyletic, so-called orthogenetic, sequence that appears to be in most texts and popularizations."—*George G. Simpson, "The Principles of Classification and a Classification of Mammals" in Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 85:1-350.
SAME GAPS APPLY TO ALL OTHERS—The same gap problem would apply to all the other species. After stating that nowhere in the world is there any trace of a fossil that would close the considerable gap between Hyracotherium (Eohippus) and its supposed ancestral order Condylarthra, *Simpson then gives the startling admission:
"This is true of all the thirty-two orders of mammals . . The earliest and most primitive known members of every order already have the basic ordinal characters, and in no case is an approximately continuous sequence from one order to another known. In most cases the break is so sharp and the gap so large that the origin of the order is speculative and much disputed."—*G.G. Simpson, Tempo and Mode in Evolution (1944), p. 105.
OTHER SERIES—(*#4/2 Other Series*) In addition to the Horse (Equus) Series, there are five other primary series which have been worked out by dedicated evolutionists, all of which are much less well-known or publicized.
These are the Elephant (Proboscidean) Series, the Titanotheres Series, the Ceratopsian dinosaur Series, the Foraminifera Series, and the Bivalve Series.
When one views the charts and pictures of the Horse Series, a common element is noted: Various animals are placed together in the paintings. The common feature is that they all have five characteristics in common: longer than average legs, long body, long neck, long tail, and an elongated head. Placing pictures of several creatures with these five characteristics together—and then adding a short imaginary mane to each—gives the impression that they are all "horse-like." All but one is available for examination only in fossil form.
Then we turn to the Elephant Series, and find that the animals all have a heavy torso with corresponding stouter legs, a drawn-out pig-like or elephant-like nose, and possibly tusks. All but one of the eleven is represented only in fossil imprints or bones. Here is a classic statement by a dedicated evolutionist on the non-existent "Elephant Series."
"In some ways it looks as if the pattern of horse evolution might be even as chaotic as that proposed by Osborn for the evolution of the Proboscidea [the elephant], where ‘in almost no instance is any known form considered to be a descendant from any other known form; every subordinate grouping is assumed to have sprung, quite separately and usually without any known intermediate stage, from hypothetical common ancestors in the early Eocene or Late Cretaceous.’ "—*G.A. Kirkut, Implications of Evolution (1960), p. 149.
The Ceratopsian Series is composed of three dinosaurs with bony armor on the back of the head while two of them have horns in different locations.
The last two, the Foraminifera Series and the Fossil Bivalve (clam) Series, are simply variously shaped shells which look very much alike in size and general appearance.
On one hand, it appears that some of these series are simply different animals with similar appearance tossed together. On the other, the possibility of genetic variation within a species could apply to a number of them. We could get the best series of all out of dogs. There is a far greater number and variety of body shapes among dogs than among any of the above series. Yet we know that the dogs are all simply dogs. Scientists recognize them as belonging to a single species.
ARCHAEOPTERYX—(*#3/7 Archaeopteryx*) This is a big name for a little bird, and is pronounced "Archee-opter-iks." It means "early wing." If you have a hard time with it, just call the little fellow "Archee." He won’t mind.
There are high-quality limestone deposits in Solnhofen, Germany (near Eichstatt), which have been mined for over a century. From time to time, fossils have been found in them, and the sale of these has provided extra income for the owners of the Dorr quarry.
In 1861, a feather was found and it sold for a surprisingly good price. This was due to the fact that it had purportedly come from late Jurassic strata. Soon after, in the same quarry, a fossil bird was found with the head and neck missing. The name Archaeopteryx had been given to the feather and so the same name was given to the bird. The Jurassic specimen was sold for a high price to the British Museum. Finding unusual specimens was becoming an excellent way to bring in good profit. In 1877, a second specimen was said to have been discovered close to the first,—but this one had a neck and head. In that head were 13 teeth in each jaw; the head itself had the elongated rounded shape of a lizard head. This latest find made an absolute sensation, and was sure to sell for a great amount of money. And it surely did—going this time to the Humboldt Museum, in Berlin, as the highest bidder.
Including that feather, there are six specimens of Archaeopteryx in the world. All six came from that same German limestone area. In addition to the feather and the first two, three others are quite faint and difficult to use. It is almost impossible to tell what they are. Aside from the feather, the others are located at London, Berlin, Maxburg, Teyler, and Eichstatt—all in Germany. They all came from the same general area.
Only the first fossilized skeleton (the "London specimen") and the second one (the "Berlin specimen") are well-enough defined to be useable. Evolutionists declare them to be prime examples of a transitional species. If so, we would have here the ONLY definite cross-species transitions ever found anywhere in the world.
"Evolutionists can produce only a single creature—one single fossil creature—for which it is possible to produce even a semblance of an argument. That creature is, of course, Archaeopteryx, of which about five fossil specimens have been found in Upper Jurassic rocks (assumed by evolutionary geologists to be about 150 million years in age). All have been found in the Solnhofen Plattenkalk of Franconia (West Germany)."—Duane Gish, Evolution: the Challenge of the Fossil Record (1985), p. 110.
The evolutionists consider Archaeopteryx to be a transition between reptile and bird. But there are two other possibilities.
The experts say that, if (if) it is genuine, it is a bird, not a transitional half-reptile/half-bird creature. But there is strong evidence that Archaeopteryx is a hoax—and not genuine. Some favor the first, others (including the present writer) believe the evidence favors the second. Here are both; take your pick.
If the Archaeopteryx specimens really are genuine, there are several reasons why Archaeopteryx can be considered to be a bird and not a reptile:
1 - Scientists say it is only a bird and not a transitional species. It is significant that a special scientific meeting was held in 1982, a year before the furor over the Hoyle-Watkins declarations that Archaeopteryx was a hoax (which we will discuss shortly). The International Archaeopteryx Conference was held in Eichstatt, Germany, not far from the limestone deposits where all the specimens were originally found. At this meeting, it was decided by the evolutionists that Archaeopteryx is a "bird" and not a reptile, or half-bird/half-reptile. It was also decided that Archaeopteryx was not necessarily the ancestor of modern birds.
Therefore, the scientific community now officially declares Archaeopteryx to be, not a transitional species, but only a bird!
2 - How could scales turn into feathers? Although zealous evolutionists have always claimed that this creature is a descendant of the reptiles and the ancestor of the birds, yet they do not explain how the scales on a reptile can change into feathers.
3 - Bones like a bird, Archaeopteryx, is said to have thin, hollow wing and leg bones—such as a bird has.
4 - Not earlier than birds. Archaeopteryx does not predate birds, because fossils of other birds have been found in rocks of the same period (the Jurassic) in which Archaeopteryx was found.
5 - It has modern bird feathers. The feathers on Archaeopteryx appear identical to modern feathers.
"But in Archaeopteryx, it is to be noted, the feathers differ in no way from the most perfectly developed feathers known to us."—*A. Feduccia and *H.B. Tordoff, in Science 203 (1979), p. 1020.
6 - No intermediate feathers ever found. Transition from scales to feathers would require many intermediate steps, but none have ever been found.
7 - Well-developed wings. The wings of Archaeopteryx were well-developed, and the bird probably could fly well.
8 - Wings designed for flight. The feathers of Archaeopteryx are asymmetrical; that is the shaft does not have the same amount of feathers on both sides. This is the way feathers on flying birds are designed. In contrast, feathers on ostriches, rheas, and other flightless birds, or poor flyers (such as chickens) have fairly symmetrical feathers.
"The significance of asymmetrical features is that they indicate the capability of flying; non-flying birds such as the ostrich and emu have symmetrical [feathered] wings."—*E. Olson and *A. Feduccia, "Flight Capability and the Pectoral Girdle of Archaeopteryx," Nature (1979), p. 248.
9 - No prior transitions. There ought to be transitional species from reptile to Archaeopteryx, but this is not the case. It cannot be a connecting link between reptile and bird, for there are no transitions to bridge the immense gap leading from it to the reptile. It has fully developed bird wing-bones and flight feathers.
10 - Bird-like in most respects. Archaeopteryx gives evidence of being a regular bird in every way, except that it differs in certain features: (1) the lack of a sternum, (2) three digits on its wings, and (3) a reptile-like head; but there are explanations for all three points. Here they are:
[a] - Lack of a sternum. Archaeopteryx had no sternum. Although the wings of some birds today attach to the sternum, others attach to the furcula (wishbone). Archaeopteryx had a large furcula, so this would be no problem.
"It is obvious that Archaeopteryx was very much a bird, equipped with a bird-like skull, perching feet, wings, feathers, and a furcula wish-bone. No other animal except birds possess feathers and a furcula."—Duane Gish, Evolution: the Challenge of the Fossil Record (1985), p. 112.
[b] - Digits on its wings. Archaeopteryx had three digits on its "wings." Other dinosaurs have this also, but so do a few modern birds. Modern birds with wing claws include the hoatzin (Oplsthocomus hoatzin), a South American bird which has two wing claws in its juvenile stage. In addition, it is a poor flyer, with an amazingly small sternum—such as Archaeopteryx had. The touraco (Touraco corythaix), an African bird, has claws and the adult is also a poor flyer. The ostrich has three claws on each wing. Their claws appear even more reptilian than those of Archaeopteryx.
[c] - The shape of its skull. It has been said that the skull of Archaeopteryx appears more like a reptile than a bird, but investigation by Benton says the head is shaped more like a bird.
"It has been claimed that the skull of Archaeopteryx was reptile-like, rather than bird-like. Recently, however, the cranium of the ‘London’ specimen has been removed from its limestone slab by Whetstone. Studies have shown that the skull is much broader and more bird-like than previously thought. This has led Benton to state that ‘Details of the braincase and associated bones at the back of the skull seem to suggest that Archaeopteryx is not the ancestral bird."—*Duane Gish, Evolution: the Challenge of the Fossil Record (1985), pp. 112-113.
"Most authorities have admitted that Archaeopteryx was a bird because of the clear imprint of feathers in the fossil remains. The zoological definition of a bird is: ‘A vertebrate with feathers.’ Recently, Dr. James Jenson, paleontologist at Brigham Young University, discovered in western Colorado the fossil remains of a bird thought to be as old as Archaeopteryx but much more modern in form. This would seem to give the death knell to any possible use of Archaeopteryx by evolutionists as a transitional form."—Marvin Lubenow, "Report on the Racine Debate," in Decade of Creation (1981), p. 65.
11 - Ornithologist agrees. *F.E. Beddard, in his important scientific book on birds, maintained that Archaeopteryx was a bird; and, as such, it presented the same problem as all other birds: How could it have evolved from reptiles since there is such a big gap (the wing and feather gap) between the two.
"So emphatically were all these creature birds that the actual origin of Aves is barely hinted at in the structure of these remarkable remains."—*F.E. Beddard, The Structure and Classification of Birds (1898), p. 160.
12 - Other birds had teeth. It may seem unusual for Archaeopteryx to have had teeth, but there are several other extinct birds that also had teeth.
"However, other extinct ancient birds had teeth, and every other category of vertebrates contains some organisms with teeth, and some without (amphibians, reptiles, extinct birds, mammals, etc.)."—*P. Moody, Introduction to Evolution (1970), pp. 196-197.
13 - Could be a unique bird. Archaeopteryx could well be a unique creature, just as the duckbilled platypus is unique. The Archaeopteryx has wings like a bird and a head similar to a lizard, but with teeth. There are a number of unique plants and animals in the world which, in several ways, are totally unlike anything else.
The platypus is an animal with a bill like a duck and has fur, but lays eggs; in spite of its egg-laying, it is a mammal and nurses its young with milk and chews its food with plates instead of with teeth. The male has a hollow claw on its hind foot that it uses to scratch and poison its enemies. It has claws like a mole; but, like a duck, it has webs between its toes. It uses sonar under water.
The platypus is definitely far stranger than the Archaeopteryx, and there are no transitional half-platypus creatures linking it to any other species.
14 - Totally unique. Regarding the Archaeopteryx, *Romer, the well-known paleontologist, said this:
"This Jurassic bird [Archaeopteryx] stands in splendid isolation; we know no more of its presumed thecodont ancestry nor of its relation to later ‘proper’ birds than before."—*A.S. Romer, Notes and Comments on Vertebrate Paleontology (19M), p. 144.
From his own study, *Swinton, an expert on birds and a confirmed evolutionist, has concluded:
"The origin of birds is largely a matter of deduction. There is no fossil evidence of the stages through which the remarkable change from reptile to bird was achieved."—*W.E. Swinton, Biology and Comparative Physiology of Birds, Vol. 1 (1980), p. 1.
Other scientists agree. Here is an important statement by *Ostrom:
"It is obvious that we must now look for the ancestors of flying birds in a period of time much older than that in which Archaeopteryx lived."—*J. Ostrom, Science News 112 (1977), p. 198.
"Unfortunately, the greater part of the fundamental types in the animal realm are disconnected [from each other] from a paleontological point of view. In spite of the fact that it is undeniably related to the two classes of reptiles and birds (a relation which the anatomy and physiology of actually living specimens demonstrates), we are not even authorized to consider the exceptional case of the Archaeopteryx as a true link. By link, we mean a necessary stage of transition between classes such as reptiles and birds, or between smaller groups. An animal displaying characters belonging to two different groups cannot be treated as a true link as long as the intermediate stages have not been found, and as long as the mechanisms of transition remain unknown."—*L. du Nouy, Human Destiny (1947), p. 58.
15 - Modern birds in same strata. Bones of modern birds have been found in Colorado in the same geologic rock strata—the Jurassic—in which archaeopteryx was found in Germany (Science 199, January 20, 1978). According to evolutionary theory, this cannot be; for millions of years ought to be required for Archaeopteryx to change into a regular bird. If it was alive at the same time as modern birds, how can it be their ancient ancestor? Birds have also been found in the Jurassic limestone beds by researchers in Utah.
16 - Modern birds below it! Not only do we find modern birds in the same strata with Archaeopteryx,—but we also find birds below it!
"Perhaps the final argument against Archaeopteryx as a transitional form has come from a rock quarry in Texas. Here scientists from Texas Tech University found bird bones encased in rock layers farther down the geologic column than Archaeopteryx fossils."—Richard Bliss, Origins: Creation or Evolution? (1988), p. 46 [also see Nature 322, August 21, 1986; Science 253, July 5, 1991].
No bird bones of any type have been found below the late Jurassic; but, within the Jurassic, they have been found in strata with Archaeopteryx, and now below it: Two crow-sized birds were discovered in the Triassic Dockum Formation in Texas. Because of the strata they were located in, those birds would, according to evolutionary theory, be 75 million years older than Archaeopteryx. More information on this Texas discovery can be found in *Nature, 322 (1986), p. 677.
Now we come to a totally opposite position: Archaeopteryx is not an extinct bird, but rather a planned hoax—and there is clear evidence to prove it!
At the same time that mounting evidence was beginning to indicate it to be a carefully contrived fake, confirmed evolutionists had been moving toward the position that Archaeopteryx was only an ancient bird, and not a half-reptile/half-bird. By calling it a "bird," they avoided the crisis that struck the scientific world—and the major museums—when Piltdown Man was exposed as a hoax in 1953.
THREE INITIAL PROBLEMS—Before considering the *Hoyle/*Watkins exposé, let us first look at some other facets of this overall problem.
You will observe, in the following discussion, that there are some observational differences between this and the preceding approach to the problem. For example, while some experts consider Archaeopteryx to have had a body like a bird, those who consider it a fake believe the fossilized body to be that of a reptile. Somebody took a reptile fossil and carefully added wings to it!
Here is an important analysis. You will want to read it carefully:
"Like the later Piltdown man, Archaeopteryx seemed a perfect intermediate form . . There are, however, disturbing analogies between Piltdown man and Archaeopteryx that have come to light with careful study. Both are hodgepodges of traits found in the forms they are supposed to link,—with each trait present in essentially fully developed form rather than in an intermediate state! Allowing for alterations, Piltdown’s jaw was that of an orangutan; Archaeopteryx’s skull was a dinosaur skull. Moreover, Piltdown man’s cranium was a Homo sapiens skull; Archaeopteryx’s feathers were ordinary feathers, differing in no significant way from those of a strong flying bird such as a falcon . . The lack of proper and sufficient bony attachments for powerful flight muscles is enough to rule out the possibility that Archaeopteryx could even fly, feathers notwithstanding."—W. Frair and P. Davis, Case for Creation (1983), pp. 58-60.
1 - A profitable business. There are those who believe that Archaeopteryx was a carefully contrived fake. It would have been relatively easy to do. The nature of the hard limestone would make it easy to carefully engrave something on it. Since the first Archaeopteryx sold for such an exorbitant price to the highest bidder (the British Museum), the second, produced 16 years later, had a reptile-like head—and sold for a tremendous amount to the museum in Berlin. The owner of that quarry made a small fortune on the sale of each of those two specimens.
2 - Feathers added to a fossil? In these specimens we find powerful flight feathers on strong wings, shown as faint streaks radiating out from what appears to be a small reptile body. The head and body of Archaeopteryx is similar to that of a small coelurosaurian dinosaur, Compsognathus; the flight feathers are exactly like those of modern birds. If they were removed, the creature would appear to be only a small dinosaur. If you carefully examine a photograph of the "London specimen," you will note that the flight feathers consist only of carefully drawn lines—nothing else!
It would be relatively easy for someone to take a genuine fossil of a Compsognathus—and carefully scratch those lines onto the surface of the smooth, durable limestone. All that would be needed would be a second fossil of a bird as a pattern to copy the markings from,—and then inscribe its wing pattern onto the reptile specimen. That is all that would be required, and the result would be a fabulous amount of profit. Both specimens did produce just that!
3 - All specimens came from the same place. Keep in mind that all six of those specimens were found in the Solnhofen Plattenkalk of Franconia, Germany, near the city of Eichstatt. Nowhere else—anywhere in the world—have any Archaeopteryx specimens ever been discovered!
Living in Germany, at the same time that these six specimens were found, was *Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919). He would have been in the prime of life at the time both specimens were brought forth. Haeckel was the most rabid Darwinist advocate on the continent; and it is well-known that he was very active at the time the finds were made. He was continually seeking for new "proofs" of evolution, so he could use them in his lecture circuit meetings. He loved verbal and visual illustrations; and it is now known that he spent time, on the side, enthusiastically inventing them!
It is also known that *Haeckel had unusual artistic ability that he put to work, producing pro-evolution frauds. He would fraudulently touch up and redraw charts of ape skeletons and embryos so that they would appear to prove evolutionary theory. He had both the ability and the mind set for the task. He could also make the money he would make. You will find more information on his fraudulent artistry in chapter 16, Vestiges and Recapitulation. There is no doubt that Haeckel had the daring, the skill, the time, and the energy to forge those Archaeopteryx specimens. In those years, he always seemed to have the money to set aside time for anything he wanted to do in the way of lecturing or drawing charts. He even supported a mistress for a number of years. Perhaps some of that money came from engraving bird feathers onto reptile fossils and, then, splitting the profits of Archaeopteryx sales with the quarry owners.
The most delicate tracery can easily be etched onto limestone blocks. About 35 years ago, the present writer had opportunity to work for several weeks with two of the best 19th-century art materials: copper engraving and stone lithography. Both were used, in the 19th-century, in printing and able to reproduce the most delicate of marks. This is because both copper and high-quality limestone have such a close-grained, smooth surface. Bavarian and Franconian limestone quarries produced the best lithographic blocks. ("Lithos" and "graphos" means "stone writing.") Our present lithographic process, which uses thin metal plates, is a descendant of the limestone block method (which utilized printing from a flat surface because oily ink in the markings would not mix with the water on the smooth surface between the markings). The other primary method, that of copper engraving, used the intaglio method of fine tracery marks cut into a smooth surface. There is no doubt but that any good engraver could easily superimpose the marks of outward radiating flight feathers over an actual small dinosaur fossil. The delicate tracery, which could be drawn onto limestone blocks, made it possible to print banknotes and bond certificates with them.
"The feathers of Archaeopteryx suggest that the creature was a skillful flyer or glider, at the same time that its skeleton suggests otherwise. Archaeopteryx is a mosaic of characteristics almost impossible to interpret, let alone to base evolutionary theories on!"—W. Frair and P. Davis, Case for Creation (1983), p. 81.
THE *HOYLE/*WATSON EXPOSÉ—It was not until the 1980s that the most formidable opposition to these Solnhofen limestone specimens developed. Here is the story of what took place:
1 - Background of the investigations. In 1983, M. Trop wrote an article questioning the authenticity of the specimen ("Is Archaeopteryx a Fake?" in Creation Research Society Quarterly, Vol. 20, pp. 121-122). Two years later, a series of four articles appeared in the British Journal of Photography (March-June 1985 issues), declaring Archaeopteryx to be a carefully contrived hoax.
Those articles were authored by some of the leading scientists in England: *Fred Hoyle, *R.S. Watkins, *N.C. Wickramasinghe, *J. Watkins, * R. Rabilizirov, and *L.M. Spetner. This brought the controversy to the attention of the scientific world. They declared in print that Archaeopteryx was a definite hoax, just as much as Piltdown man had been a hoax.
Keep in mind as we discuss these specimens that, of all six, only the London and Berlin specimens are useable; the rest are hardly recognizable as anything. So all the evidence, pro and con, must come from one or the other of those two specimens.
In 1983, these six leading British scientists went to the London Museum and carefully studied and photographed the specimen. The specimen is contained in a slab and a counterslab—thus giving a front and back view of it. Here is what these well-known scientists discovered:
2 - Slab mismatch. The two slabs do not appear to match. If the specimen was genuine, the front and back slabs should be mirror images of one another, but they are not. This one fact, alone, is not enough to prove the specimen a fake.
A comparison of the present specimen with an 1863 drawing indicates an alteration had been later made to the left wing of the specimen. The 1863 left wing was totally mismatched on the two slabs; the later alteration brought the match closer together.
3 - Artificial feathers. *Hoyle, *Watkins, and the others decided that the body skeleton and arms were genuine, but the feather markings (those shallow lines radiating outward from the forelimbs) had been carefully imprinted on the fossil by an unknown hand.
4 - Cement blobs. They also found additional evidence of the forgery: Cement blobs had been used during the etching process.
"They suggested the following procedure for creating the feather impressions: 1) the forgers removed rock from around the tail and ‘wing’ (forelimb) regions, 2) they then applied a thin layer of cement, probably made from limestone of the Solnhofen quarries, to the excavated areas, and 3) they impressed feathers on the cement and held them in place by adhesive material (referred to as ‘chewing gum’ blobs). Attempts to remove the blobs from the rock were obvious—the slabs were scraped, brushed, and chipped. However, an oversight remained in the cleaning process: one ‘chewing gum’ blob and fragments of others were left behind."—*Venus E. Clausen, "Recent Debate over Archaeopteryx."
5 - Museum withdraws specimen. After their initial examination of the London specimen, they requested permission for a neutral testing center to further examine the blob areas, utilizing electron microscope, carbon-14 dating, and spectrophotometry. Three months later, museum officials sent word that the specimen was being withdrawn from further examination.
6 - History of forgeries. *Hoyle, *Watkins, and the others then checked into historical sources, and declared that they had discovered that, dating back to the early 18th century, the Solnhofen limestone area was notorious for its fossil forgeries. Genuine fossils, taken from the limestone quarries, had been altered and then sold to museums. These non-Archaeopteryx fossils brought good money because they appeared to be strange new species.
7 - Discoveries follow prediction. *Thomas H. Huxley, Darwin’s British champion, whom he called his "bulldog," had predicted that fossils of strange new species would be found. *Hoyle, et al., believe that, thus encouraged, the forgers went to work to produce them.
8 - The Meyer connection. Of the six Archaeopteryx fossils, only three specimens show the obvious feather impressions. These three specimens were sent to *Hermann von Meyer, in Germany, who, within a 20-year period, analyzed and described them. *Hoyle and company suggest that they came in to *Meyer as reptiles and left with wings! It just so happens that *Meyer worked closely with the *Haberlein family; and they acquired his two best feathered reptile fossils—and then sold them to the museums. It was the *Haberlein family that made the profit—not the quarry owners. It would be relatively easy for them to split some of it with *Meyer.
You can find all of the above material in four issues of the *British Journal of Photography (March-June 1985). Also see *W.J. Broad, "Authenticity of Bird Fossil Is Challenged" in New York Times, May 7, 1985, pp. C1, C14; *T. Nield, "Feathers Fly Over Fossil ‘Fraud,’ " in New Scientist 1467:49-50; and *G. Vines, "Strange Case of Archaeopteryx ‘Fraud’ " in New Scientist 1447:3.
9 - Aftermath. As might be expected, a torrent of wrath arose from the evolutionist community as a result of these four articles. Defenders of evolutionary theory went into an absolute rage, but the six scientists held to their position.
This brought still further uproar. It had been the same British Museum that had been duped into the Piltdown Man hoax, which had been exposed only 32 years earlier ("found" from 1908 to 1912 only a few miles from Darwin’s old home, publicly announced that same year and shown to be a hoax in 1953).
For a time, the British Museum refused to relent, but the pressure was too great; so the museum arranged for a special committee, composed of a select variety of scientists, to review the matter. They examined the slabs; and in 1986 reported that, in their opinion, Archaeopteryx had no blobs. With this, the British Museum announced that the case was closed and the slabs would be unavailable for further examination. But the slab mismatch was not denied, and it was far greater evidence than the blobs.
Is Archaeopteryx a flying reptile, just another bird, or a fraud—a reptile with wings added?
Take your pick; either way it is definitely not a transitional species, and has no transitions leading to or from it.
This chapter contains the "showcase of evolution"—the best evidences it has to offer that evolution has actually occurred and the theory is true.
In addition to the horse series and Archaeopteryx, there are several other special "evidences" in favor of evolution, which we have discussed in some detail elsewhere. These include:
1 - The peppered moth ("industrial melanism’) is discussed in chapter 9, Natural Selection (*#1/7 Peppered Moth*).
2 - Darwin’s Finches are discussed in chapter 9, Natural Selection.
3 - Trilobites are discussed in chapter 12, Fossils and Strata.
4 - Mutated bacteria and sickle-cell anemia are discussed in chapter 10, Mutations.
5 - Radiodating and radiocarbon dating are discussed in chapter 6, Inaccurate Dating Methods.
6 - The dates attributed to the rock strata are discussed in chapter 12, Fossils and Strata.
7 - The existence of dinosaurs in the past is discussed in chapter 12, Fossils and Strata.
8 - The existence of cavemen and the discovery of "hominid bones" is discussed in chapter 13, Ancient Man.
9 - Subspecies changes ("microevolution") is discussed in chapter 9, Natural Selection.
10 - Changes in genes by mutations is discussed in chapter 12, Fossils and Strata.
11 - Similarities of body parts and chemistry are discussed in chapter 15, Similarities and Divergence.
12 - "Useless organs" is discussed in chapter 16, Vestiges and Recapitulation.
13 - Embryonic similarities are discussed in chapter 16, Vestiges and Recapitulation.
14 - The concept that evolutionary theory is not under natural laws that would invalidate it is discussed in chapter 18, Laws of Nature.
15 - Seafloor spreading, continental drift, plate tectonics, and magnetic core changes are discussed in chapter 20, Paleomagnetism. [Due to a lack of space, we had to omit most of this chapter; it will be found on our website.]
16 - Geographic distribution of plants and animals is discussed in Geographic Distribution [only available on our website].
17 - The "overwhelming support" given by scientists to evolutionary theory is discussed throughout this book, but especially in chapters 1, History of Evolutionary Theory and 23, Scientists Speak. [For a fuller account, go to History of Evolutionary Theory, on our website. Many, many quotations by scientists refuting evolution, not included in this paperback, will be found scattered throughout our website; especially note chapter 23, Scientists Speak.]
18 - The belief that only evolution should be taught in schools is discussed on our website in chapter 34, Evolution and Education [only available on our website].
19 - The concept that evolution is nonrefutable and outside the realm of falsification and rejection is discussed on our website in chapter 37, Philosophy of Evolution [only available on our website].
20 - The idea that evolution is any kind of help to humanity or society is discussed in chapter 19, Evolution, Morality, and Violence.
In addition, other "evidences" and "proofs" of evolution are discussed elsewhere in this paperback. The evolutionary evidences we have not discussed are of secondary, or even minuscule, importance. Some of them are so complex that they are difficult for most people to grasp.
There are definite scientific facts that totally refute the evolution of matter, stars, planetoids, plants, or animals. These powerful refutations stand as a strong rock in the midst of angry waves beating upon them. Learn the most powerful of these proofs and share them with others! Remember the story of the attorney who appeared in court before the judge and said: "There are ten reasons why my client cannot be here today. The first is that he is dead." The judge replied, "That one is good enough; I do not need to hear the rest." So emphasize a few of the strong basic evidences against evolution, and you are more likely to win your hearers.
THREE SPECIAL EVIDENCES AGAINST STELLAR ORIGINS—Four of the powerful evidences against the chance origin of matter, stars, planets, or moons would be these: (1) The impossibility of nothing making itself into something (chapter 2). (2) The impossibility of gaseous matter (hydrogen gas clouds) sticking together and forming itself by gravity or otherwise into stars or planetoids (chapter 2). (3) The impossibility of random actions of any kind in producing the intricate, interrelated, and complicated orbits of moons, planets, stars, galaxies, and galactic clusters (chapter 2). (4) The impossibility of linear, outward-flowing gas from a supposed Big Bang changing to orbital or rotational movements (chapter 2).
TWO SPECIAL EVIDENCES AGAINST THE CHANCE ORIGIN OF LIFE—Two of the powerful evidences against the chance origin of life would be these: (1) The impossibility of random formation of the DNA molecule, amino acids, proteins, or the cell (chapter 8). (2) The impossibility of non-living matter producing living organisms (chapter 7).
SEVEN SPECIAL EVIDENCES AGAINST THE EVOLUTION OF LIFE—Seven of the powerful evidences against the chance origin or evolution of life would be these: (1) The total lack of past evidence of trans-species changes, as shown in the fossil evidence (chapter 12). (2) The total lack of present evidence of change from one species to another (chapters 9-10). (3) The impossibility of random, accidental gene reshuffling ("natural selection") to produce new species (chapter 9). (4) The impossibility of mutations, either singly or in clusters, to produce new species (chapter 10). (5) The fact that there is no other mechanism, other than natural selection or mutations, which could possibly produce trans-species changes (chapters 9-10). (6) The fact that changes within species, are not evolution (chapter 11). (7) The beauty is shown in the things of nature. An example of this would be the beauty of the flowers. Random changes would not produce such attractive forms and colors. (8) The marvelous purposive designs of the things of nature. (We have a special section on our website on the wonders of design in nature.)
TWO SPECIAL EVIDENCES AGAINST ALL TYPES OF EVOLUTION—Two of the most powerful evidences negating both inorganic and organic evolution, either in origin or development, would be the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics (chapter 18).
We have elsewhere discussed in detail all of the above proofs of Creationism.
The textbooks generally have a trite one-two-three set of evolutionary "evidences," which generally consist of the fact that there once were dinosaurs and cavemen along with theories about "apeman" bones, fossils and strata dates, mutations, similarities, vestiges, and recapitulation.
The book, Evolution, by *F.H.T. Rhodes (1974), lists all the evidences and "proofs" of evolution. It is a fascinating book. Looking through these "evidences," we find that three-fourths of them consist of neutral biological, geological, or chemical facts—which provide no actual evidence in favor of evolution. The others consist of a variety of suggestive possibilities. As a rule, the strongest "evidences" for the theory center around variations within species.
Here is a brief overview of the well-presented material in *Rhodes exhaustive book, covering the evidences of evolution. You will notice that none of them constitute any real evidence in favor of evolution. Seventy-nine proofs are listed here. It is astonishing to read the following list!
Many different species exist. *Aristotle taught evolution. Spontaneous generation could not be a cause of the origin of life. Ray and Linnaeus developed plant and animal classification systems. *Lamarck’s theory of inheritable changes was an error. History of evolutionary thought for the past 200 years. *Darwin’s finding of various creatures on the Galapagos islands. *Wallace and *Malthus’ search for a mechanism whereby evolution could occur. *Darwin’s idea of "natural selection." *Darwin’s influential book.
*Darwin’s theory revised by later discovery of mutations. Mendel’s law of genetics. *DeVries discovers mutations. *Morgan and *Sutton study fruit flies. Surely, mutations must be the cause of all evolutionary change. General information on chromosomes. Variations in fruit flies.
Species always appear to reproduce their own kind. Aging changes in the lifetime of an individual is a strong proof of evolution. All living things have cells, protoplasm, metabolism, reproduction, and growth; therefore they must all have come from a common source. All living things are interdependent, so this shows evolution.
Different birds have similarities; therefore they must have a common ancestor. Embryos are alike; so they must have evolved from a common source. Organic degeneration and "useless organs" (vestiges) are strong evidences of evolution. Biochemical similarities indicate common ancestry. Woodpeckers punch holes in trees; so they must have evolved this ability. Men can selectively breed new types of dogs; therefore random mutations can develop new species.
Evolution must be implied in the fact that although some birds breed in northern climates others breed in warmer areas (population evolution). Drugs given to bacteria must have caused mutations that damaged them. Peppered moths come in two types, dark and light; and birds like to eat them. There are different species of extinct fossils. There may be a "fossil series" among Ceratopsian dinosaurs. The horse series. Archaeopteryx. The platypus. The "earliest" organisms in the sedimentary rock strata were smaller and slower, and the later ones were faster and larger. A larger number of species are found in the later strata than in the earlier strata.
Facts about genes, chromosomes, cell division, Mendelian inheritance patterns, and laws of inheritance. Probabilities of accomplishing changes within species (via Mendelian genetics). Coin tossing. XX and XY mechanisms in reproduction. Genes control reproduction. DNA is the key to inheritance. Protein manufacture. Population genetics: Variations exist among people (eye color, height, etc.). Gene reshuffling through recombination and crossing-over to produce changes within species.
Mutations produce new characteristics. Genetic drift and geographic isolation also produces changes within a species. Migration of populations into new areas may cause evolution. Evolution can occur through natural selection (mating preferences, predatory killing, etc.). Owls eat the white mice first. Ocean currents brought creatures from South America rather than Central and North America to Galapagos Islands. Birds eating peppered moths is natural selection in action. Growth differences in fossil bears must be due to the fact that they hibernated in different caves. Teeth become smaller with age. Different sub-species of the same bird have different length bills. Flowers, insects, etc., copycat one another’s shape, color, etc. (mimicry). Sexual preferences of animals might make changes within species. Sickle-cell anemia proves that natural selection occurs within mankind.
A Devonian fish probably climbed out of the water and became an amphibian; but, unfortunately, we do not have the missing link when this happened. Transitional fossil forms prove evolution, and we have one: the reptile-bird, Archaeopteryx.
Given enough time, evolution can occur. Rock strata time charts prove long ages. Evolution is occurring now in the Solomon Islands, as the Golden Whistler [bird] makes new subspecies [picture of them indicates they all look just about alike]. Minks change color in winter; and this surely must have been caused by mutations at some time in the past.
Hydrogen must have clumped together to form stars. Perhaps it only happened in the past, but perhaps it is happening now. A cloud came together and formed the earth. All the planets have six of the elements, so this is an important proof of something.
*Miller and *Urey took complicated lab equipment and produced some dead amino acids.
There are many fossil outlines, impressions, casts, tracks, etc. Stone artifacts [arrowheads, etc.] are the most common remains of prehistoric man. The oldest fossils are about 2.7 billion years old. Most fossil animals suddenly appeared about 600 million years ago. Fossilized marine invertebrates. The oldest vertebrates [bony fish], insects, land animals, and plants. The reptiles and dinosaurs. The mammals.
Apes and monkeys. Reconstructed "ape-men." Suggested evolution of man from monkey. Stone tools. Cave paintings. "Evolution" of human societies. Evolutionary theory, although intrinsically separate from morality, is still not bad for society. The "future evolution" of man will be in regard to pollution control, dwindling resources, overpopulation.
—That summarizes the evidence for evolution in an entire, recent, excellent book dedicated to the subject. Throughout it all, did you find even one clear-cut evidence for evolution?
In concluding this chapter, let us briefly overview the strongest evidences of evolution, as presented in a number of evolution textbooks:
1 - Aristotle taught evolution.
2 - Linnaeus classified plants and animals.
3 - Darwin wrote an influential book.
4 - Morgan studied fruit flies.
5 - Every living thing has chromosomes.
6 - People age as they become older.
7 - All living things have cells.
8 - All birds have feathers.
9 - Woodpeckers punch holes in trees.
10 - Birds breed in different climates.
11 - There are both light and dark moths.
12 - Some species have become extinct.
13 - Mendel discovered inheritance patterns.
14 - Coin tossing exemplifies evolution.
15 - DNA is the key to inheritance.
16 - Variants exist among people.
17 - Changes have taken place within species.
18 - Mutations produce new characteristics.
19 - Migration may cause evolution.
20 - Mating preferences may cause evolution.
21 - Predatory killing may cause evolution.
22 - Owls eat white mice first.
23 - Birds eat peppered moths.
24 - Different bears are different sizes.
25 - Teeth become smaller with age.
26 - Mutations produce sickle-cell anemia.
27 - A fish must have climbed out of water.
28 - Time should be able to produce evolution.
29 - Evolutionary charts prove long ages.
30 - Minks change color in winter.
31 - Stone tools have been found.
32 - Dinosaurs became extinct.
33 - Some earlier peoples lived in caves.
34 - Cave paintings have been found.
1 - List ten of the most foolish of the textbook proofs of evolution.
2 - There are 15 reasons why the so-called "horse series" could not be correct. List eight which you consider to be the most significant.
3 - Archaeopteryx is either a type of bird or a carefully contrived fake. After reading all the evidence given in this chapter, write a paper on the alternative you prefer (bird or fake). State your reasons and be prepared to defend them.
4 - In each of the following four categories, which is the most powerful evidence against that type of evolution (if you consider all equally strong, say so)? (1) the three special evidences against stellar evolution; (2) the two special proofs against a chance origin of life; (3) the seven special evidences against the evolution of life; (4) the two special evidences against all types of evolution.
The rufous woodpecker of India and southeast Asia likes to eat ants. Those stinging tree ants, in turn, vigorously attack every intruder that comes near their nest. But when it is time for this woodpecker to make its nest, it flies to the football-size nest of stinging tree ants, tunnels in, lays its eggs there, and then settles down to incubate them—with stinging ants all about it. Yet they do not bother it. When the baby birds hatch, the mother feeds them till they fly away. During that time, it has not eaten one ant, and they have not attacked it while always driving off all other birds and predators. Then the woodpecker flies off, and once again begins eating ants in their ant nests.
The palm swift lives in Africa and, with its long, narrow wings, can fly 70 miles [112.6 km] per hour. It flies as much as a mile high in the sky eating bugs flying in the air. A sensitive barometer is in its brain, enabling it to know when storms are approaching. When that happens, it will fly at right angles to the storm and thus avoid it. The palm swift only lands on trees or buildings—never on the ground.