Is bird evolution even possible?

Is Bird Evolution Even Possible?

The answer is no.

One way to look at this is the fact that evolution has been scientifically proven to be impossible. We are actually devolving, getting worse and losing information, instead of evolving. This is discussed in books such as "Darwin Devolves" by Dr. Michael Behe and "Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome" by Dr. John Sanford. However, we are not going to look at all of evolution. We're going to focus on dinosaur to bird evolution. In addition to the science that shows evolution in general is impossible, dinosaur to bird evolution is impossible because the changes required would kill the dinosaur before it could become a bird.

Lungs / Cardiovascular

This first one is definitely a dinosaur killer. Dinosaurs have bellows lungs that are similar to those of present-day crocodiles. They breathe in, and then they breathe out, like we do. Their cardiovascular structure is designed to meet the needs of short bursts of high energy, but overall they are a low energy animal, even including having narrow nostrils (low air flow) like a crocodile. On the other hand flying is a very high energy activity, and birds have a cardiovascular system designed to meet the needs of flying. To get the huge amount of oxygen they need, birds have a once-through type lung system that has five sacs. Birds need an oxygen supply that never stops, unlike our bellows in-and-out system. (When we breath out we stop taking in oxygen.) Why? Because that's what it takes to fly.

There is no viable step-by-step pathway to go from a bellows lung to a once-through lung. They are radically different. You can't have half of one and half of the other. Both would be nonfunctional and the dinosaur dies. And if the needed structures started to develop, it's obvious they cannot be used until fully functional. The result is that these useless additions would place such an added burden on the dinosaur that natural selection would eliminate the dinosaur (the dinosaur dies).

It's simple to say the words, "Dinosaur lungs evolved to become bird lungs." without considering the changes involved. But, from the perspective of providing the needed oxygen while the change in lung design is taking place, it can't happen.

Bird evolution is impossible

Arm / Wing Movement

Flying not only requires a lot of energy, it requires strength to move wings. In a paper titled "Muscle Function In Avian Flight: Achieving Power and Control" Andrew Biewener writes:

"The smaller supracoracoideus lies deep to the pectoralis, also originating from the keel of the sternum, and is about one-fifth of the pectoralis in mass (approx. 2% body mass). By means of its tendon, which inserts and acts dorsally at the shoulder as a pulley, the supracoracoideus elevates and supinates the wing during upstroke." In other, simpler words, small bird muscles use a pulley system to provide a lot of power to their wings. On the other hand, Biewener states: "This is in contrast to terrestrial locomotion, which offers mechanisms for minimizing energy losses associated with body movement combined with elastic energy savings to reduce the skeletal muscles' work requirements."

In other words, land animals (dinosaurs) have a completely different design that is optimized to minimize energy losses and reduce the stresses on the skeleton. Two very different designs to accomplish two very different purposes.

As with lungs, any change in the design results in the complete system becoming non-functional. Why? The two systems are designed in very different ways to do very different things. If a part of the system is no longer there because it evolved into something different, the system no longer functions. If the system for moving dinosaur arms changes a little bit (evolution happens by small changes accumulating over long time periods), the dinosaur loses arm function. They become less fit for survival, natural selection does its thing, and they die.

Again it is easy to say the words, "Dinosaur arms evolved to become bird wings." but the changes are so significant and destructive to the existing system that it could never happen. The dinosaur would die, and the change would never become fixed in the population.

dinosaurs, swing your hips

Hip Structure

We talked about the two different types of dinosaur hips at the beginning of the tour. Let's quickly review:

Dinosaurs are categorized into two main groups based on their hip design. The ornithischian dinosaurs, also know as bird hipped dinosaurs, have a pubis bone that points backward. The saurischian dinosaurs, also known as lizard-hipped, have a pubis bone that points forward. Here is what is strange. Birds have a pubis bone that points to the back like ornithischian dinosaurs, yet it is thought that they evolved from saurischian (theropod) dinosaurs. That means that in the evolutionary process the publis bone had to swing around from the front to point to the back, as well as change its structural design. Seems a little far-fetched.

The pubis bone has several functions. Two of its major functions are that it stabilizes the pelvic girdle and also serves as an attachment point for muscles. So it is an integral part of the body.

The need to re-orient the pubis bone has caused quite a lot of discussion among evolutionists. For example, did a rear pointing pubis evolve twice? Once in dinosaurs and separately in birds. However, the biggest question is how could such a change come about?

The pubis can't just swing around. And even if a new, forward facing pubis bone grew, how would evolution "know" that the muscle attachments needed to change. Evolution is blind. It cannot "see" what is needed and then produce it. On top of this, we run into the same problems as before. As small changes are occurring to the pubis, it no longer serves the purpose for which it was designed. The dinosaur loses the functions provided by the pubis, is less fit to survive, and dies.

These are just three examples. There are others,such as the need to change the design of the brain, skull, and inner ear. From a practical view, changing a dinosaur into a bird will not work. The changes will harm the animal, and natural selection will select it to die.

Image credit: AdmiralHood, modified to combine both images into a single image and add text, CC License.

Next: Human Evolution Myths   Go Deeper: More Myths of Evolution