Fossilized Bird Lung Inflates Confidence in Creation

An ICR article garuanteed to aggravate @John_Harshman

John, I’d like to share your response to Facebook, where I found this article.

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What response is possible? They look at a few ways in which a fossil bird resembles a modern bird (or, in one case, one particular modern bird), ignore all the ways it differs, and claim evolution is impossible. They even refer to the Cretaceous, when they don’t believe the Cretaceous is a real thing. It’s incoherent.

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They accept the Cretaceous as the layer of rock right after the flood. The Cretaceous era lasted a few months after the flood 4000 years ago. That fossil is a 4000 year old bird found in 4000 year old sediment.

What the paper says

“The preserved morphology reveals a lung very similar to that of living birds.”

What ICR claims

“researchers found that the lungs look exactly like those of modern birds.”

There’s a reason the term Liars For Jesus was coined.

Note ICR didn’t provide a link to the actual paper which may be viewed here

Archaeorhynchus preserving significant soft tissue including probable fossilized lungs

Minor correction, all–or at least almost all–YECS believe the rocks ascribed to the Cretaceous are Flood deposited rocks. Snelling and many other “professional” YECs types place the boundary of the Flood and post-Flood rocks/events at the K/Pg l line. Other think it might be more recent but the Cretacious is always Flood in nature. So the early birds are all preserved in the Flood rocks while “modern” birds are found in post-flood rocks.

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I don’t see that as their big problem. They are merely translating the language of scientific caution into ordinary terms. For all that can be told from the fossil, its lungs were exactly the same as those of living birds. And that isn’t a big surprise; we don’t know when bird-type lungs first evolved. All we know is that modern birds have one sort and crocodiles have another sort, while turtles have still another sort. So now we have a clue that the bird sort of lung predates Neornithes (modern birds). Whoopee.


That’s not quite true. There are a few “modern” birds in Late Cretaceous rocks, for example Vegavis.

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Ah, yes, I guess we need a primer on what constitutes “modern.” By that do we mean birds from the Cretaceous that are contained within the monophyletic group that all living bird lineages are in?
If you have a chance you could critique my take on “modern” birds as compared to what Ken Ham calls “modern” I’ve written about this distinction twice and here is the second: If it Walks Like a Duck… Ken Ham Doubles Down on His Misunderstanding of Bird Fossils – Naturalis Historia


Strange editor thing. The last two times I’ve typed the word “monophyletic” incorrectly I’ve found it to read “monopolistic” when I publish. But I don’t see any evidence that there is a form of autocorrect on the discussion board editor. Is that correct? Maybe my fingers are just typing the wrong thing–that does happen all the time but not usually for larger words such as this.

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Usually, we mean Neornithes (or Aves, which name I prefer), the avian crown group. That is, the common ancestor of all extant bird species and all its descendants. A very few Cretaceous fossils clearly fall into that group.

Illustration of such:


Note that we have fossil evidence for almost none of the Cretaceous taxa that tree implies. And in fact most of the error bars on that tree extend into the Paleogene.


I agree. “Modern” means whatever Ken Ham wants it to mean at the moment, and his various meanings are contradictory. The Cretaceous parrot isn’t a parrot and Vegavis, while its exact status is somewhat in doubt, clearly belongs to no extant family, certainly no extant species. It may be a presbyornithid and it may be a stem-anseriform, but regardless it isn’t what we usually call a duck (a member of Anatidae).


Not trying to make any particular point, here, just wanted to share this short segment on bird embryology, and offer its commentary up for critique and / or sheer enjoyment.

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Why are the talking heads all creationists? Hmm…I wonder if the video has an agenda.

The take-home lesson is this: Be wary of accepting an unstated or implicit premise about what should be true of evolution found in a creationist argument.

In this case, the apparent creationistic inference that bird-lungs should have evolved with or after the origin of birds, as opposed to before the origin of birds.

A critique of the presented fact set would be helpful.

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I do not in general enjoy watching creationist videos. What presented fact set?

The reason this is welcome to YEC and good guys everywhere IS it shows birds existed already and lungs are exactly, almost, very similar, spot on, kinda sorta, as they are now. Get it? No weird evolutionary difference because there was no evolution and also hinting it was recent.
In these flood deposits/rocks birds are found.
Its a 2019 early gift.
Now I say of coarse birds were here as the Ark story mentions two. Likewise I see theropod dinosaurs as just flightless ground birds in a spectrum of diversity of birds.
Hopefully organized YEC will agree one day .

The one presented by the narrative in the film segment. As a description of the complex biochemical “choreography” needed for normal developmental avian embryology, regardless of how it characterizes its origins, it ought to be the kind of thing which interests and even awes you as much as it does any viewer. And if not, why not?
That’s why I invite a critique of its content.
Or, should creationists, knee-jerk, simply refuse to watch any films depicting an evolutionary explication? And, perhaps, instill the same attitude in their children, thereby?

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