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BIRDS STILL OVERFLY DITHERING DINOSAURS
Creation Magazine, March-May 2000 pp. 54ff.
The dinosaur Piltdown ? With the vast condemnation of National Geographic's stentorian advances into literary bellowing, by sundry scholars, there is real question of the extent to which there was ever anything but ballyhoo in their claims concerning a certain ... dinosaur. This is the purport of this article by Jonathan Sarfati.
The claim in the geographic magazine was to the effect that a dinosaur export (illegal) from China was a feathered dinosaur. From that came the claim that "birds are theropods" or a type of dinosaurs. That is like going from earth to sun in one step, without going through space.From this then came the parallel claim that this can be said "just as confidently as we say that humans are mammals" (National Geographic, 196(5): 98-107, Nov. 1999).
Sarfati quotes Storrs Olsen, Curator of Birds at the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC:
"National Geographic has reached an all-time low for engaging in sensationalistic, unsubstantiated, tabloid journalism... it eventually became clear to me that National Geographic was not interested in anything other than the prevailing dogma that birds evolved from dinosaurs... Sloan's article takes the prejudice to an entirely new level and consists in large part of unverifiable or undocumented information that "makes" the news rather than reporting it."Various other condemnations of the leap of faith in the regions of fancy are made, in line with Olsen's exposé; but the coping stone of the arch, is this. An eminent paleontologist in Beijing, Xu Xing now dismisses the fossil behind all this, as not genuine. It was, he indicates, combined from the body and heart of a birdlike creature and the tail of a different dinosaur. A fossil in China, quoth he, contains the mirror image of the tail section! Perhaps it was not a deliberate fake, declares Zu Xing: things get broken and wrongly put back together...
This is one more case of the sort of play that imagination has, has had, and continues to have in the minds of men who love nature and forget God. If one were to put back a Ford part into a Holden in some museum, when the things were disarrayed by an earthquake, that would be quite understandable if one were 14, or knew or cared little about cars. But to put something NOT KNOWN and NEVER SEEN back where it never had been known to be, not only in the museum but anywhere on earth, this is rather ... an oversight indeed!
note the DIRECTION, then, of the error; and then its magnitude; and then
Next we note the USE made of the ERROR, in terms of an unverified find, in fact, a fraudulent, or certainly ONE falsified object. This National Geographic reaction seemingly emphasised the emphatic and dramatised the dramatic almost to the skies, as if without bound or limit. Further, it assumed that EVEN IF there had been a feathered dinosaur, that this meant there was a systematic and organic, wholly upgraded naturalistic movement from the one TYPE to the other, dinosaur to bird. THIS is where it came from, was the tenor of the sermon.
is, the one is to BECOME the other. In fact, one often sees spare parts,
or if you like, packaged components in one place, or an image of them,
utilised in another (as in SMR pp. 252Lff.,
*52), in living objects with no more thought of the transition of the totality,
than would occur when one sees a rubber hose connection for the radiator
of a Cadillac and a Volkswagen, and proceeds to assume that ... OF COURSE,
the one car simply ... GREW into the other.
LIFE IS NOT MAGIC BUT NEEDS WORK - MARVELLOUS WORK
LIFE IS NOT LIKE THAT. In all its observations by millions of souls and billions, over thousands of years, we have never become acquainted with its ever doing such a thing, ever gaining information, far less implementing what it does not gain, or with the principles in terms of which it would, or the parts which would produce it. The gap is multi-faceted, maxi-defined and mini-met. It is logical; it is empirical; it is principial.
It is just that no one SAW it long enough, on earth, to verify what we note quite soberly of manufactured parts. Creeping into the thoughts of man then comes what might have been seen if one had been there to see it; even if there is this ravished gap in the side of continuity, which as Denton so well says, is found in the mind of man, never in the facts of Nature.
The imagination then starts to preach. It is because a thing is alive, that therefore it is not in need of being scheduled, or programmed, or conceptually contained, has no requirement of such things; and this, even though they are now known to be intrinsic to its very quality of life, moving the arms of its space landing craft as it were, sitting on earth and called man's body. That its whole texture and quality is devoid of any causal need, its algorithms in need of no mathematics, its engineering in need of no savoir-faire, while yet it fares well to virtual perfection nonetheless: this automation without engineer concept is one of the most jejune of all. It is not easier, but far harder, to counterfeit the elaborate programming of life, than that of minor elements which are but relatively simple bases for life's concepts (relatively simple, marvellously complex). It is like rocks in an architecurally beautiful rock wall: the wall in its geometry and curve, is as far beyond bricks as the ocean beyond a puddle, and indeed further: for as to them, they are at least both water.
So life is magic, devoid of causal necessities, to be thought of with causal conceptions, but divorced from them in imagined history. The vehicle of thought is thought to make life thoughtless, while it is using the coded brain to think it! If it were not so sad, it would make Gilbert and Sullivan seem sour faced prudes by comparison, so high is the humour, total the self-contradiction and ludicrous the imagination that while our medical expenses are far from magical, nevertheless, magic made the machinery. Call it chance, or what you will: all it means is this, that it does not have what it takes to do what needs to be done, so that nothing does it, as Paul Davies so well, if not perhaps entirely intentionally parodied the philosophic folie.
Nevertheless, despite the realities of logic, and of definition of such things as nothing (see Barbs, Arrows and Balms 29), and in the hypnosis of culture, give them ONE fake or at last false exhibit, and all this folly follows! Two things are similar, and found in two places, so what has one MUST have become what has the other. In any other walk of life, this would be sub-juvenile. Two men have noses which are similar, so the one was turned into the other. The evidence ? to the contrary. The examples ? not present. The methods ? not known. The verification of imagined methods ? not found. This is not faith; it is not even blind faith; it is not faith at all. It is the obverse of dis-faith, that settled inability to appreciate logic when it comes to God, which is the mainstay of agnosticism to this hour.
But what is it like, this insistence that 'Nature', big, bold, omni-competent, decaying and ageing 'Nature', has done it all ? What is this parody of logic like, which has imagined feathers on a dinosaur become a transition story of dinosaur to bird!
This is like a little hole, in the Dutch dam story, where the small boy put in his finger to prevent the tearing from growing and the whole wall from collapsing; except it is in reverse. A small hoped for hole becomes the basis for a smashing (only in imagination, but alas as with the other journalistic endeavours often put in text-books, expressed in oft-read words) of an entire sea wall.
Further, not the phantasmagoria of fiction but the realities of qualitatively correct and controlled power is required if you want the product. Imagination can construct; but to get buildings you need the means to implement it. You do not need less than imagination; only more.
is, to be sure, an ironic sense in which the Geographic statement
could almost be accepted. It is WHOLLY unsure, if one is to be logical,
that humans are mammals IN THE SENSE THAT THIS DEFINES WHAT WE DEAL WITH
in each case. You might as well imagine you would be at all apt if you
were to DEFINE a space-vehicle as an automobile. If you stretch
the imagination sufficiently, yes, it is mobile, it has a certain automation.
TO TERMS WITH REALITY
and Making a Terminus to the Twisted Misuse of Terms
However the TERM automobile is already in use for highly specific entities sometimes called cars. These are terrestrial, man driven, location changers which use engines and have wheels. A space craft, in a superior and even pseudo-sophisticated way, might be termed an automobile; but there would be one sure result. It could not be known what it was from such a term. It is confusing, erratic, in effect, a piece of academic juvenilia to draw the wry mile as one wonders which lad made such a mis-statement. One would find it in Primary school perhaps.
Such however is the power of the naturalistic delusion that people with straight faces and even considerable intellects, are drawn to the folly of using the term 'mammal' NOT merely to indicate that there is a certain series of physiological events, of a defined and minimal character, associated with a certain minimum of anatomical realities, in such a case; but rather to indicate what the thing REALLY IS! Is an aerial survey drone REALLY an aircraft ? You need to know what each term means, and in the normal sense, it is not; for an aircraft has for so long been used of piloted craft, that the use of the same term for one not piloted, without considerable explanation, would MERELY MISLEAD. It would be imprecise, unimaginative and above all, unhelpful as a form of speech. To act as if this were really ALL that the aircraft was, a sort of drone, would be simply fallacious. It is far more: with a pilot. It is quite different in management, and the capacities in each case, implicit or explicit, are scarcely comparable. Some of the results are similar: that is all.
How much more then, is it absurd to ignore in any definitions involving man, the commanding, unique and extra-ordinary utilisation of certain similar physiological and anatomical details, by a power altogether drawfing that of the animal mammal! If the same term is used, then, it should be explicit: it refers to the body, and to certain aspects of the body, and it is an embracive term intended to enable certain similarities, taken in abstraction from certain differences, to be recognised.
Then one could with similar precision note that man and mammals (so defined) do however differ in so many other dimensions that it would be inaccurate to use either the term 'mammal' or the term 'animal' for either, since the diversities of the one from the other are of towering significance, including the power to talk about it at all! Rationality, spirituality, analytical codification, conceptual vocabulary and imaginative symbolisation for abstract constructions all are man's. The consequences of the same likewise are man's. Man is ... man, and not something else.
Man, if a mammal in some yet to be made physical definition, is yet man if the actual definition is made on the old fashioned idea that it should denote what we are talking about, and not some simple similarity with something else exceedingly different. If we are talking about what is there, and not some cut down, degraded, reductionist version, then man is mammalian (just as he is categorisable as under 10 feet, which is a descriptive facet, not a definition at all), and rationally creative in symbolic productions which can alter the earth to a form of imagination that is not episodic merely, but systematic and consciously contrived. And so on. There are facets most numerous as we have often considered (cf. A Spiritual Potpourri Ch. 6, Life, What is it ?, and SMR pp. 140ff, with SMR 348ff.).
Man has some features in common with some animals, just as the crackle of pop-corn has some features in common with an atomic explosion. It is not wrong to note this. It is merely misleading to fail to dwell with adequate definitional realism, on the difference...
make 'animal' a term able to include man and some with certain similarities
of form and so on, and of necessity, it cannot with the least efficiency,
define man. That merely comes from a naturalistic myth, leads to an irrational
definitional aberration of the first magnitude, ensures inaccuracy of profound
dimensions, and is the symbolic format for philosophical reductionism.
That ? One good illustration is this: a lady married to someone for 50 years is referred to by her disenchanted spouse at a party, as my cook. It is not entirely without foundation; but its simplistic substitution for reality is worse than shallow. It is corrupt.
So yes the idea of a feathered dinosaur (and why not! it is just that one has yet to be found) is NOT a verified one; and man as mammal is a much misused case of verbal slide (simply a mammal, where the definition, in order to inlcude 'other members' of the clan, HAS to be without the MAIN features of man ... some definition!). Maybe then a feathered dinosaur MAY indeed be believed with the same security as the idea that man IS a mammal. That is, with none at all!
Surely it is a matter of definition; but of slack definition which is used to bring progress to an absurd philosophy of disparagement, disregard and distemper where 'nature' is vested with power NEVER seen, NEVER evidenced and NEVER grasped in principle or expressed in practice, seen in laboratory or duplicated there. (Cf. Wake Up World! Your Creator is Coming... Chs. 4, 5, 6 and Stepping Out for Christ Chs. 3, 8, 9, 10 and That Magnificent Rock Chs. 1, 8.)
What IS needed for the difference, as indeed for all the categories and kinds of creation, is of course not chance... for that merely indicates a GIVEN and SUPPOSED structure, which is definable and hence orderly, processive and reliable. THAT is not some disorder; it is a sort of order. It is already a creation. From this, one is without PURPOSE (that is really what such simplistic statements are concerned about) to cogitative, construe and implement a symbolic masterpiece, run on concepts, organised with order, secured with mathematics, and bearing orders with code.
is merely to say you have $4000 in the bank as an idea. When you are hungry,
it is the more apparent that ideas do not constitute purchasing power,
just as words of man do not constitute operating power. They never did;
never will; unless man has access to the inherent powers of God, or the
levers in nature which He placed there. You simply HAVE either to possess
or gain possession of what it takes. That is all.
'BE FED!' or FEED THEM ? 'BE MADE', or MAKE THEM!
'Nature' needs a nurse, not a crown
need PURPOSE, PROGRAM and POWER, you need WILL, IMAGINATION and ENTERPRISE;
you have to have or gain SYMBOLISM, SIGNIFICANCE AND RATIONAL RESPONSE
TO CONTRIVED COMMAND. You need much more (cf. Repent or Perish
Ch. 7). The point is however that beggars cannot be choosers. If you
lack the means, you will not get them by talking about them. The hilarity
of this oft repeated delusive process is contemplated in
A Spiritual Potpourri Chs. 1-3.
So Nature will not wag its tail. It is foreign to its own creation. It lacks means. It shows the results of means but this is by no means the same as having means. If you gain a part of a large inheritance from some successful entrepreneur, it is not at all the same as having his gifts. You merely use and survey the RESULT of those gifts. Assuming the result contains the cause is alien to logic. You cannot really work on assumptions that take no account of facts, and deny rationality in origins. You need to realise that t he result IMPLIES the cause; it does not bring it with it!
So the whole of organic evolution is mere myth; and this is simply one more case where the type of logical fraud which it invokes, whether it be realised or not is indifferent to the point at issue here, is unveiled the more dramatically. Time Magazine as we saw in News 30, 52, 81-82 has expressed what appears a rather similar artless vacuity relative to the case, and if it be excusable because of cultural stupefaction, it is not logically the better for that. There is indeed a type of hype, excited grabbing for this or that; and in the author's own little time on earth it has been seen ad nauseum to the point that it almost seems like ad infinitum: this, they say, but this MIGHT be the way the RESULT (ourselves and our universe) contains the CAUSE! The starters come like pistols minus runners, and as in any such race, nothing moves. The print moves, the latest intellectual folies remain as stagnant reminders of pride vanquished; and ... they try again, always with the same cool indolence towards logic, and that Peter Pan playfulness, that you get what you want by talking about it; never by doing it. It does not really ... have to be done, does it Mummy! the child whines.
Still they dream as if deluded, and muse as if enchanted, as if the mere effort to make ends meet when there are no ends, would perform; that anxious thought would take care of the little matter of needing the necessities, requiring the requisities for each and every domain, order, law, interlocking nexus, symbolic world of organisation and command.
HOW ? It is always as clear as making a dam from a puddle; for the puddle is dirty and the dam needs to be clear; the puddle is small and the dam needs to be vast; the puddle does not have the power to reverse cycle engineer itself to the dam, EVEN IF ti came from it. You need something different to act as CAUSE and to BE result! A page of Shakespeare will never bring back the bard!
will never grab God! Man, part of natural productions from God, did indeed
GRAB CHRIST, but this did not INCLUDE the power to grab His causal power.
He did not even respond to Herod when HE wanted, for pagan and secular
reasons of his own personal spirit, to see MIRACLES! God is His own person;
and is the butt of no man. That He became a sacrifice for sin is at HIS
OWN INSTANCE (John 10) and He laid down His life for Himself, not the less
because it was done in love. NO MAN, He said, took it from Him. He laid
it down Himself; neither does Mass do other than mock this, for the priest
presumes to lay it down for Him. In churches not a few, and classes innumerable,
man tries to take over from God, and to lay down God's life for Him, or
to take up His power from Him, or to direct His creatures for Him.
GOD IS NO MAN'S CONVENIENCE, and HIS MERCY IS NOT MANIPULABLE
It is in one sense infantile: it is not grown up. God does not make of Himself a convenience; what He did was parallel, but the paths of these parallels never meet. He made of Himself an offering for sin, in order to purify for Himself a holy race. He did not make Himself a butt for man, that he, man might make of God a work-horse for his own follies. These, they accrue in this century like killer bees (see Spiritual Refreshings for the Digital Millenium Ch. 3), and without His aid, AIDS mocks by its very name the pretensions of man who brought on no small part of it by unnatural conduct, arrogating in the end, the power to be unnatural to himself, as though, being a product, he could direct the producer. However, products do not have this power.
can try, in that profound and marvellous liberty which is among the masterpieces
of the divine creation, misused, like a Rolls Royce used for plowing boggy
soil; but they do not succeed. Things can 'get out of hand' for limited
things in limited ways; but nothing gets out of the hand of God. It was
pierced in His Son, Jesus Christ, but it was not directed to toil it did
not elect to perform.
That ? It was pure and perfect, gracious and compassionate; but not as one under manipulation.
God remains sovereign, and nature remains under his command. Man's much vaunted efforts to glorify himself, and take over 'nature' as part of it, are as puny as punitive and it is man who suffers in millions of deaths from starvation, plague and war, cruelty inveterate, intrigue and appetites that make mere gourmands look almost chaste. Nowhere is this appetite more uncouth than with respect to the divine power, which, first divorced in word but not in any deed whatever from God, man seeks to distance by phrase, and then in phase, till the universe .. is his.
even in this contemporary movement, often started before as in Babel, but
never with so much knowledge, the errors on the way, such as Belsen and
Siberia, Tiananmen Square and the other niceties like the Inquisition,
being but sign-posts: even in this there is frustration. Man cannot even
MANAGE when he uses blasphemy as a form of cultural normalcy, irrationality
as the highest form of thought and religion as a form of his own making,
called culture. Vulture culture has the birds buzzing, and the eagles of
desire, loom: "for,"
said Christ, "wherever the carcass is, there
the eagles will be gathered together" (Matthew
24:28) . The further derelict man faithlessly
aspires, the lower he fatefully falls. It is always so with things out
of place, and the more certainly when their place is high, and their usage
is ... low.