Scientific examination performed on the reconstruction of the Archaeopteryx brain has revealed that the structure of that creature"s brain was no different to that of the brain structure of modern day birds, and that it possessed the necessary structural and neurological equipment to be able to fly. The study in question was carried out by an international team of experts led by the palaeontologist Angela Milner from London"s Natural History Museum and was published by the British scientific journal Nature. (Patricio Dominguez Alonso, Angela C. Milner, Richard A. Ketcham, M. John Cookson & Timothy B. Rowe "The avian nature of the brain and inner ear of Archaeopteryx,"Nature, Vol.430, 666 - 669 [05 August 2004] )
The scientists made a reconstruction model of an Archaeopteryx fossil"s brain structure and scanned it with High-Resolution X-ray CT Facility at the University of Texas at Austin. As a result, it emerged that not only did Archaeopteryx have excellent sense of vision and well developed spatial sensory perception abilities, but also possessed the means to use these in a coordinated manner. Scientists examining the semi-hemispherical canals inside the ear that fulfil the function of providing balance concluded that it had "the neurological and structural adaptations necessary for flight."
Archaeopteryx heads the list of the fossils depicted as intermediate forms by evolutionists. It is perhaps the most widely known of the icons portrayed as proof of evolution in text books. However, this symbolic status of Archaeopteryx is actually based on groundless propaganda maintained in the face of the scientific findings.
When the first fossil belonging to this creature was unearthed, in 1861, two years after the publication of Charles Darwin"s Origin of Species, it was greeted as evidence of evolution. It was proposed that with its teeth, bony tail and claws on its wings, the creature, which lived some 150 million years ago, was a transitional form between reptiles and birds as well as being the ancestor of modern-day birds. (The fact is, however, that other modern day birds have claws and the teeth exist in other bird species going back to the ancient periods, and their existence in Archaeopteryx constitutes no evidence for the claim of evolution from reptiles.)
One of the most important reasons why Archaeopteryx is regarded as a transitional form by evolutionists was the belief that the creature lacked the chest bone that plays a critical role in bird flight. However, scientific discoveries revealed that this assumption consisted of over-hasty interpretations. When the seventh Archaeopteryx fossil was unearthed in 1992 it was established that it did possess the bone in question after all [*]. Moreover, Archaeopteryx also possessed the asymmetrical feather structure of all flighted birds, and the form of these was identical to the feather forms in modern day birds. To put it another way, a complete "lack of evolution" was observed in the feathers of the 150-million-year-old Archaeopteryx.
It was thus realised that the claims that Archaeopteryx was unable to fly were unfounded. In short, Archaeopteryx was not an intermediate form with no flying ability, but an extinct species of bird with flying ability.
But what sort of results did this latest study produce with regard to evolutionary scenarios regarding Archaeopteryx?
The study places evolutionists into a serious quandary in two ways. First, it confirms the findings that Archaeopteryx was able to fly. Second, the brain structure of Archaeopteryx bears no resemblance to that of reptiles. Milner describes this state of affairs, which produced findings totally at odds with evolutionist expectations: "We were fully expecting to find a dinosaur-like brain. Instead, it was completely bird-like." (Jacqueline Ali, "Bird brain reveals flight secrets", BBC News Online, 4/8/2004, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3535272.stm )
"The brain of Archaeopteryx does not look like a living reptile at all." (Guy Gugliotta, "Feathered Dinosaur Could Fly, Study Says", Washington Post, 5 August 2004, p. A03)
In other words, evolutionists maintain that Archaeopteryx was the first flighted bird to split off from the reptiles and that it is the progenitor of modern birds, yet the scientific findings deny this. It appears that the necessary equipment and order for an irreducibly complex ability such as flight existed in flawless form in the body of Archaeopteryx 150 million years ago.
With Archaeopteryx, therefore, it has once more been confirmed with scientific findings that the origin of all birds is creation. The one-way respiratory system that allows a bird to fly, the aerodynamic design, the hooks between the feathers, the hollow bones and many other biological structures reveal the presence of a manifest design. The manoeuvres performed by a bird in flight cannot be matched by any machine capable of being produced with modern technology. This design, which reveals such a superior complexity, is sure proof of God"s creation.
[*] (The chest bone is one under the rib cage to which the muscles necessary for flight attach. This chest bone exists in all modern day birds, whether they can fly or not, as well as in bats, flying mammals from a very different family to birds.)