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Matthew McLain - The Master's University, 21726 Placerita Canyon Road, Santa Clarita, CA 91321
Matt Petrone - Cedarville University, 251 North Main Street, Cedarville, OH 45314
Matthew Speights - 251 Sunset Drive, Highland Heights, KY 41076
Matthew McLain is assistant professor of biology and geology at The Master’s University in Santa Clarita, CA, where he teaches courses on paleontology and geology. He has a BS in Geology (Cedarville University) and a PhD in Earth Sciences (Loma Linda University). He has published paleontology papers in both the conventional and creationist literature.
Matt Petrone completed his B.S. in Geology (Cedarville University) and is currently a doctoral student in Earth Sciences (Loma Linda University).
Matthew Speights is an independent researcher and wildlife field worker from northern Kentucky. His research focuses on bird and reptile ethnozoology and paleontology.
Birds could not have evolved from land animal ancestors because Genesis clearly states that birds and land animals were created on separate days. As a result, young-earth creationists have consistently opposed the theory that birds evolved from dinosaurs. Nevertheless, numerous fossils of dinosaurs with feathers, including some very bird-like dinosaurs, have been found in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. We determined to understand what these fossils mean in a creationist context through a survey of their fossil record and statistical baraminological analyses. While the survey demonstrates that feathered dinosaur fossils do, in fact, exist, the baraminological analyses suggest that there are probably at least eight different created kinds of non-avialan dinosaurs. The existence of multiple created kinds of non-avialan dinosaurs, non-avian avialans, and avians without an enormous morphological gulf between these groups, although historically unexpected in creationism, is argued through this study to be an accurate picture for their designed organization. Because of these results, creationists need to rethink the way they understand the organization of life, especially as it relates to tetrapods, in order to better represent the full spectrum of God’s created variety.
Dinosauria, feather, Archaeopteryx, ethnotaxonomy, baraminology, Theropoda, discontinuity, baraminic distance correlation, multidimensional scaling
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McLain, M.A., M. Petrone, and M. Speights. 2018. Feathered dinosaurs reconsidered: New insights from baraminology and ethnotaxonomy. In Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Creationism, ed. J.H. Whitmore, pp. 472–515. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Creation Science Fellowship.
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