The Four-Winged Dinosaur

Ratings: 7.83/10 from 29 users.


The Four-Winged DinosaurIn 2002, the discovery of a beautiful and bizarre fossil astonished scientists and reignited the debate over the origin of flight. With four wings and superbly preserved feathers, the 130 million-year-old creature was like nothing paleontologists had ever seen before. In this program, NOVA travels to the Chinese stone quarry where the fossil was discovered (a famed fossil treasure trove) and teams up with the world's leading figures in paleontology, biomechanics, aerodynamics, animation, and scientific reconstruction to perform an unorthodox experiment: a wind tunnel flight test of a scientific replica of the ancient oddity.

Dubbed Microraptor, the crow-sized fossil is one of the smallest dinosaurs ever found and one of the most controversial, challenging conventional theories and assumptions about the evolution of flight. But how did Microraptor use its wings? Did it array its arm- and leg-mounted wings in the style of an early 20th-century biplane to produce high lift at low speed? Did it use them to create a single lifting surface for efficient, swift gliding? Did it employ some combination of these two methods? Or were the extra wings useless for flight and likely to have been for some other purpose, such as attracting a mate?

To answer these questions, NOVA interviews Chinese paleontologist Xu Xing, who first recognized the importance of Microraptor and gave it its name; paleontologist Mark Norell and artist Mick Ellison of the American Museum of Natural History; paleontologist Larry Martin of the University of Kansas; anatomist Farish Jenkins of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University; and aerodynamicist Kenny Breuer of Brown University. In addition, NOVA commissions a "flight-ready" wind tunnel model of Microraptor complete with feathers and articulating joints.

Artists have historically played an important role in paleontology by helping to reconstruct the appearance and behavior of ancient animals. In the case of Microraptor, two completely different reconstructions were made, one at the American Museum of Natural History, and the other at the University of Kansas, based on different specimens and different techniques. The two markedly different reconstructions play into a long-running scientific controversy over the origin of flight in birds. For years the debate has been a standoff between two camps—those who believe dinosaurs were the ancestors of birds, and those who do not.

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88 Comments / User Reviews

  1. sick of the lies

    This film is regurgitated, it is a big Joke. It was already IDed as a bird and found to be a purposely faked attempt to "prove" dino to bird evolution...the evolution crowd is up to it's old tricks trying to disprove creation by going to the efforts agian to rebroadcast this bit of forgery to make you think it is true- like they still do with proven faked pilt and faked cro-mag man fossil foolery in schools. bottom line- evolutionist are so desperate to prove God does not exist they will make up lies to cover the truths of creation and go to the trouble faking the age of the earth as well. it was proved 25 years ago that in granite a specific radioactive particle could not form over time -. but had to be formed nearly instantaneously to be there- it could not exist in the evolutionist model of earth's formation of millions of years with granite's supposed molten state they believe in. Science is full of assumptions and few facts to make the evolution claims.... do your own research on the geology of the radioactive particle in granite i brought up. i will not say from where, so as to have you search in a none biased fashion I may lead you- all you need is the truth, not from me or some lying evolutionist jerk's opinion but it will set you free once you do see.

  2. crabman

    You just keep talking to the zombie carpenter in the sky.

  3. Achems Razor

    sick of the lies:

    I will not even look, because it is the same old thing with you religious folks.

    You will not say from where, because 10 to 1, it is from a creationists site!
    Am I correct?

  4. Kelly K.

    Sick of the Lies:

    I know what you are talking about. They are called: Polonium Pleochroic Halos.

    Polonium's half life is measured in minutes, or perhaps even seconds, as I recall, and leaves "halos" in the rock. Particles that leave halos in rocks can do so over many years in most cases, but the particle you mentioned are a true scientific mystery, unless the rock was made instantly solid without burning up the particle inside which has a very very short half life. It would help if you posted a link from a scientific source rather than a religious source, as it would be more credible for people like Achems Razor, but I do understand that rarely do scientific sites post thier weekness rather than thier strengths.

    But, you are right, apart from instant "creation" of the granit in which the Polonium Pleochroic Halos are found, no scientist has yet formed a plausible answer to the mystery, and it should not be dismissed so easily by the non-religious.

    You're welcome, by the way. ;-)

  5. Achems Razor

    Kelly K:

    What scientific weaknesses, are you referring to specifically?

    For one thing, Robert Gentry is a Physicist, not a Geologist.

    How about a counter claim?

    Google-"Polonium Haloes" Refuted. By Thomas A. Baillieul.

    I want to thank you at least for not using any circular logic.

  6. Kelly K.

    Achems Razor:

    This was a very good article by Thomas A. Baillieul. Thank you for taking the time to look it up for us.

    The scientific weaknesses I was referring to was the fact that the possibility of instant creation of primordial rock and ergo, the world, (by God we assume) or any other form is never even considered as a possibility.

    A quote stuck in my mind that was humorous from another source: "Your theory doesn't go along with my theory, so your theory must be wrong!" Both religious and non religious people are quite guilty of that logic equally, I have found.

    One quote from Baillieul is as follows:

    "The development of fractures in the grains of mica after crystallization has occurred, and the migration of radon along these fractures over the course of millennia, is much more in keeping with current geologic models of rock formation. Thus, the radon hypothesis is more attractive than Gentry's model since it fits the observed evidence and doesn't require supernatural occurrences."

    Are there visible cracks by which the radon has traveled? Wouldn't a "crack" still be visible under a microscope? That seems easy enough to verify. It seems to me they are trying to think of anything that might discredit the creationist scientist because he believes differently than they.

    Why do we not just allow at least the possibility that "Polonium Haloes" are a work of creation, rather than trying so hard to prove otherwise? Perhaps the creationists are right on some things, but not on everything.

    Even if the granit was cooled immediately by water (another theory) the Polonium would have been destroyed nearly instantly by the heat of multon rock before the cooling, as I understand it.

    I would also think that Robert Gentry would be extremely careful in his analisys of the Polonium halos to actually be Plonium halos and not something else which would also cause the same circles, but if the halos could difinitively be proven to be not as Robert Gentry says, I would suspect they would write a short definitive 2 paragraph refute rather than such a long one. Logically. It was a bit technical for me to understand as I don't have much background in geology. I'm more interested in biology.

    So after sorting through both arguments, I concluded either rightly or wrongly that the mystery does indeed remain a mystery with only theories to how it came about.

    If I've missed something really big, you can let me know what it was in a nutshell, but otherwise, I won't loose sleep over either theory. Thanks again for the article.


  7. Achems Razor

    Kelly K:

    You are welcome.

    I guess it does go against scientific paradigm, to suggest everything was created instantly. But on a scientific perspective, I would not class that as a scientific weakness.

    I agree, "Nobody knows everything" Whether it be Naturalism, or Supernatural Revelation.

    I do not believe that it was cooled by water instantly, that to me does not make sense. Water from where? collision with a
    water planet?

    Yes, no doubt a mystery, but from one theory (scientific) the other is a belief, (creationism)

    We probably both, missed something really big. But if the conclusions are not as yet irrefutably presented, how are we to know.

    So in a nutshell, the scientific theory, and the creationist's belief, are assumptions.

    Sleep good. And thank you for the reply. :D

  8. Kelly K.

    Achems Razor: That was well enough said!


  9. Charles B.

    I really don't know if this animal was a bird (with teeth and a long tail and claws on its wings) or a dinosaur with feathers. I suppose either is theoretically possible. I know there are some birds even now that are born with claws on thier wings but loose them as they mature.

    Anyway, I found it interesting that only 30 of these birds have been found, but no other forms similar in that forest. Logically, they seem to be very few in number, but still 30 have been found. So, if there were many forms leading up to it and from it into various animals and birds, then looks like we would find them too if they were there. Just a tought.

    This animal was awesome, and perhaps one-of-a-kind like the platypus is now, but the fact remains that it's a perfect animal, and not a link as they would have us believe.

    Sick of the lies: I don't think they're fakes this time. But they did waste half the documentary pushing evolution rather than appreciating the wonderful animal that unfortunately we no longer have at this time in the world as God's unique creation of the past.

  10. Charles B.

    P.S. I really enjoyed the documentary nonetheless! Thanks again, Vlatko! :-)

    I wish I had been a palientologist sometimes. I've always loved dinosaurs, and so does my son. I think all kids do.

  11. Vlatko

    Not a problem Charles B. You're welcome.

  12. Tim

    It's funny how the two groups of scientists are having such a heated debate about this. I guess that's what happens when you take sides though. No one wants to be wrong, so the truth becomes less important than being the winner. Personally, I strongly believe that this animal is the result of an accident involving a time machine and a faulty teleporter.

  13. Jonas X

    So, just because you cant explain something it must be the work of a god? Come on. The stone age called and asked to get their intelligence back.
    The earth has been flat as well before it was proved it was actually a globe and the religious people refused to believe that theory long after it was presented. Get a grip.

  14. Charles B.

    Sick of the Lies:

    Wow, man!

    I have to appologize to you. You suggested this might be a hoax like before and I thought you were just being unscientific or overly reactive to a new find as it's so easy to disprove "hoaxes" now, but Xing Xu IS a known hoaxer! I just got this e-mail from the Institute of Creation Research. I'll have to research this out myself more carefully, but I just wanted to say I was sorry for disbelieving your comment. Let's both "trust by verify" this following letter from ICR:

    The e-mail quote is as follows:

    "Dear Charles,

    Thank you for your inquiry about the supposed dino-bird discovery. Sensation proclamations by evolutionists, promising though they may be, will eventually reveal the unbiased truth that the structure is not a transitional dinosaur-to-bird, but a species within a kind – if not another hoax. Xing Xu (featured in several of these findings) was a major player in the National Geographic hoax when he thought that a feathered dinosaur was found (‘Feathers for T. rex? National Geographic 197(3) March 2000). Evolutionists will see what they want to see, despite the overwhelming scientific and biblical evidence to the contrary, much of which has been provided by ICR on “Archaeoraptors” and related dino-to-bird reports through the years. For now, it is best to take a wait-and-see position and allow for a more thorough investigation to reveal the truth. . . .

    Bruce Wood
    Communications Liaison
    Institute for Creation Research"

  15. Tom

    Charles B., just to comment on the last portion of your first comment. "Pushing evolution rather than portraying it as God's unique creation". I know it is hard for some religious people to accept but this is a scientific documentary but people who are skeptical of this would like to see how it might be possible using our scientific institutions rather than just claiming it is God's creation. Sure there will be more inquires into this and evolutionists I'm sure were the first ones to call fake before the public first saw it and probably will continue till we test it thoroughly until they come to a unanimous decision.

  16. Charles B.

    Tom: Ok. I understand. Most scientist have a great amount of integrity, I'm sure. Just as long as everything is on the up and up. They have used fakes in the past for pushing their agenda of evolution for years and years before facts came to light, and then sometimes even then. It helps not at all to falsify findings. Let's wait and see what developes. Peace.

  17. Sick of the Lies

    Wow, I must say I have enjoyed reading the comments and such from my initial first comment as to this subject. Charles B. thanks for the further research on your part and the apology, you didn't need to apologize...we all have to come to terms with our own realities. I believe that to truly use all scientific points of verification on any subject, that one cannot dismiss any plausible solution, including that of a Creator. Just as one can see a figure of a face in a cloud and another see something entirely different in the same cloud, so such is scientific reasoning.

    Bottom line with the BIG EVO/CREATION debate is that theoretical assumption for most of the liberalistic anti-God science community is in itself a religion with no answers but faith that they are right, and they never will find the answers.. Creationist already have religion and are not in denial that it is religion and don't have an assumption as to anything but perhaps a young or old earth hypothese, and only because the radiocarbon dating crowd confuses them thanks to the evolutionistic teaching in public schools.

    I called Dawkins out on the Polonium particle halos findings, but since this issue has been out for over 25 years and he hasn't touch it,it is obvious he is avoiding it, since him and all these evolutionist are so busy lying to school kids and making money with TV documentaries it is easy to see why they avoid telling truth of fossil record.

  18. daven

    oh, sure, sick of lies, why not? our "bathala" created the whole world after all. anyway, ever heard of bathala? may not, because he is just one of thousands gods out there.

    btw, its the year 2009, its no longer the middle ages. education are taught on schools and not on churches, by teachers and not by priests, by the state and not by churches.

  19. Sick of Lies,

    Sure, Daven, I have heard of Bathala, but you do mean Anak Bathala, right, I don't want to get it wrong.. How about Moloch, ever hear of him Daven?

    As to the year, it is not really 2009, the Chines have a calender that dates us at around 4600 or so I believe... Thank the Roman's for the present calander

    AS to your comment, and I quote you..."education are(is) taught on(in) schools and not on(in) churches, by teachers and not by priests, by the state and not by churches." HERE IN LIES THE PROBLEM FOLKS... What we have here is a classical example of PUBLIC EDUCATION GONE WRONG, WE HAVE HERE A WARD OF THE STATE RUN EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM THAT HAS FAILED US AND STILL DOING SO WITH KIDS COMING OUT OF "SCREWLS", er, I MEAN SCHOOLS(IF YOU CAN CALL THEM THAT). As education is being run by the state, the state controls what you learn, see, hear, eat and obviously think... Oh DAVEN, PLEASE TELL ME IT AIN'T SO! It SOUNDS SO SOCIALIST. You do know that Moloch is master to those that over see your SOCIALIST STATE RUN EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM RIGHT?

  20. Tim

    LOL. I have to admit that was kinda funny, talking about education and getting the grammar all wrong. However, SoL, state-run education isn't really that terrible. It can be pretty appalling sometimes, but that's because we take it for granted. In reality, we've come a long way from having no education system at all. And by the way, I've attended private and public universities, and they teach basically the same things. Since most of what people learn in school is math, writing, history, languages, and other fundamental skills and factual information, there isn't really a whole lot of room for the state to brainwash anyone with its ideas. Even at the university level, the state doesn't micromanage what you see, hear and think. All the opinions come from the professors. And most of the professors at state-run universities (or even elementary and high schools) don't care what you think, or sometimes even if you learn anything. Most of the information they give you is ideologically neutral anyway. So unless you're talking about the evolution/ID/creation debate, there really isn't much of a problem.

  21. steve w

    Sick of Lies.... Different video - same troll same dogma. Get a life or hang out with the other candle burners please

  22. Sick of Lies

    hey Steve w!
    I got a great life! I'm 44yrs old, 4 kiddos 12 years to 14 months! Life is GREAT! I AM BLESSED!

    As to your comment,"or hang out with other candle burners"- You know,I see the evo/creation debate as just that.
    With a creationist belief you have the candle burning steady one end, upright, burning from the top to the bottom and with the evolutionary belief you have the candle burning at both ends with one end burning with the denial of intelligent design and the other end burning with the hopes you are 100% right so the atheist doesn't have to answer to that Creator.... Sadly put- IF there is NO Creator and the atheistic model is RIGHT,I(as a believer in God),you and all atheists have nothing to worry about,ever....However, IF Creation IS RIGHT and there IS a GOD, you and all atheists have everything to worry about through out your lives grappling with the idea of your evolutionary thinkings because all of you spend all your time trying to prove your own Darwinistic teachings to each other and call all religious peoples crackpots.

    All we religious "crackpots", don't care what you believe, all we do is just put the egg in the skillet for you to cook it( the idea being there is something more than and bigger than yourselves) and watch you burn it up as you grapple with the argument within your self absorbed humanistic terms... As to the same dogma, yes, that is what this video is... the same old dogma to put doubts in minds with tripe and falsehoods fabricated as fact to bolster an evolutionist belief and to make the supposedly educated and uneducated alike, believe there is no God.

  23. Tim

    SoL, you've claimed several times that we atheists and evolutionists believe in nothing greater than ourselves and are self-absorbed. Please back up these insults with some evidence.

  24. Sick of Lies

    I would not go far as to say I'm insulting anyone, but if you have such strong feelings about my having faith in God and you are insulted by that, well then, I'm glad you are.
    I would say the term "the self" for your side of it,is just that, very self-absorbed,as this selfism/humanistic thought process is a deification or idolatry of man and his own works, by putting himself at the godhead.
    I will quote here, Ernest Renan in "The Future of Knowledge: Thoughts on 1848", he stated: "It is my deep conviction that pure humanism will be the religion of the future, that is, the cult of all that pertains to man— all of life, sanctified and raised to the level of a moral value.“ This for the humanists, sounds like self-absorbed thinking to me by putting man above his own Creator, but, since you or any other atheist won't hear of it and feel insulted by this or any other such revelation,it must be primarily a deeper than we can act upon here quibbling,so I would suggest actually seeking the truth in your heart by instead of ignoring that maybe there is a Creator, dig in and find out.

    After World War II, there were three humanists who where the first directors of the major divisions of the United Nations: Julian Huxley of UNESCO, Brock Chisholm of the World Health Organization, and John Boyd-Orr of the Food and Agricultural Organization... and with keeping the humanist idea we see now the mess the UNESCO, WHO and FAO is doing nowadays creating a Unitarian World Order, Go read up on the Georgia Guidestones and see where this humanist thinking is heading... it requires the world's human population to be reduced to 500,000,000. To do this Billions would have to die. If anything, it shows me that selfism/humanism teaches that man's worth is nothing more than that of an animal to be manipulate by his masters, ergo- the masters you atheists would rather kneel to, than your Creator. Like I said before, I was a die hard evolutionist most of my life until my eyes opened. The problem I had before I turned to intelligent design at first was getting past the fairytale fantasies I was lead to believe as child that fostered my belief in the atheistic model. What turned me around was NOT some bible thumpers, but my own homework into the unanswered questions of life, it's origins, and what was here before it all began in this material world.... nobody knows,nobody has any answers, nobody will. People like Dawkins just muck it up, people like you and me muck it up. Why? Because a child of three will have just as good of an answer as the most educated physicist. This is of course just my own variant, no less or better than you can come up with. I know is is a stretch for the atheist whether he/she likes it or not the book of Ephesians has a lot of answers about life for you to digest. We may argue until the cows come home. I am not wishing an argument, I stated that this movie is fallible tripe and just another falsehood of evolutionary claims. Please deal with it by researching yourselves and while you are at it, research the Truths in our arguments, as they lay with the Creator, not me. MERRY CHRISTMAS ALL!

  25. steve w

    Sick of Lies...........

    I`m sorry I upset you with my euphemisms about getting a life, etc. Clearly I have to be more succinct.

    I suppose my point is that as you obviously get so upset about videos and comments regarding modern day scientific findings and discussions regarding evidenced matters you should redirect your energies to more satisfying pursuits: ie preaching to the converted to coin a phrase.

    The reason however for you trolling such matters as these is not to help US understand your "reality" but more so to try to convince yourself. It must be very disappointing to have your faith so severely tested day in day out, constantly having to twist scripture to fit. I wish you the best of luck doing so but in the meanwhile I suggest you reduce your blood pressure by trolling some content more preferential to your beliefs.

    Your comments about eugenics by the way... Wasn't "God" the original eugenicist? I seem to remember a children's story or something about a flood and a big boat which amongst other things must have carried some penguins and polar bears.

  26. Tim

    SoL, how can you be so unaware that you are insulting people? Do I have to point it out to you? And when did I say i was insulted by your faith in God? I have no problem with your faith. I have a problem with you slandering entire groups of people.

    Selfism and humanism are NOT the same philosophy. Selfism is an obsession with ones own interests with no regard for the interests of others. Very few people in the world actually support this philosophy. They are mostly sociopaths, as those are the only people who are truly and completely self-centered. Humanism on the other hand is a vague term that refers to a philosophy of respect for all humans, regardless of gender, race, creed, etc. Humanism is not necessarily opposed to Deism, but there are definitely humanist movements that reject the idea of any supernatural forces. Even these branches of humanism do not deify humanity, as it would be IMPOSSIBLE to deify anything if you don't believe in deities.

    Since you chose to quote Ernest Renan, you should know that he wasn't a very good example of a humanist. He was a racist, and you can't be a humanist and a racist at the same time. But you also missed the point of that quote entirely. You condemn this kind of thinking as "self-absorbed," but how can it be self-absorbed? Isn't "all life, sanctified and raised to the level of a moral value," the very OPPOSITE of selfishness? Isn't this a very central Christian value-- that all life is sacred? Humanism is not self-centered, it is HUMAN-centered. That's the difference between humanism and selfism.

    Look, if you want to criticize people for not believing in God, fine. But don't spread lies about us. Just because we don't agree with your religion doesn't mean we're evil people. Selfism and humanism are NOT equal. You cannot equate the whole of humanity to the individual self. Nor can you attribute the beliefs of a few humanists that you claim want to wipe out billions of people to the beliefs of all humanists. That would be like saying Osama Bin Laden is a Muslim, and he wants to kill Americans, therefore all Muslims want to kill Americans. Or Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK, therefore everyone born in New Orleans must be dangerous. The logic does not work.

    If you used to be an atheist, I don't understand why you feel such bitterness towards atheists. Were you as self-absorbed and foolish as you believe all other atheists to be? Did you deify human beings? Did you believe that humans were worth only as much as other animals? I'd like to know, because since you level these charges at all other humanists/atheists/evolutionists, and you claim you were an atheist yourself, then must have been just as bad as you think we are, unless you were somehow the sole exception.

  27. Tim

    Darn. Vlatko is right. We should move this to the forums. Thanks V.

  28. Sick of Lies

    Vlatko is right,Tim... at least we can agree on that.

  29. Charles B.

    Sorry, Vlatko. :-(

    I doubt anyone ever really goes to the "forums". It is like being sent to Cyber Siberia! I can hear the lonely howling winds now, and all the lonely echos: "Hello! Is anybody reading my posts?!? Hello! You can even insult me if you like, just at least talk to me!"

    It's ok. I'm about to leave on vacation for a long time to the tropics without a computer anyway! :-) Tim, SOL, and Steve enjoy your exile!!! I shall miss you all NOT on my vacation.

  30. Tim

    It's true, Charles. No one ever reads the forums. So sad =(

  31. Vlatko

    Yes you are all right. The forum is one lonely place. But I believe it will grow. Actually it does but very slowly.

    @Charles I wish you a pleasant trip and a vacation of your dreams. I hope we'll hear from you again. Regards.

  32. Achems Razor

    Charles B:

    Tropics? Must be nice.

    Where I live, right now it is 45 degrees below zero.

    Have a good one!

  33. Charles B.

    Mr. Razor: When I first saw your pen name, I figured you were in Egypt or somewhere before I learned it was a philisophical argument term. LOL Guess not if it's that cold now.

    I don't leave until after Christmas when school ends, but I plan to have a nice new year in my shorts in the Philippines with my wife's family.

  34. Achems Razor

    Charles B;

    You thought I was an Egyptian? Just because "I walk like an Egyptian"
    does not mean "I talk like an Egyptian".

    No, actually I am a Canadian in Canada. EH!

    Usually it is not this cold, a cold front moved in, it will be warmer in a few days, around 15 to 28 below. Shorts time.


  35. Sick of Lies

    I had not gone anywhere, Charles B. bahalana!

  36. Charles B.

    Mr. Razor: You made me laugh! :-) Canada's a nice place, but I don't think I'd enjoy the winters there. Summers, ok!

    SOL: You'll have to hold down the fort for the believers while I'm on vacation. By far the most irritating I've encountered for a long time is REB. Best of luck. Cheers! In the words of John Hammond from Jerassic Park about Dr. Malcom: "I really don't like that man!"

  37. David

    @Sick of Lies

    'evolutionist are so desperate to prove God does not exist'
    I think you have it the wrong way around, Creationists are the body that are seeking to prove the existence of a God. Evolutionary Theory doesn't require a God, that doesn't neccesarily mean it seeks to destory a God.

  38. Tim


    Yes, exactly. Thank you.

  39. Charles B.

    David and Tim: It may be true that in theory evolution doesn't seek to destroy the existence of God, but in practical every day life, I've not found that to be true. Atheists use "evolution" as a club to argue against God and Christians in general. You have to also admitt that to be true. "Patsy" is a prime example on the blind watchmaker thread of this in action.

  40. Tim

    Charles: Yes, you're right. Though there is nothing in the theory of evolution that states that any kind of divine or supernatural beings cannot exist, it is often used as an argument against the existence of the Abrahamic God, mainly because it directly contradicts the Genesis creation story and the idea that the world is roughly 6,000 years old. This in turn leads one to question the authority of the Bible, the existence of God, etc., etc. However, even in the predominantly Christian U.S., only about a third of the population completely rejects the possibility of evolution (depending on where you get your poll information of course). This means that there are a lot of Christians in this country that don't interpret the Biblical creation story literally. And, yeah, I forgot what I was talking about.

  41. Jive Dadson

    Fascinating! It's like a mystery story with clues 100 million years old. Watch this one when you can devote your whole attention to it.

  42. js

    it is quite funny to think of these beautiful birds we see today as dinosaurs as they claim.
    anyway... everything could have evolved but not as the scientists are trying to prove it. as if it was a great puzzle.

    let us say things were created and each categories of animal evolved a little perhaps. like some people develop some sort of resistance to disease or some human can get darker with inter racial intercourse...or cross pollination in plants.

    but i see it very very far-fetched that one amoeba became man or a bird, ....would have to account for the time for them to evolved, which is more than the time our planet exist, and i can sense that the scientists who are normally accurate are growing more uncomfortable to suggest so many accident of nature to have happen to give so many new species. to account for their massive extinction is easy but each new spiecie discovered means as many new accidents of nature. it should start to become embarassing for the scientists.

    it is easy for the wright brother to build artificial wings than to grow actual wings and feathers from their arms or feet.

    let's speculate, could become a phd theme for some folks

    perhaps for some times in the history of the earth before man 'was send' down, animals could have been exposed to radioactive materials that deformed them and reform them and as the earth became less radio active evolution subsided. or the oxygen rich environment could have increased evolution?? it's just a theory lol, no fact yet...

    moreover i feel that to suppose that no evolution at all happened, is perhaps a bit too radical.

    i'm using the word i feel or sense, because it is how i see things as an external observer, not as an expert. lol peace no war.

  43. Yavanna


    [Youtube] "Why do people laugh at creationists?"


  44. jimtrot

    I can't believe that this debate is serious. Outside of the few Islamist theocracies that exist today, only in the US could such utter tosh as creationism be taken seriously by more than the lunatic fringe of the populatio. but not in the us, oh no! More that 50% of the population believe that god had a role in the emergence of humanity. Either by direct creation or by kickstarting evolution. And where has all this religious fervour gotten vou? it gives you leaders like Nixon, Reagan and the two Bushes and they're just the worst of a bad lot. I'm in my 60s and all my life I've watched the American led by the nose into one disastrous adventure after another in the name of god, country and freedom. For Jesus' sake, waken up before these nutters destroy you and the rest of us along with you. I've lived in the states and I know that by and large americans are open kind and generous but to fool them you only have to invoke the name of god. It would be funny if it wasn't so tragic

  45. Mike White

    It never ceases to amaze me how anyone can look upon th wonder of DNA and belivee it occurred on its own. The chance of this happening is like throwing a handfull of car parts in the air and when they come to rest you have a working automobile, get serious. And all the nonsense of human evolution, we can't have come from apes or a common ancestor (with the apes), we don't have the same number of chromosomes! That there is a entity behind everything is obvious. Mankind created religion, God created mankind.

  46. Mike White

    Two more points, Gen. describes the Big Bang to a T, something we didn't stumble on until recently, yet primitives knew of it eons ago. I wondow how? Lastly, if climbing down from the trees, forming social groups and using tools worked our brains and jump started evolution to produce Humans, why are Chimps still where they are, why haven't they evolved into another branch of Humans? And since they have two more chromosomes than Mankind, shouldn't they be better positioned than we to take advantage of Natural Selection? Stop drinking the dope handed you from public education, there is something going on behind the curtain, call it Intelligent Design or whatever, but it isn't evolution.

  47. Achems Razor

    No Evolution?? Right!

    Than why do humans have?

    At 4 weeks, a well formed tail, coccyx?

    Have wisdom teeth?



    Why are humans made in the image of animals, instead of a completely
    different species?

  48. Mike White

    Grow up, we have similar DNA, many of the genes match - hence the changes during gestation. BUT we do not have the same number of chromosomes as primates (ir apes) therfore it is impossible for us to be directly related. Hence evolution is not facftual. PERIOD! Look at our skin, the fat layers, we have hair not fur, our muscle structure is different. We have nothing in common with the apes. Then again maybe we all misunderstand evolution. Maybe we didn't evolve from apes but rather toads. FYI our DNA isn't far removed from amphibians either. Do you really think the diversity of life on this planet just popped and it was there. Look at DNA, how many Billions od years would it take for natural selection to develop this blueprint. Ain't never gonna happen. As far as the useless (?) articles within us, we probably did use them at one time in our past. Just like your brain, if you dodn't use it - it will atrophy. Don't exercise and your muscle mass will slowly go away. That isn't evolution. That is a natural process. But the Cross of Darwin is the missing two chromosomes. That is the one FACT no one can dispute so it's just ignored.

  49. jimtrot

    Mike White
    January 30th, 2010 at 03:58

    1)It never ceases to amaze me how anyone can look upon th wonder of DNA and belivee it occurred on its own. The chance of this happening is like throwing a handfull of car parts in the air and when they come to rest you have a working automobile, get serious.

    I'm equally amazed that someone could regurgitate Hoyle's "747" argument four decades it had been successfully dealt with but that's creationists for you - never let reality interfer4e with a good dogma. Evolution is not governed by chance certainly genetic mutations are but as Dawkins describes, these are governed by non-random natural selection. In other words only mutations that are advantageous to the organism or perhaps to it's genes get passed, Mutations have to pass through a sort of environmental sieve that has little to do with chance and a lot to do with the real world.

    2)And all the nonsense of human evolution, we can’t have come from apes or a common ancestor (with the apes), we don’t have the same number of chromosomes!

    When this was raised it certainly was a problem for evolution but not anymore and the solution is a result of the predictive power of the theory something that creationists deny evolutionary theory has. The solution is that somewhere in the history of humanity a pair of chromosomes spliced to form one and this has been shown by molecular biology, this "problem" is actually a vindification of evolutionary theory. There are plenty of articles on the net that deal with the history of this issue. Google them.

    3) That there is a entity behind everything is obvious. Mankind created religion, God created mankind.

    If there is then, speaking as an engineer, his design for the human body would have received an F as a high school science project.

    4) Two more points, Gen. describes the Big Bang to a T, something we didn’t stumble on until recently, yet primitives knew of it eons ago. I wondow how?

    Geez! I must have been reading the wrong version of the bible but I don't recall any mention if subatomic, particles, quantum mechanics, quantum gravity, gravity or the strong and weak nuclear forces in the biblical account of creation perhaps you can give me the relevant chapters.

    5) Lastly, if climbing down from the trees, forming social groups and using tools worked our brains and jump started evolution to produce Humans, why are Chimps still where they are, why haven’t they evolved into another branch of Humans? And since they have two more chromosomes than Mankind, shouldn’t they be better positioned than we to take advantage of Natural Selection? Stop drinking the dope handed you from public education, there is something going on behind the curtain, call it Intelligent Design or whatever, but it isn’t evolution.

    this really shows that either you don't understand evolution or you are being deliberately obtuse. If you want to criticise something at least try to have a basic understanding of the subject.

    Since when did the number of chromosomes have a direct correlation to evolutionary fitness? Is this an exciting new theory? if it is publish a paper on it.

  50. Achems Razor

    True, since simple goldfish have 94 chromosomes and Toucan has 106.
    Does that mean that they should be superior or more evolutionary fit than humans?

    Actually, singularity, Inflation (C+), Quantum mechanics, nuclear force, Gravitons, chaos theory,
    energy equals mass, times the speed of light squared,
    atoms, anti-matter, neutrino's, galaxies, black holes, and then all the wave lengths. proton's....there is a lot more! I cannot seem to find none of this in Gen.

  51. Yavanna

    Mike White;

    You are living proof of evolution being far too slow. If we had truly allowed natural selection to continue its course you wouldn't have been able to make such comments whilst resting on your comfortable butt. You'd be out rooting through the grass looking for something edible whilst something with big teeth eye'd you up with relish. Because "God" wouldn't save you from that.

    Fact is where humans are concerned natural selection is in temporary suspension and therefore the weak and weak minded enjoy the benefits of a scientific modern society and all that it brings.

  52. Joe_nyc

    For those who still doubt evolution should watch "The Cell" documentary here at TDF. I thought it was quite extraordinary and complete summation of biology.

  53. jimtrot

    Now, now, Yavanna. We should draw the line at Social Darwinism. Although I do admit that creationists are a pqrticulas problem

  54. Hardy

    @Mike White: You just made me laugh out loud. Seriously. If you follow your logic, Drosophila Melanogaster (the common fruit fly) and the mushroom genus "Agaricus" are directly related with each other.

    Thumbs up for making my day!

    Honestly, if you're trying to argue scientifically, then know your stuff.

  55. Hardy

    Okay - you made me laugh again. We have almost the EXACT same muscle structure as apes. Please look up some anatomy.

  56. Achems Razor

    Everything on Earth is in some form or another related. Why, even the Universe, since everything came from Star stuff!

    All! "living" things, Plants and Animals, that includes us.
    Store genetic DNA and RNA.

    Everything on Earth is the product of the Earth, the primordial soup.
    Nothing came about by any magician, forming anything by thought experiments.

  57. Yavanna

    You and your weird soup fetish Achems!

  58. Achems Razor

    @ Yavanna:

    Yeh, I know, Am always thinking outside the box.
    Tired of all the same repetitious B.S.

    This whole God thing, since people first invented it, has not come to any conclusions, and probably never will. Same old, same old. Boring!!

    Throw some new stuff in, doesn't matter how weird,

    The weirder the better!

  59. Yavanna

    Agreed - they've had 2-3K years! Its time for us to be freaks for a while! You enjoy your soup! Gawd bless ya!

  60. Tom

    Religious people makes me sick

  61. V

    religion is what makes people kill each other, religion is what makes people think they are better than one another, more people have died in religious wars than anything else, get over it already, believe what you want to and let others believe what they want, didnt jesus want us to live and let live? just a thought.

    on another note, nobody in any documentary ive seen has said "take that you christians" or anything of the sort, how ever, ive heard them talk quite briefly of the fact that they are hounded by creationists and sometimes even attacked... so yeah... the way i see it, and the way i look at the world, opinions are like assholes, everybody has one, i dont walk up to you and stick my nose in your butt, so dont come sticking yours in mine.

  62. zed

    kelly k

    what are you talking about? physics lesson;
    uranium has a half life of 4billion years, so after that amount of time, half of the original weight has lost electrons and become the next element on the table. polonium, tritium, plutonium, lead ect are all half lives of uranium. now. carbon comes in 3 forms, c12, c13 and c14. carbon 14 also has a half life and this is how radio carbon dating is worked out. it is not as acurate on its own compared to biological dating but seeing as you can do both on a majority of animal remains, you can calibrate them and in fact carbon dating always gives a much more conservative age than the 100% accurate art of genetic dating.
    this means that if c dating says 1 million years, that is a minimum.

  63. zed

    mike white

    how do you even manage to type these messages?
    you're clearly too thick to understand even the basics of life. evolution does not happen by chance, no-one has ever claimed that.
    DNA is made from amino acids, made from proteins, made from carbon, nitrogen, sulphur, hydrogen etc..
    these have self organizing properties, meaning they react a certain way to eachother, making evolution of complex beings from elements iminant. luck is not involved. this is also the reason why ALL life is 99% identical geneticaly, because of self organizing properties.
    NB no-one has ever said that we evolved from chimps, apes or monkeys. we evolved (like them) from primates, its a proven fact!
    read a book (not the bible) and learn something before you devolve and become even more of a burden on the rest of the world!

  64. To Tom

    That's sick of you.

  65. Sick of Lies

    It been six months since I was the first to comment on this film...and it is still tripe, and full of lies.

  66. Fan of Vlatko^^

    First of all english is not my foreign language so dont take my comment as a example for missing education.

    Vlatko, thx...i have now nearly watched half of all documentaries on ur site and i will continue till i got´em all ;)


    I would call ur last comment as a selfown. I am a believer but not in god or anything like that. i prefer facts and my first fact is that the christians, katholics and all other are the biggest lier among us.
    500 years ago they told the ppl to give them there food, money and things they needed to live (this continues till today, taxes..which i dont pay^^) just for the bless of god and when they needed god most he wasnt there, churches excuse: "believe is everything, if u believe all will become fine" If it´s that easy, well, send me some money and i will be always there 4 u if u need help (probably i dont have to show up). u just have to believe in it ;).
    2nd fact, just one of hundrets, is that not many years ago the katholic church made a statement which in my opinion destroys all of the thousands of years told "creator-story". They anounced that it is true that !!! intelligence !!! life on other planets could exist. well, following sentences like "god is everywhere" and "if he could create sth like us humans here he could do even better somewhere else" dont make the catastrophe smaller. they lied to humans, they lied to their own believer!
    my mind is wide open...i could believe in god but the cruel, the money-gaining way and other bad influences religions have to our humanity keeps me away from that. there is only one "lil bro" where i can see that too: goverments. them both act the same.

    what i also dont get is, why u come along with the story about the radioactive particle in carbon? because its a mystery in science? so mysteries in science are proof of god? If that is so the other way would be the same and then all scientist have a problem...they will get smashed by the huge amount of proofs they get. just notice that in sience things ever went like this: today u cant explain but maybe tomorrow when u found the missing link. and u just live on that today, or yesterday if u just believe in god.
    the whole god-story has been told for hundrets of years by ppl with great interest in becoming more powerfull to weak ppl full of scare, problems and so on. religions uses those ppl who really need help, that makes me angry. they play with there hopes they give them, especially when those ppl realise that there is no hope in gods help.

    dont defend a ghost...the ghost may scare u to death.

    btw this is my first comment here but i have read so many posts by religous ppl which were totally rubbish that i asked me often how small or tiny a mans sight could be. i am glad that i dont waste my time over the bible or in churches. i prefer looking at the nature, the universe and the life itself which is dayli growning thanks to science. (well and dont forget vlatko^^)

  67. guardian

    Funny how blind people can be, this whole creationizm and evolutionizm thing is just another way to divide people and keep us at each others throats.

    Divide and conquer. Just Like if your republic or democrat, libral or conservative, if your black, white or asian, muslim or christian as long as your fighting each other your a people easily controlled.
    While you people are buissy bickering over the spilt milk issues, your missing whats really going on. Just like any other war in history the information on both sides are controlled. Doesnt mater what side is right or which side wins, the idea is to keep you fighting.

    So continue being Fools and allowing your selves to be manipulated into these pointless feuds that no one can ever win. But I hope that your Big enough to realize that we are all the same and no matter what opinions we may have its our ability to accept each other, flaws and all, that will right the wrongs in this world not blaming each other for the problems we face. Beside what ever opinion a person has they have no power over you that you dont give them, so why let it bother you.

  68. riley

    the team from kansas was an amusing sideshow.

    great doc, highly recommended. shows how collaborative
    science can be, despite the argumentation, etc.

    it appears the feathers, originally developed for warmth and
    other purposes, could have become aerodynamic in order
    to propel raptors up trees for protection, child-rearing, been further adapted to promote gliding, and finally elaborated into use for powered flight.

    step by step. that’s my theory ;)

  69. Robert Allen

    Based on the documentary, I wouldn't be surprised if flight evolved both ways, from gliding and running. I can't call myself a scientist in any way, shape or form and my conjecture is probably wrong, but at least there's more to it than the ignorant,baseless,idiotic creationist E-mails above.

    At least the scientists in the documentary admit when they don't know something, e.g., how dinosaurs became birds (assuming birds came from [are] dinosaurs, the majority opinion). This is more than I can say for the creationists who blindly attrbute everything they don't know or can't figre out to a supreme being whom (which) they know nothing about.

    The debates between two groups of highly-respected scientists, e.g., the design of the microraptor, place scence leagues above creationism which furnishes only one simplistic answer to life's (and history's) complexities and enigmas which science, being based on empiricism, attempts to describe and unravel, many times with great success. What accomplishments can creationists boast of?

    In short, science has added to our knowledge, creationism to our ignorance.

  70. blindedbythelight

    lol @ sick of all the lies.....incredible to see that still ppl belive that the earth is flat..

  71. MikeFormaldehyde

    I still don't see why people who have no education in certain matters feel they have to post crappy comments under the videos.
    Evolution doesn't disprove the judeo-christian god, and if you're reading Genesis that literally, then why don't we take a look at the rest of the scripture with the same scrutiny?
    I have a really good suggestion: don't watch the videos if you can't handle them.

  72. Chuck

    Charles B., I wish I was heading back to Belize right now. I want to go look in this Mayan well that was shown to me in the jungle. After having this run around in my head and seeing the wonderful videos Vlatko has provided for us, I have this hunch that it just might be a cave entrance. Plus, it's much warmer there! Thanks Vlatko. I feel like the curiosity I had as a child woke up after watching so many of these THOUGHT provoking videos.

  73. Stanley

    "All we religious “crackpots”, don’t care what you believe" - Sick of lies

    ... man, i dunno, you seem to care a lot.

    I can believe the world was made/created anyway i bloody well please, and no religion could ever prove me wrong or supply a logical reason for me to be wrong... but science can, and it's a logical way for people to communicate with information they can agree on - because it's tested(to some degree)... not simply STATED in some book written God knows how long ago.

    I am sure many scientists too would be ecstatic to prove god's existence - we all want answers, but there is just no evidence pointing to creationism... just some unsolved mysteries that leave us in wonder. The concept of God is just so simple and unprovable that it satisfies no part of my curiosity about where we come from. I'll let the smart people figure that one out for me.

  74. moosejaw

    uhhhh we have dinosaurs in canada too Eh.

  75. geezernumba1

    how come every time i watch a documentary on dinosaurs or evolution theres always some god bothering creationist tit spouting s**t about how we came from some divine being? If you dont believe in evolution then dont watch the f*****g documentary and then aggravate other people with your religious bull s**t .

  76. Billy Bingbong

    Lordy Lordy lorks o Lordy!
    lol :D

  77. za

    sick of lies:

    You're religious, right? I'm assuming Christian. Can you tell me why you see fit to be so horribly cruel to the other human beings in this thread? Can you quote me something from the Bible attributed to Jesus of Nazareth that commands you to be so judgmental and condemning towards others?

    I'm anxious to see the verse. I doubt it exists.

  78. za

    sick of lies:

    Perhaps you could tell the whole story about Xu Xing?

    The hoax was not committed by Xu Xing, but perpetrated upon him. When confronted with the data, being a scientist (something you seem to know little about) he recanted, and admitted his error (something you also seem to know little about).

    Now, this documentary is about a different creature. It is in the midst of being studied by Xu Xing and others. Being scientists, if it comes to light that this is another hoax perpetrated upon them, they will hopefully (and history proves likely to) admit this.

    I see no such intellectual honesty on the part of creationists.

  79. Robert Revelle

    one thing i thought of that im not 100% sure if is even correct, but they were testing its flight with our air pressure wasn't the air back then thicker thus making flight easier?

  80. kelamuni

    don't belief it. thiz just wild speculation. i'm from kansas and have a grade eight ejakashun. birds were crated on the fifth day... it was tuesday at 3:30 pm, right after god had a smoke and coffee break. everyone knows that!

  81. Mohamed Aleem

    is that an insult??

  82. natasha0


  83. spACE

    Hahaha... A great doco and quite interesting that while one skeleton was rebuilt by a VERY anal and thorough scultptor (even he admits it) using SIXTEEN original fossils as the basis (and definitely more accurate) and another by diehards who refuse to see differently using just ONE very damaged original skeleton in a very dodgy manner (grinding the parts out from a block of clay) leads me to this this is not so far from the arguments below in regards to evolutionists and creationists! Hahaha... I think it's probably time everyone on both sides open their eyes and minds a little. There's plenty more secrets yet to be revealed in this world and my guess is it will be a lot stranger and nothing like what both sides have come to think is right. The quiet scientist who finally perks up with his simple idea for the flight posture of the fossil... and wins out, is just such an example, that often it is those who shout (write) loudest, who know least!

  84. francuccio

    Scientists' eyes are always open. Science seeks truth which is why it evolves with the evidence. Religion makes up stories and then ignores evidence. It is a form of insanity. Creationism is based on fancy, not facts. When scientists ignore facts, they are betraying their profession. When religionists lie, they are advancing theirs.

  85. Shawn L Blumenfeld

    lets put religion to the side and learn from findings. No one here is saying "your beliefs suck" however , I live in Colorado and went to the school of mines. In the red rock area we have found many fossils and none of them "planted" there . Scientific evidence in rocks that took a few years to completely remove and piece together in the sixties. I feel strongly that new species will continue to be found all over the world depending on climate. It is hard to go though DNA on an animal/reptile/bird from a few million years ago. So a range in years has to be surmised. There is no reason to "lie" as a scientist is always learning as they go on the quest to understand these animals. my opinion of course ,HOWEVER ,the dig in Colorado was the real mccoy. So there is just reason in evolution at this point.

  86. Jo McKay

    This is fascinating...i love these inside looks; science duking it out and looking for more evidence to prove and dis-prove their own ideas. As for some of the bizarre comments? I don't even know how to speak to people who can believe a creation museums(entertainment park really) fantasy world and can not grasp the fossil record... species diversity i guess...Personally whenever I hear it - i wanna walk over and say..."here's your sign"...I digress. Great doc, Thank You Vlatko.

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