A rare pterodactyl fossil discovered in Utah has been claimed by evolutionists as evidence that flying vertebrates lived in the desert 200 million years ago. But two scientists who are biblical creationists say the creature lived about 4,500 years ago, not in a desert and was found in a fossil layer created by the worldwide flood described in Genesis 6-9.
One of the creationists also says the intricate design of the pterosaur — the scientific name of the flying creature with a five-foot wing span — suggests direct creation by God rather than Darwinian evolution.
Although the researchers’ article in the journal Nature, Ecology & Evolution “claims that the new fossil is found in deposits formed in a desert, young-age creationists would interpret the rocks in almost the opposite manner, arguing instead that the sediments were laid down during Noah’s Flood,” Kurt Wise, a Harvard-trained paleontologist who teaches at Truett McConnell University, told Baptist Press via email.
“… I suspect that a close examination of the enclosing sediments would reveal rapid, underwater deposition, consistent with (a) Noah’s Flood, (b) the remarkable preservation and near-articulation of very fragile bones, and (c) the marine sediments in which most pterosaurs are preserved — all inconsistent with desert deposition,” Wise noted.
The pterosaur discovery was published Aug. 13 by a team of researchers led by Brigham Young University paleontologist Brooks Britt. The find is unique, they stated in Nature, Ecology & Evolution, because it is well preserved and the first pterosaur that appears to have been fossilized in a desert environment. The other 30 confirmed pterosaur fossils in the world all were discovered in Greenland and the Alps.
Pterosaur fossils are “extremely rare,” Britt said according to a BYU news release, adding, “Most pterosaur bones look like roadkill,” but “for this animal, we have the sides of the face and the complete roof of the skull, including the brain case, complete lower jaws and part of the wing.”
Answers in Genesis biologist Nathaniel Jeanson agreed with Wise that the pterosaur probably wasn’t fossilized in a desert.
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SOURCE: Baptist Post, David Roach