Dinobird flap: Why do they care so much how creationists take it?

Recently Most Holy Icon of Evolution Archaeopteryx got reclassified as a feathered dinosaur rather than First Bird. Which presumably kept museum curators worldwide up all night long, repenning labels. So? Many thought the move was long overdue, and had been put off for PR reasons.

Now, from Creation-Evolution Headlines (July 28, 2011), we learn, “Archaeopteryx Reclassification Raises Fear of Creationists”:

Nature published the paper by Xing Xu et al.1 The fossil that knocked Archaeopteryx off its perch is named Xiaotingia zhengi, but it was not found in situ; Xing purchased it from a dealer. In the same issue of Nature,2 Lawrence Witmer [Ohio U] discussed the implications. "Given this iconic role, Archaeopteryx has also been in the cross-hairs of creationists, and remains a lightning rod for political debates and legal proceedings about teaching evolution in schools," Witmer remarked. "Of course, Xu and co-workers' finding only deepens the impact of Archaeopteryx by highlighting the rich evolutionary nexus of which it is a part, but how the ever-clever creationist community will 'spin' it remains to be seen."

So why these amazing levels of concern?

C-E H hints at the difficulty: "No problems; everything is under control, even if everything you thought you knew about Archaeopteryx is wrong. At least today."

Ah yes, because you could lose your job if you cited this very information in a way inconvenient to unproductive, tenured Darwin bores. C-E H, in particular, should know.

Follow UD News at Twitter! Denyse O'Leary is co-author of The Spiritual Brain.

3 thoughts on “Dinobird flap: Why do they care so much how creationists take it?

  1. I guess I’m puzzled that on the one hand the ID movement often accuses evolutionists of dogma and an inability to change their minds when new facts are presented. But here’s an example of science working quite well – new information has been obtained and has resulted in a change of classification. I’m not sure it has any particularly earth-shattering consequences (either for evolution and ID), but I think at least demonstrates that science today can still change and adapt.
    I’m not sure there are “amazing levels of concern” actually. It probably does highlight how much there is still to be known, which of course is what science is all about.
    “Darwin bores”? I guess science writing in these parts nowadays seems to prefer juvenile name-calling than offering objective insights to science.

  2. LF: “Haha. Yeah. “Bore.” Denyse is really fighting dirty now!”
    I think the issue is that rather than objectively engaging with the issues, Ms O’Leary usually (not always) resorts to unhelpful name-calling and demonization. One would want better from a professional science writer commenting on such topics.

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