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.