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http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/201...


"Dinosaurs are unlikely symbols of religious fundamentalism. The first dinosaurs evolved about 230 million years ago, and, with the exception of birds, perished about 66 million years ago. Archaic humans didn’t originate until 60 million years later, so it’s not surprising that Stegosaurus, Triceratops, and kin aren’t mentioned in the Bible. Of course, Ham and like-minded literalists would beg to differ. Non-avian dinosaurs were created on Day 6 of creation week 6,000 years ago, with birds being brought into existence on Day 5 (which is out of order with the fossil record). Creationists also fervently believe that Behemoth and Leviathan of the Old Testament were actually dinosaurs, all scientific and historical evidence to the contrary. I’ve never seen creationists propose that we lived in a Dinotopia per se, but a saddle-bearing dinosaur at the Creation Museum is meant not as a fanciful kiddy ride but as a historical reconstruction.

But dinosaurs with feathers are not welcome at Ham’s amusement park. Even though paleontologists have uncovered numerous dinosaurs with everything from bristles and fuzz to full-flight feathers—which document the evolution of plumage from fluff to aerodynamic structures that allowed dinosaurs to take to the air—creationists deny the clear fossil record. There’s plenty of reason for creationists to abhor dinosaur feathers. The mountain of evidence that birds are living dinosaurs, and that many “bird” traits were widely shared among non-avian dinosaurs, are among the most gorgeous examples of evolutionary change yet found..."
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I just listened to this interview:

http://www.npr.org/2012/09/04/160539034/conservation-biologi...

Very interesting.

On the evolution of feathers

"There's great evidence now for feathers evolving in the theropods [meat-eating dinosaurs including Tyrannosaurus rex]. And these creatures were primarily runners — they had long, strong, overdeveloped, marathon-runner legs, and walked on two legs and ran on two legs, which freed up their arms, perhaps, by one of the theories, to be feathered and used eventually for flight. But one thing that we really believe now about the evolution of feathers is that the simplest feathers — the first feathers in the series of steps toward building a complex vein feather — were not aerodynamic. So the first uses of feathers must have been for other purposes."
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Most likely warmth initially. Elaborate displays for mating and flight feathers weren't that hard to produce once you made the initial genetic leap from scales to proto feathers.

All in all, a nice evolutionary pathway.

http://boards.fool.com/the-evolution-of-feathers-29064341.as...
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