Bird Brain Is a Compliment
Birds are as smart as apes, even though long separated in ancestral time according to Darwin.
Check out this snowy oil pictured on PhysOrg. It can fly 6,000 miles between the East Coast and the Canadian Arctic. A large male named Baltimore, the article says, was outfitted in 2014 with an advanced transmitter, allowing scientists to follow his movements. This bird can navigate, find food, escape predators like wolves. That takes a lot of brain power and know-how.
Scientists are wondering how birds can be just as smart as apes despite having gone their separate ways on Darwin’s tree of life since the first tetrapods climbed out of the water hundreds of millions of years ago in the evolutionary timetable. Scientists find that their brain architectures are remarkably similar in terms of wiring and basic architecture. Even dodos, PhysOrg now claims, were not the dummies they are often made out to be. They “might have been quite intelligent, a new study says.”
When comparing the size of the birds’ brains to their body sizes, Gold and collaborators found that the dodo was “right on the line.”
“It’s not impressively large or impressively small—it’s exactly the size you would predict it to be for its body size,” Gold said. “So if you take brain size as a proxy for intelligence, dodos probably had a similar intelligence level to pigeons. Of course, there’s more to intelligence than just overall brain size, but this gives us a basic measure.”
An article on Science Daily disputes the size proxy. “While ape brains weigh 275 to 500 gram on average, birds, who are just as skilful [sic] despite lacking a cortex, only manage 5 to 20 gram.” It’s not the size but the programming. Yet the article puzzles over the fact that “The mental abilities of corvids [crows, ravens] and parrots are as sophisticated and diverse as those of apes,” an evolutionist from the University of Vienna admits. How can this be? The “Origin of similarities is unknown”—
It is not known how these similarities have evolved. Either their last common ancestor passed the neuronal basis to birds and mammals. Or — and the authors consider this more likely — they evolved independently of each other, because both animal groups faced the same challenges. According to the researchers, this would mean that certain wiring patterns in the brain are necessary to boost cognitive performance.
Necessity may be the mother of invention, but not for blind, unguided processes. No bird sat around thinking, “I’m going to need this wiring pattern to face this challenge.” The simplest solution is to just go extinct. A hurdle can’t make a human jump over it just because it’s there. To have one group of animals hit upon a working brain by chance is miracle enough; to have two groups arrive at it multiplies the miracles beyond belief.
Evolutionary theory fails within the Class Aves, too. PhysOrg reports that penguins have not suffered brain loss due to the loss of flight. There are differences between the skulls of fossil penguins and modern penguins, but these cannot be accounted for by the change in habitat or lifestyle.
It’s difficult to know why modern penguins’ brains look different than their ancestors’ brains, Proffitt said. It’s possible that millions of years of flightless living created gradual changes in the brain structure. But the analysis shows that these changes are not directly related to initial loss of flight because they are not shared by the ancient penguin brain.
Another surprise for evolution is the diversity of early birds from the Cretaceous. PhysOrg describes a new “basal bird from China” that from the artist’s reconstruction looks all the world like a modern tropical bird. It had perching feet, a beak, and the whole suite of flight feathers. Where is the evidence for ancestry in the article’s spring egg song about how it “sheds light on evolution”?
Over the past three decades, representatives of all major Mesozoic bird groups have been reported from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota of northeastern China. A new species, Chongmingia zhengi, reported in the journal of Scientific Reports on 25 January 2016, sheds light on the early evolution of birds. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that it is basal to the dominant Mesozoic avian clades Enantiornithes and Ornithuromorpha, and represents a new basal avialan lineage. This new discovery adds to our knowledge regarding the phylogenetic differentiation and morphological diversity in early avian evolution.
The source paper finds a lot of “homoplasy” (convergent evolution or mosaicism) in this bird. “The skeleton of Chongmingia highlights the mosaic evolution in early avian history, and demonstrates that the early evolution of birds was complex and homoplastic,” the authors say, attributing the mixture of features to some kind of “evolutionary experimentation” —by whom? The bird? “The unique combination of features present in this species demonstrates that numerous evolutionary experimentations took place in the early evolution of powered flight.” No wonder that bird had good brains. It was a lab researcher.
Birds and apes are smart because the same smart Designer designed them both. That fits the observations. Convergence, mosaicism, “evolutionary experimentation” and other made-up phrases do not. They are merely confabulations concocted out of Darwin Flubber, pretending to explain while they sidestep empiricism to maintain a dogma that must be believed, facts be damned.
Andrew Sibley discusses the Jehol Biota in a recent article for Creation Ministries International. He shows how evolutionists fudge the dates on different parts of the strata in order to keep their “phylogenetic analyses” in line with the hard data from the fossils. The Jehol was originally assigned to the Jurassic, for instance, but that would put bird evolution too early, so it was reassigned to the Cretaceous. “Instead of adjusting the hypotheses to fit the new discoveries, evidence has been forced to fit the prevailing paradigm, sometimes through misleading interpretations and occasionally through apparent fraud.” He documents examples in the article.