The Archaeoraptor Fraud

The Archaeoraptor Fraud: This Bird Will Never Fly
By Charles Colson
CNS Commentary from BreakPoint
January 31, 2000

Most of us know National Geographic as the magazine we flip through at the doctor's office. Renowned for its stunning photography, National Geographic is one of the most highly esteemed periodicals in the world. That is, until last November's issue featured a discovery hailed as the best evidence to date for Darwin's so-called "missing link."

But what was supposed to be startling news has turned out to be yet one more example of the scientific community peddling fraud as scientific fact. The discovery was remarkable. Archaeologists in China had unearthed a fossil of a half-bird/half- dinosaur. This fossil was proclaimed to be irrefutable evidence of a transitional form between one species and another-evidence that evolutionists have long sought but never found. Then the truth came out.

In reality, the Archaeoraptor fossil turned out to be the remains of two animals pieced together. While some call it an honest mistake, most now believe that it was actually an elaborate and deliberate hoax.

But why, you may ask, is the scientific community so quick to embrace disreputable evidence? And why would an institution like National Geographic fail to take steps to confirm the reliability of such an amazing discovery?

The answer: They're desperate.

You see, the lack of any evidence for transitional forms is one of Darwinism's dirty little secrets, and some scientists would do just about anything to keep it a secret-even to the point of fabricating evidence. Believe it or not, this kind of hoax is nothing new.

In the 1860s, Barnum's traveling circus featured the Cardiff Man, a petrified giant who was proclaimed to be a human ancestor. Ten years later, it was revealed to be a fraud. The best-known scientific hoax is the infamous "Piltdown Man," the name given to the skull fragment of an apparent "ape-man" discovered in 1912. It was only after scientific dating techniques were developed, more than forty years later, that scientists recognized Piltdown Man as an elaborate scam.

In fact, evolutionists have quite a track record for this kind of fraud. One of the most recent examples is the case of the peppered moth. As described in my book, How Now Shall We Live?, these moths supposedly changed color with their environment, confirming the theory of natural selection. But it turns out that the evidence was faked by a biologist who glued dead moths to the trees.

But why resort to trickery? Well, Darwinism, as a theory, is full of holes, and the Darwinists are afraid of falling through them. Darwinists hedge their bets because they know they can't win on the merits of the argument. What's left is not scientific theory but a philosophical commitment to naturalism. They start by denying the existence of the creator God and do whatever is necessary to make their case.

In the wake of the recent debates over teaching evolution in Kansas, Christians have been labeled as anti-intellectual Luddites. But the truth is, it's the evolutionists who are running from the facts.

What our neighbors need to know is that we don't want to suppress teaching about evolution. We want to present all the facts. And that's good new for educators, too. Because pasting things together belongs in the art room, not the science lab.

Charles Colson is chairman of Prison Fellowship Ministries
His daily commentary can be heard on radio stations throughout the United States, and at the Breakpoint

Bible Study