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Were flying reptiles too large to fly?

The following is from the U.K. Telegraph

They carried away Raquel Welch in One Million Years BC and were ferocious in the Jurassic Park series of films.

But now it seems pterodactyls, the terror of the prehistoric skies, may have struggled to get off the ground.

The new research claims that the ancient reptiles, which could grow to the size of small aeroplanes, were too heavy to fly — even with their massive wings.

The problem, according to a leading scientist, is that they could not flap fast enough to create the thrust to keep their enormous bulk airborne.

This is a well-known problem for paleontologists, that recently made the “news” again. Birds can fly because they have lighter bones than most mammals and are light enough to create the momentum to take off from the earth with their wings. Flying reptiles — which were related to, but in a different class than dinosaurs — were so massive that the mechanics of pterosaur flight are not completely understood. But it is equally unlikely that this group of animals was not capable of powered flight.

The problem vanishes if it is proposed that the atmosphere at this time had a higher barometric pressure, being several times thicker or more “soupy” than it is today. In fact, this helps to explain the hugeness of nature in general — how the atmosphere could support giant ferns, plants, trees, insects, dinosaurs, and of course, pterosaurs — during this era.

Implications For Radiometric Dating

The dinosaur era — spanning 300 million years from 350 to 50 million years ago, the Triassic, the Jurassic and the Cretaceous — commenced with an explosion of huge and prolific plant forms. At the start of the Triassic period coal is noticeable by its absence throughout the world. This is known as the “coal gap.” Most of the coal and fossil fuel of the planet is thought to have been formed after the beginning of the Triassic period. During this era, the entire planet existed in a tropical climate. Huge lush rain forests and swamps supported huge insect and animal forms. It is further thought that warm blooded animals did not come on the scene until the planet cooled.

But this theory of a dense atmosphere planet has huge implications for radiometric dating models. Carbon-14 dating relies on the presupposition that the amount of radiation entering the earth’s atmosphere has been fairly constant over the time period being studied. Potassium-argon dating and uranium-lead dating is thought to be more stable than this and the formation of these isotopes are not dependent on cosmic rays. However, it is known that the effect of cosmic rays bombarding these isotopes can produce an an acceleration or deceleration of decay.

If we accept the “super-pressure tropical atmosphere hypothesis” there would be a significantly lower amount of radioactive material and a higher rate of radioactive decay since the sun’s radiation was hindered by the higher moisture environment of the earth’s protective shield. The resulting radiometric dating models would yield dates much higher than the actual age if this is not taken into account.

The mistake is to assume that the amount of cosmic radiation entering the earth’s atmosphere has been constant since the age of dinosaurs. This would have its most immediate effect on Carbon-14 dating, which would affect mainly recent archaeological finds now dated at less than 70,000 years. For the purpose of dating flying reptile fossils, potassium argon and uranium-lead dating is used. The effect of the sun on these radioacative isotopes is more complicated to describe, but the interaction of cosmic rays with the earth’s magnetic field has been shown to have an effect on the enrichment and rate of decay of potassium-argon and uranium-lead.

Without assuming the Genesis pre-flood earth model proposed by many creationists, I’d like to see some paleontologists do a recalibrated study of fossils based on various atmosphere models that differ from the constant model now assumed. The hypothesis ought to be considered that the dinosaur era was closer to us in time than is now proposed.

Comments

Your comments are welcome!

!!!!!!!!!!Great Post!!!!!!!!

Posted by  Anonymous on 10/04/2009 08:46 AM #

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Why Creeds and Confessions? (Book)

High Quality Paperback — 219 pages

Foundations in Biblical Orthodoxy

Driving down a country road sometime, you might see a church with a sign proudly proclaiming: “No book but the Bible — No creed but Christ.” The problem with this statement is that the word creed (from the Latin: credo) simply means “belief.” All Christians have beliefs, regardless of whether they are written.

Yet a single book containing the actual texts of the most important creeds of the early Church will not often be found. Out of the multitude of works on the evangelical Christian book market today, those dealing with the creeds of the Church are scarce.

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The Four Keys to the Millennium (Book)

Foundations in Biblical Eschatology

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All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?

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The Silent Scream (DVD) Eight Languages

“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981

Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House.

The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.

“… a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine

Languages: English, Spanish, French, South Korean, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese

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Amazing GraceAmazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism (DVD)

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Just what is Calvinism?

Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?

This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.

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Freedom: The Model of Christian Liberty (DVD)

“Give me liberty or give me death!”

Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.

The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).

Welcome to the Second American Revolution!

This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.

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