Knocking Evolution Over with a Feather
The foundation of evolution is so weak, the flight feather of a bird can send it crumbling to the ground. Perhaps no one is better equipped to speak on the amazing design of flight feathers than Dr. Stuart Burgess, the engineer who designed the solar array deployment system on the European Space Agency’s earth observation satellite. In addition to his engineering work at Bristol University, he is the author of Hallmarks of Design: Evidence of Purposeful Design and Beauty in Nature.
In this book he points out that the flight feather is a masterpiece of design and is one of the most efficient structures known to man. The hooks and barbules of a feather are arranged so that they prevent air from passing through them when the wing is pushing downwards, but they allow air to pass through them when the wing is being pulled upwards. This feature, he writes, enables the bird to maximize the efficiency of flapping by only allowing the wing to push down on the air.
While evolutionists admit that the feather is an amazing structure, they insist that it evolved by a long series of genetic mistakes. But Dr. Burgess makes it clear that this is just impossible. The interlocking barbs and barbules must all be in place simultaneously for the feather to function.
To borrow a phrase from the Intelligent Design folks, the feather is irreducibly complex. All it takes is a single feather to show that the theory of evolution is a theory that just won’t fly.