This article is based on one section of a PowerPoint presentation that I did for the Design Science Association of Portland in May 2024. The title of the talk was “Evolution’s 14 Greatest Frauds” where Archaeoraptor was listed as fraud number 12. Archaeoraptor is an evolutionist blunder that resulted from deeply held presuppositions of deep time and macroevolution. Slide #1 provides the background for the fraud. Slide #2 has the timeline for the fraud. 

Slide #1

Slide #2

This fraud was a comedy of errors brought about by misguided secrecy, misplaced confidence, clashing egos, wishful thinking, manipulation, stubbornness, outright lying, corruption, and poor communication. On the left side of Slide #3 is the cover of the National Geographic magazine in which the Archaeoraptor announcement was made in November 1999. The right photo is from the article main page with the headline, “It’s a Missing Link.”

Slide #3

It is a well-known fact that even though it is a crime, punishable up to death, to export fossils from China, many fossils are indeed exported each year, most of them in fact fakes. The people involved in the Archaeoraptor fraud also knew this but allowed their search for an evolutionary missing link between dinosaurs and birds to overwhelm their good judgment.

Slide #4 is the photo of the fossil that was in the magazine. It was a mishmash of bones reconstructed from a bird and a dinosaur by the Chinese farmer. The left side is mostly dinosaur parts and the right side mostly bird parts. The fossil was about one foot square in size.

Slide #4

Slides #5 and #6 contain the list of the group of people known to be involved one way or another in the promotion of the Archaeoraptor fraud. All these people had a hand in allowing for the fraud to be perpetrated in National Geographic in November 1999. But the largest blame must be laid on Stephen Czerkas.

Slide #5

Slide #6

So, who was Stephen Czerkas? His main talents and accomplishments are seen in Slide #7. Czerkas was the last of those involved to come to the realization of the truth regarding Archaeoraptor when he admitted that he and his wife Sylvia had made “an idiot, boneheaded mistake.” More details regarding Mr. Czerkas are in Slide #8. A common thread in the dinosaur-to-bird evolutionary story is that believers can see feathers that others cannot see in various fossils from the rock record. While God certainly could have created dinosaurs with feathers, there is little real evidence of that.

Slide #7

Slide #8

Slide #9 is a photo I took of the entrance to the Blanding Dinosaur Museum when I last visited. The museum has very good displays of various fossils of dinosaurs as well as a large section devoted to Hollywood dinosaur movies. Many of the Stephen Czerkas dinosaur models are also in evidence there.

Slide #9

The devotion to feather evolution can be seen in a photo I took inside the Blanding Dinosaur Museum of a display explaining how feathers are imagined to have evolved. This is seen in Slide #10 with the display wording magnified in Slide #11.

Slide #10



Slide #11

The story in Slide #11 is hypothetical and based totally on imagination. There is no evidence that such a thing ever happened or could happen. Evolutionists continue to come up with such fantastic stories so that they can reject the Creator God and believe they are in charge not God.

Eventually the truth of the Archaeoraptor fraud became apparent and National Geographic was forced to print a detailed “Report to Members” with the title, “Archaeoraptor Fossil Trail” written by investigative reporter Lewis M. Simons. This report was in the back of the October 2000 issue of National Geographic on pages 128-132. One might think that the details of this dinosaur-to-bird fossil fiasco should provide great caution to future evolutionists wanting to provide proof for the hoped for great (fairy) tale. However, the belief is so great in the minds of evolutionists that anything could happen.

Glory be to the one true God and the creator of dinosaurs, birds, and feathers!

J.D. Mitchell

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