Excerpted from: http://rationalfaith.com/2017/03/unmasking-mistakes-in-memes-of-evolution-part-2/#meme_birdscannot_evolve
As we'll see, this is problem #2: Claims with no evidence, and/or no defense
As a licensed pilot and a certified flight instructor I could go into much detail on why the claim that any animal could evolve flight through unguided, purposeless evolution is a foolish, laughable idea. But the goal is to keep these short. Let me respond first to the claim - wings evolved not from stubs, but from feathered arms. First, there is no evidence wings evolved from anything; and second, the bigger problem is that flight cannot evolve; it must be designed - which is the main point of the creationist claim.
Let me focus not on whether wings evolved, but on the main problem: that flight cannot evolve. Why? Remember, evolution is an unguided, purposeless process (as this evolution supporting meme points out). Evolution cannot guide or plan anything. Therefore anything that requires planning, design or forethought is impossible for evolutionary processes. Flight requires the design and forethought to allow multiple components to come together and be operational and functional simultaneously. Such functionality cannot be achieved through the random, purposeless, unguided processes available to evolution. (Natural selection will not help either as you'll see below.) Let me illustrate with just one facet of a bird: the skeleton. Here is a quote from "Bird Flight" - a book that details the many design features that allow birds to fly. I've added numbers in parentheses () following needed changes as a quick easy count of the needed adaptations for the skeleton alone:
The skeleton is considerably lightened by the loss(1) and fusion(2) of bones, while the breastbone is enlarged by the keel(3) to anchor flight muscles(4). The backbone is fused(5) to the pelvis and the tail bones are reduced to a short stub(6), the pygostyle."
Notice the numerous changes made for
flight to just the skeleton. We have not even begun to talk about
overall body shape, wing design, shape and function; the complexity of
feather design, muscle design and movement, specialized lungs,
programming in the brain to coordinate the movement of the body and
wings for flight - among other things. All these changes must be made
simultaneously, and without anyone designing them, and wind up
functioning in our Beipiaosaurus inexptus theropod dinosaur
(above) as soon as it is kicked out of whatever protective environments
its parents provide. It won't do to just have one change accidentally
made as evolution requires; they must all be there simultaneously
because clearly, the requirements for flight are irreducibly complex.
Otherwise since it can't fly, it will rely on other means to survive
(fast running, hiding/camouflage, etc.), and any single step toward a
single feature helpful to flying will be lost to natural selection.
Natural selection can only remove features, it can't add new ones. The
retention or even enhancement of a single feature needed for flight
won't help with survival without all the other features. Therefore since
there is no advantage in retaining a lone feature helpful to flight,
natural selection cannot select it since by itself, a single feature
doesn't enhance survivability.
Flight cannot evolve. It is irreducibly complex and must be intelligently designed. This meme engages in a claim with no evidence, and no defense. Couple thatwith the evidence that flight has only been observed to come about by design, not chance and the claim flight evolved can be dismissed.
Mistakes in Memes of Evolution Part 3 Codes and Complexity
Mistakes in Memes of Evolution Part 1
Mistakes in Memes of Evolution Part 2