Theories and philosophies related to live pterosaurs
Scientific theories are based on philosophical axioms, cultural points of view. The basic axiom underlying all science is that there are predictable events under specific conditions: The universe is not 100% chaotic. Other axioms may be open to questioning, even when they are mostly taken for granted. The “Live Pterosaur” approach involves comparing divergent points of view: origin philosophies related to the concept of living pterosaurs in the modern world.
One basic axiom (paradigm) of science often used in the technically developed countries (especially the United States and Europe) is Naturalism, the philosophy that all things can be explained without reference to spiritual origins or divine creation (or intervention by God or a god). But Bible-believing scientists, with a paradigm similar to that of Isaac Newton, Galileo, and other founders of modern science, have a different point of view: Creation science.
Are there only two possibilities regarding pterosaur extinction? Pterosaur fossils represent many species. Does one species survive? Opinions about life-origins are categorized into two camps: Evolution and Creation; but are there only two points of view? In fact, a range of points of view are available about evolution, creation, and live pterosaurs. Please consider the examples below, then with understanding of the diversity, believe what you will.
The many challenges to the living-pterosaur investigations include criticisms from supporters of standard models. A live pterosaur flies in the face of generations of biology textbooks, threatening those models. Living-pterosaur ideas can offend or embarrass the authors and the professors who have used those textbooks.
The universe, the earth, and all life came into being through natural processes, without any miraculous intervention by any god.
The universe, the earth, and life came into being through processes not 100% verifiable. But all present processes are natural, not miraculous.
God created the universe, the earth, and life, but many processes are now natural, with only some events miraculous.
Naturalism: strict, modified, or limited
The red-text passages, below, correlate more with atheistic belief; the blue, with theistic belief. But variations and modifications of philosophy are available.
GTE (General Theory of Evolution) - All life now on earth is descended from only one ancestor that lived billions of years ago.
All life now on earth is descended from a few ancestors (maybe 2-30).
Very different organisms now on earth do not have a common ancestor, but very similar organisms do (thousands+ ancestors).
Common Ancestry: unlimited or limited
The first few chapters of Genesis contain many figurative statements, not to be taken literally. The earth (and its life) are billions of years old.
God created the entire universe (but the time and date are unknown). Life on earth may have been created less than 50,000 years ago.
God created the entire universe only 6000 years ago. This creation took place in six literal days
(24 hours per day).
Genesis of the Bible: figurative or literal
Also known as “molecules-to-man” but more often simply called “evolution,” it seems to support strict Naturalism philosophy.
This includes the limited changes seen in breeding. But this does not cause one basic kind of organism to change into a completely new kind.
The loss of function of an organic structure--this does not cause any complex organism to arise from a simpler ancestor.
Three Concepts of Biological Evolution
The General Theory
of Evolution (GTE)
These concepts below are understood by many professors (but they don't usually use these labels),
both those who teach and believe in standard (GTE) evolution and those who disbelieve in it.
Examining three basic concepts of biological evolution can take us from philosophy into scientific hypotheses and theories. Charles Darwin had imagined evolution in terms that we can now separate into hypothetical G.T.E. and microevolution. By the early 20th Century, advances in biology showed that Darwin’s original concept was wrong. But his philosophy of universal ancestry (Unlimited Ancestry) had become so popular that many researchers refused to abandon it. Instead, they thought of another mechanism that appeared to support it: genetic mutation. That is how Neo-Darwinism arose from Darwinism.
Although the labels “evolutionist” and “creationist” have limited value (being used for both extreme and moderate opinions), evolutionists generally believe in G.T.E, while creationists disbelieve in it. In general, creationists emphasize the different concepts of biological evolution, pointing out the philosophical nature of G.T.E. (compared with the other two basic kinds of evolution). In general, evolutionists emphasize the general concept of biological evolution, assuming that the lack of hard evidence for G.T.E. comes from a lack of data such as from undiscovered fossils.
Without any direct, verifiable method for dating pterosaurs fossils, opinions about their age depend on philosophy. And extreme philosophies result in greatly divergent interpretations of reports of living pterosaurs. The discovery of living pterosaurs would be a monumental event, though it would not force anyone to change their philosophy. Nevertheless, there is a limit to how many living fossils can be discovered before the lack of fossil evidence for ancient creatures (unlike presently-living creatures) makes it obvious that G.T.E. is only a philosophy, without sufficient evidence to make it a valid scientific idea.
The above nine concepts (regarding Naturalism, ancestry, and Genesis) are more philosophical than scientific. But these axioms, or basic assumptions, greatly influence scientific reasoning and investigations. (Messages in green text are less extreme.)
Scientists who operate from the philosophy of strict Naturalism resist ideas correlating with a literal interpretation of the Bible; scientists who operate from the philosophy of strict literal interpretation of Genesis resist ideas correlating with strict Naturalism. Outspoken proponents of extreme opinions seek to protect their own philosophies by demolishing the opposing extreme.
Extant or Extinct Pterosaurs?
of all pterosaurs
One species of
A living pterosaur
Above, the two concepts on the left are popular with supporters of Naturalism;
the two on the right, with supporters of the Biblical Creation in Genesis.
A common response to reports of living pterosaurs is: “Humans never lived when pterosaurs lived.” This rigid position on ancient extinctions (of all pterosaurs) is shown above, on the far left. Another common response is just to the right: “A living pterosaur would not prove Creationism nor disprove evolution. It would be like the discovery of the Coelacanth.”
Another extreme position is shown on the right and is like this: “The discovery of a living pterosaur would prove that Darwin was wrong; it would disprove evolution.” To the left of this is something like, “Living pterosaurs discredit the General Theory of Evolution, for pterosaur fossils have long been used as if evidence for the extinction of many ‘ancient’ creatures.”
Understanding various opinions on living pterosaur research--this comes from considering those opinions and learning about the philosophies and the theories
that cause those opinions.