"If birds descended from dinosaurs, we would expect the same 1, 2 and 3 pattern," he said.
Current dinosaurian dogma requires that all the intricate adaptations of birds' wings and feathers for flight evolved in a flightless dinosaur and then somehow became useful for flight only much later, Feduccia said. That is "close to being non-Darwinian."
Also, the current feathered dinosaurs theory makes little sense time-wise either because it holds that all stages of feather evolution and bird ancestry occurred some 125 million years ago in the early Cretaceous fossils unearthed in China.
"That's some 25 million years after the time of Archaeopteryx, which already was a bird in the modern sense," he said. Superficially bird-like dinosaurs occurred some 25 million to 80 million years after the earliest known bird, which is 150 million years old."
Feduccia said the publication and promotion of feathered dinosaurs by the popular press and by prestigious journals and magazines, including National Geographic, Nature and Science, have made it difficult for opposing views to get a proper hearing.
"With the advent of 'feathered dinosaurs,' we are truly witnessing the beginnings of the meltdown of the field of paleontology," he said. "Just as the discovery a four-chambered heart in a dinosaur described in 2000 in an article in Science turned out to be an artifact, feathered dinosaurs too have become part of the fantasia of this field. Much of this is part of the delusional fantasy of the world of dinosaurs, the wishful hope that one can finally study dinosaurs at the backyard bird feeder.
"It is now clear that the origin of birds is a much more complicated question than has been previously thought," Feduccia said.