THE FEATHERS FLY
Is Archaeopteryx a Fake? A special
temporary exhibition in the British
Museum (Natural History), London, UK.
Opened August 18, 1987.
In 1985, the astronomers Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasing he wrote an article in the British Journal of Photography claiming that Archaeopteryx is a fake. An ordinary dinosaur fossil, they suggested, had been treated with a paste of powdered limestone, into which bird feathers had been pressed in order to create the illusion of an extraordinary, dinosaur-like bird. Despite a swift rebuttal by British Museum staff in Science Magazine (Charig et al, vol. 232, May 2, 1986, pp. 622-626), Hoyle and Wickramasinghe have repeated their claim in a popular book (Archaeopteryx, The Primordial Bird, Christopher Davis, 1987), and now the museum has put on an exhibition setting out both sides of the dispute.
This exhibition bends over backwards in an effort to be...