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Editorial: The Cult of the Prize

In a letter to the editor in the Dec. 4 issue of Nature1, historian Robert Marc Friedman (U. of Oslo) asks, “Is science losing out in the race for recognition?”  The race for honors, he feels, is diminishing science: Raymond Damadian’s public dispute (see “Physician launches public protest over medical Nobel” Nature 425, 648; 2003) […]

Adaptive Radiation: A Darwinian Mechanism Inherits the Wind

Another Darwinian assumption needs to be re-examined.  Adaptive radiation, the belief that a species isolated on an island will diverge into many species, has been hit by a hurricane.     Calsbeek and Smith, writing in the Dec. 4 issue of Nature1, studied lizards on the Bahamas after Hurricane Floyd devastated the islands.  “Islands are […]

Fossil Fingers Fuddle Phylogeny

Another fossil complicates the evolutionists’ picture of tetrapod origins (see Aug 9 headline).  Chinese paleontologists have reported1 a new marine reptile from Triassic strata (242 million years old, more or less).  Unexpectedly, it has extra digits (a condition called polydactyly) just like the putative ancestors of tetrapods from the earlier Devonian strata (370-354 million years […]

Got That?  The Complex Story of African Mammal Evolution

The article by Jean-Jacques Jaeger in the Dec. 4 issue of Nature1 is pretty upbeat about the evolutionary history of African mammals, but takes a bit of untangling to follow.     He begins confidently, “For some 40 million years, the Afro-Arabian landmass existed in splendid isolation.  A newly described fossil fauna from the end […]

Dinosaur Family Tracks Discovered

A set of dinosaur tracks of different sizes pointing in the same direction has been found on the Isle of Skye, reports the BBC News.  It seems to indicate one adult and 10 juveniles, all of the same species, were moving together.  To Neil Clark, curator of the Glasgow Museum, these tracks tell a story […]

Vega Has a Neptune?

The BBC News and EurekAlert are pretty excited about a discovery at Vega, the sapphire-blue star that hangs overhead in summertime (from the Northern Hemisphere; Aussies see it at the horizon).  Astronomers think they see a clump of material that might be at the distance from the star similar to Neptune’s distance from the sun.  […]
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