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Evidence for Evolution, or for Uncontroversial Variation?

Science papers and articles often announce promising new evidence for evolution.  To distinguish Darwinian evolution from creation, though, requires evidence of a certain magnitude.  The staunchest Biblical creationist allows for a great deal of variation within kinds.  When evidences for evolution are announced, do they rise to the level of change Darwin theorized – like […]

Darwin vs. the Fossils

What could be more iconic to evolution than dinosaurs and the horse series?  Museums often display skeletons of these animals as proof of evolution.  The real story told in scientific papers is often very different.  Two recent studies present major, serious challenges to Darwin’s theory. Horse series:  The old straight-line chart of horse evolution from […]

Dino Clawprints in the Sandstones of Time

Some of the largest dinosaur tracks ever found have been uncovered in France.  The BBC News has a picture of tracks nearly 5 feet across made by sauropods that weighed 30 tonnes.  Tracks of ornithischian dinosaurs in South Africa are being analyzed for clues to dinosaur behavior, reported Science Daily.  The team believes that tracks […]

Anchiornis: Foot Feathers Confuse Bird Evolution Story

The paper on Anchiornis huxleyii was published in Nature,1 along with a News article about it in the same issue by Lawrence Witmer.2  In addition, popular reports were printed by the BBC News, Live Science and Science Daily.     The popular reports are focusing on Xing Xu’s claim that this fossil removes the last […]

Ho-Hum, Another Feathered Dinosaur

Another Chinese fossil its discoverers are calling a “feathered dinosaur” has been announced by Nature News.  It is ostensibly a more complete specimen of Anchiornis huxleyii that was announced last January (see 01/21/2009).  The full paper on this specimen is to be published in Nature next week.     The fossil is said to have […]

Velociraptors as Tree Climbers?

Remember those sickle-shaped claws on the feet of Velociraptor that terrified visitors in the Jurassic Park movies?  New Scientist reported a radically different theory about them.  They weren’t for eviscerating their prey; they were for climbing trees.  Phil Manning (U of Manchester) previously showed they were insufficient for tearing dinosaur skin.  Now he is suggesting […]

Dino Protein Confirmed

An independent study of bone marrow contents from a T. rex that was reported in 2007 to contain fragments of protein has confirmed the claim, reported Science Daily.  Seven peptides from collagen, and apparently traces from hemoglobin, were detected.  The findings are scheduled to be published in the Sept. 4 issue of Journal of Proteome […]

Dakota Dino Reveals Skin Cells

“Absolutely amazing” and “absolutely gobsmacking” are exclamations made by scientists analyzing the fossilized skin of a hadrosaur known as Dakota.  The researchers found cell structures and organic matter in the skin and layers that resemble the skin of birds and crocodiles.     The specimen was uncovered in 1999 on a North Dakota ranch and […]

We Know Less Than We Think

Strange reports come from science news outlets on occasion that call into question facts we thought we understood.  These raise a question: do we really know what we think we know? Cutting dinosaurs down to size:  Dinosaurs may have been half as heavy as thought, said Science Daily.  Some paleontologists are claiming that widely-used methods […]

Dino Fossils Generate Overblown Claims

04/10/2006), inventing feathers out of thin air.  This time, it was justified on the basis of a new paper in Nature that claims to remove an obstacle in the dinosaur-bird evolution story.1  Doubters had pointed to differences in the three forward-pointing toes.  With dinosaurs, it was toes 1, 2 and 3 that were retained; while […]

Birds Didn’t Evolve from Dinosaurs

June 9, 2009 — “The findings add to a growing body of evidence in the past two decades that challenge some of the most widely-held beliefs about animal evolution.”  That statement is not being made by creationists, but by science reporters describing work at Oregon State University that cast new doubt on the idea that […]

Dinosaur Blood Protein, Cells Recovered

It’s official: soft tissue, including blood vessel proteins and structures resembling cells, have been recovered from dinosaur bone.  Mary Schweitzer’s amazing claim in 2005 (03/24/2005) was subsequently disputed as possible contamination from biofilms (07/30/2008).  Now, Schweitzer and her team took exceptional precautions to avoid contamination by excavating hadrosaur bone from sandstone said to be 80 […]

Evolution: A Theory in Revision

Evolution is not so much a fact of nature that Darwin discovered, as it is a framework for interpreting evidence.  Within that framework are many subplots that can be overturned without falsifying the framework.  Here are some recent examples: Chicxulub loses impact:  We’ve seen the animations of a giant impact wiping out the dinosaurs.  The […]

Missing Links Found: Walking Seal, Teen Tyrannosaur

Science news media are abuzz with reports that two missing links have been found.  One is a fossil seal (pinniped) with four legs, the other a smaller presumed ancestor of the famous Tyrannosaurus rex. Seal:  National Geographic News calls it a seal with arms, and features artwork of an otter-like animal doing a kind of […]

How Valid Is Computerized Dinosaur Reconstruction?

Can you reconstruct a dinosaur on a computer?  Of course you can.  The question is how accurate it reflects something no one has ever seen.  Live Science told about Peter Falkingham at the University of Manchester who is using “genetic algorithms” and simulating evolution to figure out how dinosaurs walked.     A dinosaur’s gait […]
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