Flap Over Flight Evolution
June 26, 2011
Birds flap their wings when they run up ramps. It takes less energy than flying. This is uncontroversial; it is observable, and science can measure the energy cost. But for at least eight years now, Ken Dial at the University of Montana has been claiming that this behavior explains the origin of flight in birds (01/16/2003, 12/22/2003). When he first came out with this hypothesis in 2003, Elisabeth Pennisi in the journal Science said, “I imagine people will continue to argue about the origin of bird flight for a long time.” There’s been very little argument in the media over the years, though (05/01/2006, 9/22/2007, 1/25/2008); in fact, the BBC News just gave another plug for Dial’s hypothesis with no criticism at all.
If This Is Evolution, What Is Trivia?
June 24, 2011
Some science news articles appear confident about evolution, but offer little evidence except trivial change . Sometimes, they even offer evidence that contradicts their expectations. If this is evolution, what is trivia?
Follow the Leader: Nature
June 21, 2011
Ever since biomimetics (the imitation of nature) gradually emerged around 2002 and really took off in 2005, it has not slowed down. Over 90 previous entries in these pages have reported teams all over the world seeking out natural designs for ideas. The reports have accelerated in recent years to the point where there is only space for short summaries that give a taste of the wide variety of engineering work taking inspiration from plants, animals, and even cells. You yourself might inspire some inventor. Here are a few more highlights from recent adventures in biomimetics.
How They Do It: Amazing Organisms
May 27, 2011
The plants and animals around us seem so ordinary, but they all are so extraordinary, the extraordinary becomes ordinary simply because of their numbers. But if you expanded the sample space to include the entire solar system, what we have in earth’s biosphere should astonish everyone. Here are nine notable fellow creatures.
Fossils Support Evolution! (Because Evolution Is Assumed)
May 18, 2011
Fossils come in a variety of manifestations – not always bone. They could be leaf imprints, whole animals trapped in amber, footprints, or mineral traces made by once-living organisms. Some recent fossil finds are having trouble fitting into evolutionary theory. But one thing about those Darwinists: they always find a way. Graph fight: Evolutionists have […]
Hummingbird Tongue More Clever Than Thought
May 8, 2011
Humans sip their nectar by tipping a glass and slurping, but how can a hummingbird pull liquid out of flowers with a tongue alone? Up until now, scientists thought that hummingbird tongues acted like capillary tubes. New research with high-speed cameras show that the action is much more clever – so clever it might lead […]
Animal Tricks Inspire
April 26, 2011
Here we are in the millennium of science, and we are still trying to figure out how animals do such nifty things. Some of their nifty tricks we didn’t even know about till researchers took a look. With high-tech monitoring tools, we might even learn the tricks for our own good. Owl fowl: The flapping […]
Does Observing Flight Explain Its Evolution?
April 6, 2011
In various research labs, evolutionists are studying the origin of flight. Recent articles, though, only show them observing animals or fossils that already fly or flew. Does this provide any insight into how flight might have originated by a purposeless material process? Birds: With a quote from Charles Darwin decorating the heading, PhysOrg announced a […]
March 28, 2011
Copying someone else’s invention is a crime, but researchers in biomimetics are doing it with impunity and getting away with it. Leaf power: “Why come up with new ways to generate clean energy, when we can copy what plants have been doing for millennia?” That’s what led Daniel Nocera and colleagues at MIT to develop […]
Evolution Everyone Can Agree On
March 21, 2011
The controversy over Darwinian evolution concerns one core question: Can an unplanned, undirected process generate new functions and complex organs of irreducible complexity without design? No one really doubts that organisms vary in horizontal or downward ways – either by modifications of existing genetic information, or by deleterious mutations that somehow allow animals to continue […]
Feather Color Is a Costly Complex System Design
March 13, 2011
The brilliant, shimmering colors in the breast feathers of the Bird of Paradise have long fascinated ornithologists. Alfred Russell Wallace was perhaps the first Englishman to see the magnificent birds in their native Malaysian habitats and wrote, “the richness of their glossy orange colouring, and the exquisite delicacy of the loosely waving feathers, were unsurpassable.”1 […]
But Is it Evolution?
February 18, 2011
Scientists have been noticing some things that seem contrary to Darwin’s predictions – but they give Darwin credit anyway. Not till us: The chambered nautilus is a “living fossil,” that uses “jet propulsion,” New Scientist said, with origins way back in the Cambrian. Has its fitness improved over all that time? “Its movement is ungainly […]
Chernobyl Mutation Experiment Fails to Support Darwinism
February 12, 2011
Bird brains are getting smaller in the region around Chernobyl. Organisms in the vicinity of the radiation from the nuclear disaster 25 years ago have not improved, but suffered under the onslaught of mutations. There is no evidence of any population increasing in fitness in any way; on the contrary, animals are struggling to survive. […]
Encouraging News About Iraqs Marshes
January 18, 2011
Over seven years ago (05/01/2003), we reported on the devastation of Iraq’s ancient southern marshes by Saddam Hussein. Azzam Alwash, an Iraqi who fled Hussein’s regime, had organized “Eden Again,” a project to try to restore the marshes after Hussein’s diversion of the rivers turned the lush ecosystem into a desert. The extent of this […]
Never Say Die: Researchers Spend 37 Years Looking for Evolution in Darwins Finches
January 5, 2011
The Grants are still at it. Peter and Rosemary Grant have been studying Darwin’s finches since the 1970s, looking for evidence to support Darwin’s theory of natural selection. Their latest paper in PNAS produced results that were tentative at best.1 Up front, they had to admit that you can’t see the birds evolving. […]