More Collapsed Darwinian Expectations
There’s a new trend in Darwinian press releases: reporting falsified expectations. Keep up the good work.
Read all about it: Darwinians observe things they did not expect.
Complex bacterium writes new evolutionary story (Phys.org): Bacteria aren’t supposed to have complex structures in their membranes. Those are reserved for more-evolved cells, like eukaryotes. “This is a remarkable evolutionary finding, since most bacteria do not possess these structures.” Researchers at the University of Queensland are now having to admit that “the evolution of complex cell structures may not be unique to eukaryotes.”
Is Australia the birthplace of birds nests? (Phys.org): The simple cup-shaped bird nests should have evolved first. Then, more complex nests should have evolved. Now, some evolutionists from Macquarie University are turning this scenario upside down. “Until now we had assumed that more complex fully roofed nests had evolved from those without roofs. This study demonstrates that in fact it was the opposite, in that these simple nests evolved several times independently, and the bird families that made this switch to simple nests are some of the most species-rich bird families today, such as the Australian honeyeaters.”
Mechanism for photosynthesis already existed in primeval microbe (Kobe University). Photosynthesis is one of the most complex processes in any organism, involving light capture using tricks of quantum mechanics, and a series of complex organic reactions to produce food. Top scientists have been trying to replicate this process for decades, without much success. So what is a ‘primeval microbe’ doing with machinery that should have evolved much later? “The research group discovered that Methanospirillum hungatei, a microbe (methanogenic archaeon) which is thought to have existed since before the development of photosynthesis, possess genes similar to those that play a role in photosynthesis.” The paper explaining this is in Nature Communications.
Model shows female beauty isn’t just sex appeal (Duke University). Darwin’s theory of sexual selection took another blow this week. “Female beauty may have less to do with attracting the opposite sex than previously thought, at least in the animal world,” researchers at Duke are saying. The assumption that beauty attracts males has “rarely been put to the test.” Did you know that?
Contrary to expectation, the model shows that winning the romantic interest of picky males is not enough to explain how desirable feminine features become widespread — even when better-looking females are more likely to land a good catch.
Why did humans evolve big penises but small testicles? (The Conversation): (warning: X-rated). For those who can handle comparative anatomy of male organs, this article by Mark Maslin (a professor of paleoclimatology–what gives?) reveals another conundrum: the “monogamy mystery.” There doesn’t seem to be a clear and fast rule between primate body size, sexual practices, and you-know-what size. “Three main theories have been put forward,” Maslin explains, explaining nothing at all. He concludes that the brain is the main sex organ.
Discovery of new fossil from half billion years ago sheds light on life on Earth (University of Leicester). Notable quote about loriciferans, tiny complex animals that were thought to be “unfossilizable,” especially so long ago. “I discovered the fossil loriciferans by accident while surveying other types of microfossil: this required many hours working at the microscope,” a certain Dr. Harvey says. “I kept finding mysterious fragments which looked like the back ends of loriciferans, but I told myself it was impossible.” Later in the article, another mystery for Darwin: “It’s remarkable that so early in their evolution, animals were already exploiting such specialized meiobenthic ecologies: shrinking their bodies down to the size of single-celled organisms, and living among grains of sediment on the seabed.”
Genetic comparison of giant and red pandas offers clues about convergence (Phys.org): One would wrongly presume that red and giant pandas shared a common ancestor and diverged in many ways. The new story relayed here by Bob Yirka tries to explain how both species, considered “distant cousins” by now, both evolved to digest bamboo. They also have the infamous “Panda’s Thumb” that Darwinians love to illustrate evolutionary tinkering. “But as this new study shows, the evolutionary changes they underwent to allow them to do so were unconnected,” this article states. So Yirka calls on a favorite Darwinian magic trick, “convergence” to explain it. Full paper is in PNAS.
South American fossil tomatillos show nightshades evolved earlier than thought (Penn State). Add this to the “evolved earlier than thought” column. “Delicate fossil remains of tomatillos found in Patagonia, Argentina, show that this branch of the economically important family that also includes potatoes, peppers, tobacco, petunias and tomatoes existed 52 million years ago, long before the dates previously ascribed to these species, according to an international team of scientists” (full paper in Science Magazine). Again, we are told this was “contrary to what was thought” (by whom?), and that “the evolutionary history of this plant family is much older than previously considered” (again, by whom? answer: evolutionists).
“Our results reinforce the emerging pattern wherein numerous fossil plant taxa from Gondwanan Patagonia and Antarctica are substantially older than their corresponding molecular dates, demonstrating Gondwanan history to groups conjectured to have post-Gondwanan origins under entirely different paleogeographic and paleoclimatic scenarios,” the researchers wrote.
No explanation is offered for this falsification and the others mentioned above. And yet evolutionists keep their jobs.
People need to know how often evolutionary expectations fall. Tom Bethell’s new book, announced today by Discovery Institute, has an apt title: Darwin’s House of Cards.