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Grandma Gets Sexy Idea for Origin of Life

Helen Hansma likes being a grandmother and studying the origin of life, according to a video on PhysOrg.  To show she’s not over the hill, though, she came up with a sexy new hypothesis for how we got here: life emerged “between the sheets” – of mica.     Her video clip explains three parts […]

Explosion of the Blob

Some scientists are looking into the folds of a sponge for clues about the Cambrian Explosion – the sudden emergence of all the major body plans in the geological blink of an eye.  What they are finding is more complexity than a first glance at the simple creatures would expect.     A draft genome […]

Evolution of Segmentation Leads to Playing God

Most animals come in segments – body plans that are divided into more-or-less similar parts.  Arthropods, worms and vertebrates are examples (including humans, with their vertebral segments and rough division into head, thorax and abdomen).  Where did the idea of segmentation come from?  Some French evolutionists think it just appeared by chance and changed the […]

Recapitulation Theory Gets Recap

The long-discounted “recapitulation theory” of Ernst Haeckel, the idea that the development of an embryo replays its evolutionary history, pops up every once in awhile in evolutionary explanations.  Evolutionary biologists (most notably the late Stephen Jay Gould) have long since disparaged the idea that evolutionary history would be preserved in embryos.  In addition, photos of […]

Darwinists Get Sexy

The origin of sex titillates many evolutionary biologists.  On the one hand, animals and plants have such interesting ways of getting together.  But on the other hand, sex seems too costly to have originated by natural selection.  Some recent articles provide new evolutionary speculations on the origin of sex – but simultaneously undermine previous speculations. […]

Bacteria Too Complex To Be Primitive Eukaryote Ancestors

In the search for the most primitive life forms on earth, bacteria would certainly make the list.  They are tiny, one-celled, and have small genomes.  Why, then, did Patrick Forterre and Simonetta Gribaldo of the Pasteur Institute say in PNAS,1 “we should definitely stop thinking of bacteria in terms of simple ‘lower’ organisms”?  For the […]

Humans Got Birdbrains by Convergent Evolution

Scientists are learning that birds have brains remarkably similar to those of mammals.  This is contrary to a century of belief, PhysOrg said.  How did such similarities evolve for groups of animals so widely separated?  To explain it, evolutionists pulled out one of their common explanations: convergent evolution.     “For more than a century,” […]

Using Aliens to Titillate the Public

Geologists cannot even figure out our own planet (next headline), but some of them claim to know a lot about other planets – their geological history, and even their prospects for life.  Is it fair to tease the public with the L-word life when so much remains to be understood on the ground under our […]

Fish Feet: Can Evolution Add by Subtraction?

How did fish grow feet?  One would think that feet require adding a lot of new parts: bones, muscles, nerves, blood vessels, and additional supporting tissues.  Each of those would require genetic instructions and changes to embryonic development.  One evolutionist, however, feels that switching genes off paved the way to the invasion of land.  The […]

Can the Earth Thwart Darwinism?

Microbes were all set to evolve into complex life, but the ocean held them back.  That seems to be the thinking of Dr. Simon Poulton of Newcastle University.  “Toxic seas may have been responsible for delaying the evolution of life on Earth by 1 billion years,” PhysOrg reported.  That seems to imply that it would […]

Butterfly Wing Shimmer Done With 3-D Crystals

Those shimmering flashes of light seen on butterfly wings are not done with pigments.  They’re done with tiny, geometric crystals called gyroids stacked in 3-D patterns, scientists have found.  They are so effective at concentrating color, the scientists want to imitate the trick.     “A precise characterization of color-producing biological nanostructures is critical to […]

The Limits of Scientific Speculation

How far can a scientist speculate and get a respectful hearing, just because he or she is a scientist?  One case to examine is a story on PhysOrg, “The Chance for Life on Io” (see also Astrobio.net).  Jupiter’s innermost large moon Io might be considered the last place to look for life.  It is the […]

Planets Seen Forming! (or Dust Spreading )

Science headline writers were almost beside themselves with joy at the prospect of watching other planetary systems in the process of forming.  Science Daily nearly set a record with a large-print, bold, 22-word headline: “Zooming in on an Infant Solar System: For the First Time, Astronomers Have Observed Solar Systems in the Making in Great […]

Darwin’s Sweatshop: Why Ethiopia Made People Hairless

Five scientists think they have figured out why people walk upright and don’t have fur like other mammals.  They had to evolve in Ethiopia, where it is hot.  This led to the loss of body hair, and the evolution of sweat glands and other adaptations to deal with the heat.     It’s not that […]

Whale Evolution: Hurry Up and Wait

Whales evolved really fast, then just swam around with nothing to do for tens of millions of years.  “Whales Evolved in the Blink of an Eye” wrote Brett Israel for Live Science about a new study that claims “Whales evolved explosively fast into a spectacular array of shapes and sizes” about 35 million years ago, […]
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