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A Hairy Evolution Story

51; A mammal hair was found in amber.  It is claimed to be 100 million years old, but it is identical to modern mammal hair.  What is the meaning of this find?  How should it be interpreted?  It may say more about the modern evolutionist than about evolution itself.     New Scientist told the […]

Findings vs Surmisings in Evolutionary Biology

51; What part of the following story is a finding, and what is a supposition?  Science Daily told about work by Julie Baker (Stanford) and a graduate student who set out to discover the evolutionary origin of the mammalian placenta.  They evaluated differences between placentas and eggs of a number of different animals, and told […]

Flies Turn on a Dime

51; A fly can turn 180 degrees in one tenth the time it takes you to blink an eye.  Beating their wings 250 times a second, they don’t even have to think about each wing beat, PhysOrg said about studies at Brown University using high-speed cameras and image tracking software.  “[Attila] Bergou discovered that flies […]

Ichthyosaurs Suddenly Appeared in Triassic Oceans

“Ichthyosaurs were a group of Mesozoic marine reptiles that evolved fish-shaped body outlines,” begins Ryosuke Motani (UC Davis) in the Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences,1 in a paper on “Evolution of Fish-Shaped Reptiles… in Their Physical Environments and Constraints.”  But while much is said about their environments and constraints, little is said to […]

Crows Use Tools in Sequence

51; Watch a one-minute video clip on the BBC News.  A New Caledonian crow in New Zealand figures out how to use three tools in sequence to get at food that is out of reach.  This amazing display of animal intelligence surprised researchers at the University of Auckland who already knew about the legendary problem-solving […]

How Evolutionary Science Is Done: From Deduction to Story

“Evolution is a fact!” Carl Sagan stated emphatically on TV in his 1980 Cosmos series (now in reruns on The Science Channel).  Following this lead, many evolutionists repeat this four-word phrase, often augmenting it like, Evolution is a fact, like gravity (see association).  This motto has some interesting properties in its effects on scientific research.  […]

Evolution Rules

51; It would be convenient if all a scientist had to do to prove his theory was declare it to be a law of nature.  Is that what scientists from UC Berkeley and Imperial College have done with evolution?  “First ‘rule’ of evolution suggests that life is destined to become more complex,” announced a press […]

Bacterial Flagellum Can Tune Its Swim Speed with Network-Controlled Brakes

51; What’s new with flagella?  These are the favorite toys of intelligent design supporters, because they are irreducibly complex molecular machines that evolutionists rarely attempt to explain by a Darwinian process.  More fodder for their position comes from a paper in Cell1 that finds that bacteria can fine-tune their swimming velocity by means of a […]

Scientists Are Studying Your Garden for Ideas

51; Your garden plants are visited by a butterfly and various insects as you sip tea in a lawn chair.  Did you have any idea that inventors are watching the same things with an eye to making money?  Or that military officers are getting ideas from the garden to use against the enemy?  Biomimetics – […]

Dinosaurs of the Month

The tools of paleontologists continue to turn up interesting things.  Here are some of the latest dinosaur discoveries reported this month: Mighty mouth:  An African theropod with massive, shark-like teeth was found in the African Sahara, reported National Geographic News and PhysOrg.  It was named Eocarcharia dinops, or “fierce-eyed dawn shark.”  Another similar individual, presumed […]

Bats Exhibit Aerodynamic Superiority

They may look clumsy fluttering around in the twilight air, but “Flexible, highly articulated wings give bats more options for flight than birds: more lift, less drag, greater maneuverability.”  Thus reads the caption to a picture of a bat in flight on a Brown University press release.  Researchers at Brown U are studying the differences […]

Daffy Duck Found in Dino Park

A fossil duck from the Cretaceous has been discovered, indicating that the branch of birds including waterfowl already coexisted with the dinosaurs.  A press release from NC State explains the significance of the paper published in Nature1 this week.  Dr. Julia Clarke and colleagues say this means that “at least duck, chicken and ratite bird […]

How and Why Whiskers Whisk

Scientists at Weizmann Institute found some interesting things about whiskers, reports EurekAlert.  While working with rats, they noticed that the whiskers are always in motion, twitching and sensing objects around them.  They discovered that two kinds of neurons are involved in sending whisker signals to the brain.  The “whisking” neurons are active all the time, […]
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