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Fully Gecko 40 Million Years Earlier?

Amber, or fossilized tree sap, usually contains remnants of insect parts.  One piece, mined in the jungles of Myanmar, contained the foot of a gecko – alleged to be 100 million years old.  That’s 40 million years older than the previously claimed oldest gecko fossil.  This critter may have skittered under the feet of dinosaurs.  […]

Plant Perfume Manipulates Pollinator Behavior

You’re a plant, stuck in the ground.  Around you are organisms with wings flitting freely about.  You need to get them to land on your flowers, but not linger too long.  How do you do it?  Attract them with sweet smells, but send them away with a bitter aftertaste.  That’s how the tobacco plant manipulates […]

Can Worms Outsmart Humans?

Worms may seem creepy to some people, but they possess some amazing abilities.  How many of you had to struggle through calculus class, for instance?  Worms know it by heart, reported Greg Soltis at Live Science.  Their brains instinctively apply the logic of calculus to input signals from sensory inputs.  A University of Oregon biologist […]

Animal Patterning Keeps Scientists Puzzle-Solving

Here’s a fascinating area of research for a budding young scientist: the development of animal patterns.  Look at the dazzling wing patterns on butterflies in an illustration on Science Daily or consider a zebra’s stripes.  How do such patterns emerge from a single fertilized egg?  “Although this has been studied for years,” said a researcher […]

Asian Bees Speak European

Asian honeybees and European honeybees went their separate ways millions of years ago, say evolutionists.  Why, then, were Asian bees able to readily learn the European language?  An international team watched this happen.  They ran some affirmative-action integration experiments on the two species, and reported their results today in PLoS One.1     “The honeybee […]

An Evaluation of Evolution as an Explanatory Device

It is very common for scientists to claim this or that phenomenon “evolved.”  How well do such statements qualify as scientific explanations?  How much scientific heavy lifting is done by merely stating that things are the way they are because they evolved that way?  The following recent examples can be considered representative of the evolutionary […]

Fossil Frog-amander Claimed to Be Missing Link

It looks like a frog with four equal legs and a tail; is it the ancestor of frogs and amphibians?  It depends on whether you read the original paper or the popular press.     Live Science writer Jeanna Brynner is absolutely certain this puts a feather in Darwin’s cap: “the creature represents a transitional […]

Animals Outsmart Scientists

In science, long-standing beliefs are often challenged by new evidence.  Several recent findings not only show animals to be more remarkable than thought, they pose some new questions for evolutionists. Slothlessness:  Sleeping almost all day, the sloth is the epitome of laziness in the animal kingdom.  Or is it?  The BBC News now tells us […]

Sweet Solutions from Nature

Human engineers continue to look at plants and animals for inspiration.  Biomimetics – the imitation of biology for design technology – shows no sign of running out of ideas. Sweet gas:  A spoonful of sugar in the gas tank?  Science Daily reported on progress in converting plant sugars into clean-burning hydrogen – using biological enzymes.  […]

Evolution Revealed?

When the news reports evidence for evolution in the fossils or genes, it sounds like Darwinism has been all but proved, because scientists have observed its effects.  Can these stories withstand deeper scrutiny? Lungless frog:  Science Daily reported a frog without lungs in Borneo.  Lunglessness in tetrapods has been reported in salamanders and other amphibians, […]

Moths Navigate in the Dark Against the Wind

A moth weighs little more than a piece of paper, but it does things no paper blowing in the wind can do: it can navigate with and against the wind to get where it needs to go.     Science Daily reported on work by UK scientists who used “entomological radar” to monitor where the […]

Evolution After the Fact

Many scientific theories are evaluated on their ability to make predictions.  Good theories suggest experiments that lead a researcher to discover new things.  In biology, however, “evolution” is a word often invoked as an after-market explanation for observations that emerged outside of the theory.  Here are some recent examples: Ant farm:  Science Daily reported on […]

Tuatara Genes Are Running in Place

One would expect a living fossil to show extreme stasis at the genetic level.  Not so for the tuatara, a New Zealand reptile, reported EurekAlert: researchers found that “although tuatara have remained largely physically unchanged over very long periods of evolution, they are evolving – at a DNA level – faster than any other animal […]

The Gecko in the Flight Simulator

It’s a lizard!  It’s a plane!  It’s Supergecko!  Researchers at UC Berkeley (where else) put a gecko into a wind tunnel to watch it fly.  News about gecko’s magic feet that allow it to run vertically up glass is almost old hat now (08/27/2002, 01/04/2005).  Even a gecko can lose its footing, though, and thereon […]

Animal Feats Inspire Imitation

Imagine carrying 850 times your own weight.  Step aside, Hercules, and meet the Hercules beetle: the strongest creature in the world.  Science Daily said that researchers in Belgium are not just impressed with its show of strength.  They are finding inspiration for “intelligent materials.”     The Hercules beetle has a shell that is able […]
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