Missing Links Found: Walking Seal, Teen Tyrannosaur
April 23, 2009
Science news media are abuzz with reports that two missing links have been found. One is a fossil seal (pinniped) with four legs, the other a smaller presumed ancestor of the famous Tyrannosaurus rex. Seal: National Geographic News calls it a seal with arms, and features artwork of an otter-like animal doing a kind of […]
How Valid Is Computerized Dinosaur Reconstruction?
April 18, 2009
Can you reconstruct a dinosaur on a computer? Of course you can. The question is how accurate it reflects something no one has ever seen. Live Science told about Peter Falkingham at the University of Manchester who is using “genetic algorithms” and simulating evolution to figure out how dinosaurs walked. A dinosaur’s gait […]
Tall Dinosaurs Couldnt Lift Up Their Heads
March 29, 2009
In Jurassic Park, the huge sauropods were pictured grazing on the tops of tall trees. This would have been physically implausible, said an Australian biologist in a letter to Science.1 A brachiosaur’s head would be 9 meters above its chest. That would require 750 mm (Hg) of blood pressure. The problem of circulation, not only […]
Amazing Fossils: Do They Help Darwin?
March 19, 2009
Some remarkable fossils have been found recently. According to the reports, scientists are not sure what to make of them, even though evolutionary language is liberally applied to the interpretation. Octopus: The earliest fossil octopus is 100% octopus. A rare well-preserved octopus fossil, as unlikely as finding a fossilized sneeze according to Live Science, shows […]
The Early Bird Gets the Just-So Story
February 3, 2009
If a catastrophic world event wiped out the dinosaurs, why did birds survive? They’re smaller and more delicate, it seems. National Geographic published a new hypothesis: they out-thought the doomed dinosaurs. “Birds survived the global catastrophe that wiped out their dinosaur relatives due to superior brainpower, a new study suggests.” A couple of […]
Feather Evolution Proved?
January 21, 2009
Another claim of feather evolution was reported in PNAS.1 Creationists have long claimed that the evolution of feathers from reptilian scales is an intractable problem for Darwinists (example: 1994 article from Creation magazine). Does the paper provide incontrovertible proof that feathers had evolved in dinosaurs before birds took flight in the air? Beipiaosaurus, […]
Nature Struts Darwin Gems
January 2, 2009
Like a showcase of pearl-handled revolvers, an armory of evidences Nature calls “Darwin’s Gems” have been exhibited to warn creationists that Darwin Day will be defended next month with a show of force. The authors, Henry Gee (former editor of Nature), Rory Howlett and Philip Campbell have made their 15 Evolutionary Gems freely available “and […]
Worlds Largest Dino Graveyard Found
December 30, 2008
China boasts the world’s largest known dinosaur graveyard, a report from China View claims. Over 7,600 fossils have been found so far. These include hadrosaurs, ceratopsians, ankylosaurs, and tyrannosaurids. Though known since at least 1980, the area has yielded new fossil sections during mining operations. “A 2m skull of a large ceratopsian was found here,” […]
Turtle Vaults Over 65 Million Year Evolutionary Hurdle
November 22, 2008
The Scots are bragging about their latest missing link – a swimming turtle. The BBC News could hardly contain the excitement over this claim to evolutionary fame: “The new species forms a missing link between ancient terrestrial turtles and their modern, aquatic descendants,” the article said. But along with celebration, there were admissions of ignorance: […]
October 28, 2008
Just before Halloween, it’s time for tricks and treats about monsters in the fossil record. Here’s a list of recent stories about scary beasts: Dino Dance: Are these potholes tracks or weathering marks? PhysOrg and Science Daily were among news outlets reporting a new interpretation of formations by a grad student at the University of […]
Another Strange Chinese Fossil Found: Dinosaur or Bird?
October 22, 2008
Feathers and wings are among the most distinguishing characteristics of birds. “Integumenary features” have been found on some dinosaur fossils, and true feathers have been found on some strange-looking extinct birds. The news media often try to marry the two into a committed relationship using exaggerated artwork. They have been found imagining feathers on fossils […]
Nonsense and Nonscience
October 17, 2008
For an enterprise that prizes itself on objectivity and careful thought, science occasionally makes some outlandish claims. Here are some things that slipped past the scientific method into the popular news media. As good as it gets: Steve Jones says men have stopped evolving. Better enjoy what you have, because it’s not going to get […]
Did This Dino Have Bird Breath?
September 29, 2008
Birds are the only vertebrates with a unique one-way, flow-through breathing system that includes hollow bones. Their unique respiratory system is part of the set of features that allows flying with its need for rapid metabolism. Science news outlets are clucking wildly about another putative missing link between dinosaurs and birds: “Meat-eating dinosaur from Argentina […]
Is Dinosaur Diversity an Artifact of Headline-Hunting?
September 17, 2008
Many dinosaurs classed as different species are actually the same animal with different names, a publication of the Royal Society announced. Read two news reports on this, however, and you will get two different opinions about how serious the problem is. Rex Dalton in Nature News sounded the alarm: “One hundred and thirty-five […]
Looking for Laws to Make Darwinism Scientific
September 15, 2008
Science needs natural laws. Darwinian laws that have been put forward by evolutionists contain so many exceptions and complexities, they seem to have a bad case of physics envy. Coping with Cope’s Rule: Evolution tends to make animals larger over time – except when it makes them smaller. In Science,1 Kaustuv Roy lamented the perils […]