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Missing Links Found: Walking Seal, Teen Tyrannosaur

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?

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 […]

Plant Evolution: Where’s the Root?

To Darwin, the origin of flowering plants was an “abominable mystery.”  Recently, some entries on Science magazine’s blog Origins have claimed the mystery has been solved, at least partially, and a full solution is near at hand.  Here is a great test case for evolution.  Angiosperms comprise a huge, diverse population of organisms.  There should […]

Fossil Fish Pushes Evolutionary Time

Quick!  When was the Age of Fishes?  If you said “Devonian,” you were correct according to the textbooks and museums, but where’s your evidence?  Look at this diorama in the Smithsonian depicting the seas of the Silurian, the period preceding the Devonian: crinoids, trilobites, corals and nautiloids, but no fish.  It may be time to […]

Amazing Fossils: Do They Help Darwin?

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 […]

Permian Extinction: The Origin of Specious Geological Events

The Permian extinction – one of the most dramatic events in the history of life on Earth, in which some 90% of species went extinct – lay people assume scientists can back up this story with evidence from geology and fossils, but where is it?  Whatever happened at the prime site in South Africa, from […]

Tracking Human Ancestors

“Earliest human footprints found,” the BBC News announced, and National Geographic echoed, “Oldest Human Footprints With Modern Anatomy Found.”  Presumably these are to be distinguished as human rather than pre-human.  What was discovered?     A photo of a modern-looking footprint accompanies the two articles.  The print was found in volcanic ash in Kenya dated […]

A Tale of Two Sites: Moby Dog and The Claw

Discoveries portrayed as major evolutionary missing links were announced this week.  One is a putative transitional form from land animal to whale, and one is a Cambrian trilobite-like creature said to be evolving the first claw. Moby dog:  The current evolutionary scenario for the origin of whales is that they evolved from dog-like hoofed animals […]

What Mean These Observations?

Science news outlets report many interesting findings every week.  It’s not always clear, though, whether the conclusions drawn from them are warranted by the data.  Here are some recent cases: Jaws of steel:  A skull labeled Australopithecus robustus was studied for the force its jaws could generate.  Interpretation: “Early humans had jaws of steel.”  With […]

Feather Evolution Proved?

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, […]

Fossil Fumbles Damage Darwinism

Three recent fossil finds are rearranging Darwin’s tree of life.  Pro-Darwinists will interpret this as pruning; Darwin skeptics will interpret it as uprooting.  Shark heads:  “The earliest known braincase of a shark-like fish has shown some assumptions about the early evolution of vertebrates are ‘completely wrong,’ experts say.  That’s what National Geographic said.  Read all […]

Darwin in the Air

Darwin Day euphoria must be in the air.  There have been several news stories with Darwin or Evolution in the title, but little to his credit in the substance of the article. Evolution inaction:  The human immune system is, by any account, Science Daily, however not only called it a case of “Evolution in Action,” […]

Nature Struts Darwin Gems

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 […]

World’s Largest Dino Graveyard Found

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,” […]

Tiktaalik Not a Missing Link

Has all the colorful artwork of the fish-a-pod been for naught?  Three European biologists claim that Neil Shubin’s famous Tiktaalik fossil, supposedly of a fish evolving into a four-footed land dweller (see 05/03/2006, 11/13/2008) which has garnered iconic status in the media (01/16/2008), is not a missing link after all.     The situation is […]
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