Early Man IQ: Et Tu, Brute?
May 12, 2009
Anthropologists are receiving a jolt about the intelligence of early man. Long before the cave paintings showed our forebears exercising art appreciation, new findings suggest they were gifted individuals, not brutes. The first report was about manufactured beads dated older than 82,000 years. Science Daily said, “The shells are currently at the centre […]
Dinosaur Blood Protein, Cells Recovered
April 30, 2009
It’s official: soft tissue, including blood vessel proteins and structures resembling cells, have been recovered from dinosaur bone. Mary Schweitzer’s amazing claim in 2005 (03/24/2005) was subsequently disputed as possible contamination from biofilms (07/30/2008). Now, Schweitzer and her team took exceptional precautions to avoid contamination by excavating hadrosaur bone from sandstone said to be 80 […]
The Long Precambrian Fuse Gets Longer
April 28, 2009
Why did complex multicellular life explode on the scene some 550 million years ago? That’s mystery enough, but finding complex single-celled life a billion years earlier makes it worse. A new paper evaluated claims of Cambrian-like fossils from India dated 1.6 billion years old in the evolutionary timeline. It did not explain the Cambrian explosion, […]
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 […]
Plant Evolution: Wheres the Root?
April 16, 2009
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
March 26, 2009
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?
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 […]
Permian Extinction: The Origin of Specious Geological Events
March 9, 2009
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
March 2, 2009
“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
February 6, 2009
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?
February 5, 2009
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?
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, […]
Fossil Fumbles Damage Darwinism
January 19, 2009
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
January 11, 2009
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,” […]