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How Fossils Form: We Don’t Rightly Know

Fossils have been such a mainstay of evolutionary theory for at least two centuries, one would think we have a pretty good picture of the process.  An article by Sid Perkins in Science News1 is revealing: “Only in the past decade or so have people begun to study in detail what happens to organisms after […]

Human Evolution: Clear as Mud

Evolutionists speak of our descent from apes with an air of confidence and certainty, but connecting the dots requires a bit of artistic license.  Here are some examples of how any data, no matter how puzzling, can be made to fit the Darwinian picture. Stretchy Clocks:  A famous painting by Salvador Dali portrayed clocks draped […]

How to Squeeze Fossils Into Evolutionary Trees

Fossils do not come with dates or labels on them.  Sometimes it is quite a puzzle to figure out where they fit in Darwinian ancestral trees.  One such example was published in Nature on January 12 by Chinese scientists who found an oddball in the famous Liaoning fossil beds.1  They called it a “Cretaceous symmetrodont […]

Cambrian Explosion Still Troubling to Evolutionists

Despite Darwinian efforts to muffle it or spread it into a diffuse rumble, the Cambrian explosion (the near-sudden emergence of most animal body plans in the fossil record) was loud and snappy.  A new phylogenetic study by Antonis Rokas (MIT), Dirk Krüger, and Sean B. Carroll (U of Wisconsin), published in Science this week,1 could […]

Were Dinosaurs Cold-Blooded?

A paper in Science1 shows that at least one dinosaur species came in large and small forms.  Martin Sander and Nicole Klein studied fibrolammelar bone on plateosaurs (a heavy two-legged dinosaur with an elephant-like body and long neck), and found that the growth rates were poorly correlated with body size.  Some plateosaurs were full-grown at […]

Archaeopteryx in the Headlines Again: New Specimen Reported

The best-preserved fossil yet of Archaeopteryx was announced in Science this week,1 the tenth in all.  This one, described by Gerald Mayr of the Senckenberg Natural History Museum (Frankfurt, Germany), had a better-preserved foot than the others (all found in the Solnhofen Limestone beds of Bavaria) with indications it had a hyperextendable second toe somewhat […]

Mexican Footprints 1.3 Million Years Old?  Impossible, Señor

Paleoanthropologists have a major conundrum on their hands, or feet.  EurekAlert reported about controversial footprints found in Mexico ash deposits that had been thought to be 44,000 years old.  Even that was too old for many to swallow, but new argon-argon dates show them to be 1.3 million years old – far older than those […]

News from the Cretaceous

Here are some recent stories about extinct reptiles and bird-like creatures from the age of dinosaurs. T. Rex Smelled Good:  A story in Science1 listed evidence that Tyrannosaurus rex had a large olfactory bulb, giving it a good sense of smell.  Analysis of the visual and auditory parts of the skull suggest that it also […]

Sea Monsters Were For Real

A large fossil crocodile-like sea monster with a bullet-shaped snout has been reported in Science.1  See MSNBC News for a summary.  For an artistic rendering of what Dakosaurus andiniensis might have looked like, see National Geographic News, which states that the discovery will be the December cover story of their magazine.  Dubbed “Godzilla” by its […]

Dispute Over Hobbit Man Intensifies with New Bones

The debate over the status of Homo florensiensis has not calmed down (see 09/28/2005), even with the discovery of more bones in the Ling Bua cave on the island of Flores as announced in Nature (437, 1012-1017 (13 October 2005) | doi: 10.1038/nature04022).  Michael J. Morwood and colleagues are still sticking with their identification of […]

Archaeopteryx Meets Its Younger Grandpa, and Other Flights of Fancy

Science Now said that a “slightly embarrassing gap” in the fossil record has been filled by a find in Wyoming.  The oldest known bird, Archaeopteryx was older than its presumed ancestors, the Maniraptorans, its closest dinosaurian relatives.  A team near Thermopolis, Wyoming found a maniraptoran dating from about the same time as Archaeopteryx.  This new […]

Ancient Reptiles Exceed Textbook Explanations

Each new fossil from China’s Liaoning province seems to force a rewrite of the textbooks.  National Geographic News reported on fossils of pterosaurs with “much higher diversity… than one could possibly expect.”  Two species found in the Jehol area (02/21/2003) had long beaks with sharp teeth, and wingspans up to 8 feet.  “It was once […]

Spider Blood Survives 20 Million Years – So They Say

EurekAlert announced, “Spider blood found in 20 million year old fossil.”  Science Daily repeated the story.  The articles even tell how the spider died (it was climbing a tree and was struck on the head by fast-flowing sap).  The BBC News said, “Spider is ‘20 million years old.’” At least they put quotes around the […]

“Beautifully Engineered”: Giant Pterosaur Compared to Aircraft

Imagine an “aircraft engineer trying to convert a Eurofighter into a jumbo jet while it was still flying.”  That’s how David Martill (U of Portsmouth, UK) described the abilities of a baby pterosaur growing into a large adult, a BBC News story says.  Evidence suggests that pterosaurs were capable of flying soon after hatching.  Some […]

Chimpanzee Fossil Upsets Early Man Speciation Theory

Paleontologists need no longer lament the complete dearth of chimpanzee fossils.  Nature announced the discovery of the first fossil chimpanzee teeth.  The location, however – the Great Rift Valley in Africa – was unexpected.  The discoverers, Sally McBrearty and Nina G. Jablonski,1 explain: There are thousands of fossils of hominins, but no fossil chimpanzee has […]
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