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Lazarus, Come Forth: Living Fossils Rise from the Dead

An animal goes extinct.  Millions of years pass.  The animal is found living in some remote jungle.  Scientists call this the “Lazarus effect,” after the man Jesus raised from the dead (see John 11).  Others call these finds “living fossils,” long thought to be extinct but now thriving in isolated ecological niches.  There are many […]

Jurassic “Beaver” Raises Fur

Another mammal has been found smack in the middle of the age of dinosaurs.  Science reported the discovery of Castorocauda lutrasimilis, an aquatic mammal about 17” long, found in China and dated according to evolutionary reckoning to 164 million years old – some 40 million years older than the previous record holder (see also 04/01/2005 […]

It’s a Long (Roundabout) Way from Amphioxus

“Every solution breeds new problems” laments a Murphyism, and Henry Gee feels the pain.  In Nature this week,1 he delved into the growing quandary about where to put the common ancestor of starfish, sea squirts and chordates, including the vertebrates and us human beings.  His challenge is to prove the idiot’s sanity: So, if lancelets […]

Join the Dinosaur Soft-Tissue Treasure Hunt

“Many Dino Fossils Could Have Soft Tissue Inside,” announced National Geographic in an eye-catching title.  Based on the work of Mary Schweitzer, who announced soft tissue in a T. rex bone last year (06/03/2005), a “phenomenon, which was once thought impossible,” the article suggests that many species may have DNA and proteins remaining available for […]

Evolutionists Tackle Cambrian Explosion

You have to give credit to anyone who tackles a big problem head-on, regardless of whether you agree with their solution.  Two recent papers take on one of evolution’s biggest challenges: the Cambrian Explosion.  Assuming the evolutionary timeline, this represents a “brief” 5 million year period back 530 million years ago when most of the […]

Imaginary Feathers Found on Dinosaur

The science news outlets are all talking about a new dinosaur with feathers, but where are the feathers?  Bjorn Carey at LiveScience said that Guanlong wucaii were “likely covered in feathers” and MSNBC said it was “likely feathered as a chicken.”  John Roach on National Geographic News even went so far as to say, “Scientists […]

Lesson from Laetoli: Observations Should Not Conform to Preconceived Ideas

David Menton examined the quarrel over Mexican footprints dating “too early” for human evolution theories (see 11/30/2005 entry).  On Answers in Genesis, he has pictures of some of the prints, including one with a left-right stride and another with the right shape and indentations.  He disputes the evolutionary responses that these are not true human […]

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 […]
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