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Do New Fossils Soften the Cambrian Explosion?

Look at the picture of fossils in an article on PhysOrg.  The discoverers claim these fossils from Gabon are 2.1 billion years old, and provide evidence that multicellular organisms began evolving long before the Cambrian explosion.  “Until now, it has been assumed that organized multicellular life appeared around 0.6 billion years ago and that before […]

Tibetans Evolved Altitude Tolerance in 3,000 Years

Tibetans and other peoples who live at high altitudes possess a remarkable tolerance to the thin atmosphere.  Now, scientists at UC Berkeley have identified some 30 genes related to oxygen regulation that differ in Tibetans from Han Chinese.  Since those tribes are thought to have diverged 3,000 years ago, natural selection for these changes must […]

Lucy Gets a Date with Big Man

Another specimen of Australopithecus afarensis has been announced from Ethiopia.  This one supposedly preceded Lucy by 400,000 years, and according to its discoverers, belonged to a group of primates that shows they “were almost as proficient as we are walking on two legs, and that the elongation of our legs came earlier in our evolution […]

Fossils Without Evolution

New fossils continue to turn up around the world.  Many of them have an amazing characteristic in common: they look almost exactly like their living counterparts, despite being millions of years old, according to the evolutionary timescale.  It’s interesting sometimes to hear how the evolutionists explain the remarkable lack of evolution in all that time. […]

Darwin’s Sweatshop: Why Ethiopia Made People Hairless

Five scientists think they have figured out why people walk upright and don’t have fur like other mammals.  They had to evolve in Ethiopia, where it is hot.  This led to the loss of body hair, and the evolution of sweat glands and other adaptations to deal with the heat.     It’s not that […]

How Science Is Done: Upsetting Applecarts

Hardly a week goes by without some scientific finding upsetting an applecart – a long-held belief.  Often, those beliefs are scientific theories taught in textbooks by science professors.  Defenders of science say that this is the way science works.  It’s a self-correcting process, they argue; it’s to be expected that new data will lead to […]

More Pow in the Cambrian Explosion

Scientists have found more fossil evidence for sudden emergence of animal body plans in the Cambrian strata.  Two papers in Geology discuss evidence on opposite sides of the world.  One team found bryozoans in Mexico 8 million years older than the record-holders in China,1 and another scientist found diverse echinoderms in Spain dating from the […]

Archaeopteryx Fossil Retains Original Soft-Tissue Material

We are usually told that fossils involve the complete replacement of original living material by rock, except in rare cases (such as amber), because organic material is quickly destroyed.  One of the most famous rock fossils is Archaeopteryx, the bird that has often been claimed to be a missing link from dinosaurs.  An international team […]

Humans and Neanderthals Are One

If Neanderthals bred with modern humans, they are one and the same species.  That must be the case according to the most widely-accepted definition of a species: those who can breed and produce fertile offspring.  The news media are abuzz with Science magazine’s cover story this week, “The Neanderthal Genome.”1  Most anthropologists are now accepting […]

Dino-Feather Story Gets Fluffier

Xing Xu is at it again, claiming that dinosaur feathers are found everywhere – in China, at least, where the bulk of “feathered dinosaur” claims keep turning up in farmyards.  The latest claim is that “Feather structures in maturing dinosaurs changed as they grew.”  This story is accompanied by artwork showing the critters looking as […]

Dinosaurs Lived in Vast Ecological Zones

Don’t think of dinosaur species living in small ecological zones.  Their habitats covered vast areas, according to a new study: “Researchers at McGill University are unlocking the mysteries of the little-known habits of dinosaurs in discovering that the entire western interior of North America was likely once populated by a single community of dinosaurs,” reported […]

What Can Fossil Leaf Measurements Tell About Evolution?

Flowering plants burst on the scene in the fossil record 140 million years ago in the geologic timescale, creating an “abominable mystery” for Charles Darwin.  What can be learned by measuring the stems and leaves of fossil specimens?     Dana Royer and colleagues from Wesleyan University in Connecticut embarked on a project to measure […]

Another Fossil “Human Ancestor” Claimed

Meet Australopithecus sediba – or is it Homo something?  Scientists are arguing over how to classify new fossils found in a cave at Malapa, South Africa.  Announced today in Science,1 the fossils, alleged to be just under 2 million years old, are producing a strange mixture of hopeful headlines and cautionary counsels from experts.   […]

Early City Uncovered in Syria

A complex, stratified society with industry appears to have burst on the scene 4000 to 6000 years ago in northern Syria.  Science Daily reported, “The mound of Tell Zeidan in the Euphrates River Valley near Raqqa, Syria, which had not been built upon or excavated for 6,000 years, is revealing a society rich in trade, […]

How Much Can One Bone Say?

Two fossil discoveries are generating a lot of news from a single bone.  The first is a dinosaur hip.  The second is a human finger.  How much weight can a single bone carry? Australian tyrannosaur:  The tyrannosaurid dinosaurs had a distinctive hip bone.  Live Science cast any doubt on the claims: “it’s still a hypothesis […]
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