Roadrunner and Largest Flying Bird Described from Fossils
July 15, 2007
A bird with a 23-foot wingspan was described in the BBC News. At an estimated 155 pounds, this bird probably had to jump from a height to get airborne and likely rode on thermals. The article says the bird rivalled in size some light airplanes. A diagram shows the Argentinean giant with wings upwardly stretched […]
But Is It Evolution?
July 14, 2007
Every week the news media cheerfully present the latest finding that is claimed to be evidence for evolution. The following recent examples, though, might leave a perceptive reader wondering, “What’s Darwin got to do with it?” Slow? No!: If you thought evolution was a gradual process too slow to watch, get a load of this: […]
Baby Frozen Mammoth Found Intact
July 10, 2007
The BBC News has a picture of a baby frozen mammoth that was found intact in northwest Siberia. The article says it is one of the best-preserved frozen mammoths ever found, complete with eyes, fur, and trunk. One investigator said, “In terms of its state of preservation, this is the world’s most valuable discovery” of […]
Greenland Was Forest Green
July 6, 2007
Greenland once had boreal forests like those in Sweden, reported Science Daily. Researchers analyzed the mud under 2 km of ice and found DNA from yew, alder, pine, grain, butterflies, moths, flies and beetles. According to the article, “the research is painting a picture which is overturning all previous assumptions about biological life and the […]
Chinese Eat Dragon Bone for Health
July 4, 2007
Chinese villagers dig up dinosaur bones for health food. Yahoo News reported, “Villagers in central China dug up a ton of dinosaur bones and boiled them in soup or ground them into powder for traditional medicine, believing they were from flying dragons and had healing powers.” The article says the bones are calcium rich and […]
The Chimp-Human 1% Difference: A Useful Lie
June 29, 2007
Jon Cohen made a remarkable admission in Science this week.1 The popular notion that humans and chimpanzees are genetically 99% similar is a myth, and should be discarded. Since 1975, textbooks, the media and museums have emphasized this close similarity; but now, Cohen quoted a number of scientists who say the number cannot possibly be […]
Chimp Altruism: Is it All True?
June 27, 2007
Humans are the only inhabitants of earth that are masters of true altruism: helping others with no thought of reward. Previous experiments had shown that chimpanzees lack this trait. Given an opportunity to help another chimp get a banana, they showed no pattern of charity. New experiments by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for […]
Giant Fossil Penguins Lived in Warm Waters
June 26, 2007
“Giant prehistoric penguins? In Peru?” puzzled a reporter on Science Daily. “It sounds more like something out of Hollywood than science,” but a fossil penguin you could look eye to eye with has been found that far north. “We tend to think of penguins as being cold-adapted species,” said one of the discoverers,” but not […]
Crisis at Both Ends of Darwins Tree
June 21, 2007
Two assumptions about evolution – one about the earliest multicellular organisms and one about the rise of mammals – have run into trouble. Eukarya sans Mechanista: “In the absence of direct evidence, science should proceed cautiously with conjecture,” wisely advised Anthony Poole and David Penny in Nature.1 They scorned the researchers who glibly invent fables […]
The Evolution of Pride: Psychology Trumps the Bible?
June 19, 2007
“The Bible got it wrong,” announced a subtitle on Science Daily: pride doesn’t come before a fall (Proverbs 16:18). A proud look and haughty eyes may be the first two of the Bible’s seven deadly sins (Proverbs 6:16-19), but psychologist Jessica Tracy (U of British Columbia) begs to differ. She says pride can be a […]
Huge Forest Fossilized Suddenly
June 14, 2007
Nature1 had some interesting comments about the fossil forest found in a coal mine a few months ago (see 04/23/2007). Kirk Johnson of the Denver Museum of Natural History said that a vast area (over 3.8 square miles) must have been inundated quickly for this fossil graveyard to be preserved. Rapid burial can result from […]
Imaginary Dinosaur Feathers Found Again!
June 13, 2007
Last year, we reported that imaginary feathers had been found on a dinosaur fossil (see 02/08/2006). Now, more imaginary feathers have turned up. This turkey was big, too: the dinosaur plumed in the imaginary feathers stood almost 12 feet tall. Everyone’s talking about it: Fox News, MSNBC News and Science News among others. National Geographic […]
Invent Animals: Just Add Phosphorus
June 11, 2007
“Phosphate does a body good,” announced Leslie Mullen in an article for Astrobiology Magazine, a NASA website. So good, in fact, it builds whole new body plans. Her story suggests that the Cambrian explosion was due to a rise in phosphate in the oceans. In the Cambrian explosion, virtually all the animal phyla […]
Did Walking Evolve in the Trees?
June 4, 2007
The news media are all echoing a report from Science1 that orangutan behavior in trees tells us something about the evolution of human bipedalism (see National Geographic, Fox News, and MSNBC News). If this new view gains acceptance, it means the old iconic image of man emerging upright from a stooped-over ape posture (05/03/2007) is […]
Dino Feathers or Horsefeathers?
May 23, 2007
The much-touted feathers on certain dinosaurs may be nothing more than collagen fibers. An article on ABC France says “Dinosaur ‘feathers’ are no such thing.” Instead, it’s just decayed dermal collagen, like that found on sharks and reptiles. A South African team came to this conclusion after analyzing the alleged feathers on Sinosauropteryx. […]