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Neanderthals: Random Drift, Not Natural Selection

The differences between Neanderthals and modern humans were not due to evolution for bigger brains or anything of the sort.  They were due to genetic drift, says an article on Live Science.     “A team of anthropologists has compared measurements of Neanderthal skulls to modern human skulls, and argues that most variations among them […]

Were Hobbits Pygmies?

More miniature human skeletons have been discovered in Micronesia.  These ones, found at Palau and reported in PLoS One,1 are unquestionably modern human, but small in stature – less than four feet tall.  They are also recent.  Radiocarbon dates on the bones yielded dates between 1400 and 3000 years old.  The find was reported by […]

Darwin for the Birds

Here’s a flock of bird stories that have Charles Darwin on stage or in the wings, so to speak. Was Darwin wrong?  Yes!  Contra National Geographic (10/24/2004), the science news outlets are all saying today that Darwin was wrong – but only about the origin of chickens (see EurekAlert #1, EurekAlert #2 and Science Daily).  […]

Sea Monsters Were for Real, and Other Wonders Under the Sea

National Geographic News published a story about a real sea monster.  A fossil pliosaur nearly 50 feet in length, the largest marine reptile ever found, was discovered in permafrost just 800 miles from the North Pole, on the Arctic island of Spitsbergen in Norway’s Svalbard archipelago.  Scientists estimate it had such strong teeth and muscles […]

Paleofantasy: Brain Evolution Is Mere Storytelling

When it comes to explaining the brain, evolutionists are completely in the dark.  That was the surprising message in a presentation to the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science by Harvard evolutionist Richard Lewontin.  James Randerson blogged the presentation in the UK Guardian, beginning, “We know nothing about brain evolution.  […]

Evolutionary Theory Can’t Handle Language

Did a gene turn on speech?  Five years ago, evolutionary geneticists were claiming that mutations in a gene called Foxp2 were the key to human language (see 08/15/2002, 05/26/2004).  This was based on two observations: chimps do not have these mutations, and people with alterations to Foxp2 have language impediments.  This idea is very unlikely […]

Oldest Bat Fossil: Was It Evolving?

A bat fossil surpassing the previous record holder for the oldest by 2 million years made the cover of Nature this week.1  The news media immediately began saying that it provided insight into evolution. The BBC News announced “Bat fossil solves evolution poser.” National Geographic called it the icing on the cake, and said that […]

Facile Fixes for Fossil Foibles

Can biologists see Darwin in the fossils?  Only if they look hard.  Andrew P. Hendry (McGill University) wrote in Nature that Darwin has been there all along; we just weren’t looking right.1     Hendry argues that our methods of statistically analyzing the fossil record are guaranteed not to see Darwin.  To explain the patterns […]

Horseshoe Crabs Unchanged Since Ordovician

A fossil horseshoe crab has been discovered in Canada that pushes back their origins at least 100 million years in the evolutionary timetable.  The previous record placed these marine arthropods in the Carboniferous (350 million years BP in the geologic column); others were known from the Jurassic.  “Both the Carboniferous and the Jurassic fossil discoveries […]

Do Chicks Tell Dinosaur Tales?

For years, evolutionary biologists have battled over the origin of flight.  Did dinosaurs run along the ground and take off, or did they jump from trees?  The first idea is called the cursorial hypothesis; the latter, the arboreal hypothesis.  In 2003, Ken Dial [U Montana] had an idea: maybe watching partridge chicks could inform the […]

Backtracking on Darwinian Claims

Evolutionary theory evolves.  Since Darwinists no longer consider evolution progressive, it follows that evolutionary theory is also not necessarily progressing.  The following stories show evolutionary biologists backtracking on earlier claims. The pig is falling.  “Darwinian evolutionary theory proposes that the phenotype of a creature is an adaptation to the particular demands of the ecological situation […]

Walking Fish Gets Good Mileage

In 2006 (04/06/2006), 05/03/2006), Neil Shubin of the University of Chicago announced his missing link: Tiktaalik, a fish with wrist bones that he claimed were transitional between fish and four-footed creatures, or tetrapods. Since then he has taken his fish on the road and is getting good mileage for evolution.

Zatta Fact?  “Scientific Facts” Evolve

Every once in awhile it is good to be reminded that “scientific facts” are in a constant state of revision.  Here are some recent examples of scientists with surprised looks on their faces: Cholesterol for health:  Surprise, says EurekAlert: cholesterol may actually pose health benefits.  “… don’t push aside bacon and eggs just yet,” it […]

Laetoli Prints Eroding Fast

Can footprints said to be 3.7 million years old be so fragile as to disappear in 30 years?  News@Nature reported that the famed Laetoli footprints, said to be those of Lucy’s vintage, are in danger of being destroyed by weathering, erosion, vegetation, cattle and humans.     Though located several hours’ drive in Ngorongoro National […]

Dinosaur Fossil Shows Exquisite Skin Detail

More imaginary feathers on a dinosaur have been discovered.  A BBC News article shows a cartoon of a dinosaur with feathers on its arms.  This is strange, because the paper it refers to makes no claim about feathers – only that certain structures had been interpreted as feathers by some.     The original paper […]
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