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New Record-Setting Living Fossil Flabbergasts Scientists

A remarkably-detailed fossil ostracode, a type of crustacean, has been announced in the Dec. 5 issue of Science1 that is blowing the socks off its discoverers.  Erik Stokstad in a review of the discovery in the same issue2 explains its significance in the evolutionary picture of prehistory: Over the past half-billion years, evolution has dished […]

If a Meteor Roasted the Dinosaurs, Where’s the Charcoal?

A majority of scientists continue to believe that a falling asteroid felled the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, but problems remain.  London geologists went looking for evidence of charcoal at the Cretaceous-Tertiary layers, when the assumed impact occurred, assuming that the force of impact would have ignited a worldwide conflagration (thus the extinction of the […]

Got That?  The Complex Story of African Mammal Evolution

The article by Jean-Jacques Jaeger in the Dec. 4 issue of Nature1 is pretty upbeat about the evolutionary history of African mammals, but takes a bit of untangling to follow.     He begins confidently, “For some 40 million years, the Afro-Arabian landmass existed in splendid isolation.  A newly described fossil fauna from the end […]

Fossil Fingers Fuddle Phylogeny

Another fossil complicates the evolutionists’ picture of tetrapod origins (see Aug 9 headline).  Chinese paleontologists have reported1 a new marine reptile from Triassic strata (242 million years old, more or less).  Unexpectedly, it has extra digits (a condition called polydactyly) just like the putative ancestors of tetrapods from the earlier Devonian strata (370-354 million years […]

Dinosaur Family Tracks Discovered

A set of dinosaur tracks of different sizes pointing in the same direction has been found on the Isle of Skye, reports the BBC News.  It seems to indicate one adult and 10 juveniles, all of the same species, were moving together.  To Neil Clark, curator of the Glasgow Museum, these tracks tell a story […]

Human-Ape Gap Quadruples

Remember that old truism that humans and chimpanzees share 98.5% of their genes?  Try 94% instead.  That’s a new estimate by Matthew Hahn (Indiana U) and a team who published in a new online journal, PLoS One.1  J.R. Minkel, writing for Scientific American, said “The 6 percent difference is considerably larger than the commonly cited […]

How Bambi Gave Rise to Moby Dick

The title of this entry, in Kipling Just-So Story format, is only slightly modified from an article from The Guardian, titled, “How Bambi evolved into Moby-Dick.”  This is not a joke; check on the link and see.     The article is about the latest fossil claimed to be ancestral to whales.  Hans Thewissen (Northeastern […]

Evolution As Assumption

51; Reasoning requires premises: axioms or truths taken for granted.  Notice the premise of reasoning stated in a recent article on Science Daily: “Because all living organisms inherit their genomes from ancestral genomes, computational biologists at MIT reasoned that they could use modern-day genomes to reconstruct the evolution of ancient microbes.”  They used an evolutionary […]

Cooking Up Human Evolution, Or a Crock?

51; What’s cooking in human evolution stories?  “Cooking is what made us human,” announced zoologist Richard Wrangham on New Scientist.  “Cooking food allowed our ancestors to evolve our big brains, the zoologist argues, and created the gender roles still observed by most people.”  The reporter apparently did not catch the embedded Lamarckism in that sentence.  […]

Intelligent Design Put to Good Scientific Use

51; Evolutionists try to portray intelligent design as something outside of science that threatens science.  Actually, the techniques of intelligent design are hard at work within science, and have been for some time.  Examples are not hard to find on a variety of fronts. Archaeology:  “The ability to tell the difference between crystals that formed […]

Evolutionists Reduce Human Ideals to Molecules

Two recent stories illustrate the attempt by some evolutionary biologists to reduce complex human behaviors to chance events among molecules. You Are What You Get High On:  Michael Balter in ScienceNow asked, “Did endorphins make us more human?”  Pondering that question is a photo of a chimp and a naked ape (i.e., man) facing opposite […]

Out-of-Africa Theory Becomes More Convoluted

The old simple story that early modern humans migrated out of Africa 40,000 years ago and took over Europe from brutish Neanderthals just got more complicated.  A new theory mentioned in National Geographic News now proposes that they took a side trip to India first, 70,000 years ago.  After knocking off Heidelberg Man there, they […]

Another Tetrapod Ancestor Claimed

Maybe the Aussies want their share of missing link notoriety; an unusual fish with bony fins has been discovered in western Australia, reported in Nature.1  The bigger the splash a missing link makes for reporters, the better.  The story on Science Daily said, “A fossil fish discovered in the West Australian Kimberley has been identified […]

Press Goes Ape Over Baby Lucy

The news media, especially National Geographic, BBC News, and Associated Press (see Fox News) have new fodder for human-evolution stories and artwork, now that a partial skeleton of Australopithecus afarensis has been reported in Nature.1  The teeth, cranium, shoulder blades, fingers, inner ear, hyoid bone and other well-preserved parts match “typical African ape morphology.”  This […]

Farewell, Cannibal Dino

Whoops, We Were Wrong Dept.:  Fossils of Coelophysis found in 1947 included members of the same species in the stomach, so they were cannibals, right?  Not so fast, corrects an article in BBC News.  The food now looks more like filet of crocodile.  After re-examining the evidence, researchers from Columbia University and the American Museum […]
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