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Whale Sonar: Necessity Is the Mother of Invention

Biosonar is a complex ability possessed by toothed whales and dolphins, bats and some birds.  It includes both the ability to produce signals and to process the echoes to locate prey.  How could such a system evolve?  Scientists at UC Berkeley proposed an answer.  The press release promised a developing story: Behind the sailor’s lore […]

Messy Evidence Proves Humans Evolved

An article from Live Science seems to suggest that the way to do science these days is to believe things in spite of the evidence – at least when it comes to human evolution.  In a juxtaposition of imponderables that might make a schizophrenic feel at home, Meredith Small asserted that evolution is a fact […]

Evolution Takes Credit

It may be more blessed to give than to receive, but evolution often just takes.  The following news stories show evolution taking credit for a variety of phenomena when it is not quite clear how it earned it. Big insects:  Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory surmised that insects were larger in the past because there […]

Science Journals Make Dogmatic Atheist Statements

Science is supposed to be restricted to the physical and observable world, but the major journals do not hesitate to state ardent, dogmatic opinions about the non-existence of God.  Often they assert without debate that belief in God is an artifact of human evolution.  Here are some recent examples: Tinker Bell, not Jehovah:  Georg Striedter […]

Trilobite Tree Is Upside Down

Darwin predicted that life would become more diverse over time, like the branches on a tree.  The pattern of trilobites in the fossil record is just the opposite: more diversity appears in the lower layers, and less diversity in the upper layers.  Surprisingly, evolutionary paleontologists are turning this into evidence for Darwin’s theory.     […]

What Are Human Genes Doing in a Sea Anemone?

The genome of a sea anemone has been published, and of all things, this lowly animal has genes common to vertebrates, even humans.  Science Daily began with a conundrum, “The first analysis of the genome of the sea anemone shows it to be nearly as complex as the human genome, providing major insights into the […]

The Chimp-Human 1% Difference: A Useful Lie

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 […]

Giant Fossil Penguins Lived in Warm Waters

“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 […]

Council of Europe Officially Condemns Creationism and I.D.

A lengthy and strident policy document was issued by the Council of Europe denouncing creationism.  The summary statement makes it clear there is no compromise possible, because “religious fundamentalists” are behind it, and that creationism and intelligent design must be firmly and unequivocally opposed.  Evolution, by contrast, is given supreme status as the explanation for […]

Plants’ International Travel Upsets Evolutionary Idea

They may be rooted in soil, but plants really get around.  Some of them make it around the world.  One example has upset a long-believed evolutionary idea.     First of all, plants have a social life.  National Geographic published a story about how plants socialize and communicate.  “Plants have family values, too, it seems, […]

Genome Complexity Unveiled: No Junk, Only Function

Any remaining doubts that the idea of “junk DNA” has itself been junked should vanish under the latest findings about genome complexity.  A number of recent news stories have revealed astonishing levels of regulation and organization in the non-coding regions of DNA.  It turns out that genes are not the only interesting things in the […]

Imaginary Dinosaur Feathers Found – Again!

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 […]

Color-Blind Cephalopods Perform Colorful Camouflage Tricks

Roger Hanlon has studied octopi, squid and cuttlefish for decades.  He stands in awe of their ability to camouflage themselves.  In a Primer article for Current Biology,1 he detailed some of their sleight-of-skin magic tricks.     His article has frames from a movie clip that show an octopus changing its skin from plain to […]

Did Walking Evolve in the Trees?

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 […]

Origin of Multicellularity: Back to the Drawing Board

Micro-RNAs have been found in green algae.  So?  What’s the big deal?  If you read the statements in Nature,1 it sounds like evolutionary biologists consider it a big, bad deal: The discovery, made independently by two labs, dismantles the popular theory that the regulatory role of microRNAs in gene expression is tied to the evolution […]
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