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Likely, Evolution May Be a Fact, Presumably

When reading evolutionary science papers, one gets the feeling there are more than the usual number of words indicating conjecture, doubt and uncertainty.  We decided to check this out in the July 11 issue of Current Biology.  Scans for the words perhaps, probably, might, possibly, likely, may, apparently, seem and presumably and their derivatives were […]

Cambrian Mollusk: Does It Help Animal Evolution Story?

A soft-bodied mollusk named Odontogriphus known from the Burgess Shale, placed in the Middle Cambrian, has been described in more detail in Nature.1  If the Middle Cambrian is well after the Cambrian explosion, how can the authors claim this pushes the story of animal evolution far back into the Precambrian, before the explosion?  A reporter […]

Evolving Consciousness Without a Soul

A paper tackling the theory of consciousness begins, Any scientific study of consciousness is based on the premise that phenomenal experience is entailed by neuronal activity in the brain.  Given this premise, an adequate theory of consciousness must be consistent with physics and with evolutionary principles.  Nonphysical or dualistic forces or processes must be excluded, […]

Nature Gives Top Blog Honors to Radical Atheists

P. Z. Myers (U of Minnesota) has been one of the most foul-mouthed critics of creation, intelligent design and religion in general.  He has said that Abraham was worse than Hitler (see Evolution News).  He has ridiculed the crucifixion of Christ (see Evolution News).  His opinion on how to treat anti-evolutionists: “I say, screw the […]

Genetic Code Began by Lamarckian Evolution

It takes guts to tackle the origin of the genetic code from a naturalist perspective.  It also takes guts to resurrect Lamarck in the age of Darwin.  Carl Woese and colleagues tried a new hypothesis in PNAS1 that boldly goes headlong into both challenges.  To preserve a natural explanation for the genetic code, they felt […]

Paper View:  Why SETI Hears Only a “Great Silence”

Enrico Fermi posed a curious question in 1950: “Where is everybody?”  If life emerges on planets as a consequence of evolution, there should be other intelligent civilizations out there, and some of them must have colonized other worlds.  He thought there must have been plenty of time for galactic colonizers to achieve technologies far beyond […]

Evolutionists Find Pegasus in the Gene Epic

When you conjure with genes, you never know what might appear.  Japanese scientists, publishing in PNAS,1 tried to find evolution in mammalian retroposons and found an unexpected relationship.  New Scientist explains: “You could call it a batty idea, but bats seem to be more closely related to horses than cows are.”     “Despite the […]

Science Reporters Spin Spider Web Data Into Evolutionary Program

A spider was found perfectly preserved in amber (fossil tree sap), complete with its web and prey.  It is identical to modern spiders.  Isn’t evolution amazing?     If you just experienced a software crash, there must be something wrong with your BIOS.  All the news media ran that program just fine.  A patch is […]

The World Against I.D.

The Inter-Academy Panel (IAP) on International Issues, a global network of scientific academies, has issued a statement endorsing cosmic and biological evolution.  It urges “decision makers, teachers, and parents to educate all children about the methods and discoveries of science and to foster an understanding of the science of nature.”  Though the statement does not […]

Cambrian Explosion Precursors, or Drops in the Bucket?

Two recent presentations, one in person and one in print, tried to fill in the gap of fossils that led to the explosion of diversity in the Cambrian, known as the Cambrian Explosion (see 04/23/2006 entry). Darwin’s Dilemma Solved?  Dr. J. William Schopf (UCLA), renowned discoverer of Precambrian microfossils, triumphantly announced the solution to “Darwin’s […]

How Can They Call This Duck a Missing Link?

The news media are abuzz with the phrase “Missing Link” again.  This time, it’s about a fossilized duck or loon found in Early Cretaceous strata in China, announced in Science.1  The article calls it a “nearly modern” bird with soft-tissue preservation, including webbed feet, wing feathers and downy feathers.  They said it “possesses advanced anatomical […]

Cactus Evolution Explained

Phew, finally: now we know how cacti evolved, reports EurekAlert.  Ouch!  On second thought, how’s that again?     Two Yale scientists set out to figure out how the succulent plants turned leaves into spines.  Using molecular methods, they identified the earliest cactus, but then said it “already showed water use patterns that are similar […]

Fish Forsakes Fins in Favor of Arms

A crucial fossil palaeontologists are hailing as a true “missing link” in the evolutionary record has been uncovered in the arctic.  The discovery of a well preserved species of fossil fish bridges the gap between finned fish and their four legged relatives.  This croco-fish creature, documented in Nature,1 named Tiktaalik roseae has joints in its […]

Doctors Deny Darwin

Doctors and medical professionals may comprise the largest block of scientists with qualms about evolution.  According to a Finkelstein poll, an average of 60% of doctors, depending on religious demographics, reject the completely unguided Darwinian evolutionary explanation for life.  A new organization, Physicians and Surgeons for Scientific Integrity (PSSI), has begun a website Doctors Doubting […]

Comparing Preferences for Pain or Gain

A group of researchers published in the Journal of Political Economy introduced the idea economic loss and gain incentives are innate, not learned.  To demonstrate this concept, the researchers presented capuchin monkeys two opportunities leading to two different outcomes for the monkey: pain or gain.  The capuchin monkeys had a tendency to choose the opportunity […]
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