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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 […]

Cambrian Explosion Still Explosive

51; Two new papers about Cambrian and Precambrian fossils did nothing to help soften the blow of the Cambrian explosion – the sudden appearance of all the animal body plans in the geological blink of an eye.  They essentially restated the problem for Darwin, who hoped that fossil discoveries would fill in the gaps where […]

Only Atheists Need Apply

51; He’s a Christian, yes, but he is also a leading American scientist and a harsh critic of intelligent design.  He supports research on embryonic stem cells and upholds Darwin’s theory of evolution completely.  That’s not enough to get Francis Collins off the hook with the scientific establishment.  Both Nature and Science expressed “serious misgivings” […]

Fishing for Darwinian Stories

51; Stickleback fish can learn from each other where the best food sources are.  This proves you brain’s remarkable learning abilities have their roots in fish heads, according to science news sources this week.  Science Daily said the findings by UK scientists “show that the cognitive mechanisms underlying cumulative cultural evolution may be more prevalent […]

Something from Nothing Dept.: Can a Divide-and-Conquer Strategy Climb Mt. Improbable?

Darwinian evolution from the most primitive organisms to the most advanced must have produced huge increases in functional information (see 06/12/2003 entry).  Yet finding specific genetic mechanisms for just how DNA succeeded in “climbing Mt. Improbable,” as Richard Dawkins termed it in his book of the same name, has been daunting.  In a recent paper […]

Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week:  The Evolution of TV Dinners

Humans still have genetic memories of feasting and telling stories around the campfire, says Martin Jones at Cambridge University.  That’s why we gravitate toward eating TV dinners in front of the telly.  This opinion is expressed in all seriousness by United Press International, titled “Television dinners linked to evolution.”  Jones calls today’s TV dinners “today’s […]

Findings vs Surmisings in Evolutionary Biology

51; What part of the following story is a finding, and what is a supposition?  Science Daily told about work by Julie Baker (Stanford) and a graduate student who set out to discover the evolutionary origin of the mammalian placenta.  They evaluated differences between placentas and eggs of a number of different animals, and told […]
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