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Evolution Out of Sync

Evolutionary theory explains everything but the kitchen sink, but what if things get out of sync?  According to Darwin’s tree of life, things happen in a particular order.  The same complex trait should not emerge on separate branches independently.  Findings contrary to the tree pattern could sink the theory – or at least give some […]

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 […]

Cambrian Jellyfish Found

It’s official: jellyfish were part of the Cambrian explosion.  National Geographic News has pictures of well-preserved jellyfish fossils from Utah that show even the “distinct bell shape, tentacles, muscle scars, and possibly even the gonads.”     These fossils are dated by evolutionary standards at 500 million years old, into the period of the Cambrian […]

Amphioxus Is Green, Like Coral

Evolutionists may want to combine their song “It’s a long way from Amphioxus” (02/23/2006) with “It isn’t easy being green.”  Green fluorescent protein (GFP) has been found in the lungfish Amphioxus, according to a press release from Scripps Institution of Oceanography.  Why is this not easy?  Because it’s a long way: “The researchers say amphioxus’ […]

Evolutionary Science Reporting Battles Creationists

If creationism is so discredited as to not warrant any further discussion, some science writers are sure going out of their way to refute it.  Some recent examples: Eye of the Hydra:  Little sea creatures known as hydrae have light-sensitive molecules called opsins, reported Science Daily.  Scientists think the opsin proteins, which exist all over […]

Make Your Face Sparkle With Diatoms

Human engineers may join forces with cellular architects to produce the next generation of paints, cosmetics and holograms, reported Science Daily.  Scientists are finding ways to harness the rapid growth of diatoms.  Manufacturing consumer products with these properties currently requires energy-intensive, high-temperature, high-pressure industrial processes that create tiny artificial reflectors.  But farming diatom shells, which […]

Nanofabrication Imitates Shells, Butterflies

A new plastic “strong as steel” has been manufactured according to the specs in seashells, reported PhysOrg.  “By mimicking a brick-and-mortar molecular structure found in seashells, University of Michigan researchers created a composite plastic that’s as strong as steel but lighter and transparent.”  (See these previous entries about how marine organisms manufacture their shells: 06/26/2003, […]

Earliest Comb Jelly Fossil Looks Modern

One would think that a paper listed in the category “Evolution” would include supporting evidence that evolution had occurred, but a new Evolution paper in PNAS provides more arguments against it than for it.1  An international team studying early Cambrian fossil beds in China found a comb jelly embryo essentially identical to those alive today.  […]

Animal Plan IT

Imitating animal technology is one of the hottest areas in science.  The engineering and information technology (IT) observable in living things continues to astonish scientists and makes engineers want to imitate nature’s designs.  Biomimetics is leading to productive, useful discoveries helping solve human problems and leading to a better life for all.  Here are some […]

Fish Species in African Lake Diversified Rapidly

Two related articles in the Public Library of Science (PLoS) show that a large number of species can branch out of a small population in a short time.  Hobbyists familiar with tropical fish appreciate how wide is the variety found within Cichlids.  In the first article,1 the author alleged that in the last 15,000 years, […]

Fossil Lamprey Changed Little in 360 Million Years

Lampreys, fish that consist of little more than a mouth with a tube-like body and fin, don’t usually fossilize well because they lack bones and hard cartilage.  A small two-inch fossil lamprey has been found in South Africa and reported in Nature1 (see also National Geographic, Live Science and EurekAlert based on a press release […]

Science Potpourri

Interesting articles from recent issues of Science have piled up in the queue.  These might have made separate entries in CEH if time and space were unlimited. Deep Impact:  The team of the Deep Impact mission to a comet published spectral results in the July 13 issue.  “Emission signatures due to amorphous and crystalline silicates, […]

Archer Fish Shoot Efficiently

Archer fish, the sharpshooters of the underwater world, have another trick in their blowguns: energy efficiency.  Three German scientists were curious how they knew how hard to shoot at targets of differing mass.  Publishing in Current Biology,1 the team first determined that the prey’s ability to cling to its leaf or stem is proportional to […]

Sea Monster Fossils Found in Arctic

The BBC News reported the discovery of over two dozen plesiosaurs, pliosaurs and ichthyosaurs (see 04/20/2005) north of Norway.  Skeletons of the large marine reptiles, completely assembled, were found buried in fine-grained sedimentary layers of black shale.  “Everything we’re finding is articulated,” said Jorn Harald Hurum, co-director of the dig.  “It’s not single bones here […]

Evolution Is Slow, Except When It Is Super-Fast

Evolutionary biologists seem comfortable with rates of evolution that vary by eight orders of magnitude or more.  While some animals found at the alleged dawn of multicellular life at the beginning of the Cambrian have changed little in 500 million years, other organisms seem to evolve right before our eyes.  Sara Goudarzi on LiveScience described […]
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