Archive for September, 2011
In The Origin of Species, Charles Darwin agonized over the gaps in the fossil record. “Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps,” Darwin pined, “is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against my theory.”
To address and justify the “serious objection,” Darwin reasoned that “only a small portion of the surface of the Earth has been geologically explored.” However, in the wake of 150 years of unprecedented paleontological research since the publication of The Origin of Species in 1859, the gaps are even more glaring. Continue Reading
The fossil remains of Australopithecus sediba, nicknamed Karabo, has generated a frenzy in the evolution loving media following the publication of five papers in the journal Science on September 9, 2011. The intention of the papers was to finally resolving the long standing human evolution fossil record gap problem.
Using state-of-the-art radiological technologies, the papers focused on the comparing the shape and size of the cranium, pelvis, hand, and ankle & foot of Karabo to humans. The fifth paper estimated the date of the fossils mains using advanced Uranium-lead dating technologies. Continue reading
In this last week’s issue of Science, researchers present two remarkably complete and well-preserved partial skeletons of a species called Australopithecus sediba discovered 3 years ago in a South African cave. The new report extended a flurry of spinning speculations on the possible human “missing link” status of A. sediba.
National Public Radio (NPR) ran an article entitled “Examining Ancient Fossils for Clues to Human Origins”. The Wall Street Journal chimed in with “Fossil Trove Sheds Light on a Stage of Evolution”. The Boston Globe speculated with the title “Skeleton could be human relative”; TIME with “Rethinking Human Origins: Fossils Reveal a New Ancestor on the Family Tree”. Contniue Reading
On the 2012 presidential campaign tour in New Hampshire, the current Republican front-runner, Texas Governor Rick Perry, set off a media firestorm responding to a question from a boy as prompted by his mother about the age of the Earth and evolution.
“I hear your mom was asking about evolution,” Perry said. “That’s a theory that is out there — and it’s got some gaps in it.” Continue Reading