Archive for May, 2012

Race for the Origin of Life Theory

Charles Darwin rejected the Genesis account of creation written by Moses. Lingering doubts over the origins of life, however, forced Darwin to reject atheism and embrace agnosticism: “The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us; and I for one must be content to remain an Agnostic.”

More than 150 years after the publication of The Origin of Species in 1859, this “mystery of the beginning of all things” continues to be elusive.

With a legion of unanswered evolution issues still on the table, aggressive initiatives to answer Darwin’s lingering “mystery” have been launched. With a line drawn in the sand, the race is on with two major contenders vying for the discovery. Continue Reading

Evolution of the Coelacanth Saga

This week Andrew J. Wendruff and Mark V. H. Wilsonof the University of Alberta made a new contribution to the evolution of the coelacanth saga in the paper “A fork-tailed coelacanth, Rebellatrix divaricerca” published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Since the discovery in England by Louis Agassiz in 1839, the coelacanth has played a pivotal role in the history of evolution.

For Agassiz, the coelacanth fossil record pointed to “a correspondence between the succession of Fishes [evolution of fishes] in geological times”. Reflecting on Agassiz findings, Charles Darwin wrote in The Origin of Species: “this doctrine of Agassiz accords well with the theory of natural selection.” Continue Reading

Java Man, First Human Missing Link Fossil?

Java Man is the common name the first human-like fossils discovered by Eugene Dubois in 1891 following the publication of The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin in 1859 on the banks of the Solo River located on Java island, an island in Indonesia.

Dubois claimed, based the size and shape of a tooth, the fraction of a skull, and a femur, found a year later located roughly forty feet from the tooth and skull, to have discovered the first elusive human missing link. Dubois named the fragments Pithecanthropus erectuserect ape-man. Two views of these are pictured.

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The Molecular Nightmare

“If a biochemist is asked to identify the one enzyme which is most vital to all forms of life, he would probably name cytochrome c oxidase,” according to American molecular biologist Earl Frieden at Florida State University.

Cytochrome c is the essential component of life’s electron transport chain. Amazingly, unlike hemoglobin with one metal atom, iron, cytochrome c is even more complex, containing four metal atoms−iron, copper, zinc and magnesium. Continue Reading

Book Description

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Darwin, Then and Now is a journey through the most amazing story in the history of science - the history of evolution. The book encapsulates who Darwin was, what he said, and what scientists have discovered since the publication of The Origin of Species in 1859.

With over 1,000 references, Darwin Then and Now is a historical chronicle of the rise and fall of the once popular theory of biological evolution.