Archive for May, 2013
Entitled “Palaeontological evidence for an Oligocene divergence between Old World monkeys and apes,” the research paper was funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, the Leakey Foundation and the National Geographic Society. The findings are a culmination of more than 10 years of work on the Rukwa Rift Basin Project.
The fossil record was no friend of Charles Darwin in 1859. Now, more than 150 years later, the fossil record is no longer a friend of Richard Dawkins, either. “Why does not,” Darwin pointed out, “every collection of fossil remains afford plain evidence of the gradation and mutation of the forms of life?”
The question was unavoidable, the elephant in the room, yet troubling since Darwin recognized that the fossil record could eventually either make or break his theory:
The Joint International Turtle Genomes Consortium from China, Japan and the United States published findings for the first time in the prestigious journal of Nature. The research team described their most recent findings on embryonic gene expression in the paper entitled “The draft genomes of soft-shell turtle and green sea turtle yield insights into the development and evolution of the turtle specific body plan.”
Since the publication of The Origin of Species in 1859, embryology has played a pivotal role in the history of evolution. Charles Darwin noted that the “leading facts in embryology … [were] second to none in importance” in establishing his theory of evolution. That was then.