Archive for June, 2013
While “extinction and natural selection go hand in hand,” Darwin advanced the concept that the pendulum favored the formation of original new species−speciation. The title, The Origin of Species, encapsulates this theory.
In a new study published in Science Express this month by biologist Tiago Quental of the University of São Paulo, Brazil, and paleobiologist Charles Marshall of the University of California, Los Angeles, entitled “How the Red Queen drives terrestrial mammals to extinction,” however, undermines Darwin’s new species theory. The study was designed to test a popular evolutionary theory called the Red Queen hypothesis.
‘Tree of life’ drawings are the only quintessential symbol of biological evolution. In 1837, Charles Darwin drew his first with the title “I Think. Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education in California, updated Darwin’s drawing as the organization’s logo in 2007. Since then, Darwin’s 1837 tree drawing has emerged as a popular subject for tattoo.
By the publication of The Origin of Species more than twenty years later in 1859, however, the tree had evolved into what Darwin called a “diagram” with no resemblance to the 1837 tree. Like the “I Think” drawing, Darwin never discloses what evidence behind the diagram. The drawing was simply ideological.
One of the most widely accepted models of human evolution is dubbed the ‘out-of-Africa theory. Charles Darwin was one of the first to propose the descent of all humans from a common ancestor in Africa.
After studying the behavior of African apes, Darwin argued in the Descent of Man, “that our early progenitors lived on the African continent than elsewhere.” Not everyone, however, agreed with Darwin even during his lifetime. Darwin’s Bulldog, Thomas Huxley, supported Darwin’s ‘out-of-Africa’ theory, while German embryologist Ernst Haeckel advanced the ‘out-of-Asia’ theory. Since then, not much has changed.
In the prestigious Nature journal, an international team of scientists published their paper entitled “The oldest known primate skeleton and early haplorhine evolution” after studying the evidence for ten years lead by Xijun Ni of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, China. Haplorhini is a ‘dry-nosed’ primate that includes a family known as tarsiers— a primate fossil found in Asia.
Evolution, as Charles Darwin insisted, must “have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications.” Since the publication of The Origin of Species in 1859, the pursuit of evolutionary paleontologists, embryologists, molecular biologists, and geneticists have been to discover these “successive, slight” changes−even in chromosomes.
The convergence of evidence from these scientific fields to paint a uniform evolutionary pattern was once considered the ultimate goal to validate Darwin’s theory. After 150 years of unprecedented research, however, the evidence is more contradictory than complementary. While Darwinism has never been validated, alternative theories of evolution continue to cycle through constant states of crisis. Scientific evidence from genes and chromosomes do not complement evolution.