Archive for July, 2013
As the HMS Beagle arrived at Tierra del Fuego on the southern-most tip of South America in December 1832, Darwin records in The Voyage of the Beagle (1845) that “without exception the most curious and interesting spectacle I ever beheld: I could not have believed how wide was the difference between savage and civilized man: it is greater than between a wild and domesticated animal.” For Darwin, the Fuegians were viewed as wild human animals−bordering on a type of wild ape.
In a new report entitled On the antiquity of language: the reinterpretation of Neandertal linguistic capacities and its consequences in the journal Frontiers in Language Sciences (July 2013), Dan Dediu and Stephen C. Levinson of the prestigious Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, Netherlands found only “relatively small differences between modern humans, Neandertals and Denisovans.” Darwin was wrong again.
Javier Prado-Martinez, a Ph.D. candidate at the University Pompeu Fabra,Institut de Biologia Evolutiva, is the lead author of the paper entitled “Great ape genetic diversity and population history” published on July 3 in the prestigious journal Nature.
“This comprehensive catalogue of great ape genome diversity,” according to Prado-Martinez, “provides a framework for understanding evolution.” Using the most comprehensive catalog of great ape genome diversity available, the research team proposes a human genetic ‘tree of life’ pathway alongside of our ‘evolutionary’ cousins.”
In December 1834, during the five-year voyage of the HMS Beagle, Charles Darwin discovered an unusual frog on the temperate forest Island of Lemuy, Chiloe Archipelago. Named in his honor, Rhinoderma darwinii, this legendary frog is facing extinction, not evolution.
The only known sister Rhinoderma species, Rhinoderma rufum, was discovered by French zoologist André Marie Constant Duméril (1774 – 1860), in Argentina. In 2004, the International Union of Conservation Nature (IUCN) listed R. rufum as “critically endangered” and R. darwinii as “vulnerable.”