Archive for the ‘History of Evolution’ Category
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. Continue Reading
In the same way Isaac Newton discovered the laws of motion and gravity, Charles Darwin launched his pursuit to discover the laws of biological evolution. After decades of searching and studying, Darwin eventually proposed his law of evolution – “natural selection.”
Natural selection soon emerged as the cornerstone law of evolution following the publication of the first edition of The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection in November 1859. Natural selection stands as the fundamental tenet of Darwin’s theory of evolution, popularly known as Darwinism. But, what in natural selection – really?
The long-awaited genome analysis for one of the most infamous fish in evolution history, the coelacanth, was published last week by lead scientists Chris T. Amemiya of University of Washington, and Jessica Alföldi from MIT and Harvard in the prestigious journal Nature.
The coelacanth, first described in 1839 by Louis Agassiz at Harvard University, has played a pivotal role in the history of evolution. Based on the early fossil evidence, the coelacanth had long been thought to be an extinct evolutionary link in the transition between the fish and amphibians, also known as tetrapods. The coelacanth was touted as a fin-to-limb transition link.
A research team lead by Michael Blaber at Florida State University College of Medicine recently reported advances on overcoming the obstacles in understanding a proposed natural mechanism for the origin of life on Earth.
The team produced data to advance the theory that amino acids can form proteins autonomously plus fold autonomously through some self-assembly process. Proteins function biologically only after their long chain of amino acids has been folded into a specific molecular structure. Fold-ability is essential for function.
In a survey of more than 600 board directors by lead researcher Chris Bart, professor of Strategic Market Leadership at the DeGroote School of Business of McMaster University in Canada, found women to perform better as corporate leaders than men.
Bart, along with Gregory McQueen, senior executive associate dean at Western University of Health Sciences in Arizona, published their results in the International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics. Continue Reading
In the early 1860’s following the publication of The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin in 1859, a dining club group of nine men were united by a “”devotion to science, pure and free, untrammeled by religious dogmas.” The group became known as the “X Club.”
The radical reformation of the Royal Society became their ultimate mission. With persistence, the X Club members became the prominent and powerful key players in the new emerging scientific academia during the 1870s and 1880s. The X Club re-shaped the landscape of academic discipline of science.
At Edinburgh University nearly 200 years ago, Charles Darwin found the lectures to be “incredibly dull” and the thought of surgery “haunted” him. Much has changed, since then. The originator of the “God particle” concept is largely credited to Peter Higgs, emeritus professor of theoretical physics at the University of Edinburgh.
While Darwin eventually proposed “natural selection” as a natural law for evolution in 1859 in the publication of The Origin of Species, Higgs proposed the existence of a new atomic particle now known as the Higgs boson or the Higgs particle as predicted by the Standard Model of particle physics in the 1960’s. Continue Reading
At the time Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species in 1859, the prospect of discovering the origin of life seemed easily within the realm of possibility. After reading about an experiment with molds surviving in boiling water, lead Darwin to speculate in a letter to one of his closest colleagues, Joseph Hooker, that life may have simply started in a “a warm little pond.”
Evolutionary scientists, since then, however, have taken little ground in building a stronger case than Darwin. Now nearly 150 years later, the pursuit to resolve the unanswered origin of life riddle has now emerged to become a race within the evolution industry between Europe and the United States. Continue Reading
During the mid-twentieth century, the resistance of microbes to antimicrobial agents emerged as a cornerstone of evidence for biological evolution. Jerry Coyne of the University of Chicago in the book Why Evolution is True notes: “Had this phenomena existed in Darwin’s time, he would certainly have made it a centerpiece of The Origin.”
“The most dramatic and rapid examples of evolution in action occur with microorganisms,” according to Donald R. Prothero in Evolution, What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters, “especially viruses and bacteria.”