Posts Tagged ‘evidence’

Darwin Fails Appendix Test

WebThe human appendix has long been touted as scientific evidence for evolution−popularized by Charles Darwin. In The Descent of Man (1871), Darwin argued “With respect to the alimentary canal I have met with an account of only a single rudiment, namely the vermiform appendage [appendix] of the caecum… Not only is it useless, but it is sometimes the cause of death”

More than 150 years later, a remnant of Darwin’s argument has survived. Laura Spinney writing for the Richard Dawkins Foundation in an article entitled “Five things Humans No Longer Need” (2007) claims 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

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

New Burtele Fossil Finding Complicates Human Evolution

A newly discovered fossil from eastern Africa further complicates theories on the evolution of humans.

In the same area where the infamous Lucy fossil was discovered by Donald Johanson and Tom Gray in 1974, a team lead by Yohannes Haile-Selassie of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History unearthed a partial foot from the Woranso-Mille area of the Afar region of Ethiopia, an area locally known as Burtele. The results were published last week in the journal Nature. Continue Reading

Ape DNA, An Evolution Conundrum

The “Insights into hominid evolution from the gorilla genome sequence” report, published by the British journal Nature this last week, stands as a historical milestone in the study of human origins.

The report from a research team at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute headed by Aylwyn Scally stems from the completed gorilla genome sequence project;  the last genus of the living great apes to have its genome decoded. The findings have entrenched the evolution industry into a theoretical conundrum. Read the rest of this entry »

Eugenie Scott Evolution Marketing Model

Eugenie Scott, anthropologist and director of the National Center for Science Education in Oakland, California and recognized as one of the nation’s leading defender of evolution in public education, advocates a model of evolution marketing that uses and avoids specific terms.

One term to use is “accept” and one word to avoid is “believe”. Continue reading

Evolution, Floundering for Fossil Feathers

“The origin of birds is a contentious and central topic within evolutionary biology” in the WIKIPEDIA opening line of the article entitled The Origin of Birds gives insight to the current state of the dinosaur-to-bird evolutionary debate.

Famous British evolutionist Richard Dawkins in Teaching about Evolution and the Nature of Science on the supporting side simply declares “Feathers are modified reptilian scales.” Continue reading

Evolutionary Enigmas, Top 10 Highlights in 2011

Since the publication of The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin in 1859, not only is the theory continually challenged by the evidence, confusion rages over the actual theory. The confusion extends into the classroom; the teaching evolution has been a verified failure.

These are my top 10 highlights in 2011 presented on Darwin, Then and Now during the year with links to the original article. Continue Reading

Anomalocaris, a Freak of Evolution

“If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ exists which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications,” Charles Darwin wrote in The Origin of Species, “my theory would absolutely break down”.

This week a team of scientists from Australia and Spain lead by John R. Paterson, a paleontologist at the University of New England in Australia, extended even further Darwin’s dilemma. Continue Reading

Unlinking Karabo as a Human Ancestor

In a blaze of excitement in September of this year, a recent fossil discovery in South Africa was headlined one of the missing links in the evolutionary ancestry of humans.

National Public Radio (NPR) ran an article entitled “Examining Ancient Fossils for Clues to Human Origins”. The Wall Street Journal chimed in with “Fossil Trove Sheds Light on a Stage of Evolution”. The Boston Globe speculated with the title “Skeleton could be human relative”; TIME with “Rethinking Human Origins: Fossils Reveal a New Ancestor on the Family Tree”. New Scientist ran the article: South African fossils halfway between ape and human.

To name the fossil, a competition was launched in South Africa. Omphemetse Keepile, a 17-year-old student from St. Mary’s School in Johannesburg. Keepile’s winning entry was selected from more than 15,000 submissions in a naming competition sponsored by Standard Bank and Palaeontological Scientific (PAST) in association with Wits University and the Department of Science and Technology. The winning name was Karabo that means “answer” in Setswana.

Once the excitement started settling, questions started circling. Does the fossil evidence really point to Karabo as an ancestor to humans? Continue Reading

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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.

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