Posts Tagged ‘evolution’
Bioluminescence is woven into folklore legends. From the 8th century Japanese firefly legend known as hotaru, to Fox an Apache American Indian who spread fire over the Earth during festive dance with fireflies, the world-wide wonder of bioluminescence is interlaced throughout the expanse of nature from the microbe to vertebrates.
To explore the science of ancient legends, evolutionary biologist Matthew Davis at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, published the results of their study in the paper entitled “Repeated and Widespread Evolution of Bioluminescence in Marine Fishes” in the journal PLoS One (2016). Despite the inference in the title, however, evidence for the origin of bioluminescence continues to stymie scientists.
In the native land of Charles Darwin for the first time, the Royal Society is challenging evolution academia to develop a new theory of biological evolution. Recognized as the original science organization in western civilization, the society explains the problem with today’s most popular current theory: “Developments in evolutionary biology and adjacent fields have produced calls for revision of the standard theory of evolution, although the issues involved remain hotly contested.”
Increasingly, the standard theory of evolution has been challenged in the wake of the twentieth century genomic revolution. On center stage is the validity of random genetic mutations coupled with natural selection as the standard theory of biological evolution. The Royal Society’s radical referendum scheduled for this November in London is slated to revolutionize the current “hotly contested” and chaotic landscape of the evolution industry.
Britain’s peppered moth has long been an evolution icon. This month, a new genetic discovery renews the spotlight on the moth. “Researchers from the University of Liverpool,” reports ScienceDaily, “have identified and dated the genetic mutation that gave rise to the black form of the peppered moth, which spread rapidly during Britain’s industrial revolution. The new findings solve a crucial missing piece of the puzzle in this iconic textbook example of evolution by natural selection.”
Peppered moths are notable for their unique speckled range of colors from light, shades of gray, to nearly black. The dark moths are also known as melanics or carbonaria. ScienceDaily’s crucial missing piece evidence, the “jumping gene,” was published this month in the prestigious journal Nature. “From time to time,” however, according to Jerry Coyne, a University of Chicago evolution scientist, “evolutionists re-examine a classical experimental study and find, to their horror, that it is flawed.”
“The Brain defects caused by Zika virus ‘could set evolution back 2 million years’ scientists claim” was the leading story in the UKs Daily Mirror in February. Since then, the global spread of Zika virus, a previously known as a rare virus, continues as a leading headline story – for good reasons. As CNN reports, “This is the first time a mosquito has been found to cause congenital birth defects.”
The New England Journal of Medicine published the article entitled “Zika virus and Birth Defects — Reviewing the Evidence for Causality” on April 13, written by a team headed by Sonja Rasmussen at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to Rasmussen, “sufficient evidence has accumulated to infer a causal relationship between prenatal Zika virus infection and microcephaly and other severe brain anomalies.” Since Zika infections are associated with congenital defects, the Zika virus is set to test the holy grail of evolution – natural selection.
The status of evolution as a science is verging closer to extinction following a work shop in Germany last month. The essence and definition of science was on center stage at this historical convening of the leading physicists and philosophers of science last month. The meeting convened in the Romanesque-style Ludwig Maximilian University lecture hall. Science writer Natalie Wolchover covered the story for Quanta Magazine entitled “A Fight for the Soul of Science” and later reprinted by on TheAtlantic.com entitled “Physicists and Philosophers Hold Peace Talks.”
The fundamentals of physics currently face a critical problem, explained Nobel laureate David Gross to the three-day work shop attendees – a watershed moment for science. Wolchover explained, “desperate times call for desperate measures.” Specifically, at stake is whether the new concepts in emerging in physics – specifically, the string and multiverse concepts – is true science or just a philosophy. The pivotal issue centers on whether empirical evidence is still required to establish a scientific theory. Since science standards apply across the spectrum of the natural sciences, the outcome also determines the evolution’s science status.
Evolution paradigms increasingly struggle to survive under the crushing weight of new scientific evidence. “Think of a deck of cards,” said Dan Larremore in an interview with Quanta Magazine science writer Veronique Greenwood. “Now, take a pair of scissors and chop the 52 cards into chunks. Throw them in the air. Card confetti rains down, so the pieces are nowhere near where they started. Now tape them into 52 new cards, each one a mosaic of the original cards. After 48 hours, repeat.”
Plasmodium falciparium, the species that causes malaria in humans, uses this complex type of process to evade human immune system detection. This is the world’s most dangerous malaria parasite, causing 600,000 deaths every year and killing more children under the age of 5 than any other infectious disease on our planet. Greenwood’s card story is a malarial evolution nightmare – the var genes.
Nothing is simple in biology. Monica Young and Paul Hebert of the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, Canada, have found within the amino acid sequences of eight legged critters, known as arachnids, an evolution bug.
In one of the largest invertebrate amino acid sequences studies to date, Young and Hebert, found highly variable patterns of amino acid sequences in the hemeprotein known as cytochrome C between species. None of Charles Darwin’s continuous “successive, slight” evolutionary changes in more than 4,000 species of arachnids studied were found. The paper, published in the highly respected journal PLoS ONE, August, 2015, demonstrates the persistent bug in the theory of evolution – no common ancestor. Continue Reading
New Evolution Dilemma
A new and unanticipated evolution dilemma now follows the wake of a massive new microbe discovery. Using a new technique, the number of known bacteria has been “bolstered by almost 50 percent,” according to a new article by Kevin Hartnett published in QuantaMagazine.org and re-printed in ScientificAmerica.com.
With a series of successively smaller porous filters, the University of California Banfield Group at Berkley, discovered a massive number of tiny “bacteria representing > 35 phyla… that consistently distinguished these organisms from other bacteria.” Travis Bedel’s illustration displays the magnitude of the discovery. These newly discovered ultra-small microorganisms, however, accentuates the long-standing dilemma between the theory of evolution and the scientific evidence. Continue Reading
Sharks, No Evolutionary Forerunner
Sharks get a bad rap. With only a cartilaginous skeleton, sharks were once thought to be the primitive evolutionary forerunner of the fish originating more than 400 million years ago during the Paleozoic Era―yet, somehow surviving unchanged. Sharks suffer from misconceived stereotyping as dangerous indiscriminate killers surviving purely by unintelligent deadly instinct.
A new study on the migratory patterns of the tiger shark, Galeocerdo cuvier, published in Nature, however, further dispels these misconceptions. For the first time using satellite-tracking technology, an international research team lead by James Lea of the Guy Harvey Research Institute in Florida, documents the previously unknown extraordinary long-distance annual movements of the tiger shark between completely different types of environments in the Atlantic Ocean. Tiger sharks prove to be no evolutionary forerunner of the fish. Continue Reading
Evolution Scientists Perplexed By Influenza
The Influenza virus (pictured) is one of the best known and studied pathogens in the healthcare industry. Infectious outbreaks of the virus, more commonly known as the flu, are legendary. The 1918 flu pandemic, nicknamed the Spanish flu, is estimated to have infected 500 million eventually killing 50 to 100 million. The first influenza vaccine was approved for military use in 1945. Evolutionary scientists, however, are perplexed by the virus.
The Influenza virus is continuously changing, making it an excellent real-life model for studying evolution and improving healthcare. These changes, however, reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine. To adjust to these changes, the World Health Organization recommended in 1999 that the vaccine should be reformulated each year. Despite advances in viral genetics, the pharmaceutical industry has not improved the vaccine―in fact, this year’s vaccine was this decade’s worst.