Posts Tagged ‘evolution’
The 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
While on tour this summer to tout Obama’s educational policies in New Hampshire, Hollywood science commentator Bill Nye poured more fuel on the firestorm of anti-creation sentiment noting that “Evolution is the fundamental idea in all of life science, in all of biology.”
Embryology played a pivotal role in the development of Charles Darwin’s nineteenth century theory of evolution. In a letter to Asa Gray in September 1860, Darwin argued that “embryology is to me by far the strongest single class of facts in favor” of the theory. Embryology was advanced as preeminent evidence to support his theory of evolution by means of natural selection.
“Thus, as it seems to me,” Darwin wrote in The Origin of Species, “the leading facts in embryology… are second to none in importance.” Darwin’s declaration launched a 150 year long fishy fiction saga. Continue Reading
Java Man is the common name the first human-like fossils discovered by Eugene Dubois in 1891 following the publication of The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin in 1859 on the banks of the Solo River located on Java island, an island in Indonesia.
Dubois claimed, based the size and shape of a tooth, the fraction of a skull, and a femur, found a year later located roughly forty feet from the tooth and skull, to have discovered the first elusive human missing link. Dubois named the fragments Pithecanthropus erectus−erect ape-man. Two views of these are pictured.
“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
In The Origin of Species, Charles Darwin developed his revolutionary theory of “slight, successive” evolutionary changes. During the mid-nineteenth century, however, knowledge about genes and genetics was speculative at best, no less the evolution of genes.
In fact, Darwin abandoned the scientific method and declared that his theory of evolution was based on speculation –
I am quite conscious that my speculations run quite beyond the bounds of true science.
In The Origin of Species, Charles Darwin proposed that evolution proceeds by “slight, successive changes”. Although molecular biology was largely unknown by Darwin during the nineteenth century, “slight, successive” molecular changes have become a cornerstone in the study of biological evolution.
Since steroid hormones are known to perform sophisticated regulatory functions in microbes to man, the path of steroid evolution has entered center stage in the realm of investigative molecular biology.
Steroids hormones were first discovered in the mid-twentieth century by American chemist Edward Calvin Kendall while working at the Mayo Clinic. In 1950, Kendall and colleague Philip Hench, along with Swiss chemist Tadeus Reichstein were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for “their discoveries relating to the hormones of the adrenal cortex, their structure and biological effects.” Continue Reading
On the 2012 presidential campaign tour in New Hampshire, the current Republican front-runner, Texas Governor Rick Perry, set off a media firestorm responding to a question from a boy as prompted by his mother about the age of the Earth and evolution.
“I hear your mom was asking about evolution,” Perry said. “That’s a theory that is out there — and it’s got some gaps in it.” Continue Reading
Anders Behring Breivik, a Norwegian right-wing extremist, confessed to be the perpetrator of the dual terrorist attacks in Norway on 22 July 2011. The attach included the bombing of government buildings in Oslo, causing eight deaths, and a mass shooting at a camp of the Workers’ Youth League (AUF) of the Labour Party on the island of Utøya, where he killed 69 people. Others are still missing.
In his 1518-page “European Declaration of Independence,” Breivik reveals himself as a champion of modern biology and the scientific worldview, listing The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin as one of his most “important” books. (p. 1407)
“Social-darwinism was the norm before the 1950”, Breivik laments. “Back then, it was allowed to say what we feel. Now, however, we have to disguise our preferences to avoid the horrible consequences of being labeled as a genetical preferentialist.” (p. 1227) Continue reading
Charles Darwin never mentions hemoglobin even in the sixth and last edition of The Origin of Species in 1872, even though this oxygen-carrying protein hemoglobin was discovered much earlier by Friedrich Ludwig Hünefeld in 1840. Hünefeld explains: “I have occasionally seen in almost dried blood… rectangular crystalline structures which under the microscope had sharp edges and were bright red.”
In 1851, Otto Funke published a series of articles in which he described growing hemoglobin crystals by successively diluting red blood cells with a solvent such as pure water, alcohol, or ether, followed by slow evaporation of the solvent from the resulting protein solution. Hemoglobin’s reversible oxygenation was described a few years later by Felix Hoppe-Seyler. Continue Reading