Posts Tagged ‘fossil record’

Smithsonian Evolution Storytelling

Taung Child S Africa


Smithsonian Evolution Storytelling

New high-resolution CT scans of the Taung Child skull by international research team led by Ralph L. Holloway of Columbia University in New York casts renewed questions into the inane evolution storytelling practice at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

Discovered in 1924 in South Africa, models of the skull have long since been duplicated for natural history museums as evidence for human evolution worldwide, including the Smithsonian. Found near Taung, South Africa, the lynchpin skull was tagged with the common name of Taung Child because of the fossil’s estimated age of 3 years, then, later named Australopithecus africanus meaning the “southern ape from Africa.” Hollow’s new high-resolution CT scan images, however, undermine the long-held pre-Homo fossil status of the skull. Continue Reading

Fossils, the Colossal Evolution Failure

Daohugou Biotia

Fossils. The Colossal Evolution Failure

Over the past two decades, a treasure trove of fossils has been unearthed in China.  Some of the world’s most exquisitely preserved feathered dinosaurs, birds, reptiles and mammals have been recovered near quiet the northeastern China village of Daohugou.  

Chinese farmers first discovered the trove near this Inner Mongolian village in 1998. The following summer, two distinct salamander species were recovered. Since then, the now infamous fossil site has been named the Daohugou Biota and has yielded more than 30 different vertebrate taxa (groups). The treasure trove of scientific evidence, however, further upends Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.

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Ancient Calculus Upends Evolution Icon

Ancient Dental Calculus

Ancient Calculus Upends Evolution Icon

An international research team led by Christina Warinner of the University of Oklahoma has published ground breaking research performed on ancient dental calculus. The research team involved thirty-two investigators at twelve institutions in seven countries. “Dental calculus,” Warinner explains, “is among the richest biomolecular sources yet identified in the archaeological record.”

Calculus is derived from the Greek word Calcis originally used to describe limestone. Like a fossil locked in rock, biological molecules are captured in dental calculus with “exceptional preservation.” The findings upend the long-used iconic example of observable evolution: the development of antibiotic resistance.

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New Reptile Fossil Stuns Evolution Paradigm

Reptile Live BirthNew Reptile Fossil Stuns Evolution Paradigm

New fossil discovery in China stuns Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution acting through “slight successive changes.” An international team led by geologist Ryosuke Motani from the University of California at Davis published a paper in PLOS journal earlier this month on new evidence that foils previous evolution paradigms.

Bordering on the Yangtze River in the eastern China just north of Chaohu City, Motani’s team discovered by accident what is thought to be the oldest known reptile. While working systematically through a slab of entombed fossils looking for a ray-finned fish known as Saurichthys, the workers accidently fractured the slab.  

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Language, Darwin Wrong Again

LanguageAs 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.

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Richard Dawkins Dumps the Fossil Record

Dawkins Richard IIThe 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:   

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Giraffe Evolution, Was Darwin Wrong? Part 2: The Fossil Record

In The Origin of Species the giraffe was used as one of Charles Darwin’s most lasting examples of evolution. Darwin argued, that “by this process long-continued [natural selection] it seems to me almost certain that an ordinary hoofed quadruped [horse-like animals] might be converted into a giraffe.”

“The giraffe’, Darwin continued, “by its lofty stature, much elongated neck, fore-legs, head and tongue, has its whole frame beautifully adapted [evolved] for browsing on the higher branches of trees.”
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Evolution’s Feather Frustration

Since the publication of The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin in 1859, the origin of feathers has been among the most contentious issues in evolutionary paleobiology.

A new study published in the October 26 edition of Science, led by paleontologists Darla Zelenitsky from the University of Calgary, describe the first the first dinosaur named Ornithomimus found with evidence of feathers preserved in a juvenile and two adult skeletons in North America that had been discovered in 1995, 2008, and 2009. The published study was entitledFeathered Non-Avian Dinosaurs from North America Provide Insight into Wing Origins”.

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Strudiella devonica Highlights Fossil Record Gap

In August, the journal Nature published an article entitled “a complete insect from the Late Devonian Period” by an international research team from Europe and the United States lead by Romain Garrouste of the Muséum National d’Histoire.

The report centers on a 8 millimeter insect discovered in Strud, Belgium that was highlighted in the media as “Belgian bug is world’s oldest insect”, “humble bug plugs gap in fossil record”, “insect fossil from Devonian may shed light on birth of insect flight”, “amazing fossil discovery shows how insects got their wings” even though the fossil was wingless. Continue Reading

Evidence from Mating Fossil Record

In last week’s edition of Biology Letters, lead investigator Walter Joyce from the Department of Geosciences at the University of Tübingen in Germany gave an updated on nine fossilized pairs of turtles mating discovered 30 years ago.

The update received widespread media attention during the week. ABC News, BBC News, National Geographic, New York Daily News, MSNBC, FOX News featured the story along with the standard evolution barons, the journals of Nature and Science. 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.