Posts Tagged ‘theory of evolution’

Galapagos Icon of Evolution


Galapagos Icon of Evolution

In 1835, the Galapagos Islands piqued a young British naturalist’s endless curiosity. Equipped with technologies not much beyond a clock, compass, measuring tape, scale, thermometer, clinometer, and a microscope, the experience eventually propelled Charles Darwin to propose a new world-shattering theory of evolution in his 1859 book–The Origin of Species. Since then, technological advances have been revolutionizing science and challenging more than just Darwin’s theory of evolution.

For the first time, the genome of one of the most unique birds on the iconic islands, the cormorant (pictured), have been sequenced. Unique in that, of the more than forty known cormorant species in the world, the Galapagos Islands cormorant is the only species incapable of flying. To explore the genetic reasons, scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles, have been studying the genome of the flightless Galapagos cormorants associated with the bird’s loss of flight – the new Galapagos icon of evolution. Continue Reading

Ancient Fungal Clues


Ancient Fungal Clues

Ancient fungal clues recently discovered off the coast of South Africa further stretch the boundaries of the theory of evolution. Birger Rasmussen, a geology professor at the Western Australian School of Mines, was drilling at a depth of 2,600 feet for the purpose of dating the ancient submarine lava in the Ongeluk Formation estimated to be 2.4 billion years old in Northern Cape Province of South Africa when he unexpectedly noticed what appeared to be microfilaments (pictured).

“I was startled to find a dense mesh of tangled fossilized microbes,” Rasmussen said in an interview with LiveScience writer Jerry Redfern last month. To Marlowe Hood writing for Phys.org, Rasmussen recalled that “My attention was drawn to a series of petrified gas bubbles, and when I increased the magnification of the microscope, I was startled.” The bubbles were “filled with hundreds of exquisitely preserved filaments that just screamed ‘life.’” In the words of Science Alert writer Peter Dockrill, “It’s raising some big evolutionary questions.” Continue Reading

Behavioral Evolution in the Red Fire Ant


Behavioral Evolution in the Red Fire Ant

The behavioral evolution in the red fire ant species with the two different types of colonies, one with a single queen and one with multiple queens, have long puzzled biologists. An invisible border seems to exist between the two. Queen ants happening to wander between colonies are quickly destroyed by the male ants. To understand what evolutionary mechanisms might be at play, molecular scientists have recently turned to the genome.

At Queen Mary University of London, a team of biochemists led by Rodrigo Pracana (pictured below) sequenced the whole genome in both colony types to examine the genetic difference between the two types of colonies – SB and Sb. Surprisingly, rather than finding “slight, successive changes” as predicted by Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, they discovered two the genes to be “highly divergent” from each other. Continue Reading

Bacteria Evolution


Bacteria Evolution

The shape of bacteria has long been anticipated to correlate with movement. From an evolutionary perspective, form is predicted to follow function – but, had yet to be tested. In the words of evolutionary geneticist Fouad El baidouri, “despite a few pioneering attempts to link bacterial form and function, functional morphology is largely unstudied in prokaryotes [bacteria].”

Now in a landmark study published in Nature, Ecology & Evolution, a research team lead by El baidouri from the University of Lincoln in the United Kingdom Elizabeth Allen explains in Phys Org, “the shape of bacteria does not influence how well they can move – this is the surprising finding… The findings refute long-held theories that there should be a strong link between the evolution of shape in bacteria and their ability to move.” Continue Reading

Whale Evolution Nightmare

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Whale Evolution Nightmare

Early northeast colonial settlers, William Bradford and Edward Winslow, in 1620 sent out a business prospectus: “Cape Cod was like to be a place of good fishing, for we saw daily great whales, of the best kind for oil and bone.” The American whaling industry was just beginning. Two-hundred years later, New England was the premier whaling center in the world. More than 10,000 men set-sail on whaleships in 1857 from New Bedford, Massachusetts, alone.

Within the next 100 years, during the life-time of Herman Melville’s mythical Moby Dick (illustrated), the whaling industry was forced to hunt deeper into the ocean and eventually into the southern Atlantic, leaving the north Atlantic population decimated. Since fewer than 100 were known to exist by 1935, whaling was globally banned in 1937. While the population is estimated to have finally increased to 500 in 2013, a Florida research team has uncovered that a genetic mutation is now forcing the whale population into extinction – a whale evolution nightmare. Continue Reading

R2d2 Disses Darwin

R2d2 Graphic II
 R2d2 Disses Darwin

R2D2, short for Artoo-Detoo, is best known as the fictional robotic character in the Star Wars universe series created by George Lucas. Inducted into the Robot Hall of Fame in 2003, R2D2 has since been included in the Smithsonian Institution list of 101 Objects that Made America. R2D2 is the good guy; the favorite character of George Lucas – known for always saving the day at least once in every film.

In the realm of biology however, the R2d2 gene is a Darth Vader villain terrorizing Darwin’s once popular theory. R2d2’s newly recognized function was published on February 15 in a paper in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution by leading investigator Fernando Pardo-Manuel de Villena (pictured below), professor of genetics at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. With a stealthy title, “R2d2 drives selfish sweeps in the house mouse,” R2d2 disses Darwin with scientific evidence.
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New Evolution Dilemma

Tree of Life

 

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

Darwin’s Finches Fail Genetic Testing

Geospiza strenua
 

Darwin’s Finches Fail Genetic Testing

The Galapagos Islands finches are an iconic symbol of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Yet, the actual scientific evidence validating Darwin’s theory that “one [of these] species had been taken and modified for different ends” has long been questioned.

In the most comprehensive genetic investigation to-date, a team of scientists led by Sangeet Lamichhaney of Uppsala University in Sweden just published “Evolution of Darwin’s finches and their beaks revealed by genome sequencing” in the prestigious journal Nature. The genetic evidence, once again, fails to demonstrate how “one species had been taken and modified.”
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Genetic Origins Uncoding Evolution

Zagrovic, Bojan II
Genetic Origins Uncoding Evolution

The genetic code is the universal language of life−from the first microbe to man. Searching for the origins of the first genetic code mystery, however, is uncoding evolution.

Over the past two years, the research team of Bojan Žagrović (pictured) at the Max F. Perutz Laboratories of the University of Vienna has been searching for a natural mechanism driving the genesis of the original genetic code−the longstanding nemesis of the evolution industry.

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The European Eel, Darwin Wrong

European Eel
The European Eel, Darwin Wrong

The European eel illustrates exactly why Charles Darwin theory of evolution has continued to be on the wrong side of science. Darwin once argued that “By the theory of natural selection, all living species have been connected… So that the number of intermediate and transitional links, between all living and extinct species, must have been inconceivably great.”

Since the publication of The Origin of Species in 1859, Darwin’s “inconceivably great” number of evolutionary transitional links over the past 150 years still remains missing despite the discovery of vast numbers of fossils. The eel, sometimes known as a living fossil, highlights the unique and bizarre novelties of nature rather than Darwin’s endless series of transitional links. More importantly, rather than serving as an example of evolution, eels, specifically the European eel, now faces extinction, not evolution. Darwin, once again, proved wrong. 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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