Evolution extinction Intelligent Design Natural selection

Just in: Evolution favors the survival of the laziest!

  The latest entry in the hot-weather laziness debate, which started as, Did homo erectus die out because he was lazy and technologically conservative? A new large-data study of fossil and extant bivalves and gastropods in the Atlantic Ocean suggests laziness might be a fruitful strategy for survival of individuals, species and even communities of Read More…

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Gerald Joyce no longer uses the NASA “must show Darwinian evolution” definition of life

Though he helped develop it. Recently, a problem has arisen round efforts to create a synthetic cell.  Gerald Joyce, now of the Salk Institute, helped NASA come up with a very widely used definition of life, “Life is a self-sustained chemical system capable of undergoing Darwinian evolution.” But, as medicl historian Rebecca Wilbanks explains at Aeon, In 2009, Read More…

Genetics horizontal gene transfer Intelligent Design Natural selection

Does horizontal gene transfer enable genetic parasites to survive natural selection?

Researchers Iranzo and Koonin ask: Typically, natural selection results in deletions of harmful genes, so the main question is, why hasn’t natural selection wiped out genetic parasites? They mean “transposons, plasmids, viruses” etc., that offer no benefit to the hosts. They offer a hypothesis: In a new study published in EPL, researchers Jaime Iranzo and Read More…

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Do socially isolated animals speed evolution?

From ScienceDaily: Research on evolution typically focuses on the importance of social interactions, including parent-offspring bonding, competition for resources, and courtship and mating rituals. But Nathan Bailey at the University of St Andrews in Scotland and his colleague Allen Moore at the University of Georgia realized that isolation must then be an extreme condition worthy Read More…

Darwinism Evolution extinction Intelligent Design Natural selection

Stripes confuse people but they do not cool zebras

From ScienceDaily: Susanne Åkesson, a biologist at Lund University in Sweden, refutes the theory that zebras have striped fur to stay cool in the hot sun. That hypothesis is wrong, she and her colleagues show in a study recently published in Scientific Reports. There has been an ongoing discussion among researchers, dating back to Darwin, Read More…

Darwinism Evolution Intelligent Design Natural selection

Nematode study: New find can help explain “how diversity arises, an open question with relevance to evolution and genetic processes”

What? We have been told that natural selection acting on random mutations explains diversity! From ScienceDaily: For years, it was assumed other nematodes’ neurons were similar to those of C. elegans, until researchers at the University of Illinois demonstrated the vast diversity in neuronal anatomy present across species. Now Nathan Schroeder, assistant professor in the Read More…

Darwinism Evolution Intelligent Design Natural selection

Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig’s Long-Necked Giraffe book now free online

Readers have written to ask why Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig’s book, The Evolution of the Long-Necked Giraffe: (Giraffa camelopardalis L.) What do we really know? Testing the Theories of Gradualism, Macromutation, and Intelligent Design, is no longer available on Amazon: “Darwin (1871) and many African folk legends before him […] proposed a simple but powerful explanation for Read More…

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Is this a serious attempt to evaluate natural selection as something other than an ideology? At PNAS?

From W. Ford Doolittle and S. Andrew Inkpen at PNAS: Many practicing biologists accept that nothing in their discipline makes sense except in the light of evolution, and that natural selection is evolution’s principal sense-maker. But what natural selection actually is (a force or a statistical outcome, for example) and the levels of the biological Read More…

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Evolution: Mice change when humans feed them

From ScienceDaily: Many tame domesticated animals have a different appearance compared to their relatives in the wild, for example white patches in their fur or shorter snouts. Researchers have now for the first time shown that wild house mice develop the same visible changes — without selection, as a result of exposure to humans alone. Read More…

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Basener stands his ground at Skeptical Zone: Fisher’s Darwinian theorem is clearly false.

From William Basenerand John Sanford at The Skeptical Zone: Joe Felsenstein and Michael Lynch (JF and ML) wrote a blog post, “Does Basener and Sanford’s model of mutation vs selection show that deleterious mutations are unstoppable?” Their post is thoughtful and we are glad to continue the dialogue. This is the first part of a Read More…

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Nancy Pearcey: Macroevolution does not happen in nature

From Nancy Pearcey, author of Love Thy Body: Answering Hard Questions about Life and Sexuality, at CNS: What Was Darwin’s ‘Original’ Thought? Original thinking? The truth is that there was little about Darwin’s scientific theory that was original—and the part that was original was not scientific. The idea that organisms undergo minor variations was not Read More…

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At Aeon: Damage control attempted re the current evolution upheavals

By evolutionary biologist Kevin Laland, who seems to have adopted that role: Evolution unleashed: Is evolutionary science due for a major overhaul – or is talk of ‘revolution’ misguided? If you are not a biologist, you’d be forgiven for being confused about the state of evolutionary science. Modern evolutionary biology dates back to a synthesis Read More…

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(Real non-Darwinian) evolution in action: Bacteria murder rivals and steal their genes

From ScienceDaily: Bacteria not only develop resistance to antibiotics, they also can pick it up from their rivals. In a recent publication in Cell Reports, Researchers from the Biozentrum of the University of Basel have demonstrated that some bacteria inject a toxic cocktail into their competitors causing cell lysis and death. Then, by integrating the Read More…

Evolution extinction Intelligent Design Natural selection

Can sexual selection cause a decline in evolutionary fitness?

From evolutionary biologist Richard O. Prum at the New York Times: Are These Birds Too Sexy to Survive? Natural selection can’t explain this. Wow. Careers have been wrecked over such departures from dogma. Most biologists believe that these mechanisms always work in concert — that sex appeal is the sign of an objectively better mate, Read More…