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New hopes raised for recovering skin, eggshell samples from fossils

A real advantage is that promising “biomarkers” may be found in fossils that are too fragmentary to make it into the display collection. If so, expect to hear expressions like “unexpected,” “remarkable,” “earlier than thought” and “more complex than expected” quite frequently. Read More ›

Science News’s Top fossils in 2019 show a diminishing Darwin

From 518 million years ago: The remains document the Cambrian explosion, a rapid flourishing of life-forms, and include many organisms never seen before — even at the most famous Cambrian fossil site, Canada’s Burgess Shale Carolyn Gramling, “Science News’ favorite fossils of 2019” at Science News So even more fossils just popped into existence, just like that. No wonder even Darwin had doubts. From 290 million to 280 million years ago: For such an ancient critter, O. pabsti — one of the earliest amniotes, a group that includes reptiles and mammals — had a surprisingly efficient gait Carolyn Gramling, “Science News’ favorite fossils of 2019” at Science News So the long, long Darwinian period when the creature just stumbled uncertainly Read More ›

Early fossils may just be “chemical gardens”

Researcher: Findings suggest that structure alone is not sufficient to confirm whether or not microscopic life-like formations are fossils. More research will be needed to say exactly how they were formed… Read More ›

Megacarnivore found in drawer

The cat came back. so to speak. Actually, extinct Simbakubwa kutokaafrika was not a cat but a hyaenodont, larger than a polar bear, with three rows of shearing teeth. Found between 1978 and 1981, the jawbone had to be stored on special shelving due to its size. Read More ›

Would 3-D virtual fossils speed up research?

And would everyone think that was a good thing? They’re here but not as popular as you might think. Many paleontologists fear losing control of the story: One of the characteristics of information is that, unlike matter and energy, it is not reduced by being shared. And when it is shared, it can generate new information. Of course, some well-sourced new information may contradict earlier ideas or even important beliefs. “Are 3-D Virtual Fossils a Boon or a Threat?” at Mind Matters See also: Thousands of Cambrian fossils discovered in China, new to science We are told that this Qingjiang discovery is important for its diversity, especially of cnidarians (corals and jellies). The new fossils represent a different ecology from Read More ›

Thousands of Cambrian fossils discovered in China, new to science

These animal groups lived in the ocean over half a billion years ago but were buried by a subterranean mudflow: Paleontologists found thousands of fossils in rocks on the bank of the Danshui river in Hubei province in southern China, where primitive forms of jellyfish, sponges, algae, anemones, worms and arthropods with thin whip-like feelers were entombed in an ancient underwater mudslide. The creatures are so well preserved in the fossils that the soft tissues of their bodies, including the muscles, guts, eyes, gills, mouths and other openings are all still visible. The 4,351 separate fossils excavated so far represent 101 species, 53 of them new.Ian Sample, “‘Mindblowing’ haul of fossils over 500m years old unearthed in China” at The Read More ›

Paleontologist Gunter Bechly live tonight on what the fossil record really tells us about common ancestry

Jonathan McLatchie announces a live interactive webinar today, Saturday, at 8pm British time, featuring pro-ID paleontologist Dr. Gunter Bechly, who will be exploring the implications of the fossil record for common ancestry. (Time zones.) Gunter Bechly is a distinguished paleontologist, specializing in fossil dragonflies, exquisitely preserved in amber for tens of millions of years. After revealing his support for the theory of intelligent design, he was pushed out as a curator at the State Museum of Natural History in Stuttgart, Germany. He subsequently joined Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture as a Senior Fellow. He was also erased from Wikipedia due to his change of mind. Philip Cunningham has made a playlist of Gunter Bechly here: Follow UD News Read More ›

Those most ancient Greenland “fossils” are not really life, new team says

Getting it right is important for the search for life on Mars: Found in 3.7-billion-year-old rocks in Greenland, the mounds strongly resemble cone-shaped microbial mats called stromatolites, researchers reported in 2016. But a new analysis of the shape, internal layers and chemistry of the structures suggests that the mounds weren’t shaped by microbes but by tectonic activity. The new work, led by astrobiologist Abigail Allwood of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., was published online October 17 in Nature. … The debate highlights how important it will be to understand as much as possible about the geologic setting of a future Mars landing site, if scientists hope to spy evidence that there was once life there. It’s hard enough Read More ›

Oldest evidence for animals found at 635 mya

Instead of looking for fossil at that age, the researchers looked for biomarkers: Rather than searching for conventional body fossils, the researchers have been tracking molecular signs of animal life, called biomarkers, as far back as 660-635 million years ago during the Neoproterozoic Era. In ancient rocks and oils from Oman, Siberia, and India, they found a steroid compound produced only by sponges, which are among the earliest forms of animal life. “Molecular fossils are important for tracking early animals since the first sponges were probably very small, did not contain a skeleton, and did not leave a well-preserved or easily recognizable body fossil record,” Zumberge said. “We have been looking for distinctive and stable biomarkers that indicate the existence of sponges Read More ›

Fossil Discontinuities: A Refutation of Darwinism and Confirmation of Intelligent Design

Vid with Gunter Bechly The fossil record is dominated by abrupt appearances of new body plans and new groups of organisms. This conflicts with the gradualistic prediction of Darwinian Evolution. Here 18 explosive origins in the history of life are described, demonstrating that the famous Cambrian Explosion is far from being the exception to the rule. Also the fossil record establishes only very brief windows of time for the origin of complex new features, which creates an ubiquitous waiting time problem for the origin and fixation of the required coordinated mutations. This refutes the viability of the Neo-Darwinian evolutionary process as the single conceivable naturalistic or mechanistic explanation for biological origins, and thus confirms Intelligent Design as the only reasonable Read More ›

Cambrian Explosion Caught on Film

Illustra's new film "Darwin's Dilemma" delivers a knockout punch to Darwinism on Sept. 15. Darwin has tried to dodge the Cambrian explosion for 150 years; how can he survive this? Read More ›