Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community


Have 99% of All Species Gone Extinct?

Dear readers, It has been far too long since my last post, occasioned by the fact that I have entirely too many irons in the fire. I hope you will forgive this brief “drive-by” post, with a request for some help and information. One of the common refrains that comes up regarding the fossil record, or regarding claims about biodiversity and the evolution of species more generally, is that the vast majority of species that have ever lived on the Earth have gone extinct. This is often phrased as “99% of species that have ever lived have gone extinct” or similar wording. (Occasionally someone will temper the number to 98% or 95% or some other nearby figure, but 99% seems Read More ›

Calling Nick Matzke’s Bluff

In the comments of this UD post from yesterday, (comment #21) I referred to Nick Matzke’s rant over at the Panda’s Thumb yesterday as yet another illustration of the double standard’s Matzke’s has when it comes to his critiques of anyone who dares challenge Darwinian Orthodoxy.  In my comments yesterday, I gave an example of Matzke being guilty of the very same thing he (falsely)accuses Meyer of doing.  Today, I want to call out Matzke on another of his famous ploys: the bluff!  In earlier days, before he gained his current status among the defenders of the Darwinian Faith, Matzke posted and commented on various ID sites under various pseudonyms.  His favorite ploy was to use what we came to Read More ›

Animal that stages light display is 600 million years old?

In “Ancient Jelly Simplifies Animal Tree?” (The Scientist , September 9, 2011 Sabrina Richards reports “A newly discovered fossil of a nearly 600-million-year-old comb jelly ancestor may call for scientists to rethink early animal evolution.” Just think: 600 million years old. Well, Like vertebrates, cnidarians exhibit bilateral or biradial symmetry—meaning they can be bisected into two mirror images. The ancestors of comb jellies, however, were not. The current version of the animal tree, which has the comb jelly lineage arising after bilateral cnidarians but before bilateral flatworms suggests that bilateral symmetry must have evolved twice—once in the cnidarian lineage, and again in animals that evolved after the comb jellies branched away. The new fossil, however, may shake up that view. Read More ›