Nelson: There is no evidence to support the assumption that mechanically efficient bipedal walking requires a narrow pelvic morphology. If there are metabolic costs to walking and running with wider hips, they could be offset by subtle changes in movement patterns.
Sheldon: Finally, somebody is saying what ID has claimed for decades–Darwin has no clothes. It’s just-so stories stacked on just-so stories with the very thinnest of experimental evidence. And that’s the only thing I admire about post-modernists.
Holly Dunsworth seems to have actually researched the literature rather than signing on to the narrative.
From the paper:
“Finally, the remarkable turnover of sex chromosomes in many systems, as well as variation in the rate of sex chromosome divergence, suggest that assumptions about the inevitable linearity of sex chromosome evolution are not always empirically supported, and the drivers of the birth-death cycle of sex chromosome evolution remain to be elucidated. ”
Darwin’s sexual selection (seen as an alleged massive shaper of evolution) has given rise to any number of naturalist legends, including—local favourites—the Darwinbird of Pop Science and the Clever Abortion Mare.
Of course, sexual selection could spark new species. Lots of events could. At least in theory. The problem is, it must persist generation after generation to make and maintain a difference. How often can it work that way unchecked in an ecology where a great many other shaping events are happening at the same time?
Beauty Darwin & Design is a new short film from the John 10:10 project.
It’s an interesting theory but the obvious problem is that transmissible cancers are, as the authors admit, rare. They may always have been rare, relative, say, to predation or extinction—whether sex was part of a life form’s organization or not.
Sexual conflict, and sexual selection in general could conceivably turn out to be so “complicated” that, while it usually makes a difference when it occurs, it does not point in any particular direction for evolution.
Contrary to assumption, 1) smell was important in locating mates and 2) males and females had different smells 3) produced by symbiotic bacteria. One wonders how many other life forms would challenge simple evolution tales if they were closely studied.
Male birds are more likely to do so: After a five-year experiment, researchers from Florida State University and the Tallahassee-based Tall Timbers Research Station found that when fewer mates were available for brown-headed nuthatches, these small pine-forest birds opted to stay home and help their parents or other adults raise their offspring… Associate Professor of Read More…
Popscience: No natural mechanism is remotely suggested, so we must assume that it is sheer mental power, of the sort that we species-ists once thought existed only in humans, that enables the hen bird to plan for her chicks’ future. Shame on us!
If this report is a first, we might want to go a bit light on the traditional Darwinism while more bees are researched. If people used to think males wouldn’t do this, they will realize that one can be mistaken; those who rush in with an easy traditional answer might be too.
It’s odd. The fact that he came to doubt the thesis after twenty years is the first time some of us sense a good reason to at least take it seriously. That is, the fact that a specific hypothesis of that sort might be wrong implies that others might turn out to be right, as opposed to mere Darwinian storytelling.
The biggest problem, which Jabr discusses, is whether beauty really exists or is it just an illusion that promotes our genes’ survival, as a naturalist (nature is all there is) must insist. Yet, despite the stale “Darwin himself” creedal statements, the long piece ends on a curiously tolerant, ecumenical note.