Nature reports the discovery of the fossil remains of a small dinosaur, Microraptor gui, with feathers on all four limbs. The find lends weight to the theory that flight originated from gliding from and between trees.
Tag Archives: evolutionary-biology
[ via Laughing Meme ] Aidan Elliott-McCrea reviews The Future is Wild, a feature on some speculative evolutionary futures shown on the Animal Planet cable channel in the US. I was watching this with the sound off last week. Apparently, 200 million years in the future, expect sapient octopi. Elliot-McCrea’s interested in this since he [...]
Propaganda from my employer about Macs and the Human Genome Project. One of the researchers keeps a copy of the Human genome on his iPod. If he’s a Neil Young fan, does that me he’ll ‘rip, mix, burn’ himself a Cinnamon Girl?
[ via Electrolite ] Oh my, Avram, over at Pigs and Fishes, did some digging into the Intelligent Design movement, and found that they’re out to replace science with a bastardized mish-mash that doesn’t spook deists. What is it about evolution that causes normal people to, well, devolve? Okay, well that whole ashcanning the need [...]
David Gergen interviewed Steven Jay Gould, who died yesterday, back in 1996. The interview highlights what I liked about him: how he clarifies what this scary thing natural selection means, and his polymath mind. Pinker, Dennet, and Dawkins — the heart of evolutionary biology’s batting order — often denegrated Gould’s writings as trivial. However, having [...]
[ via the Muted Horn ] Charles W. Miller, over at AppleLinks, thinks the “OBJECTIVE” ministries web site is a hoax: Secondly, I have been involved in evangelical Christianity for over 30 years, and I had never heard of Richard Paley, or the institution where he supposedly teaches Divinity and Theobiology: Fellowship University (“theobiology” — [...]
DNA is full of sequences that just don’t seem to code for anything. FutureFeedForward hypothesizes what that Junk DNA really means: Though declining to reveal the full results of their analysis, noting that some 97% of the human genome consists of biologically unused sequences with “a statistically significant chance of containing decipherable semantic content,” the [...]
[ via the Muted Horn ] Here at Whump dot com, we’re puzzled by people who make ill-informed statements such as “how can you believe in the theory of evolution?” One can no more believe in a the theory of evolution than you can believe in special relativity, quantum mechanics, or Kepler’s third law. They [...]
I was disappointed in the PBS “Evolution” mini-series. I think they’d had done better to let Dawkins, Gould, and Dennett pass the mic among themselves and recorded the conversation. And then the filmmakers were bending over backwards not to offend the deists. Cripes, didn’t any of these people read Kant: religion in one box, science [...]
Richard Dawkins, a man who has never met a faith he wouldn’t ridicule, names religion as the prime suspect in the WTC attacks: As luck would have it, we have just the thing to hand: a ready-made system of mind-control which has been honed over centuries, handed down through generations. Millions of people have been [...]
PBS’s big fall series will be an eight part show on evolution, and the Nation’s public broadcaster is girding itself against the expected reaction from the offal-throwing chimpanzees of the religious right. Why is PBS worried about a show on what should be a non-controversial subject? After all, Senator Helms doesn’t screech when a narrator [...]
I’ll make a sidelines comment in the Dave/Meg/Robert exchange over the deficit in women in IT. Dave, you mench, I know you mean well, but even if there are significant biological differences between mens’ and womens’ brains, those differences arose many, many generations ago when selection was working on our ancestors and satisficing the problem [...]
[ via RC3 ] Richard Dawkins, our stalwart defender of things scientific, laments the death of Douglas Adams, our stalwart bearer of the shield of humor. Adams was a confidant of Dawkins, and introduced the biologist to his future spouse. If you think an evolutionary biologist cannot have a soul, then read this, and learn [...]
Robert Wright reviews and quickly disposes of three arguments for “Intelligent Design”. Amoung the challengers is a Baylor math professor who claims to have a filter which can determine if something is a random collection of parts, or a “inteligently designed” complex organism. First of all, devising a test that shows that organisms aren’t randomly [...]
ETA: Many people are coming to this entry via searches after recent news reports, so I’m editing this entry, originally from December of 2000, to add new information. The research mentioned in the news appears to be an article in the Journal of Veterinary Parasitology, A decade of discoveries in veterinary protozoology changes our concept [...]